Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blessings and good morning smiles.

Carrying the furniture down Kathmandu streets.

On the rooftop of the guesthouse sorting school supplies.
My husband got into bed at 6 PM this evening (Monday) as we are all exhausted from our day. We met at 8 AM this morning, with a few other helping hands from the restaurant next door to where we were staying. Jenny had donated four tables and two benches from her shop and we decided to carry it down early this morning before traffic started. Otherwise it gets very difficult too maneuver through the chaos. School only starts at 10 AM in the morning and there were no other staff on site, except for the night watchman when we arrived. Everybody formed a long line carrying a piece of furniture on their heads, a normal site in Kathmandu streets. It was such a joy to see his smiling face as he rushed to meet us, bowing his head and placing his hands together. He could not speak any English, but we tried to explain that the furniture was for the school. I was humbled by his sincere joy and he quickly gestured that we should sit down He went inside his small room and came outside to rinse a few cups and make us some hot tea. We tried to communicate with each other, but without much success. But his warm smile, and thank fullness made everything worth this morning. After we left, we went for breakfast and Greg and Oliver went to fetch the last of the school supply donations on the other side of town. Nicole and I started unpacking and sorting the school supplies on the rooftop of the guesthouse. I could not believe how much supplies we had, more than I could ever have imagined. The Nepali Association had also dropped off over $600.00 worth of supplies to add to the collection. Shortly after two of the guesthouse staff joined us and we quickly started forming an assembly line.
It got really hot really quickly, and I even managed to get sunburnt on my hands, don’t ask me how that happened. Biju visited and he arranged Banana Lassie for the four of us. We were really hot, and realized that we had to hurry as the rains were quickly approaching. It took us about four hours to get everything sorted into back packs and kits made for each child. It included a pencil bag, ruler, eraser, 7 pencils, pen, sharpener, activity book, coloring pencils, crayons, paints, paint brush, notebook and puzzle for 150 children. We also had 67 back packs for the children. We were so happy at how the back packs turned out as we had them made by Biju at his factory. Oliver and Nicole were working so hard with us, never taking a break, Thank you again both of you for all your help today. It was really great working as a team and getting it all sorted.
We finished around 3 PM, just in time to hear the thunder and then the rain drops came. We are planning tomorrow to see if we can purchase 50 or so geometry sets for the older children. The school had mentioned that none of the children had these sets for math and we thought it would be a nice added surprise for them, and it would help the teachers teach the children. It is around 8 PM now, I can hear the shop shutters closing outside and it is lowly getting very chilly here in the room. Will be bed time for me in a few minutes as everything closes down very early because of the power situation.
Today has been such a blessing. The night watchman made such a lasting impression on me, a look and smile I will not forget.  The only thing I do wish is that we had enough funds to give back packs for all 150 children in the school. Something that we will work towards in the future. It has been a day of working together with some great people, who offered their time and hands to make this dream happen. We will be going off to the school tomorrow to give our first art lesson. The children were so excited the last time we were there and they all raised their hands for wanting to draw and paint. We ended a day with a great meal at a local favorite of ours, Daal and rice with some hot Nepali Chia. How more perfect can a day be, good night everyone.  

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