Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Comings and goings at PoD

There has been a lot of chopping and changing going on this week at PoD Nepal with people arriving, leaving and swapping placements.  Firstly, Cian left us.  This was very sad for both us and the Street Kids with whom he has been doing such hard work.  But, rest assured, his hard work and dedication won’t stop when he gets on the plane because, rather than flying home, Cian is jetting off to Tanzania to join PoD in supporting Village Africa’s building projects there.  What a star!

Alice saying goodbye at Ward 6
Alice, our longest standing volunteer, swapped placements this week.  She said goodbye to the staff and children at Ward 6 and took up teaching at the Street Kids Summer School.  This ensures that the Street Kids continue to get the extra support and tuition they need after Cian’s departure and also gives Alice the chance to broaden her experiences.  Fab!

We welcomed Kari into our team and she has quickly settled into PoD life and the PoD Palace (otherwise known as the volunteer accommodation at Bindu's).  She arrived fresh and ready to jump in after flying in from LA and making friends with Nepal’s top ranking police officer on the plane – always a good contact to have!  She will be working at the Street Kids Centre to complete our Summer School programme there and will then move over to teach at Shree Krishna Lower Secondary School once it re-opens.  Kari already has heaps of experience teaching teenaged kids back home so we are looking forward to learning something from her.

Finally, Tara had her leaving party from Annupurna Primary where she has been running the summer school with Thomas.  There was singing, dancing, flowers and tikka making for a fun but emotional farewell.  As with Cian, Tara’s work isn’t stopping with her departure from Nepal.  She is going home with big plans to fundraise money to buy whiteboards for the schools here.  If you want to help, click here.

Past volunteers after Ashare Ropain
This week saw Nepal celebrating Ashare Ropain, one of many, many, many festivals in Nepal!  This signals the start of the rice growing season and families traditionally eat beaten rice, curd and banana before starting the hard and labour intensive process of planting, growing and harvesting rice.  In Pokhara, this day is marked with a huge festival in which visitors and locals come together ostensibly to plant rice, but in reality to have the biggest mud fight you can imagine!  Muddy paddy fields provide the venue for tug of wars, races, wrestling and all manner of other fun and games.  Our volunteers couldn’t take part because they haven’t had the right vaccinations to go rolling around in muddy water, so, make sure you are fully covered if you are planning on coming to volunteer in Nepal over the end of June so you can also join in!

Sightseeing fun at Mahendra Caves
Aside from a few stomach problems we have had a pretty good week.  We visited the site of the new home being built for children at the Asha Foundation.  Alice is loving her new placement and finding maths to be the Street Kids’ favourite subject.  Brogan has been having lots of fun with the staff and children at Ward 6, teaching them the traffic light game and animal noises.  Tara had a great final day’s teaching on Wednesday and Kari is all good to go.  We had a mini leaving party for Cian at the Street Kids’ with a good game of pass the parcel before the kids treated us to a ‘magic’ show – mainly involved them throwing crayons around and trying to convince us that they had disappeared!  There was then a lot of fun when they realised that filling balloons with water is much more fun than filling them with air and everything suddenly got very wet!  We had a final performance by the PoD band (thankfully without any Ronan Keeting tributes), did some sightseeing and kayaking and generally enjoyed our fantastic surroundings and wonderful placements.

Tips and advice for future volunteers
·         Sticky back plastic would be a very useful resource to bring with you.  We can’t get it here and end up laminating everything with sellotape.
·         We can’t find bubbles anywhere and they go down so well at placements.  We have some containers and can make the liquid, just need some wands.  If they can’t be bought then bring along a wire coathanger that we can bend into the right shape.
·         General craft materials are always useful, especially sequins, googley eyes, glitter pens etc. that we can’t get here.  Papers, glue, paints and basic art materials are all available in Pokhara.

If you are interested in joining our Team and contributing to the hard work we are doing here, visit our website for more information on how to apply.

No comments:

Post a Comment