We slept late today because it is a school holiday. Happily it was not raining so I decided to take the smaller kids for a walk to Boudha. My first attempt since my foot has started to feel better. We had a fun walk, lots of mud from last night’s rain which of course the children enjoyed sloshing through and an ice cream once we arrived at the Stupa. We purchased three new dvd’s – at 30 rupees (cents) apiece and two loaves of fresh brown bread from Toast Bakery to satisfy my craving. Nepal is not really a bread- for- breakfast country and I find it hard to live without it. The children enjoyed looking at the birds, spinning the prayer wheels and chanting Om mani padme hum whilst doing a kora (walking round and round the stupa, which is being repaired after the earthquakes.
After we returned home and washed our feet we had lunch and then I went to the school with my four volunteers, Maya, Sujita, Srijana and Manisha who offered to help with the painting of the school. (We recently discussed the joy of giving-back).
My western sensibilities couldn’t stand the state of the primary section that our kids attend – so dirty and depressing – so we decided to paint all eight classrooms. Last year we painted the kindergarten and prior to that the senior sections. Unfortunately by the time we finish with primary it will be time to start on the senior rooms again- but that is something the school must take responsibility for. Hem, our co-manager is supervising this work with his team of painters. They started work at 5.30 this morning in order to finish two rooms before tomorrow. The other rooms will be completed on Saturday. We are waiting for the school to fix the holes in the roof and to install one or two see -through panels to make the rooms brighter.
Rajina took Sangita and Sujita to the hospital to see abut their ingrown toe nails- very painful. The doctor offered to remove the nails in a short operation and gave the girls the choice to grow them out and see if that helps. They opted for the latter choice.
Abhilasha – our would be baker, was eager to make something as a treat. Mummy, (me) was also craving chocolate so we went to buy cornflakes and chocolate for cornflake crispies – one of our favourites. Her sponsor was kind enough to give some money to her as a gift, which we decided should be used for her baking habit.
Today Samu Auntie and Pretty Miss are attending the last day of a three day program to help people traumatized by the earthquakes. We hope/think they are learning useful games and techniques to share with our kids and others.
In our training programs Dev Kala is trying her hand at making some palazzo pants out of silk saris for us to sell at Christmas time. I found a pair in the town, bought them, and now we are copying them. I think they will be beautiful
In our felt training room the ladies are making some angel dolls for decorations and tree toppers. We ran out of them last year so now we are making more. They have already made wall hangings and finger puppets this week. I am always surprised at how many they can make – all by hand and beautifully done.
I had a talk with one of our staff members who was really upset about her daughter’s health. She has been diagnosed with glandular tuberculosis so tomorrow we will go to the hospital with them and consult with a senior doctor.
And now it is 3pm. We will eat tiffin (afternoon snack) shortly and then I plan to photograph some of the children for the brochure I am working on with our felt products. It is pouring with rain now, and if it stops, we will go outside to play.
After tiffin the older girls will have math tuition from Sunita. They are all weak in this subject, but it is not really their fault as the teaching method here is not the greatest. Sunita is also the math coach for our Rise Above students – 15 girls from class 6 in the government school. We are helping them with both Math and English in order to encourage them to stay in school. After they complete their class ten SLC exam we hope to be able to pay for them to go to college whilst learning handicraft skills at House with Heart. Sunita’s two sisters are participants in our this program and we are paying for them both to study in college. Sunita will attend college next year with tuition help from House with Heart.
Playtime, dinner then story time will follow in the tents. It is actually quite soothing sleeping outside with the rain pounding the canvas and the tin hut. But when there are after shocks the dogs chorus usually starts up and I lay awake waiting to feel the earth move. We feel safer outside at night and feel lucky that we can still use our house in the daytime.
The engineers we have picked to work with will let us know in about ten days the cost of retrofitting versus rebuilding the house. The office, training room and Learning centre will probably be demolished and rebuilt because we want them to last longer and be better to suited for our needs in the future. Work will start in September when the monsoon ends.