last time i was here, i made about the children here at the orphanage. it’s now a week in, and while i was hoping to get you an updated list, i’m still struggling to learn all the new names. nonetheless, i figured i’d give it a go.
of the original boys, Shivaraj, BJ, Manoj, Nabin, and Anjil are still here. and really, none have changed a whole lot. Shiva is still unbelievably smart and caring. Nabin looks like he hasn’t grown an inch, but is more talkative now. Anjil still has the world’s best smile despite having his arm in a cast (broken two weeks ago while playing soccer), and Manoj still has that mean streak i saw last time i was here. BJ has probably changed the most – he’s no longer the shy kid who says very little. instead, he’s just one of the boys who loves to play soccer, chats about school and his good grades, and tries his best to get out of his chores. like i mentioned earlier, Santa, Tul, Suko, and Bikash have all been placed back with family members, and Ashok is now living in KTM going to university.
so who’s new? i should perhaps first explain why they are new. shortly after the robbery incident i spoke of earlier, Support the Children Nepal was joined with another orphanage, and the resulting home was renamed Nepal Children Development. a new manager was placed in charge of the home, while Rabindra was placed in charge of, well, let’s just say ‘volunteer coordination’. i won’t go into the whole story, partially due to the fact i’m not 100% sure i have the story entirely accurate (language barrier and all) and partially because i’m trying to stay positive while here, but i will say it seems Rabindra isn’t exactly thrilled about the whole deal. and from the sounds of it, i wouldn’t be either. he and Goma now live about five minutes walk from the orphanage and host the volunteers who work at the home. Rabindra also still takes care of the original boys’ tuition at the school, as well as the house rent. i guess the good news is he still has a part in the home, and that’s a good thing. you can tell he really cares for the children there. this would also be a good time to talk pictures – the new manager isn’t too keen on people taking pictures of the kids, so i haven’t been able to get too many. i usually let the children play with my little point and miss, so hopefully there’ll be some keepers there. if i can get any, i’ll certainly share them in future posts.
alright, back to who’s new (to me at least): Nabin’s older sister Nabina is now at the house, and man is she a brassy one. by herself, and around me, she’s all smiles. but when she’s around the other children, especially the girls, she turns it on. she’s never mean; she just rules the roost for sure. there’s a new Bikash, along with his twin brother Akash. both are great, and Akash has a scar on his forehead making it easy to tell them apart. Sapana is the newest gal here, and you can tell she’s super new to the more ‘modern’ community. i’m pretty sure she grew up in very rural Nepal – she knows very little English, cares nothing about her appearance, and is a little awkward with the other kids. still, when i brought everyone notebooks and pens today for some word games, you’d think i had given her a new car. she wrote her name on the front straight away, and was so proud to show me how she could write the simplest words like cat, dog, and car. (she doesn’t know her age, but i’m guessing 11?) it was the first time i’ve seen her really smile since i got here.
let’s see…who else…Angila is adorable, and for only being 7 or so, speaks perfect English. and she walks around making clicking sounds with her mouth all day long. i really like it, and laugh every time i hear it. there’s another Manoj, and while we haven’t shared too much, he does like to sit next to me once and a while and just hold my arm. he says nothing, just sits there. there are five other children, but i just haven’t learned their names yet. three i don’t think i ever will – i swear my mouth can’t pronounce sounds like that. but they are all great, and we’ve had a lot of fun thus far, playing soccer, having scavenger hunts, sitting around playing word games, and just hanging out.
i’m currently back in Thamel, and will be meeting up with my pals Anne and Brenda, along with their pal Corby, who fly in tomorrow. i’ll be away from the orphanage for a few days, but am excited to get back – of course to spend more time with the children, but to hopefully do some work at a local children’s hospital and help out at the children’s school as well – English lessons i’m told. shit, i don’t even know if that’s what i’ll be doing and i’m already nervous!