I was up by 6:00 AM. As we were in our tents, kids came from their houses to the school to wake us up. They were super excited and curious to see what we were going to do. We made some breakfast which consisted of Nepali Chai aka milk tea, coconut biscuits, etc. While the breakfast was being prepared, John and I went to Amar Dai’s house to charge the laptops and brief Amar dai on the agenda for the our visit. Offering tea in the morning is very common to any house you visit in Nepal. So obviously, John and I had more tea at Amar Dai’s house.
In the village a lot of the houses had electricity available. However, in the school, there wasn’t any. There was no electricity at the school because that requires approval and implementation from the Nepal Government. The school is built now however the school committee is working patiently to bring electricity at the moment. There was no real reason to have electricity at the school because classes start at 9/10 AM and goes until 4/4:30 PM. The school was functioning when there was sunlight during the day. Since the laptops are now present at the school as a way to improve the quality of education, electricity is needed more than ever.
Soon after my conversation with Amar dai, I went back to the school to coordinate other activities. As I mentioned in my previous blogs, we had broken up into groups to spearhead different tasks. When I got back to the school, everyone was already super busyyyyy. It was one of those moments, I was like YEAAAASS. Below are some of the pictures to show what I am talking about. This is also a good opportunity to introduce each of our team members.
Sailesh Maharjan: I am going to start with Sailesh Bro. He was a fantastic personality with so much positive energy. He was always laughing and having fun in whatever he did. He is always giving feedbacks and ideas to do good. There was a kid in the school who was the naughtiest. He wouldn’t do anything you told him to do, and when I say anything I mean ANYTHING. He would get in fights, hit other kids, etc. All of the volunteers tried their best but it made no different to Dilip. I can go on and on about Dilip but long story short, every time we saw him doing something naughty, all the volunteers would say DILIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP. It actually worked and he was smiling and started to stopped doing inappropriate things. I am not much of a psychologist, I think he wanted attention and when all the volunteers were saying Dilip (not aggressive but like in a very sweet way by extending his name), he would smile and run away. It was awesome. If I am not wrong, I think Sailesh or Basu had started this. But I am betting on Sailesh on this, sorry Basu.
Nikhil Shakya: Nikhil bro!!! When he was around, there was not a thing that was impossible. Very good work ethic and never shy of hard work. He was a comedian and a half. Every time I was looking at him from far away, always laughing and striking conversation with John. Not to mention, Nikhil was very easy going.
Ayush Bajracharya: Ayush was a hell of a guy. Very talented and quiet. I still remember that moment he showed me his video on an art piece he had worked on during the ride to the school, and I immediately knew he would make the school colorful with his artwork. Ayush, Nikhil and Sailesh all are in a group called Yart from Patan and they have painted several other schools in rural villages in Nepal. Although the earthquake took so much from the Nepali people, these guys were inspired by the effect and decided to get involve in community work. So inspirational guys. Hats off!!
Saroj Katel: Saroj was a great leader and organizer for the events we were doing. He was very helpful and was always all over the place helping every moment he found whether it was painting the walls, cooking, or having a quick meeting. He had great communication skills from talking to teachers, to students and parents. He also is heavily involved with other aid work in Nepal through a non profit. He worked as a part time social worker at Gorkha (another region that was seriously impacted by the Earthquake). When we were coming back from our trip on the Bus back to KTM, he mentioned he was a full time college student and was also involved in so many other work. I was really happy to see a young Nepali guy with so much desire to make a difference. Keep it up brother!
Sahib Baidya: Sahib was quiet and reserved but he had so much compassion. I remember one time I was going to the village for some errands, and saw him teaching how to use a computer to a kid in his lap. Just like Saroj Katel, he was also looking for ways to help out with activities such as face painting, painting the school and workshop for teachers on how to use a computer.
Basu Dev Badu: Above picture literally says everything that needs to be said about our Basu! I really got to know Basu during our stay at the village. He was always having a blast in everything he did. He would always give John a lot of company because it was John’s first time in Nepal. As I mentioned before, the legendary Dilip series had started from Basu. Ok you know what, I am giving Basu some credit on this one too.
John Cinque: John and I went to high school together and I have known him for over 9 years of my life. Before this trip, he had never travelled to any country out of USA. His first country was United Arab Emirates (where we had a layover and we went to downtown Abu Dhabi for one night) and Nepal was his second country. It was so much fun to travel with this guy on so many different levels. He was so down to earth, always doing whatever we were doing. We ate gundruk (traditional nepali vegetable) and everyone was eating with our hands. John rolled up his shirt and started eating with his hands. There is so much I could write about his guy but I would be writing for dayzzzzzzzzz. Simply put, I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime.
Subash Lamichhane: Subash was the best chef and amazing mentor to handle kids. I was peaking into his class and would watch him get all the kids so involved by asking to read poems, sing songs, play games and do yoga. He was also very involved in social work particularly in Upper Dolpa which is one of the most rural places in Nepal and in the world.
Binod Shahi: An absolute inspiration to so many youth in Nepal and around the world. It was really awesome getting to know you during this trip. Your presence, attitude, energy, and compassion made this trip so memorable. Oh and lets not forget your legendary jokes during dinner time. I honestly want to thank you so much for spending your birthday with all of us!
Bibek Bhandari: When the earthquake happened, Bibek and his friend had cleared up the debris of the school in his village. They had created a flyer which I had used to fundraise here in the United States. During the construction of the school, he was busy with his college finals and wasn’t able to give me a hand. But during this trip it was his planning in Nepal from coordinating with Yart (Ayush, Nikhil and Sailesh), materials, activities in the school, etc. Thank you so much Bhatiz. I also want to say that Bibek is the reason the school in Ramche was implemented. With your initiation, we have gotten this far.
Right before we left from the village, we had a ceremony with dances, speeches from former teachers, school committee and teachers. Below are some glimpses of our departure.