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It’s Saturday morning, and I slept pretty well other than having many thoughts and ideas going through my head. I’m looking forward to today’s distribution of sweaters, shoes and socks, and I hope all the workers will come today so we can make some more progress on Home of Hope. I have a bit of pain in my body after yesterday’s stone bearing, but a little soreness won’t hold me back!

This morning I eat my last breakfast that I brought with me. The rest of the time it will be noodles, eggs and bars. It’s nice and clear weather today and you can see the Himalayan snow peaks sticking out of the clouds in the distance, really beautiful!

I start to meet almost all of the Home of Hope children outside what is now beginning to resemble their future home. I interview them a little and talk about our inauguration plans on 29/4. They look forward to moving in and I ask what colors they would prefer to have inside. I get quite consistent answers that they would like to have red, yellow, orange, green and purple, which makes it feel like we can fulfill their wishes. Shyam and I have a little meeting with the builders where we tell them that they now have to 100% focus on getting the outer walls finished. Everything else will have to wait, so even the carpenter and brick layers are here today, it will be exciting to see how much they get done!

After that, we go down to the school to distribute the shoes, sweaters and socks we have bought. On our way there, we stop at a little store and buy the kids and ourselves treats and biscuits. Today is the kid’s day off from school, but everyone seems very excited and happy to be here. It’s fun because now they start to recognize me, so they are not as shy anymore; they even greet and joke with me. They also help me to carry all the clothes, plus some school desks etc. The head teacher, his son and some other adults are here to help too. Everything is a little disorganized at first, but after some discussions we get everything set up and take control of the situation.

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Today it is a little more complicated then the previous times we have handed out things. All of the children have to try on both shoes and sweater, so I feel a little worried about how long it will take. We begin with the oldest children who are in grade 8; we think that they can help the younger ones.

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It goes surprisingly well; as all are very happy and grateful and it is touching to see how the older ones help the younger children try on the right sizes.

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It’s so fun to see and hear all the happy children and also see the adults’ commitment to help everyone get the right color and size.

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It is almost 14:00 and I am thirsty, hungry and pretty tired. But at the same time feel warm in my heart and soul. I am so happy to have been able to do this for these children, and very grateful for the financial contributions from everyone.

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I am also grateful for all the work that Sophie and Morgan put in behind the scenes at home in Sweden. It is all of you who made it possible, THANK YOU!

I head back to the tent for lunch and water; it has become really hot with the blazing sun in the daytime now. Once there, I meet Brecht, who says that they have seen the kids on their way home in their new shoes. He said many kids were gently walking in their shoes and couldn’t take their eyes off of their new shoes, he said it was a wonderful and unforgettable sight. Once again it feels great to help here!

Sending pictures to Sophie that she can use for the diary later. I have to send them early on because you never know how long it takes.

Work at Home of Hope has gone well and progressed beyond expectations, it seems that the walls will be ready for casting in two days, which feels very promising, and quite hopeful.

Sophie called and said she feels a little stressed without me home, as she has to make all decisions alone and she feels that it’s been quite awhile since I’ve been home. It was nice to talk to her and I yearn to come home again since I miss her very much. Only just about one week left!

The sun goes down and it gets really cold and windy outside. I cook dinner, which is goulash and it tastes good. Crawling into my tent to get shelter and writing my diary.

I feel very happy with today, so much meaning, joy and progress!

Thanks for today!

P.S. There was an earthquake just as I completed the diary. It’s always a bit uncomfortable, with such large forces. This was probably about 5 on the Richter scale, the second strongest one since I’ve been here.

Johan

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