Nepal is surprisingly chilly at night. At least in tanahun district where we were staying. I was on kitchen duty that morning and head down to the kitchen super early. Some of the older kids wash and cut vegetables and tell me I can help them cut. As a chef I am super saddened to see they are cutting vegetables on the same table where we eat, plus with dull, handle-less knives. I almost think that when I am back in the states I want to send them some sharp ones, but I think that they might cut themselves also the way they are cutting! Potatoes, okra, onions, cabbage, potatoes, okra, onions, cabbage. Dal bhat for breakfast.
I spent the rest of the morning painting until breakfast and morning assembly at 10 am. The morning assembly consists of 3 student performances, usually a poem in either English or Nepali, a volunteer and student body update. The students are incredibly self-sufficient! They do everything, including running the morning assembly.
After assembly we have a tour of the campus grounds. The grounds consist of classrooms, which the students stay in all day with rotating teachers, hostels, kitchen, old kitchen with goats, and pigs. The school is completely free to the students that are studying there, and this is achieved by their parents volunteering their time to the school 2 days out of each month. The goats and pigs are raised there on the grounds and sold for profits, and the school also makes bracelets that are sold across the world to fund the students’ studies. The school also sustains themselves on volunteers, some local from the village, but most from different countries like Australia, Spain, and USA.
It’s. So. Hot.
After our tour we all go to our respective volunteering positions. I am agriculture, which includes fertilizing avocado and lemon trees with goat dung. For lunch.. dal bhat. Lunch is only with the volunteers however in the “old kitchen” space. And the dal bhat is a bit more jazzed.. with pickles! Oh my! After lunch most people decide to take a shower- we haven’t taken one in about 1 and a half days and while that may not be that big of a deal to some it feels weird in the village.
To take a shower, the ladies must wear something called a lungi. Its basically a strapless dress that covers everything. You wear it to the shower, in the shower, and on the way back from the shower- unless you want to get undressed and dressed outside like some of the more experienced volunteers do.
The rest of the day is filled with stories of what the others did and playing with the kids! Floating in the air are stories of eating live and cooked ants, sweltering in the heat to break rocks, and spotting huge beetles while slinging goat poop. Dinner of course is… you guessed it! Dal bhat! I have a feeling we will all be pros at eating dal bhat by the time we leave here. End of day four.
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