I went in this morning and found the orphanage closed to the general public. I overlooked the fact that it is the beginning of the festival season. It lasts for 4 days till the following Tuesday. I took in the 3 newly altered mattress covers for the day room. Davee was not in .It was a real pain to have to cart them back to Uma's on public transport! I will have to go back next week with John. John is bringing 2 large bean bags for the 3 teenage girls who are suffering from cerebral palsy in the sleeping room upstairs.
There is a team of Spanish volunteers here , working with the orphans who suffer from laerning disability. These kids are cared for lying flat on their backs from god knows when.The Spanish workers are trying to get a wheel chair as well as bean bags to enable staff to sit them up to have a change of scenery sometimes. Uma is trying to get a wheelchair through her brother who is a member of the Rotary club here. I happened to have a conversation with Pablo, one of the spanish volunteers. We decided that it will be easier to source them in UK. It is fortuitous that John is coming to Kathmandu next week He has got them ready for the journey. We are keeping our fingers crossed that Qatar Airline will be obliging enough to allow John to check in 2 large and unwieldy luggages in addition to one of his own.
I was given the impression, through sign language and broken English that the day room will be open today- Friday, before they break for the festival. I did think that it may not be open.But then I thought the orphanage is a residential place.They will probably do something special today before the staff leaves for the week end . As one can appreciate, I will be the first one to want to stay away if I have a choice. Then I thought I will be letting people down if they are expecting me to turn up.
Against my better judgement I went in, lugging this heavy bag of mattress and cushion covers.The front door was locked. I had to go in via the back door which is full of traps in my opinion. Its strewn with bits of discarded tyres, toys, clothes and heaven knows what else amongst the tall and overgrown grass. The day room was closed. Davee was not there. I popped my head into the sleeping room upstairs. I found the children all lined up sitting on the floor, waiting for lunch to be served. They looked so calm and angelic for a change that I thought I better escape while the going is good. So I scarpered like a scalded cat......
I have to negotiate quite a tricky patch of garden /back yard with squelchy and muddy grounds on my way out.There were many toddlers running around amongst the numerous nanny goats there .One of the 3 year old from the day room called out to me 'didi, didi'. He was running around, pulling at the goat nearest to him, totally in his element of being allowed outside. He seemed very happy. I stopped to sat hello. I rubbed his tousled hair, while looking to see if there are any adults around keeping an eye on him as well as some of these young ones. There was only one young man around. He was concentrating his effort on trying to load or rather haul all the nanny goats onto a ?three wheeler van like the one 'Del boy' drives. It was quite a comical sight. In fact it was the most light hearted moment I experienced since I started at Balmandir. And sun was shinning for a change......May be some one up there thought I deserved a break on my last day. It was hilarious. Imagine 'Del Boy ' hauling nanny goats into his 3 wheeler in an orphanage in Nepal !!! Hahaha And so I went out of the orphanage laughing to myself, totally forgetting about looking for a responsible adult to keep an eye on the youngsters.
That was my last formal day at Balmandir.
My feelings ? Well,I have learnt a lot more than I did last year. It truly opened my eyes to the sufferings of these unfortunate youngsters. And I feel so helpless at the same time.Through the generosity of all you sponsors, we were able to make a tiny difference for some of the children for a few months at best , no more than that
Whats the answer ? Well, there is no answer.I accept my limitations along with my frustration at how unfair the world is . It is all to do with accident of births.............