Over the last few days we have managed to arrange to have boxes sent up to the remote areas to complete our trips.
On 25th February we took arranged to go to Chamche by truck. It was a 3.5 hour trip that was pretty reasonable. I was bounced up and down squashed between two men, one nearly on my lap as the seat in front of me had collapsed. But nevertheless I was feeling very healthy and fit and looking forward to completing my trip by awarding 44 scholarships at the first school on this trip list. We stopped half way and took a comfort break. If you can call climbing down rocks to a hole in the ground for a pee comfortable, well you have my permission.
As the truck arrived in Chamche we could see all the children getting ready for us and the excitement was amazing. Just to make things clear. This little school is very poor, and all the children are. So we are giving support scholarships to all the children in the school. The atmosphere was amazing. I got off the truck and quickly refreshed myself.
The children were lined up ready as I entered the school.
As I went along the line being greeted and given flowers in my hands it was just a wonderful experience. You can see by the faces of the children how happy they were. As I went along I recognised a face, it was Suman’s sister one of the children that we support in residential school at the moment. Suman’s story is an amazing and inspiring one. But to see his sister was just so wonderful for me. To know that she was actually trekking to school from her village every day was just so overwhelming to me.
I then went on to present the bags, having these bags with our names printed on is good for our publicity. The children will carry these bags daily when going to school. Trekkers in the area may recognise our name and check out the work that we do in the area. At the same time as presenting the bags I was given 24 drawings from the children at the school. These children were entering the art competition that we run every year. We run the competition in 5 schools in the Lamjung area. It has become very popular. I was very impressed with the headmaster at Chamche school, he had ensured that the children had followed the rules that I had set for the competition. In early May this year Hi-Cap will be showing these pictures at a venue in Wivenhoe. Keep watching our website and Facebook page for more details that will be announced soon.
This school is in a very remote area and little children trek just to get to school. Life is very difficult but they are so very happy to be getting support from a western charity that could really make such a difference to their lives. Futures For Kids are helping us to achieve this.
We then went back to the guest house. When sitting there outside we could see the children running home with their bags, it was so lovely to see. The headmaster will control the stationery that is given to the children, they also have all been provided pencil cases, pencils, rubbers, sharpeners and pens. Following this visit we will arrange for a tailor to visit the school to measure all the children for school uniform. We have already spoken to the tailor and he is happy to come to Chamche and do this, it is good business for him.
I did not sleep to0 badly that night although the bed was pretty hard. That morning there was no water in the shared bathroom a sort of cupboard with a tap that did not work. So it was a wash from a tap in the toilet, not the cleanest of places, but that is what life is like in the mountains. We commenced our trek to Jagot, on the way visiting Bijay one of our sponsored children.
Many of you may remember Bijay. He had a massive operation 2 years ago. He is now doing very well and actually attends the school we presented at the day before. He still needs check-ups at the hospital in Kathmandu and is due for one very soon. But he is very happy and seems to be enjoying going to school and at last having a pretty normal life, thanks to Hi-Cap UK, our persistence and work that we put in to achieve this outcome.
As we entered Jagot my first sight was of a Christian church that had been built. This was opened when we were there are few weeks ago. Many of you that know me will know I have little time, if any, for religion. And the sight of the church set me off. The Christians came, got labour to build this church and left, feeling that they had done a lot of good. No good was done at all. They never helped the community although they may think that if they pray the rice on their plate may double in size, the children’s education may improve! Religious rubbish like this in these areas makes me so angry. If they are good people get some real work done to help these people. What a dreadful waste of money building this church is. These people need support in medical education and housing, not some building put up that does nothing for anyone. Complete nonsense. When I decided to change my life and do the work that I do there was no god, there only me realising an ordinary person can make a difference, and that is what Hi-Cap UK are doing.
As we came along the main track we saw the Pema’s husband (we support this family) grinding maize. This family are just so happy now they have a nice home and are working to support themselves.
We trekked onto the school to do our presentation once again. The children were waiting for us. We are providing just 6 scholarships at this school. But we are supporting it as with the other schools in other ways too. The scholarships were all given to girls. These girls also did very well in our art competition last year. The headmaster told us that the girls do better than the boys in art, they show more interest.
The headmaster at this school is also asking us to help with the provision of and extra class room. This classroom can be built on top of the toilet block and which will allow them to increase the schooling in this village to class 8 as they now only run to class 7. We have the details of this plan, and all labour will be provided by the community. We will try our best to get funding for this.
After the presentation and chat with the headmaster we walked to the end of the village to have lunch before setting back towards Besishahar. We were planning to stop at Khudi on the way. When I was sitting having lunch Pema saw me, and was overwhelmed and was so happy. She hugged me and in her way (she is dumb) told everyone how I had helped her. She calls me her western sister, she is so very happy to have been helped by us. I cannot tell you how wonderful helping these families makes me feel, seeing the happiness that is brings into my heart is just amazing. I have said this many times but will say it again. To really help and make a difference to other people gives you more back than any winnings on the lottery can. The difference we make is massive,
yet does not cost big money.
Eventually we got a truck, but to my dismay there was no room in the seats, so it was a back of the truck job. The journey was 3 hours of hell, hanging onto an iron bar with another sticking into my back. This is when I began to think I must be crazy working in these remote areas. It is no wonder I never see any other charities working here. I really wish that some of you would come with us on one of our trips just to experience what it is really like.
We arrived at Khudi eventually and were due to go to another school. This was just an introductory visit, no presentation. But we needed to freshen a bit. My whole body was covered with grey dust. We went to a guest house that had a pipe fed from the stream, and rinsed ourselves over. I felt so exhausted and do not know how I managed to trek up the hill after to the school, but I did.
Amar Higher Secondary School was ready to greet us.
We looked around to see what we may be able to help them with. They requested that we help with science lab equipment. They are unable to teach the practical part of the curriculum due to lack of equipment. It is another thing for our list. It was a delightful school and was well run and managed; a solid community school.
Finally we got a bus to Besishahar, and believe it or not it was a dreadful journey. The driver was a maniac! This journey is normally ok, but not today. I was back at Besishahar that evening, feeling ill, and hoping to recover for another visit to another village the following day.