Sunday, June 29, 2014

Rice Planting, Swimming and clothes...

OK, I've learnt my lesson! Last time I said how quiet it had been...well not any more!! We've had an extremely busy two weeks (but that's how I like it!)

We started the week off by going to Annapurna Primary School for an assembly whilst the Lions Club of Pokhara donated them new school uniforms. The children were so proud to have new uniforms (right down to their socks!) and all looked very smart the following day at school. Having a uniform is a point of pride in Nepal, as many families cannot afford to buy uniforms, or they are passed down for years and often very tatty and mis-fitting. To have uniforms is so special for them and we were happy to have been invited to this event.

Speaking of clothes...last Friday, myself and the volunteers went to Asha Foundation to spend some time with the children there but also to donate 2 sacks worth of clothes. We had lots of T-shirts, dresses, trousers and a few pairs of shoes for them. Unfortunately for the boys, it was mostly girls things, but the boys got at least one t-shirt each. Thank you to every one who has donated clothes to us over the past couple of months - it's like a jumble sale when we give them the clothes, with all the kids sifting through it all looking for the most fashionable item!

In sadder news, Ama (from the Street Kids Center) has been unwell over the past few weeks, from what appears to be intestinal problems. She has been in and out of hospital, at one point they wanted to keep her overnight, but due to her responsibilities (having 10 children to look after!) she was unable to. She has been having to foot her medical bill by herself which has become quite expensive. After speaking to her at length and hearing her struggles, I contacted the PoD head office to see if there was anything we could do, and the PoD Charity has very kindly offered to help out with her medical expenses so that she does not need to worry. (Another great example of the help the PoD Charity can do)
On Saturday, for volunteer Daniels last day and the start of the holidays for the Street Kids, we took them swimming to Penguin Pool in Pokhara....So much fun!!! The kids had an absolutely fantastic time, diving, swimming, playing around. It was great to see how much they have improved since the first time I took them back in September 2012. Cheeky BJ who is quite a competent swimmer anyway, spent quite a bit of time with me wanting to learn different strokes. He would then go and teach his younger brother what he had just learnt! He got the hand of backstroke and breaststroke pretty quickly but for s
ome reason can't quite master floating on his back!

Now the monsoon has started, everyone is busy getting their rice planted. Georgie and Elizabeth spent Sunday at a local Rice planting festival which is held annually. From the sounds of things there wasn't much actual rice planting, but a lot of mud fights, races and a tug of war. It sounded like a lot of fun! They got covered in mud!!

No it's the school holidays, the kids have finished yet more exams, so our current volunteers are spending their time with the girls from Bahini trying to help improve their confidence in conversational English and then the afternoons at the Street Kids.

If you would like to join the team at PoD Nepal, then please email Gemma at

Friday, June 20, 2014

A quiet week in Pokhara...

It's that time of year again - It's starting to rain again! But this is actually a blessing. We've been averaging around 30 degrees recently so it's actually lovely when the rains come in and cool every thing down. It's also great for the farmers and so many great fruits (lychees, mangos, watermelon etc) are at the markets now.

We've been having new volunteers arriving every week now, and it was great to welcome Georgie back who volunteered with us last summer. She said it felt like coming home when she arrived back to Pokhara which is lovely to hear. She is already stuck in working at Annapurna Primary School, the Street Kids and Asha Foundation.

It has been a fairly quiet few weeks actually, which is sometimes nice considering how busy we usually are! The schools have been ticking over nicely, the street kids are doing great, and the Asha kids are spending most of their free time tending to the farmland (thanks PoD Charity for paying for another years rent!).

Juan, a longterm volunteer left last week, but not without shaving the kids hair one last time! They seem to like it at this time of year as it keeps them much cooler. Although Khadke did tell me when Juan walked in with his shaver 'not me this time, I not like bald!' 

We've got lots of plans for the next few weeks though as holidays start soon so most of the kids will be off for a month. Lots of activities, swimming, football, picnics and treasure hunts soon!

If you would like to join the team in Nepal, then please email Gemma on

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Asha Foundation Update.

Well it is getting HOT in Nepal! We are averaging 30 degrees now most days and thunder storms and lightening almost every afternoon (which by the way I love!!)

Me with Ashim, the youngest of the children
Me and Phil have just completed giving out our quarterly 3 month donations by visiting the Asha Foundation yesterday and donating money towards meat so that they can enjoy chicken or buffalo twice a week. I love Asha Foundation, I know I probably shouldn't have favourites, but this is one of them. I have enjoyed seeing how they have developed in the past two years since I have been visiting them. They are now almost totally self sufficient. What with the farm land that PoD Charity rent for them (and I've just got news we have the funding to continue this for another year!!! :-) ), and their livestock (cows, buffalo, chicken and one gorgeous dog), they have to do very little shopping. They get fresh curd every day and a whole variety of veggies from the land. In fact when I left yesterday they insisted me and Phil take some corn and pumpkins with us!

It's been a few weeks since I last visited Asha and since then they have started a new project. The local government development office has started building them a huge water tank to collect water from the natural spring behind the center. They will collect so much that they will in fact be able to sell the vast majority of the water to the local village supplying them with a much needed income. I love small micro projects like this as they make a massive difference to the local communities.
We volunteer at Asha Foundation as a group every Friday where we run fun activities for the younger children. The placement is about 30 minutes away from Lakeside in a beautiful quiet valley just the other side of Sarankot. It's one of the highlights of our volunteers weeks.

If you would like to join us in Nepal, to volunteer and see the work that we are doing, please email Gemma on