Tuesday, 24 June 2014

24th June

Today Jennifer flew to Pokhara where I and another volunteer will join her on Thursday. I caught a taxi with a box full of  workbooks, maps - in fact all the things I brought from SA to take to the girls at the nunnery. They were so excited to see me as was I to see them! I gave Monita the little nun let who gave me a medallion, a little African key ring beaded doll and the head nun, Puja an African bead bracelet. I had lunch with them - the usual rice and dhal, after which all the girls sat at the dining tables and did dot to dot colouring in - numbers and alphabet with the crayons from Karen! I gave them masses  of workbooks that I had collected at VIN office but had not used with the boys. There was also chalk, felt tip kokis , dusters, the African animals, parts of the body puzzle, flash cards, playing cards, scissors and the big ECD resource file that I gave to one of the girls called Uscha who reads English really well and us such a teacher in the making. Puja will show all the books to their Nepalese English teacher who hopefully will find them useful. It was a lovely couple of hours and I left feeling much better and the nunlets were ok to wave goodbye this time- closure is reslly important! 

I then caught the bus into Boudha where the largest Buddhist stupa is and pottered happily for a few hours. I sat on a bench absorbing the scene and compared this Pru with the Pru who first set eyes on the stupa- very different - awestruck, judging, in fact completely overwhelmed. I am so grateful that I had the chance to be here long enough to break through the aversion and confusion I experienced in the first couple of weeks.

I now look with fondness on many of the things  that seemed so strange in the beginning - stray dogs that in fact do have a home, people happily engaging. Mothers playing with children where as all I saw before was unkempt children often sitting on dirty pavements, endless young men sitting around who now appear to be building or selling or delivering or on their way somewhere rather than aimlessly standing in the streets. 

It certainly is strange to think we will flying out of Nepal to Delhi on Monday - suddenly the end of what seemed an endless six weeks is upon us!! 

I have mentioned the dogs before but it is truly astonishing to me how they completely take over at night - there is more or less a continual chorus - it's coming up for 1.30 now and I am up having a cup of tea in our kitchen because I can't sleep and as I sit here writing, the barking has been nonstop for an hour!! As one tires another takes over... And so it goes on! Today I saw a Pekinese type doggie bring combed - all the shops in the side streets have a ledge or pavement space on which there are often people hanging out and there he was being groomed by a lady sitting on her haunches while he stood proudly to attention as if knowing this was a mighty unusual occurrence for dogs in Kathmandu - certainly for those who hang out on street corners! Usually they are fast asleep - not surprising given what they were up to the previous night!! 

There is a black dog called Kelly at the monastery who always greets us as we come home. We have been warned though to ignore the dogs so have not interacted with him at all. 

As I went to the bathroom later this night I saw him scuttlingbawaybfrom me. - obviously very guilty at being found on the 4th floor! He ended resettling on the mat outside the lama's door. 

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