Kaylee and Morgan’s Diary – February 10, 2017
Kaylee: What an amazing day!
Morgan and I woke up and saw the kids off to school. We ate our breakfast and did a little bit of computer work before it was time to go to the school and give all the kids a workshop and then feed them lunch. The morning was spent planning the workshop and overseeing the greenhouse. At around 12 we made our way down to the school with Shyam. The school has a total of 84 kids and 6 teachers.
The first workshop that we held was with the older kids in grade 7 and 8 and worked our way down to the little ones. We talked about gender equality and raised the point that marriage doesn’t mean that the wife has to stay home and take care of the household. The goal of the workshop was to make the children understand that all people are of equal worth, despite gender. When I told them that I am married, that I go to school and that my husband helps with all household duties, a few of their jaws dropped. That just goes to show how cultures can be vastly different from each other! In both Sweden and Canada, women and men are seen as equals (even if there is always room to grow in that department!) while here in Nepal, it is customary for women to stay home and take care of the home and children after marriage. I asked all of the kids about their dreams and aspirations. I told them that to achieve their dreams they need to show each other love and respect, to lift each other instead of push each other down. I could see lights in many of their eyes and it completely warmed me. My hope is that the workshop will stay in their thoughts and that they will not let go of their dreams when the time comes and that instead they will leap and bound towards them.
The second part of our workshop was about waste management. That was a very important topic as there are currently no systems in place for garbage disposal in Ratankot. People either leave their trash on the ground or they burn it. The kids responded well to that part of the workshop and they promised to help keep the village beautiful. After the workshop, Morgan and I felt very inspired about ways that we can help improve the waste-situation here in Ratankot. We will see what happens!
The workshops were followed by a big lunch that I provided for the entire school and all teachers with the money that was donated from my sponsors. I cannot describe the feelings that were running through me when we handed out the food to all the children. Many of them don’t get any breakfast and the school doesn’t serve lunch during the day. That means that many of them go a whole day between meals as they normally won’t eat until they come home at around 4:30 pm. Watching the kids all sit down together and enjoy their meal of 2 boiled eggs, potato curry, peas and rice made my heart soar. They all sat and chatted with each other and I could see pure and thorough enjoyment on each and every face. Giving them that lunch didn’t cost me much, but to them it was a very, very big deal and knowing that makes me want to do is ten times over. There was a strong sense of togetherness and pure flowing through the air. We shared many laughs and hugs and I felt complete.
After the meal we cleaned up and the kids all disposed of their paper plates in the garbage bag as instructed. They went and washed up and came back for a candy. I had them all line up in front of me and I handed out the candies one by one so that I could have the chance to see and thank each child individually. We did a little test as we wanted to see what they did with the candy wrappers after and we were delighted to see that only 1 child threw their wrapper on the ground! All of the rest put them into that trash bin without us even having to ask them.
When the candies were all handed out, I looked over to my right and saw that there was a massive round of Stella-Ella-Ola about to start. That, of course, made me so happy as we have had some amazing times playing that game over the past few days. We got about 86 people to stand in the circle; almost the entire school, including the smallest of the bunch and a few teachers. Sunita was one my left and Preeti on my right and we started playing. Over the past few days Preeti and I have gotten to know each other a lot better. She has really come out of her shell and is such a beautiful young woman. The round took a very long time as there were so many people. Preeti said to me about half way through that it was her that started up the game. She looked so proud and I melted.
Earlier in the day we had said to the children that they are welcome to join Morgan and I as we walked home and to collect trash off the ground along the way. We were overwhelmed as about 30 people, including the headmaster, followed us up the path. By the time we reached Home of Hope we had about 7 bags overflowing with trash. We had tried to tell the children about half way through when the bags were starting to get full that we could come back on Sunday and pick up the rest. But they just kept going and grabbing every piece of scrap that they could see. Morgan and I were filled with glee as we saw the school children off. We came inside Home of Hope and, after a big high five, fell flat on my bed for a few minutes to recharge.
On the agenda this evening is dancing and fun as the kids are free from school tomorrow. The children were so excited to get letters from their sponsors that they could not wait to write them back. We spent a few hours tonight helping the children write their letters and they were so excited! I am very excited for all of the sponsors to receive them.
Tonight while Morgan and I were eating, the children, Shyam and Asha were all dancing around us. Morgan and I decided to get up and join them for a number while a few stayed behind to work on their letters. I turned and looked at the table where we had left our food, and there is Bishek closing the packages (we eat freeze-dried food while here) so that they wouldn’t get cold while we were dancing. That just goes to show the hearts that these children have. They are always doing such thoughtful acts and never ask for recognition or anything in return.
Morgan and I will be heading to bed tonight totally exhausted but with hearts overflowing. We are very excited to see what tomorrow brings as the children will all be home. I am sure that the day will be an adventure!
I would like to send out a huge thank you to all of my sponsors that made today possible. You should all know that your contributions made it possible for every child in the village to go home from school with a full stomach today. So thank you!!
The green house has made so much progress I cannot contain my excitement! The roofing got finished today. Babu and Ayuss split the bamboo pieces into smaller pieces so that they would bend. This way the roof of the green house will be curved\arched. We also added thinner pieces of bamboo along the sides to make the wall and left a space for a door. All that is left to do is put the plastic on! The green house will be finished by next week, well in time before I leave. This way I will also have a chance to help Asha, Shyam and the children plant seeds. I cannot wait to return in May to see what has grown!
Once the children arrived home from school I finished handing out the letters from their sponsors. I read the letter while Asha and Shyam translated for me. All of the children sat there interested and curious about their sponsor. After I finished handing out the letters, all of the children started to write letters back to their sponsors. Kaylee, Shyam, Asha and I circulated helping the children with spelling and what to write back. I saw many of the children kiss their letters from their sponsors and say that they love them. It was so special to hear some children say that they now have a mother, or siblings and that they all have new families. I cannot thank all of our sponsors enough for the letters you wrote to the children, and for your ongoing support. You have no idea the impact you have already made on the Home of Hope children. I have received so many letters and drawings from the children tonight and have them safely packed away! A lot of the children asked me if we could frame pictures of their sponsors and hang on the wall. I told them that next time I come, I will frame photos of their sponsors if they would like. I cannot wait to get back to Sweden and send out the letters and drawings the children have made to their sponsors. Thank you sponsors!
Morgan and Kaylee