Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The three musketeers

Before I go on I have to introduce to the three musketeers who were taking care of us, showing us around, helping us, translating for us...

Starting from the right:

(1) Dambar - the MAN himself who set up Future Village along with a friend a couple of years back. He is pretty much the life and soul of the future village, having carried over 70kgs on his own back for 7hrs (as no proper road to the village) to help construct the building. He is one of most humble person that I have come across, and with such a big heart.

(2) Durga - The TEACHER. She is fun but can be very strict too. We all got a few canes from her during PT :-) She cooks very well too

(3) Ramesh - The ENTERTAINMENT CHANNEL. He is one crazy fella, I am sure you can get a glimpse in the picture. Constant stories and lot of fun. All the treks wouldnt have been as much fun without him.

Checking out the village

Wow 2hrs with kids can be exhausting!! After resting for a bit and eating some good maggie noodles for breakfast we decided to head out to the village.

The views were great and trekking fun - breathing in the fresh crisp air.

We went and saw the village school which was reconstructed with volunteer money.

We also visited the library building constructed with aid from Japan. We plan to go back to library later in the week to paint.

Finally we had lunch at Dambar's grandmothers place. For those of you who dont know Dambar is the MAN for future village. He helped set up Future Village and not only coordinates volunteer trips but takes care of you just like family.

Love the smile!!!

The first class

We got up at 05:00 hrs - the view was beautiful - floating amongst the clouds :-)

Kids started arriving at 06:00hrs - some of them obviously still sleepy!!! We were too

In total there are roughly 50-60 kids, divided into two classes - one below 10yrs and the other above

I opted for the older kids along with Jessie, Ling and Peter. We started off with simple introductions - name, place you come from and favourite colour. The kids were real keen to talk and interact.

Morning class was all about geography. We used the world map to teach the kids, the countries, capital and location of where we all came from. Difference between island and peninsular etc. We also did english reading - most of the kids read very well though they find it difficult to comprehend new english text.

After teaching for an hour it was PLAYTIME!!! First thing on was tug-of-war....a lot of fun but ending in lots of falls :-)

The there was also loads of dancing and singing. The kids sing really well, beating us hands down!

The day ended with PT - havent done that in a long long time. No easy feat I tell you, coz if we didnt get it right Durga the teacher would cane us too :-)

PT - stretch to the left, stretch to the right - make sure you are facing in front (most of us got that wrong on the first day, but by the end we were experts!!!). Touch your toes, stretch back and march left right left right lefit right.....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The first night

Night time in the village is beautiful - dark so dark no lights at all, the sky soooo full of stars.

Some of us were lucky and even saw shooting stars :-)

We decided to light a lantern and send our wishes to the sky...

Dinner was fantastic - dal soup, rice, chapatti and cabbage never tasted better!!

Sleeping on the floor was fun with a cool breeze blowing through...though there were enough sounds to keep us awake for some time (neighbours snoring, insects buzzing and something scurrying around on the roof!!!)

Going to the toilet was a challenge - out the door, down the ladder, around the building and in the loo - all in pitch darkness with just a torch :-)  A bit spooky I tell you. So visits to the loo in the night were always in two's (atleast for me). During the day, things were much easier and one could enjoy the view of the valley whilst on the throne :-) 

We have arrived

We arrived in Future Village by late afternoon on the 9th of October

Future Village is a two storey structure - 2 classrooms on ground level and 1 kitchen. On level one there are 3 rooms.

The location of Future Village is perfect - right next to rice fields, overlooking open spaces and when the sky is clear we can see the Anapurna ranges and Ganesh Himal :-)

The first day was all about settling and sorting - we were 12 volunteers in total (our team of 7 + 4 girls from HK + 1 boy from Taiwan). The split for the rooms was 5 girls, 4 girls and 3 boys. Everyone in sleeping bags, some on the floor and some on beds. I opted for the floor and as Yue will tell you she was my floor mate :-)

We spent the afternoon sorting the books that we had brought over from Singapore - splitting them into categories maths, science, reading, activity etc. Half of the books will stay in Future Village and the other half in the village library.

The Journey - free roller coaster ride, mud bath & shower!!!

After introducing you to the team, lets take a step back.
How did we get to Future Village? In a truck!!
The total journey took us 5 hrs or so, the first two were relatively easy, nice comfortable seats in a van, from Kathmandu to Dhading village.
At Dhading we all jumped onto a truck with the lugguage sandwiched between us. The ride to the village was fantastic - views were great, we got a roller coaster ride cum mud bath for free. Half way there we even got a free rain shower :-) What more can one ask for..

PS. If you are wondering why we are sticking our toungues out..well we are just playing Kali!!

The TEAM - fantastic seven :-)

Time to introduce the Team - crazy, fun, cldnt have done it without them.

From the left:
(1) Vinayak Doraiswamy (striped) - The catfish
(2) Shruti Garg (black) - Secretive giggles
(3) Peter Hepenstall (grey) - If you are happy and you know it...
(4) Yue Wang (orange) - You yue!!
(5) Jessie Lai (pink) - The belly dancer
(6) Liling Toh (white) - Ling-a-bing
(7) Prakriti Sofat (green) - Squirty derivative