Things are going pretty well here. I have managed to make some inroads into the schooling system here. After a long time I have persuaded the Headmaster to open the library. This result was great for me. I achieved this by taking some of the bored children out of their morning English lessons to the library, where I got them to choose books and read out loud. The excitement was tremendous. I still taught the normal curriculum at the same time. But these boys were so excited. This had been working now every morning first lesson. The library is now open all day, I now take a class in the library now and then. Today I saw the major breakthrough in the lunch break, children in there themselves reading, and mostly English books. I will certainly keep my eyes on this and make signs and put up posters.
Today we had two boxes of books arrive, we have about 10 boxes altogether. Room to read have an office in Kathmandu and dear Binod my project manager has become friendly with their office. That has been since I emailed their head office in the US and complained about the school in Banhundanda have a new building completed. RTR had commence a project there but had never completed it. We investigated Binod and I and found that there had been some type of corruption. We also complained about the type of books that were being taken to the school, the teachers could not even read them. Well it all worked out fine in the end, the school building was completed, and the books have improved. So the result has been very good for us. I will distribute the books to some school and give some to the children they do not really own books of their own, the fees of sending the children to school is enough of a stretch for the parents let alone buying books.
I have often wondered why there are so many boys at this school. Every class I teach there is a very small percentage of girls. There is only one class where the girls are about 40% . I asked about this as I have been very aware over the years of working here how women are considered less important than men. I was told that parents would rather send the boys to a good school like ours, where the fees are high for them, and send the girls to the government schools as their education was not so important. But strangely enough, like the UK the girls are much quicker to learn and pay more attention to their lessons.
I am learning so much about the systems here, and how hard life is. I watch everyday people working on their little bit of land. They start of at about 5.30am the women cleaning and carrying wood from the forest up the hills and rocks. Then tending the animals and the vegetable plots. The men will not be seen very often doing these chores. They normally have jobs either locally or in India, or the UAE, that is quite normal.
Myself and my project manager Binod have been doing a lot of planning and hope to be going to our project area around about the 20th of February. We hope to see how Ramans house is getting on. We are also planning to have some sewing machines taken to Bahundanda this being part of our womens empowerment project.
The electricity and water supplies are not always good, but I am used to it now. When I have both water and electric I do all the topping up and filling up just in case. It has become part of my routine. When I get home I will not know I am born it will be utter luxury.
I have become accustomed to being invited into everyone’s home to take tikka,on one of the days when they are celebrating one of the gods. Taking tikka is having rice mixed with a red dye placed on your forehead, it is a religious ceremony. You are also expected to eat dahl bat when you are there. I am so welcome everywhere, and am always expected to eat! Difficult when you have been invited to take tikka and eat 3 or 4 times that day, and you have to climb back down to your home afterwards in the dark! But the Nepalese are just such wonderfully welcoming people and they just so respect us. This is something that Western culture really does not have. Can you imagine coming out of your house in the morning and seeing a stranger and asking them to come into your house for dinner! If it happens let me know! I may do it if George Clooney passes my door!
Well if any of you have got this far well done. Keep reading I am sure over the next six weeks I will have plenty more to tell.
Images are just so difficult to upload. But I will keep trying may be soon I will get a fast connection!