In late April, I and my partner Johan went to Nepal. We would be present during the ceremony for the start of the work for the construction of our family home in the village Ratankot, About 6 hours drive from Kathmandu. Lively, fresh and very excited, we leave the hotel in Kathmandu for the long car ride up the mountains.
Johan and I (Left) I, along with our partner Pema Dorjee Lama (Right)
Our first stop was at a monastary as our partner, Pema Dorjee Lama, has built up in the center on Kathmandu. There we met up with several of the monks and other curious people who would be like an entourage up to the village to attend the ceremony.
The villlage Ratankot
The four-wheel drive jeeps that took us up the mountains were quite old and the roads were bad. It was hot and dusty when we were on the winding ways up the mountain but we eventually reached the village Ratankot. There waited a few elderly ladies and they were glad to see Pema Dorjee Lama again. He has been very important throughout the whole village but especially had great significance for the buddhist believers in the village.
The village is incredibly beautiful. Along the slopes are potatoes and rice, which are all cultivated
We went straight to the village school where excited children were waiting for us. The school had four classrooms decorated with simple carved desks and green felt mats that lay across the stone floor. I saw no toys, the children looked very happy though and this made me very happy also. They met us with garlands which they had made themselves.
Balloons, sketch pads and pencils!
I could not wait and wanted to immediately start handing out our gifts. I ran up the hill to the car and grabbed teh black bag with all the gifts, drawing pads and pencils. We has a total of 100kg with us! The children were assisted by the Misses with briging his hands together so they could receive the Bruins we gave them. They could not be there on their own. I’ve been through this before in India, so it was nothing new for me. But I felt sad when I realised that it has to do with the fact that they don’t have hte habit of getting things. The older kids got a drawing pad, pencils and sharpener. We also had with us balloons and they became very popular.
Security, hope and meaning at the Home of Hope
We also got the chance to meet five children from the village who were orphans. They will have a home at the Home of Hope. It was a very emotional meeting. Specifically, I think of a boy whose house had just collapsed. He really had to move in to our family home. He looked sad, just like the other orphans. Hope for our new family home and the staff who work there can help to restore security, hope and meaning in their lives again. Because they have it tough.
Hospitality among chickens and goats
The night we spent with the family who donated the land to the Home of Hope. Their home was very simple and they lived with their animals. They had a cow and water buffalo on the farm as well as a bunch of chickens in the kitchen. We got to sleep right next to a water buffalo. The food cooked on the floor over an open fire. There was soot everywhere and the smoke made it difficult to breathe inside. It also stung the eyes. They were very hospitable and let us sleep in their beds, which we are very grateful for.
The house where we lived
The family we stayed with preparing dinner.
We borrowed beds of the family who donated the land for the family home, outside our window sleeps a water buffalo. We sleep well but wake up a few times out of all the new sounds that we are not accustomed to.