Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dashain Holidays 2013

It's the holidays!

This week the schools broke up for (maybe) 2-4 weeks. When we break up for holidays, we're never entirely sure how long they will be off for, but then neither are the teachers!

One sad thing to update you all on is that Bindu, our house mother, was unfortunately in quite a nasty accident earlier this week. A young motorcyclist knocked her over whilst she was walking home and she has been in hospital ever since. She has broken her leg, and has severe bruising, but she has had an operation which has gone well and will hopefully be home in just a few days to recover. I know everyone is praying for her quick recovery and I wanted to say thank you on behalf of the family to everyone who has phoned and emailed us. It really means a lot to them, so thank you !!!

This holiday is for Dashain, which is the main Hindu festival in Nepal, it's the equivalent to Christmas in England and is a very family orientated holiday. As such the majority of the children from SOS Bahini and Asha foundation are going 'home' to visit family. Some of them have no parents, but if there is an aunt, uncle or grandparent out there then it is really important for the kids to visit them during this time and I personally think it is great that Asha and Bahini support this and help them get to their families. Some of the children will be travelling as far as Surkhet to get home for the holidays.

As we cannot go to school during these weeks we have been spending our time at the Street Kids. Ama (the mother) is the only member of staff there and trying to take care of 13 children whilst doing all the cooking and cleaning can be a bit overwhelming, so we provide a bit of rest bite for her by taking care of the kids so she can get on with other thing. Our volunteers made a great timetable of what we would do with them including trips to the park, games, arts and then gave all of them a new exercise book that they could keep a holiday journal in. We also gave them new shorts and tshirts each as a Dashain present (we knew we would get them filthy playing in the park and didn't want to ruin their best clothes so brought them some playing clothes!). The highlight of the week was definitely taking the children out on to the lake on a pedalo.  

The PoD Charity very generously donated some money towards buying the children a goat for Dashain. Most families in Nepal will buy a whole goat to feast on over the holidays, and it's lovely to be able to provide this for the children! We celebrated on Saturday evening by going over and having a small feast with the children.

However, it hasn't all been plain sailing. We have had one new arrival at the Street Kids, Dinesh, and he is finding it very hard to settle in. He has tried to run away several times already (twice with the PoD volunteers when we were down at the park, fortunately we got him back both times). He is not used to the structure and living in a family. When they come straight from the streets they are used to doing what they want, when they want. At the center they are expected to go to school, do their chores, make sure there homework is done and generally be well behaved. The older one are rewarded with some freedom and are allowed to go to the park on their own, but as with any normal families, they are expected to be back at certain times. For a small child who has never had to listen to any one before, this can be a hard transition. They are mostly likely to run away in the first few days, but if we can make it to a month, then we know that they will be fine. We are still trying to find out more about Dinesh's background as very little is known about him at the moment, but this needs to been done very carefully and delicately. All the children are being so kind to him and everyone is working hard on making him feel at home but I am concerned that he will run away. He is also a little handsy and has been trying to grope many of the female volunteers and staff! Something that we definitely need to discourage him in doing.

On Wednesday, myself, Phil and all the volunteers got invited to go to Asha early in the morning for a 'jungle assembly'. When I invited the volunteers they were obviously full of questions which I simply could not answer as I had no idea what a 'jungle assembly' was! But we decided to keep an open mind and head up there (mainly we wanted to satisfy our curiosity!). Once we got there (and it was actually so lovely walking there in the morning rather than the mid day heat for once!) all became clear. It was the Asha Foundation's 9th birthday and they wanted us to be there to celebrate with them! All the founders and board members were there, Phil gave a great speech, the children did a song for us all, then we had a feast of chicken and beaten rice. Asha is one of my favourite placements and the children there are so incredible it was lovely to be part of there celebration.

Next week will be our second week of holidays so we will be spending more time helping with the Street Kids and the Bahini girls will be back soon so we will start going there as well.

If you would like to join the PoD Nepal team and volunteer at one of our incredible placements the please contact Gemma on

No comments:

Post a Comment