Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fond Farewells

 There were far too many farewells for my liking this week at PoD...first we had to say goodbye to Brogan, although she did leave us in style, whitewater rafting her way down the Trishuli River to Kathmandu.  Then Thomas had to say goodbye to Holy Road primary where he has been teaching whilst waiting for Annurpurna Primary School to re-open.  This was another stylish departure with him teaching the whole school the hokey kokey in one go.  That is a lot of arms and legs going in, out, in, out and shaking it all about! 

Alice still clearly enjoying her rafting trip!
We also said goodbye to Alice after 8 wonderful weeks of hard work, friendship building and rafting - she managed to squeeze in two final river trips in her last week!  Alice completed placements at both Ward 6 and the Street Kids, saying goodbye to the latter with a day of movies, popcorn and fun before a teary goodbye.  We are actually a little worried about what will happen to the other volunteers now that she has left as Alice was definitely the key motivator of the team.  I heard that this morning they had a very lazy and non-eventful morning without her there to chivvy them along.  Oh dear!

In good news, we welcomed back Vicky.  Vicky volunteered here with us last year and loved it so much that she came back, hurrah!  She will be spending a few weeks at APS before heading out to do a month’s rural placement in Bhalam Village.  We’re most excited about this as she is our first volunteer to go there and it is such a worthwhile placement.

Group photo at Street Kids
So, placement news.  It seems that the Street Kids have thoroughly enjoyed their summer school, complaining that they were going to miss their maths lessons with Alice.  Alongside academic studies they have also been learning about the importance of keeping the environment clean courtesy of Kari.  No longer are children seen chucking their rubbish into the river, instead they collect it all up and give it to Kari.  Great stuff.

Hard at work making mosaics at Asha
We had a good session at the Asha Foundation making ‘mosaics’ from sponge, coloured paper, stickers, pretty much anything we had that was colourful.  There was also a good Frisbee game, some chess going on and some lucky boys got a mini taste of photography by running off with Tom’s camera!

Alice and Kari visited Esther at SCIAN and had a bit of a tough session as they have minimal Nepali and she has minimal English.  They tried to clear things up with a phrase book but didn’t really get very far.  Either way, Esther still got some good PoD time and practiced some pronunciation and vocab with them, so still worthwhile.  Maybe some Nepali classes are in order...!

Paddling away from Bindu's
Other exciting happenings this week included Kari paragliding over Pokhara and then throwing up into her pilots face, nice.  We have also had a lot of monsoon rain resulting in a new mini-lake outside of Bindu’s which is fun.  We celebrated Tom’s birthday with a cake which tasted great but was aesthetically a little interesting (turns out our non-stick pan was a little sticky...).  The highlight of the week, however, has to be Kari being hand delivered a love poem reading, ‘your eyes are grey, your hair is straight.  You are so beautiful’.  Love it!

And that’s it for this week.  See you soon!

Tips for upcoming volunteers
·         Don’t over pack!  You can get lots of stuff locally, clothes, snacks, toiletries etc.  If you aren’t sure what to bring, talk to us first.
·         We could really do with some books to read with the children.  The best kind are the interactive type with flaps to lift up, questions to answer and puzzles to solve.  They hold the kids’ interest much more than basic story books.

 If you are interested in joining our team in Nepal you can contact us via our website.

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