Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Nepal.

May 10: A warm welcome and introduction to classroom construction

Posted in Nepal on May 10, 2013

We woke up and had breakfast in the dining room before heading out in our excellent rusty Jeep that will be our transportation for our work days on the site. We were all wide eyes and exclamations at the goats and bumps in the road, taking in each new turn and bend, waving happily to the curious villagers.

We turned around another corner and stopped by what seemed like a big procession. Dinesh got out of the truck and told us to jump out as well, because this was our welcome to the site. All our faces were varying shades of shock and surprise and emotion, not quite sure what to make of this amount of genuine welcome. Even now we are having trouble trying to describe it because of how very emotional it was for all of us. We received a tikka of purple dust on our foreheads and wreaths of hibiscus and magnolias around our necks from the first (beautifully dressed) women, and then proceeded to get smeared on the face and have more flowers pressed into our hands. Everyone called out namaste and the school children were gathered smilingly around. Somebody beat a drum behind us, a different sounding drum, Nepali-sounding, beautiful.

Pictures were taken, hands were held and laughter exchanged when we introduced ourselves with "mero naam .... ho". We asked Dinesh to thank everyone for us, but it was almost impossible to gather the words necessary to express what was going through us all.

We met the teachers in the school (7 of 28 are female...not too bad a ratio) and then started our brick moving process. It was not just us for long, though, as groups of students made a brick-brigade to help us out. We are going to be working on the second floor of the classroom, building walls, laying bricks and then will help out in the English classes so the students can "get more comfortable talking to white people".

Our first lunch on the site was this super delicious rice pudding and spicy potato curry mixture prepared by some of the women from one of the mother's groups that CP supports. We stopped in on the Dang office for CPN and met some of the women who are responsible for making scarves, which are then sold via the website/company UNAKO. Dinesh told us all about the details of micro financing and the way CP specifically funcations for these mother's groups. It has been such a learning experience so far to see how they work and what challenges CP faces.

We arrived back at our hotel after another fabulously bumpy ride and all scattered to our rooms to reflect on what we just experienced....and also try to wash our faces because the pink would make for an interesting sunburn had we kept it.

Dinner was roti instead of rice, so the second of our two options for food at this hotel. None of us mind too much so far, because everything is prepared and served so respectfully. Plus the wifi here is strangely enough quite reliable and we have the option of A/C when the power is on. This makes for a very excellent stay!

Kelly Gerlings
DWC Student Team Leader
Nepal, May 2013

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