Monday, October 17, 2011

Guest Speaker!

Hello there everyone.  So, we have a special guest for you this week, our new(ish) volunteer Liz has written our latest blog to give you guys a taste of PoD life from a real life volunteer!  I'll stop babbling now, and hand you over to Liz...(apologies for the lack of photos, Nepali internet isn't co-operating today! I will try to upload some another time).

I'm a guest writer for the blog and will give you an update from the volunteers perspective.  I arrived last week and was very glad to get to Pokhara, be met by Philippa and settle into Castle Hotel.  Castle Hotel (Bindu's place) is a really lovely place to stay and there is a great atmosphere.  Bindu and her daughters are so friendly and we each have our own rooms with en suite facilities. The Restoration Church is in the same grounds as the hotel and last Saturday Aine played (on the guitar) and sang "Amazing Grace" during the weekly service.  We were very impressed.  Another thing that many of us have been enjoying during the Dasain holidays is our language lessons.  Prem has been really enthusiatic and very patient in teaching us Nepalese and I am starting to find I can understand more now and have also started using a little bit.

Before the children returned to school we made the most of our time in Lakeside.  Myself, Jackie, Marilyn and Sarah got up at 5am for a sunrise trip to Sarangkot.  We weren't disappointed and were treated to spectacular panoramic views of the Himalayas.  It was incredible to watch as the sun rose and hit the mountains with the colours changing minute by minute.  Despite cloud in Lakeside it was a totally clear sky from our viewpoint.  Definitely a must see on a visit here.  Another treat has been the Castle Resort Hotel which is a steady climb up a hill at the north end of Lakeside.  Sarah spotted a monkey on route.  We have all now spent a day up there relaxing by the pool and enjoying a swim.  
As it has been the holidays there is less to report on the placement front but after Reta left Jackie arrived and is getting stuck in at Ward 6 this week.  Sarah is teaching as Shree Krishna now until Annapurna opens again later this month. Nishma has been teaching Bollywood dancing at the SOS Bahini which is proving a real success.  Aine had some positive appointments at the beginning of the week and has set the ball rolling for further support next month when she returns with Sam.  She has found out where she can get wood and access to a workshop so we look forward to her becoming inspirational with wood.  Myself and Abby visited Shree Dipya Jyoti Primary School.  (The new school) It seems lovely with only a few children in each class.  They were very happy that we are coming to teach them and we are looking forward to beginning lessons next week. 
On Friday we visited the Asha Foundation Orphanage and enjoyed making and decorating fans with the children.  They have moved to a new location further up the hill as the previous rental expired.  The new location is not quite ready but they are living there anyway and awaiting electrical connection, bathroom and paint.  Hopefully we will see the place take shape over the next few weeks.  
This weekend we hired a boat to head out onto the lake for an hour.  Armed with 2 paddles we attempted to steer ourselves around but found we were often turning in circles.  Eventually getting the hang of it we drifted around the lake enjoying the peace and the view of the temple from the lake.

It's very busy over here and as we say goodbye to Marilyn this weekend myself, Jackie and Abby start our first full weeks on placement next week.  I'm sure there will be much more to add to the blog soon.

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