The following day we left for Bahundanda… eventually. We had to wait 3.5 hours for the truck to arrive!
This was going to be a very busy visit as we had a lot of presentations to do, and the football team that we support was going to be waiting for us. When we arrived I was greeted by the team. Firstly I had flower garlands put around my neck, and each team member presented me with flower petals in my hands, all in Nepali tradition.
The boys were just so happy to receive this support.
As you can see the excitement was tremendous. The pink football boots were not quite what I expected, but the pink / blue / girl / boy issue has not really reached Nepal yet!
That evening we were joined by so many locals for local wine, and whiskey from India. We had a great evening. The boys went off as they had a game in the morning which was a 3 hour trek away for them, meaning about 5 hours for me! But I did not go to that match as they told that there would be a special match at their ground the following week. As I had another visit to make in Chamche and Jagot the following week I said that I would also stop at Bahundanda to watch the match. I learned they won the match the following day!
The next day we got up early, as I always seem to in this country, as going to bed time is always no later than 9pm. We trekked to the local school where we were to award 15 scholarships, this meaning support of stationery and uniform. We were presenting bags and stationery today.
The school was a hub of excitement. The children receiving the items were lined up. One particular child, Sushmita, is always top of her class. We saw this child about 2 years ago. She has a very large lump on her back. We did have an MRI scan done, and we were told by the hospital that an operation to remove this was very dangerous, but would give the child a longer and better life if successful. At this time her mother rejected the operation, but has since come back to us because the child is suffering very badly. As Binod brought her up to receive the items she cried it was so painful for her to walk.
The rest of the bags were presented by me to the 15 children. We then went around the school to see some of the items that the children had made. We also gave this school some encyclopaedias, science equipment and sports items. All the school children were fascinated. You could see the excitement in their eyes looking at what they were going to be able to use in future.
We went off to see another part of the school which accommodated residential children in their last year. We also visited the nursery and were surprised to see Sanjay’s little sister. We spoke to her and asked how she got to school, and she said she got herself ready and came to school. This is the child that lives with her grandfather, her mother, Mongali, is absent. This story is resolved at the start of my next blog, so do come back soon to hear the continuation of this story.
At this point we left the school, passing a lady that we helped by buying a sewing machine. We talked to her and she said that her business was very successful, she is very happy it is sustaining her life.
Such simple and cost effective interventions are sometimes all that is needed to lift someone out of poverty and provide self-sufficiency. Every donation really does make a huge difference and you can do it so easily through our website.
Please visit our donation page today at www.himalayanculturalconservation.org/donate.html and send a small piece of happiness across the world.