Morgan and Monica’s Diary – May 20, 2017,
What a day we have had! We are both sitting on the porch of Home of Hope, at midnight, listening to a pigeon, the crickets, birds off in the distance. The stars are glistening, there is a slight breeze and we are so happy in our hearts after today. Today was Asha’s birthday so we sang her Happy Birthday and Monica gave her the oven as a birthday gift. Asha was extremely happy to receive this! We had mentioned to Shyam about having a blessing here to help the children with their nightmares. A man arrived early this morning who we thought was a visitor, but turned out to be a monk. He saw in his holy scripts that tonight was the right time to do the blessing. He was also able to read our horoscopes as well, which was very freaky because he was spot on about our personalities and past events that have happened to us, even though he has never met us before. Shortly after we spoke with Shyam about hiring new local workers to help build the chicken house, the monk turned out to have knowledge about building. He came and helped us measure out the chicken house again, and where to lay the foundation.
For the rest of the day, we, an older local man, Shyam and the children worked very hard on the chicken house. We dug two feet frame (rectangle) for the foundation, and then carried 150 big bricks from the top of the hill and around 75 baskets of big stones. We used local Nepali baskets that you wear on your forehead/top of your head to carry the stones and bricks. It must have been 35 degrees or higher today with not a cloud in sight. Needless to say, we were all very hot. Even Laxmi, our youngest helped to carry bricks. Once the frame was dug, we then laid the stones that makes up the foundation. We covered them with soil and tomorrow we will fill with cement. After that we will be able to lay the bricks. We were so happy that we finally got a start on the chicken house construction process! It was so amazing to work with the children because it was like working with a team of ants. It really went to show what a tight knit family they really are. Everyone was so coordinated and eager to do the job. Just as much as we want to build this chicken house for them, they seem more than happy to participate in the project.
By the time, we finished it was late afternoon. Morgan and Shyam did the interview with Shree, spoke about his future at college and handed him his sponsor letter and photo. Shree’s face completely lit up when he found out he had received another letter! Monica and Asha used the oven for a first time. Monica baked a birthday cake for Asha, as that is a custom here in Nepal and also a pizza for all of the children to try. Partex in Sweden was very kind to donate pens to all the children along with name markers for the pens. Morgan handed these out to all the children with Home of Hope Bracelets. All the children were so excited to have their own personal name markers and to choose their own bracelet! The monk had returned in the afternoon to make clay figures as an offer to the gods. He made a lot of different figures using flour and water. He decorated a ceremony area on the porch using candles, flowers, incense, rice, food, money and holy water.
The ceremony began around 7:30 and everyone gathered outside and put their hands together in Namaste pose as the monk was praying, ringing a bell and drumming. The ceremony took two and a half hours. Poor Laxmi fell asleep sitting up. Towards the end of the ceremony we all stood together and threw a mixture of rice, corn, dried flowers, black beans and spices over the plate with the clay figures the monk had made. We held the handful of mixture and circled around our heads and bodies to take away bad spirits and then threw the mixture onto the plate. It was very interesting to be a part of this blessing and take part for the first time. Now Home of Hope, and the children have all been blessed to take away any bad spirits and bad luck they may have had.
The evening quickly turned into night and we had a late dinner and birthday celebration for Asha. It was followed by everyone dancing! It was great to see that the children are starting to form a good habit of changing into their pajamas. They all looked so cute! One special moment was when Laxmi gave Morgan a hug and kiss goodnight, as she walked away she cutely said, “I love you Morgan”. Morgan nearly came to tears because her voice was so cute, sincere and innocent.
Even though our bodies are sore from a hard day’s work and we are exhausted, it’s been a great day! We are both headed to bed to get some well-deserved rest!
Morgan and Monica