Johan’s Diary – April 28, 2016

I woke up this morning at 8 o’clock by the alarm and I slept well. Today is the third day in Nepal. I feel very grateful and happy being back here again, it´s the seventh time in two years. It´s almost like a second home to me. It´s very nice to be here with Sophie, Morgan and Thandiwe and show them around. I enjoy seeing all of my Nepali friends again! For breakfast I had my favorite, rice porridge with strawberries and coffee.
Today we are heading to Ratankot, the other and I really look forward to this day, we are finally going to see Home of Hope finished so the children can move in. The three 4×4 cars and Karma arrive at the Monastery almost on time at 9:30 and we all gathered with the other Swedish group, Pema and monk. We load the cars with all our bags, which were a lot, all filled with things for the children so the cars were overloaded. The whole group today is 14 people plus drivers. It´s around 30 degrees outside so we are happy that Karma found cars with AC that works. On the way Morgan and Thandiwe have so many questions and comments and I try to answer them all as good as I can. There are still a lot of broken houses along the road and I feel sad that its going so slow with the rebuilding process. I can also see that I´m starting to be used to the traffic situation compared to the difference in reaction from Sophie, Morgan and Thandiwe.

We stay and have lunch after some hours, the Lööf Foundation group eats bars and a Coke for safety reason, but the rest of the traveling group eats the local food. The traffic is quite normal now after India dropped the blockade and it is possible to buy petrol as normal again so today it´s going to take 5-6 hours to travel the 90 km distance to Ratankot.

In Charichu, which is the small town, and marketplace where I was when the earthquake struck one year ago we stopped to buy gift bags, brushes for the girls and drinking water. There is a lot of construction work on the roads from Charichu and that makes me really happy as the road here was really damaged after the earthquake. The last part of the trip was as always very bumpy!

We reach Ratankot at 5 PM and it was fantastic to see Home of Hope, it was very busy around the house, with 20 people working very hard to finish everything before the inauguration, as there were some last minute details to be finished. The house looked really beautiful and Shyam and Karma have done a great job!

We meet the first two children who are going to move in today. They were two girls, Samjhana Tamang who was 13, and Laxmi Tamang who is five years old. Once the girls arrived at Home of Hope, Morgan gave them a shower, and a fresh pair of clothes.

They were quite dirty, and we are not sure when the last time they had a proper shower. Thandiwe was there to help blow dry their hair and brush it. Sophie helped get all toys and books out, so that they could have something to play with and feel more comfortable. They were a bit shy in the beginning, but once they got cleaned up, and started playing with toys, they really opened up. Later that night, Shyam and Asha moved in, as well Sophie and I got settled in the guest room. I am now sitting here in my bed and writing this diary. It was a little overwhelming today, but now we are going to sleep here after all our work today. We have gone through so much to be where we are today, and I feel very grateful to all who have helped us to manage this!

Good night from Home of Hope for the first time!





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