Saturday, August 2, 2014

Volunteering is coming to an end

With less than a week to go I am now certainly looking forward to the next stage of my travel but at the same time I am not looking forward to saying Goodbye to the lovely ladies I have been working with the last 4 ½ months.

I have seen huge improvements in their self-confidence and their vocabulary has increased amazingly and their writing skills also.  The Nepali lady who funds the project visited Basandara last week and asked them a large number of questions covering dates, time and she asked them to speak to her in English, 

I found myself beaming like a proud mother.  She has now agreed to refunding the program and wants to change the name to Advanced English class.

There are no volunteers coming in the near future so hope the Nepali teachers can continue but I don’t hold too much hope.  I am sure a volunteer will come.

Friday morning came and I dressed in y new kuttah which was a white top and floral pants, topped by a red scarf and went down the stairs to the classroom.  

Unfortunately, Sue who is the co-ordinator couldn’t come for my last day to say goodbye but after pretending to teach my last lesson, the ladies bought out food, drinks and presents and proceeded to paint me up and put on heaps of bangles and take photos.  It was really touching and we were all crying and they kept telling me that I have to come back.  

It was really hard to go and they all came out to see me walk away to catch the micro to Balaju.  They all loved the flowers I made for them and they put them in their hair.

Balaju ladies were ready to party when I got there and I donated a bottle of Australian red to the party and Bobby brought Nepalese wine and whiskey and of course there were many presents and flowers and red tikka and it was a lovely farewell party with many tears.  

It was amazing how close we had become over the 5 months and we had shared many stories and all with very limited language between us.

It was a lovely day and once again I was the one to find so much to thank them for and I just loved the openness of the ladies and their unconditional love.

The upside of the day was that it would be the last time I would have to take the mirco bus.

Saturday was passed quietly and then Sunday came and I was to be picked up by taxi at 11 am as I decided that I would go out to the school in the valley on Monday and there was a farewell dinner on Sunday evening in Thamel.

The ladies of the house cooked a special dahal baart for me which was chicken curry and rice pudding and it was a nice last meal. 

The Grandmother who I really liked although we couldn’t talk to her came out to give me the traditional farewell.  

I know that Gaynu will miss having me there as she gets quite lonely without her husband being there and she doesn’t speak to the other members of the family except her husband’s mother and father.

It has been a difficult time over the last 3 ½ months because Gaynu had become pregnant when her husband came home and she was sick at least 10 times a day and couldn’t cook, shop or do anything except sleep and then the week before I left she had an abortion at 13 weeks because the baby was a girl and she only wanted a boy.  It was probably not the best time to be there.

It was interesting doing home stay and I certainly had the opportunity of living with their everyday happenings but sometimes it was just a little bit close especially when  there were at least 5 in my bedroom and 4 of them on my bed with me. 

Anyway it was time to say goodbye and get into the taxi to go to the Heritage Hotel.
Ladies preparing my last meal

My bedroom 

Last hug from Gaynu

Ceremony finished and time to leave
I flew out of Kathmandu 0900 on the 8th July on Jet Airways India and I must admit that I was a bit worried that I would be over the 30kgs and was pleasantly surprised when it came in under 25 and I was able to also include my hand luggage. 

We flew to New Deli in less than 2 hours.  We had just left the airport and reached over 30,000 feet when I noticed the young lad next to me was taking pictures and I thought he was a first time flyer and taking pictures of the cloud until I looked out and this is what I saw …….

We arrived in New Deli and I had time to walk around a bit and then it was time to line up to start the next leg which was 9 hours flying time. 

Security is very tight in New Deli and we were searched at least 6 times and the last time was when we were going up the stairs to the airplane and of course it is done in 2 rows one for the women and one for the men and it took me a little while to work out I was the only one on the men’s line which was quicker until someone told me that I should be on the one with the women soldier frisking the women.

The flight was OK, I had a small baby next to me but fortunately the mother was great and she took her for walks.

We arrived a little early in Heathrow airport and I had to find my way out to catch the train to Paddington Station.  
I knew that was in England when a man in a Turban passed me on the escalator and spoke to me in a beautiful English accent.


I will leave you with some pictures of Nepal.

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