Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Wednesday 18th June

So today has to go down as motor bike day! I asked Salai Dai's brother if he would mind taking me to the workshop on his bike - no problem so I arrived there at 9.15 after spending about half am hour showing the family the book I brought on South Africa. I fetched the book to show  them as Saila Dai had asked me if my country had money!! I replied we had a lot of gold - well his eyes lit up and he swooned clutching his heart that he "loved the gold"!! And please could I bring him gold when I come  next time - 1 kg of gold - he wants to make gold rings and the gold necklace (all the while sort of caressing his fingers and his neck!! I laughed and said sure - I would tell my husband to work for a year so I could bring him 1 kg of gold as long as the first ring was for his wife - well that brought the house down!!! So that  was it. I fetched the book to show him gold being poured- he immediately kissed the picture and touched it lovingly with his fingers!!! 

Anyway back to the workshop! It was with much relief that I found everything as we had left it. So I set to work cleaning everything as all the activities were covered in dust. The day went incredibly well with me presenting all 24 activities - I surprised myself in fact as I haven't done presentations for some years now but it was a great way of drawing the theory from the practice and showing the relevance of the philosophy in each moment. No doubt having spent 68 years on the planet helps!! Well this time around anyway!!! Hmmmm.....

Each day the teachers were given lunch which it turned out I paid for!! I find so many similarities to our work with the women back home - food at a workshop is really a big issue; that I will be there at the office to organize or do  this or that. Ivsuppose though there is an element of how long is a piece if string and generally I don't reign on the string enough!! 

It really was incredibly satisfying though and I am in my element working with women/teachers who were very receptive and eager to learn- all in all really rewarding. At the end we went over all their challenges and they agreed that they now had a way to get through them - and that they were the ones who would and could do that!! So I would love to see what happens in the next few months. 

The workshop ended with the principle of the school gaaning aan for ever and the tVUN programme manager had his say followed by Om and then I was told to say something. So I told them about how my friends had given me the money to buy all the materials for the workshop and that each school would receive exactly the same set and that it was now up to them. Well this was translated onto a long speech as well!! After many photos we finally called it a day.i got a ride with the VIN guy who insisted we go back to Saila dai's house for tea. So off we went altho I had said my goodbyes that morning and been ceremoniously had my forehead stamped with a deep red dye, called a tikka and had a beautiful red karta (a special scarf given as a greeting or farewell) draped around my neck. So we set off with me carrying my back pack, camping stool and my carry bag hooked onto the front of the bike. I felt on much better hands than last yesterday's guy. Well everyone was overjoyed to see me again - guns and tea  all round when suddenly a guy who had been at the ending if the workshop pitched up and said I was needed at the co-operative centre where we had stored all the schools materials as some teachers wanted to take their stuff todAy and not tomorrow! So off I went on his bike to hand out materials to five of the schools. Much joy and excitement and promises that they would remove the labels and seq around the edges of the small drying cloths!! So we did it - equipped nine schools, trained 16 teachers - all be it for a day and a half!! And created ax extra set for VIN which I will use to train teachers from private schools who can buy their own materials - watch this space for more on that!! 

I was then taken back to drink my tea before I jumped back onto Dr Laxmir, the VIN guy's bike to get a lift to Kathmandu - about 20 kms I guess - so all in all aotor bike day!!!as well as everything else . 

I then jumped grTefully into a taxi to go to the trusty hotel premium to meet up with a bunch of volunteers for a celebration dinner in Thamel. There were 16 of us including kennifer who joined us from the monastery. It is so wonderful to see these - I have to say it - youngsters as that is what they are - all in their early 20's giving up 3 to 12 weeks to volunteer - there really is a growing awareness amongst the youth - of service and giving which is so encouraging. It must be amazing to work full time for an NGO that gets a constant stream of new energy coming through its doors. I know this requires enormous managing as well and a fair amount of mothering which VIN does well - so hats off to VIN and the volunteers. Jennifer has been writing articles about VIN and it's successes and challenges which I am sure give a realistic picture. 

So after a great supper if western food, Jennifer and I caught a taxi back to theonastery. It was after ten and pretty veery as the streets were pretty much deserted except for the dogs which are let loose at night and rule the roads at night - struuring along, tails up as they congregate on corners and seem to socialize and every do often set up barking which goes on through out the night. It's 3.40 now as I write and I can hear them barking - one starts which is followed by a chain of others, then just as suddenly there is silence again. 

Soni'd better get back to sleep. Tomorrow I go into the office to write up the ' books' - who got what at what cost so that'll be in a later blog! I also have an appointment to go to a Montessori training centre at 1pm to meet the people who trained a couple of the teachers from the VIN ECD schools.

So good night from a very wide awake and satisfied Pru who is for sure enjoying herself and keeping very well and getting pretty fit from all this walking - except today of course!!! 

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