Today we leave Kathmandu and drive the long drive to Home of Hope in Ratankot! I’m so happy to have Babaram as our wonderful driver again, who I know will get us to Ratankot safe and sound! We are so excited to see all the children again!! Here we come Home of Hope!!
This morning I woke up to the beautiful voice of Monica singing me Happy Birthday! She got me a candle that played the melody to Happy Birthday and a new bracelet. We finished the rest of our packing and had some breakfast. The jeep was on time this morning, so we packed it with all of our bags. Shyam arrived shortly after and informed me that there was a man who wanted to see me. I met with him, and he gave me information about three children who want to come to Home of Hope. Once I finished the meeting, we gathered in the jeep. I was so happy and excited to see that we had the same driver, Babaram, who I had in February. He is an excellent driver, and I instantly felt safer. We picked up bed sheets and medicine for Home of Hope that we ordered yesterday in Kathmandu.
Prem tagged along with us for the drive until a few villages outside of Kathmandu. We made a quick break for lunch and then continued our way. It was very hot and sunny today. The roads were quite bad with lots of bumps along the way. It was nice to see that they have been doing work on the roads to improve them as well as some houses that are starting to be rebuilt. We came along a motor cycle accident, which luckily no one was killed. We stopped in Khadichour to visit Preeti and Bishek at the hospital. Bishek has tonsillitis and Preeti had a sore throat and fever. As we were pulling up to the hospital I suddenly screamed “hey isn’t that Shree!” Shree was walking alongside the road since he had come with Bishek and Preeti to the hospital to help. I jumped out as soon as the jeep stopped and ran to give Shree a big hug! Monica and I were so excited to see Bishek and Preeti! While Shyam checked them out of the hospital, Monica and I went to buy t-shirts for the workers who will help with the chicken house and lots of fruit for the Home of Hope children such as watermelon, oranges, grapes, apples and mango.
While we waited at the hospital for Shyam and the kids to finish up, a big wind and rain storm suddenly passed over us. It was completely out of nowhere, but thankfully it passed quickly. Bishek and Preeti joined us in the jeep for the rest of the drive to Ratankot. Poor Bishek cannot handle car or bus rides without getting sick. I ended up holding him and caring for him the rest of the ride. As we got closer Monica decided to walk the last hill to Ratankot as the car ride was very bumpy and she knew the way to Home of Hope. As we got closer to the school, Binita was walking home so she jumped into the jeep and drove the rest of the way with us. When we arrived at Home of Hope, Hari was waiting for us by the road, I got out and gave him a big hug! On the porch of Home of Hope was the rest of the children and Asha. I ran down to them and was greeted with welcome scarves and flowers from all of the children! I cannot describe the feeling I get when I have these children in my arms once again. It is a mixture of comfort, love, home, familiarity and wholeness. My heart is complete when I am at Home of Hope.
Shortly after I arrived, Monica came through the door and all of the children ran to greet her! Monica had tears in her eyes after hugging all the children. She told me she missed them all so much and felt so excited to be back. She felt as if this return trip was unreal, because she never imagined she would miss them as much as she has. We spent time with the children and met the new baby rabbits and looked at the green house. I was so amazed when I saw the inside of the greenhouse. It was stunningly vibrant green with tomatoes, beans, squash, chili, cucumber, onion and sunflowers! I was overwhelmed that in just three short months after building the greenhouse, we could see so many foods growing. The best moment was when Aren carried out four huge cucumbers for dinner.
It was so cute when Asha and Shyam surprised me with a cake Asha had baked. They all sang me Happy Birthday and I cut a piece for every child and they had fruit and cookies to go along with it. I could not have gotten a better birthday present, than to spend my birthday with the Home of Hope children. It is so great to be back with them all. Many have grown and I can see that each are forming their own personalities with each trip I make back here. Tomorrow Monica and I will walk all of the children to school and start the installation process of the solar panels. It feels so great to be back!!
Lööf Foundation representative