Himalayas as I came in!
Last night I help a little with dinner, peeling potatoes and cutting up string beans, but then the kids got home and there were suddenly 5 helpers helping Slochinna? in the kitchen, girls no older than ten very competently cutting and grinding up onion and garlic, and making boiling hot tea. Slochinna showed me how to make the curry, and then that teenage girls in Nepal are identical to NZ ones! She showed me her phone (which she hides from the others) and the photos of herself and her friends, and videos of her favourite (Korean) pop bands and movies. She is lovely, and I hung out with her the most yesterday.
I went and had a nap, expecting to retired for the night, when I got woken at 8 by two girls telling me to come to evening prayers. In quite a daze I sat through 31 introductions, then songs and prayers before behind guided upstairs for dinner with Gopal, Eli and their family. I sat and conversed with Gopal after, and then said goodnight, exhausted!
This is Kathmandu from the aeroplane.
I awoke to the sounds of about 10 dogs barking, a cow mooing and crows in the fields next door. Also slamming doors and children running around – at 6am. I am feeling very settled now, and after a cold shower and a catch up on facebook with everyone I got up and sat in the dining room with some of the younger children who were finishing their homework. The older girls were making packed lunches for everyone to take to school, a piece of apple and 15 biscuits. An eye opener! It turns out the girls are all older than I thought, but they are all so tiny, I thought most of the 9yr olds were 6.
I went outside and found a million little hands grabbing mine to take me to prayers upstairs. House of Hope is a strong Christian family, and every morning is started with singing and prayers on the second floor. It was a nice start to the day, and after all the children trailed out and shook hands with me with big smiles. Then they all went downstairs for breakfast and I was led upstairs to eat with Gopal and Eli’s children. I need to ask them how to spell their names, but they both speak very good English, and are very friendly. Prarnah? is 24 and about to start her masters in sociology. Ravishek? is 22 or 23 and ‘taking a gap’. We had Nepali bread (like small flat naan), curried potatoes and omelette with very sweet tea and milk from the cow. Eli came and chatted after, and told me more about the orphanage, like why they only have 2 boys, and showed me pictures of the children when they were younger. House of Hope has been around for 15/16 years, so some of the kids have been here for most of their lives! She also asked if I would work at the local Montessori that her sister runs. The children all walk to school at about 9.30, and will be home at 5.
This afternoon I’m going into Kathmandu with Prairnah? to get an adaptor for my laptop plug, and some rupees. Tomorrow I am meeting my new friend in Thamel to have a look around. She rang this morning and it sounds like her orphanage is very very different from House of Hope! She is very keen to go trekking and have a friend to look at the temples and things, so I am very excited!
This is the view from my window this morning:
I am going to take more photos soon, but I feel like I should let everyone get comfortable before I whip out my camera and start snapping photos! Can anyone advise how I can make my photos smaller too? Just the panoramic ones, I still can’t upload the ones from Singapore.
Much love! Also, feel free to send lots of very NZ postcards – the children here have no idea where New Zealand is, so i just say the bottom of the world haha. When I talk about farms with a hundred cows they don’t believe me!