Monday, September 2, 2013

A rainy week in Pokhara

My 2 birthday cakes! Thanks everyone.

The weeks are flying past at the moment here at PoD Nepal. It's still technically the monsoon so we are still getting lots of rain, an incredible storm last night but it's finally starting to get a bit cooler now and we are catching glimpses of the mountains every now and then :-)

We celebrated my birthday on Monday which was a lot of fun. All the volunteers and a few of my friends went to Silk Road, our favourite bar for dinner, Janice and Laura got up and sang and I got two incredible cakes from Bindu and her family! 

We currently have 7 volunteers with us at the moment working at Shree Krishna Secondary School, Annapurna Primary School, Ward 6, Asha,Street Kids and Bahini.

At Ward 6, the biggest challenge we've been facing recently has been hygiene issues. In the past we have brought soap for the center to encourage them to wash their hands, bleach to keep the kitchen and toilets clean, we have given them individual towels to wipe their faces, as in the past there was only one towel that was used for every child, to wipe the floor, wipe bottoms and faces! We have successfully managed to get them to wash their hands after every bathroom visit  and before eating food, however the towel situation is still ongoing. We have also been encouraging them to only go to the bathroom in the toilet, (rather than wherever they are!!) Deepali and Indira have been doing a great job encouraging the kids to keep clean and educating them in why it is so important. It's a problem we have faced in the past at every placement, as the kids have not been educated about germs or why it is so important to stay clean.
Asim from Asha singing his heart out!

All the schools have been having exams over the past two weeks, so we've been doing less teaching and more revision and supporting the teachers in conducting the exams. So far it looks like all our kids are doing really well and we're excited about the results. School will be back to normal from next week.

The Street Kids have been busy revising, and are so good at doing their homework. After school they sit so quietly and work for another 1-2 hours. In that time we normally come and help them with their homework (although big BJ's math homework is more advanced than any maths I ever did at GCSE and he's only 12!). On Wednesday, we decided to give them a bit of a treat, and after the homework we got out some facepaints and pipe cleaners!! Out of the pipe cleaners, they made some funky masks to go with their facepaints! Every one was covered by the time it was time to leave!

Laura on the guitar
We had a great trip to Asha last Friday, which is where we go as a group to volunteer. As soon as we got there Mina and a couple of the other girls took Gina and Chloe off to the 'jungle' to collect grass for the cows. I don't think they quite realised how far they would be walking, but 2 leeches, 2 hours and a lot of grass later they came back with food for the cows! The rest of us spent time with the kids playing and teaching guitar, and chatting about their exams.

This weekend all the volunteers went off for a rafting and canyoning trip on the Trisuli river. During the monsoon there are only a few rivers open in Nepal because the waters are so massive. They all came back full of stories and had an excellent time. They have also had day trips to the peace pagoda, paddling out on the lake and paragliding. 
Looking forward to another week ahead and two more volunteers joining our team on Friday. If you would like to join us in Nepal and continue our work supporting these local projects, please contact Gemma on for more details. 

Don't forget we have our two week Volunteer Experience coming up on the 20th September. There's still time to join this worthwhile project.

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