Morgan and Monica’s Diary – May 25, 2017,
This morning we went to school with all of the children. We packed our backpacks with pencils for all school children and notebooks that she bought with her donated money. We headed down while Shyam left instructions for the workers. All of the school children were curious about what we would teach and were very happy to see us, just as much as we were happy to see them again! Monica and I joined in the morning exercises with all of the children, which they laughed at us for. We then introduced ourselves and said that we would start the day out with a garbage clean up. Monica and a teacher took class five to eight with her to clean up the garbage along the trail from the school to Home of Hope. They managed to fill five bags full. I stayed behind at the school and had class one to four help me clean up the school ground. The children were so cute running around and picking up the tiniest pieces they could find. It was almost like a game to them, so they actually had fun while doing it! I tried my best to encourage them as much as possible along the way.
Kaylee and I held this same workshop at the school in February, so hopefully if we continuously teach the children not to throw garbage on the ground, perhaps one day Ratankot will be free of litter. After this Monica and I split ourselves again, she went with the younger group while I went with the older classes. Monica taught the children about the human body, basic hygienic care such as washing hands, brushing teeth and keeping yourself clean. She also taught about basic body functions such as the heart and lungs. Morgan held a workshop on nutrition and went over the four main food groups, dairy, grain, vegetables and meat. I taught them that water is the best to have with a meal instead of juice and that eating too much candy is bad for the teeth. Once we finished with the classes, Monica and I switched. When Monica did her workshop for the older students she talked about the same thing as she did with the younger, but also added what changes a teenage body can go through at that time. The older students seemed to be very interested and she was glad to give them more knowledge.
We feel that these three workshops went very well and were very important for the children. The whole reason why we are here is to spread knowledge and education to our Home of Hope children and also the surrounding village children, so the next generation is more informed and can make better decisions. Next, we brought the food down that was prepared by the headmaster’s wife. It consisted of bread, a mixture of peas, lentil and beans, along with boiled eggs and water. This went along Morgan’s workshop, as this meal was very healthy. All of the children were very excited to receive a meal as they do not eat during the school day. Many of the children spend the day at school from 10:00-4:00 and only eat in the morning and night.
We headed back to Home of Hope for some lunch and to help with the construction process. It was great to come back and see that they workers had accomplished a lot while we were gone. More of the wall was in place, the windows and chicken hatch were installed. It’s really starting to look like a little house. Shyam and us continued working on that until early evening, cutting more bamboo, splitting it and helping attach bamboo for the walls. We are optimistic that we will be able to finish it tomorrow, we hope. It was a very busy evening here at Home of Hope as normal. Shyam played football with the children for quite a while and then taught Monica how to cook Nepal’s national meal which is dal bat. It is rice with a stew made from lentils and a lot of spices such as onions, chili, fennel. Alongside that they made a vegetable mixed from beans, potatoes, green onions, dried onions and fresh chili from the garden. Morgan spent most of the evening in the greenhouse with Asha, Binita, Samjhana, Purna, Puja and Laxmi. We were weeding and planting new seeds I had brought with me from Sweden. The seeds were generously donated by Granngården as they gave us half price on so many different types of seeds. A big thank you to Camilla Ronge, a yoga teacher from Kristinehamn who donated the money to us to buy seeds, the Home of Hope children will now have so many more vegetables to eat! We are trying different vegetables from the seeds I brought such as yellow and red peppers, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, parsnips and strawberries. Everything else has been growing great in the greenhouse, so I hope that these will also be successful! I asked Asha how she felt about the greenhouse and she said she loves it and that its like “pick and eat” without having to buy many vegetables from somewhere else. We picked a whole basket full of green beans for their supper tonight, and I was amazed by all of the beans. There were so many!
During dinner, our 15 baby chickens arrived from Khadichour. We gave them water and some food. They were all very cute. We are hoping that they will be able to settle into their new home tomorrow! As we write this blog post from today we can hear the girls from their room yelling to Shyam and Asha “goodnight, have sweet dreams, we love you, goodnight mom”. This is the best ending to our day.
Morgan and Monica