Angela and Jolana update

First, they say that the weather’s seriously cold out there, unusually cold. Normally a winter’s day, when the sun is out is around 15-20 degrees. But they said it has been as low as 5 degrees in the day! As you may guess, no heating in these homes. So they have to resort to wearing almost all the clothes they brought with them at once. Even the local bus had their air conditioning on (actually it was a missing window right by their seat).

They have been visiting the main town of their district to get some new supplies for the school with the caretaker, Kumar. They bought buckets, jugs and a container for the sugar as the mice ate a huge hole in the last plastic one. They also bought books, pencils and a pencil sharpener for the

They had a wonderful phone call from Mon (our Nepali guy on the ground) – the local Aandhimul committee met with the group of villagers from the neighbouring village ( Koreka) and they have all signed an agreement allowing the water project to begin. Which is great news!

This gets submitted to the local VDC (similar to a local council) today and then work can start. They then talked with Choice Nepal (An NGO based in Kathmandu who are helping us complete the water project) to give them the go ahead for the survey to be completed. But they need to wait for the spec
report before beginning to buy pipes and other equipment.

This is really exciting because we didn’t think this was possible, and better still is that the locals have done all of the negotiating themselves. Early days but very hopeful news.

Angela and Jolana again have reconfirmed the improved behaviour of the children, they say it’s thanks to the consistent teaching. They work, listen, and rarely interject. So Angela and Jolana decided to spend as much time with the teachers as possible to help with their pronunciation (of English) and get them to read all of the books they’ve brought with them. They’ve also done a few art project days as well. And from Angela, of course, some singing (She runs a choir or two back in her home town, and teaches the piano as well).

In their off time, Angela and Jolana sit back in awe of the beauty of the Himalayan backdrop, as the red glow off the snow peaks shines into their rooms. The say the people there love Where’s Wally (which were donated by Lex and Tess. Thank You!). Everyone gets involved – young and old and it’s quite a competition to see who can find the most.

Finally, Jolana who’s spent the most time out there, as Angela has said, is shown so much respect from the locals, and her Nepali language skills are coming along great. She’s doing an amazing job, they both are.

That’s all for now, we’ll hope to update you again soon, possibly including pictures.

We’re back out there!

Exciting news after 6 months since Jolana was last there and over a year and a half for Angela, they are both back out in Aandhimul. Ready to get engaged with the community again, and so many things to do.

Both arrived in Nepal on January 4th from opposite directions, one Australia, the other Czech Republic. Meeting together in the hustle and bustle that is Kathmandu.

After a few days in the capital preparing they headed off to the village, and what a welcome they received. The villagers had prepared a ribbon cutting ceremony for both Angela and Jolana. so many malas (flower necklaces) and tikka all over our faces (vibrant red powder mixed with water, used for celebrations and more). Then the kids did calisthenics, an egg and spoon race ( using a marble instead) and a lolly eating contest – like the donut game with no hands.

Jolana and Angela got to present the winners with a book and put tikka all over their faces. There were speeches, speeches and more speeches all thanking us for our support and encouraging the community to work harder. Jolana and Angela spoke through Mon to say how happy they were to return and that they were very excited about the water project starting soon. There was a huge meeting the following morning between all 3 villages to iron out any last obstacles before the final agreement is signed. Then the survey will be completed and the digging can start. We’ll keep you updated on the progress.

Angela and Jolana are staying with a family just outside of the village and said they feel so welcomed and cared for. It’s about a 30 minute walk to the Aandhimul school from there. They say that much has changed in the school, the kids are so much better behaved this time – the teachers have been doing a wonderful job, and the youth club guys are brilliant.

The aim is to continue over the next few weeks to monitor the water survey and for Angela and Jolana to do many things in the school with the teachers and children.

Will update again soon.