This summer myself, Lily, Htet, Maria, Natalie, Adi, Johannes, Matthew, Oscar, Flowra embarked on adventure that we would never forget. From stepping off the plane into the bustling city of Kathmandu to the tranquility of the hills at the school in Sagarmatha, every experience widely opened our perspective of the world. Although our time in Nepal was short, the impact it had on us will have an ever-lasting effect.
To begin the story of our adventure it is worth noting that the group was split into two due to conflicting time schedules, therefore I will write from my own personal experience with Lily, Htet, Maria, Natalie, Adi and Johannes. We began our journey from the grand capital of Kathmandu, waiting at the bus stop for our ride which was vaguely described as blue. However, the only way to distinguish the correct vehicle was by the appearance of Adi who was aboard. To our relief, Adi waved at us from the bus which would take us across 300km to the town of Gaighat. A bumpy 12 hour ride of loud bollywood music awaited us. Throughout the trip we admired the beautiful scenery we crossed, exchanged snacks and listened to the playlists we prepared for the journey.
We arrived in Gaighat early in the morning, and the town seemed sleepy. The next bus was due in a few hours so we decided to do our last minute supply shopping. However, to our disappointment, the stores didn’t sell anything we were looking for, neither did they understand what we were saying. It was time for our next ride, which was a 4 hour trip to Gogonae, mostly a mountainous journey through poor roads, hence it was to be an extremely rocky experience, Nothing prepared us for the amount of bumps and the fear-inducing proximity we were to the hill’s edge.
With our heavy backpacks, we then trekked 40 minutes to the school. The journey was made particularly difficult as we tried to carry around a dozen of water bottles at the same time. We shared this task among ourselves and took several breaks to admire the pretty landscape as well as giving an opportunity for our backs to rest. As we approached the school, we were met with the smiles of the principal Ashis. We were immediately welcomed and introduced to everyone at the school. Although the day was still young, he told us we can take the day off and take time to absorb our surroundings.
From this point on, we all tried our best to accustom to the new environment. What was difficult to get use to was the freezing cold outdoor showers and the toilets but after conquering this hurdle, we could focus on what we set out to do. Ashis devised a timetable for us to do classes and time to do construction, cooking or farming. We took these roles head on and got to work as soon as the school started rolling the next day.
When the children arrived, we began our Maya tradition of ‘circle time’ which consisted of morning stretches, poems/songs and positive messages. The enthusiasm, happiness, and love of the children struck me as they grabbed hold of my hands, pulling me into the circle. With such a simple ritual, I realised how much positive energy it spread among us and prepared us for the day. Watching the children follow this tradition so diligently, was a empowering experience. As the circle dispersed, we started whatever job we were assigned to do.
More details of what we did at the school is coming up so stay tuned! 🙂