A Travellerspoint blog

Tuesday, 19 february 2008

Mini Parents Day Shining Star Boarding School, Pokhara

semi-overcast 17 °C

Tuesday, 19 February 2008
MINI PARENTS DAY SHINING STAR BOARDING SCHOOL.It is still very cloudy, and it even looks like rain. Still no sign of the ‘Fishtail’.
The shopping was succesfull, a nice top and skirt, ready to please the kids for their big day.

We had to be at 11.00 sharp at school, but as Nepali time is very stretchable, the happening did not start before 12.00. I dropped the two bags with books for the school in the office, but later one of the teachers came to ask our full names, because they wanted to call us on the stage.
Not happy at all with this, I went back to the office and asked if it would be okay that we would be sitting with the children. The headmaster said that was fine, just when they were calling our names we had to get up, Namaste and that was it, he said.

Sudeep gave a nice speech, Mongol sang, Binod sang a song and Manju, Monica, Alina and Puja were beautifully dressed for the national dances.

To my surprise by the time the committee started to hand out the prices for the best student etc. one of the teacher called me to the front. I had the honour to hand out the prices!!. A teacher next to me gave the kids a tika, then I gave the notebooks to the children.
Thank God that I did not had to do all of them. After a while I was allowed to sit back with the children and around 14.00 Renske and I left silently, because still more then half of the prices were on the table.

We went to Maya café to eat a tasty chicken sandwich and drink a well deserved coffee.
Around 16.00 we will go to the home, where a party is organised for Julia and Amy, who are leaving tomorrow. We will go just for one or two hours, but not stay for Dahl Bath.
From tomorrow Renske and I will bring the kids to school – then I can also go to the headmaster again – and in the afternoon we will pick them up and help them with the homework.

Hopefully I can have a talk with Thak again this afternoon, to have a look in the profiles of the children, to check who is sponsored and who not.
The books we bought yesterday for the home AND the school were for an amount of ±100 Euro, so we still have enough money left to secure that the children can go to school.
It is so wonderful to see how eager all of them are to study. A bit sad is only, that they for example can tell you straight away ‘the part of the brain that gives a signal when you are hungry is the hypothalamus’. They even can spell the word correctly, but for the rest they have no idea where or what it is.
They for sure need more material for the practice of everything they learn, not only sophisticated words.

Of course the Oxford dictionary will be a big help for them now. Last night, after we left, they cleaned up all the cupboards in the study room and all the books were neatly stacked away.
I wish that soon there will be volunteers in this home again, so they can together with the children use the books.

Time to go back now, peri betounlah (see you later)
Namaste, R & R from P.P.

Half past four we were back at the home, but nothing noticeable of a party. Don't know what the girls had to prepare, but finally at six o'clock the first game started.
Renske and I wanted to leave, but when I went to Gongka to tell so, she grabbed my hand and that was it. No way that we were allowed to go, it was party, so we had to stay to eat with the children.
The food was very nice: special bread, potatoes, vegetables, kroupouk. But, to our surprise after that also the Dahl Bath came. The children ate like they had no food just before. Fruits and Renske and me were pugju (more than full).
Although there was still a cake to come, this time Gongka agreed that we were leaving, after a big hug and our promisse to be back tomorrow morning.

Finally we had a glimpse of the Fishtail, still cloudy, but it was still there. Let's hope that tomorrow it will be more clear, so we can make a picture.
It was a sunny but also hazy day, did get some colour.

Tomorrow our 'volunteering' starts, bringing the kids to school and in the afternoon helping with homework and playing.

Renske has her Nepali name: Gurash, meaning flower.
With this we close,
Suba Rathri, Peri betounlah, Sanghita and Gurash.

Posted by Sanghita 07:09 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Monday 18 february 2008

Shopping with Sudeep for the house and the school

overcast 17 °C

Monday, 18 February 2008

9.15 out of bed. Coffee served again.
After coffee to the shops and collecting our photographs.
Sitting on a terrace, looking at the pictures, some of them are really fantastic.
Sandwich, sitting in the sun.

I bought already a photo-album, so I can make this while we are here. Still a lot of space in my backpack after taking out all Zoe’s presents and the books for the school.

Around 15.30 to the house, asking Gangka if it was okay that Sudeep was coming with us to Mahendra Pool (market in Pokhara) to buy materials for the school.
Walking to the main street for the bus, but we were not patient enough, so we decided to take a taxi.
Sudeep ordered the taxi driver to a bookshop, where after 10 minutes we got Sudeep behind the desk to look for books himself.
Oxford dictionary, science books, bedside stories, mathematics, you name it, we bought them. Two bags full, one for the house, the other one for the school, from the money raised in Elounda.
It took us about one hour, so after that we deserved a coffee with a snack.
Sudeep took us to a super local “dump”, Renske and Sudeep playing safe ordering cola (Sudeep, because they normally only have tea), Rita brave enough to order a coffee.
Sudeep, you want to eat something? So, we got dry cubes of something, looking like cakes soaked in honey. Nice, but very sweet, hands sticking together from the honey.
Back to the bookshop to collect our bags, calling a taxi on the street, back first to the Hotel to drop the bag for the school, then on our way to the house.
Sudeep ordered all the kids in the study room, locking the door and like a real teacher he showed them the books explaining them how to threat the books (how to turn a page), how to put them neatly back on the shelve.

While Renske was helping Kamal in the study room with his homework – with singing and loud children around them – I went to the living room to watch the girls practising dancing for tomorrow.
I also had a talk with Thak. Sudeep asked us if it would be possible to help him to go to follow a course for web designing at an institute in Pokhara centre. We needed the approval of Thak for that.
In my conversation with Thak he told me that also Mongol and Rosilla wanted to learn more on the computer, so we agreed that next week (he has to go to Kathmandu for a few days) we will go to the institute to sign Sudeep, Rosilla and Mongol up for this three months course.
Also Kamal and Arjun, who had a sponsor before for their painting lessons, needed sponsor money again, so also for that we will go and sort that out next week.

All the kids got new school uniforms 4 months ago, accept the just arrived new kids. That is also something we have to check out, to get them uniforms, so they can also go to the Shining Star Boarding School.
Further they need some new beds in the house.

As you all can see, we are busy enough, but it is such a great feeling knowing that we really can DO something for these wonderful kids. Once again thank you all for your support.
I will let you know what else we can achieve with your sponsoring.

We stayed for Dahl Bath with the children, around 21.00 we left the house, walked to the main street by Sudeep and Arjun.

A drink and a pancake in Maya Bar on the main street, (Renske could not eat much of the Dahl Bath at Thak’s house), 23.00 back in our Penthouse, a bit of writing and now it is midnight, so time to go to sleep, because tomorrow morning first we have to buy suitable clothes for the Mini Parents Day at the school.

Suba Rathri dear Friends and from the Kids of Pokhara AND me: Dandyabad!! Thanks, thanks, thanks.

Posted by Sanghita 06:52 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Sunday 17 februari 2008


overcast 18 °C

Sunday, 17 February 2008POKHARA.
At 7.00 a knock on the door, our coffee was served!!
Around 8.30 we were at the house, were the routine was very disciplined.
Mina was polishing the shoes (her daily duty), the other girls were on the roof, taking care of each others hair.
3 Years ago Rebecca and I had to help them with this, but now the older girls like Manju, Alina and Rosila are doing the hair of the little ones.
Dahl Bath for the kids in – to my surprise – silence. Brushing teeth, washing their own plates and time to get dressed for school.
Sudeep is now one of the older boys and he is like a military trainer: all kinds in line, left right left right.
As a perfect line we arrived at the school. Kamal asked Renske to come to see the classrooms, so she ended up pulled at her arm to see all the classrooms by Binod.


I wanted to see the headmaster but this morning he had meetings with parents, so at 14.30 we will go back, talk with the headmaster and give him the English reading books. Also I want to ask him then what the school needs.
I received an email from Voula UCAN in which she asked what to buy, so they can sent it to Nepal.

My impression of Thak’s house was, that they are all well looked after. The school shoes were still very good, maybe they could do with new school sweaters and skirts.
In the study room I saw enough notebooks and also the clothes were okay, although maybe they do need some new ones. We will check this out later. I don’t want to ask Thak straight, because I think of course then he will come up with a long list of what is needed.

In the afternoon before the school was out, we had a meeting with the headmaster of the Shining Star Boarding School. We were invited in his office, coffee was brought in. At one point Renske and I noticed that we forgot to take our shoes off!! Quickly kicking off our sneakers and while the headmaster was answering a phonecall, I rushed out to put our shoes outside in line.
We had a nice talk with the headmaster. On my question what the school needed, he answered: we don’t want money, we want compassion and love for our children.
I showed him my book and he was really pleased with it. Asked for a copy, and I told him that hopefully there will come a new print with updating of this journey also in it. Of course he will get one then as well.

In our conversation he said that the school would be very happy with science-lesson materials and books, like dictionaries, teaching methods, etc. After our very polite, kind and etc. persistence finally he told us
that they did need two small cupboards which could be locked for two classrooms, so the teachers could lock the lesson material away and did not have to bring it in every day again. So, that is our mission for the next couple of days.
He invited us for Tuesday, 11.00 sharp at the school. There would be a meeting and handing out prices to students, something like a mini parents day. He also wanted to introduce us then as benefices. I hope he will not do this, calling me up to the podium in front of all parents and children!

At 16.00 the children came out of class and together with Julia and Amy, the volunteers, we walked them back to the house. There Renske and I left them, because on Wednesday they will be leaving and we thought it would be nice for them to have the kids for themselves those last few days.

Still very cloudy, till now we have not seen the Fishtail or the Annapurna Range. Anyway, we went to Busy Bee to sit on the roof terrace, a bit of sunshine, nice and relaxing.

For diner we went to H.E. and oh what a party! Julia and Kacey, the two Australian volunteers were sitting with us at the table. Julia is not much of a speaker and we are calling Kacey, the scientist-teacher! Miss shunshine.

The meal was delicious, pasta, potatoes and something like a cheesepie, but as long as the two girls are here, we will not spoil our diner with this depressing atmosphere.

Just for half an hour on the internet in our hotel, then the power was off again, so around 22.00 we were in bed, sleeping like a baby.

Suba Rathri, R & R from P.P. (by the way we developed already over 200 pictures!).

Posted by Sanghita 06:47 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Saturday in Pokhara

overcast 18 °C

Saturday, 16 February 2008

A bit of a lie-in, coffee served on the balcony.
Oh, it is such a ‘hard’ life in Nepal for us.

Walking to the Lake-side for breakfast and then I was trying to find the way to the C.W.A. House again. I was not sure about the right turn to the right, being insecure we took another side street, which brought us back to the main street of Lake side again.
Okay, let’s try it from the other side then: again wrong.
To keep the story short: finally we were in the street of the house and I saw the kids playing in the street.
Sofia noticed me at first and I had to put my bags on the floor, being ready to catch her in my arms.
Also the other kids came to us: Rita, Rita.
A few minutes later Pasphathi came into the garden, “Ah, there you are, we thought you were lost”. He had made a phone call to the house to warn them, so they could make a welcome.
And they did: we were overwhelmed with flowers. Thak came to Renske and me with two scarves as a present for us.

Giving the presents, Zoe gave to us for all of them, was nice to do. In the meantime Renske was busy making pictures of the happy faces of the children.

After a tea with toast and egg in the kitchen, we went up to the living room, where they were watching television. (Today no school, so then they are allowed to watch t.v.).
Sudeep put on some Nepali music and we got a nice show of dancing kids.
Specially Bisnod (a boy who came into the family after he lost his family in a landslide) was a great dancer.
He stole Renske’s heart at once.
Then it was time to play with them and both of us landed on the floor, trying to survive a ‘tickle-death’.
Sitting on the sofa, Mina on my lap, Sofia on my side, Manju at my feet. It is a bit difficult for me to describe the feeling but I do think you all will understand.
Around 15.30 Julia, the volunteer who is working there at the moment, came so it was time for Renske and me to go.

We walked to Busy Bee to sit on the roof terrace in the sun to relax.

After a small relax in the room we went to Mamma Mia for a Pizza. We are welcome every day at H.E. for breakfast, lunch and diner, but Renske’s stomach was a bit unsteady, so it was better to not eat too spicy food.
We had invited Julia and Kacey, the two volunteers to join us for a drink at Lake-side and they came after their diner to Mamma Mia.
Julia is quiet a nice girl, but Kacey is a bit very boring for us. She was here already a month and this was the second time she went out for a drink. She is used to go to bed at nine!!

Finally we could get on the internet and now I am preparing this piece of blog on my laptop, write it on the USB-stick, so tomorrow whenever we pass an Internet shop I can quickly sent it off.

Tomorrow morning we will go to bring the children to school. As expected they asked how long we are staying, and of course if we are coming every day. In a few days Julia is going for trekking and I think I will be with the kids then every day.

Time to go to sleep, with 24 arms around me,
Subha ratri, Peri betounla. See you soon. Love R & R from P.P.

Posted by Sanghita 05:53 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Pokhara, R & R from P.P.

Renske and Rita from Pokhara Penthouse

overcast 18 °C

Friday, 15th February 2008
Kathmandu – Pokhara.

Up at 5! Waiting outside of Kathmandu Guesthouse for the taxi to bring us to the bus stop.
With the ‘tourist’ bus to Pokhara.
A 6 hour drive for 160 Rupees per person. (1 Euro = 8.89,5) (so we say 160 rupees is about 2 Euro)
The first stop after 2 hours, we took just a coffee, a bit scared to eat Dahl Bath after our drinks from last night and still 4 hours in the bus ahead of us.
Half sleeping/dozing all the way.
Around 12 again a stop, the Nepali all took a big lunch, we did it with biscuits.
At 14.00 we were in Pokhara, but because the roads were blocked it took the bus driver about an hour to drop us of in front of Himalayan Encounters (H.E.)
Familiar faces: Pasphathi, manager, Astar, the cook, Gomaya who kept holding my hand again.
It was great to see them again, it WAS coming home.

Pasphathi took us first to his private home and showed us the guestroom. Wonderful, big room with ensuite bathroom. Of course it was a great honour that we could stay there, but I did not want to disturb their private life and also we would be limited in our freedom (coming home late at night??).
So, we went to the hotel next door: Mountain Villa.

And from this moment on you will get our report with the title:
Travelblog from R & R from P.P. (Renske and Rita in Pokhara Penthouse).

We got a room on top of the house: a big balcony with lake-view, a big room with a double and single bed en-suite bathroom with shower AND bath.

In the afternoon we were invited for diner at H.E.: a very tasty Dahl Bath from Astar.

And of course, being back in Pokhara to finish of our first day here, to Busy Bee.
R & R on W.W. at B.B. (white wine at Busy Bee).
There was live music, which was very good, but also funny. A very small man (midget) was singing his heart out like he was Axle Rose. When the guitarist was playing his solo (Santana-like_ Axle Midget was trying to hold his big guitar, when it was his turn he went beside himself, head banging.

Back to the hotel in the dark.
Also Pokhara is suffering electricity problems, it is hard to find a time to get connected to the internet.
A last coffee room service on our Penthouse terrace and Subha Ratri.

Posted by Sanghita 05:48 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

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