Well, we have had a very successful day yesterday.Uma and I planned the lunch soon after my arrival.The fact that my stay this year is only about 2 weeks long, meant that we have to do things almost at a gallop. With Uma almost back to her normal health, we have been able to purchase everything we needed for the new children as well as those required by Uma and the orphanage.
We invited all the new children and their parents to lunch yesterday.The invitation was given out after we have made contact with them in the homes and at the school in Kalimati. The aim of the lunch was to meet them socially, reinforce the sponsors' message of providing them with improved life chances through better education. In addition, we wanted to give them the Emergency lamps, new dresses and the tables for studying.This we did with the exception of the tables.The Carpenter was not able to complete the order of 7 tables in time. So Uma is looking at the alternatives.
Every child turned up with her/his mum on time.Interestingly again, no father turned up to accompany the families. Uma and I had a quick count. We planned for approximate 35 people. We had Chicken, potato salad and lentil, in Nepali style of course. It was delicious . Everyone had a good helping of everything on the menu . I believed that they enjoyed the meal thoroughly. Initially they all arrived looking tentative and somewhat anxious. By the time they left, they were all smiling and warmly appreciative of what we are trying to do for their children
There were times when the mums were talking to me -in Nepali of course. All I was able to do is to use the international language- sign, gesture and a lot of smiles and laughter. However , it is so gratifying to see that our children are speaking English so well that they were able to do much of the translation for me and the mums. Well done, kids!
The weather has been atrocious for the past week. It has been raining non- stop for several days. Nabina and I had prayed really hard for a dry day yesterday..... And yes, it was sunny and hot the whole day yesterday. We were so pleased and relieved. It meant that the children can play outside if they chose to. As it turned out, it was fine.I thanked whoever is up there for looking after our interests.
I have to confess that I did only a minimum to help .Although I did offer my help in preparing the meal, I did not survive the tasks.. I was asked to help to peel/scrap the potatoes - all 10 kilos of it. Unfortunately, I lasted only after 2 kilo . Instead, Nabina and Suzan and Urmila did the bulk of it. I felt quite ashamed. Such feeble effort on my part. It says something about my western living.... Alas, it has softened me up somewhat !
The children especially the older ones have been really competent in peeling and chopping onions, garlic as well as the potatoes. With Nabina, the helper there, they were working till late, cleaning and washing the floors etc. 7am the following morning saw the children finishing their morning routine earlier than normal. That is exercise and prayers, followed by their baths. The older girls helped to slice tomatoes etc. Uma was up @ 6am, cooking tomato pickle by 7am. My contribution was to accompany Uma to buy the chickens, and carried them back.. Though it was only a few kilos in weight,I felt quite virtuous having done something useful. I know its not a big deal, carrying a few kilos of chicken, but hey I did help after all
And then we all crashed out in the afternoon, following the departure of the mums and children. Socialising can be tiring as one knows. Uma and I are both quite elated at what we have managed to achieve. There are one or two loose ends to tie up. Apart from that, we both feel our mission have been accomplished
At a diffrent level, it is also time for me to say good bye to Nepal..Sig and Anja left this morning. Jordan will be leaving tomorrow morning.I will be the last one to go on wednesday.Before you know it, the house will return to its normal routine and calm until the next group of volunteers turn up. I do feel of certain sadness that this trip is coming to an end. However, the important thing is that we have done all the things we set out to do, till the next time...
Hopefully, I will blog for the last time tomorrow