The day after the main Deshain celebrations, another day I had been waiting for with much happiness, and eagerness. To return to the village of Aandhimul!
Mon and I travelled via bus on the main highway, then on foot to reach the village. On our journey there we have to walk through another village, and because of the Deshain holiday, all around Nepal are these big swings, they call “Ping”. They are either attached to a tree, or a large bamboo/wood structure is made. In this village was one, on a tree and there were many kids playing on it, and as soon as they saw us, especially this tall, pale foreigner, they stopped. But very quickly they asked me to have a go, and being a big kid I didn’t refuse. Then after me Mon jumped on, and he is a pro, he loved it! Making my swinging skills look very amateur, as you can see below.
We soon moved on, and as we did I was amazed to see how lush and green the landscape was, in comparison to my last visit, as many pictures on this site show how red the landscapes were or are in Feb/March. The reason for this is the monsoon rain, the earth soaking it up like a sponge and life bursting from it, and it’s also rice season, as you can see below.
Once entering the village, many children saw us and were both intrigued and shy, I knew this was a great photo opportunity. Though in image 10 you can see where one girl was too shy and made a dash for it, basket included.
We arrived at one village house where we invited to sit whilst waiting for other prominent members of the village to come. In this time we were offered a form of bread called ‘Cell Roti’, and because it was still festival time, homemade alcohol was given too. It’s name ‘Roxy’, pretty strong stuff made from fermented rice, they also use millet too.
There were many members sitting on the porch where we began to discuss with them about our upcoming plans, and also ask about how the 2 new teachers were getting on. During these discussions one of the new teachers Kissan Bhujel was asked to join the meeting. This was the first time for me to meet him, and the great thing about him is that he is the first village member to have passed his Class 10 (GCSE equivalent) and 11 (AS-Level), and now finishing Class 12 in between teaching at the school. Mon and I believe that having a villager as a teacher can only but inspire other children and hopefully their parents. But without our help it will be very difficult. He also can speak the most English from all the teachers.
He comes across as a nice young guy and shows much enthusiasm for teaching, lets hope his effect on the school and community will be a positive one. I will be discussing more about the school in the next blog.
In conclusion, we decided to hold a meeting 5 days later on Wednesday 15th November, giving enough time for as many community members to be made aware. And just before we left, we visited other parts of the village to say hello, finding another Ping, and didn’t waste anytime getting on it, before departing back to Bandipur.