The Quirky Quibbler

New Friends in Nepal!

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Annually, a few students from The Nepal Project are selected for the life-changing opportunity of travelling to Nepal and becoming teachers for young students in a local school. This year, there were thirteen lucky students. Each one is endlessly grateful for the wonderful experience, and has been humbled through encountering the daily life of many children worldwide.

The group smoothly travelled to Kathmandu on February 9th, 2018. At the airport, we were picked up by the kind tour guides of Himalayan Voluntourism, and transported to Hotel Mandala in the bustling city of Kathmandu. While there, we had time to shop, stroll around the city, and eat wonderful food. During the night we slept in cold bedrooms with small beds, however everyone was too excited about the next day to care. The next morning, we ate breakfast, and climbed aboard a bus to drive us to an ancient city. We got the opportunity to see beautiful ancient temples, and visit an art school. After, we boarded the bus again to be transported to Nagarkot. After many hours of small, bumpy, cliff-edging roads, we arrived at the Lapsi Tree Resort. The hotel had an incredible view of the mountain ranges, rice fields, and sunset. We all slept in comfortable, warm rooms after eating a delicious meal. The next morning, we woke up, ate breakfast, and started the 40-minute walk to the Shila Devi basic school. Many SIS students were out of breath when we arrived, however the young Nepali children walk for two hours with no problem.

Once we arrived, the children lined up in rows, sang the national anthem, and did their morning exercises. After, the SIS students received flower necklaces and traditional bindis on our foreheads of red pigment. It was clear that the children were just as excited as us to start the lessons. After the opening ceremony, the SIS students broke up into different classrooms, and started to teach math, science, english, iPads, music, and sports. At the end of every school day, it was always equally hard to say goodbye to the children. SIS donated iPads, pencils, papers, and other school supplies that the students and teachers alike were extremely grateful for. It was incredibly humbling for us to see the Nepali children running around the school with torn shoes, dirty clothes, and matted hair, yet still being so eager to learn.

After the school day was over and we arrived back at the hotel, we met and spoke with Peter Dalglish. Peter is a humanitarian who works for the United Nations. He lived very close by and found it fun to hang out with the group. He told us amazing stories about his work all around the world, including the Middle East and Africa. He worked with children; child soldiers, child slaves, and children affected by disease among others as well. One day, the group even received the opportunity to tour Peter’s home. He kept his house open and accepted anyone who needed shelter. His incredible heart and kind soul inspired some members of the group to consider jobs within humanitarianism and start fundraisers to help those less fortunate.

On our last day at Shila Devi, we held a tournament. The students were split into different teams, and competed in three different games; sports, trivia, and science. This was very fun for the children, and created team-bonding. After, we gave out donations; shoes, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, hairbrushes, and more. The children were eternally grateful for the simple gifts, and many were seen brushing their hair and trying their toothpaste on campus. It was excruciating to say goodbye to our new friends, however we eventually had to leave. We walked back to the hotel, said goodbye to Peter, and packed small packs. Then, we set off on a 6-hour hike into the mountains. Finally, we arrived in a small community. There used to be six hotels, however all but one had been devastated by the earthquake. It was heartbreaking to see the toppled buildings with deserted furniture inside. At night, we started a fire, and told ghost stories. The group even went to one of the building sites and made a prayer circle in order to send our blessings to the people who passed away during the earthquake. We slept the night in ice-cold rooms on rock hard beds with walls covered in spiders and other bugs. The next morning, we began another 7-hour hike to Kathmandu, where a bus then picked us up and drove us to the hotel. We slept the night and then were forced to go back to Sweden the next day. All of the students and teachers included were heartbroken to leave the beautiful country and climate.

The trip has been the most incredible it could possibly have been; the students all bonded with each other and we were all humbled by the experienced. The students describe how their views on their lives have been changed by seeing the conditions some Nepali people lived in, however still seeing a large smile on their faces. We arrived back in Stockholm with expanded minds, bigger hearts, and kinder souls.

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New Friends in Nepal!