Upon arrival to Nepal, the first few days were spent buying some necessities. We also met up with our friends from Be Human Nepal. Joining us on this trip is Naia, a nurse who will be spending three months in the village to help with the health care of the villagers. We also visited the slum school to give out some gifts and another school in the area who had three children being sponsored by Be Human Nepal. For some of us, visiting the slum school had a great impact. We were perhaps a little caught offguard by the rancour our arrival would cause. The moment we got there, the children started clamouring for gifts and before too long, we had a crowd gathered outside the school, most of them parents and other children who did not belong in the school. The school itself only consisted of one small room that served as a classroom with children of all size and ages in that one class. Perhaps it may sound less than ideal but it was the best that could be done under the circumstances. The school is being sponsored by Be Human Nepal.
The next day, we started off on our journey to the school. Our journey started with a bone-jarring bus ride that threatened to throw us out of our seats with every bump that we hit. Then we started the trek. During those three days of trekking, we spent our nights at various guesthouses along the way. Hot water was a luxury that was still available to us. Most of the time, we would arrive famished and completely exhausted. The porters that helped with our bags fascinated me endlessly. Each of them carried up to 20-30kg of weight and yet still trekked faster than us.
Once again, we arrived at our guest house the second night utterly exhausted yet still dredged up some energy to make medical cards for the villagers which will be used to record down any medical problems that they may have. It will also hopefully aid any medical personnel who may be coming down in future.
After hard trekking for three days, encountering leeches, which for a few of us was a novel experience and falling a few times, we finally made it to the school in one piece. However the sight that greeted us when we arrived made it all worth it. The children in the school were patiently waiting for us with garlands in their hands. We were greeted by a resounding ‘Namaste’ and smiling faces. As we approached, the children started placing the flower garlands over our heads. It is hard for me to fully describe how I felt at that moment. But suffice to say, Naia had tears in her eyes.
After the very warm welcome that we received, we immediately started on the painting of the world map supervised by Alynn. We put on the first two layers of base paint. Naia and I also sorted out the medical supplies that she brought over from Spain.
Alynn then put us to work on the masks for the children. There was much trepidation from the volunteers as most of us lay no claim to any artistic talent and Alynn requires excellence from us. There was plenty of help from the teachers in the school as well as our cook! We then briefed the teachers on the program for the next few days.
And that sums up our movements since landing in Nepal and arriving at the school. For most of the volunteers, the trek was not an easy one. But we are unanimous in our agreement that it was worth it. There was much laughter and photo-taking with the children. All of the volunteers are also very excited about the next few days and the activities that we are going to be doing with the children. For myself, my heart has been captured. Completely and totally lost to the children as well as to the beauty of Nepal.