A Travellerspoint blog

Kevin's leaving do

overcast 16 °C

As it was Kevin last day we decided to go to Thamel and have a pizza and chocolate cake to say goodbye... Here are some pictures at the pizzeria
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It was nice to have everyone out... Teo, Amit, Kevin, Moira, Monika, Matilda, Elsa, Hayden and me....

We then went into a very cool bar called K2O where they had so yummy chocolate cakes so we had one or two ... their deco is really cool with lots of glow in the dark paint... looks very good and gave us more ideas for painting!!!
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Posted by ealonso 03:55 Archived in Nepal Tagged or2k Comments (0)

Happy Home Orphanage - Projects Update

sunny 15 °C

I just felt like showing the improvements that were made by the volunteers lately in Happy Home Orphanage...

We have Elsa and Mathilda from Sweden who have fund raised money to deliver a brilliant library room....
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Moira and Francois have been painting the classrooms....
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I have been painting the new LKG classroom and the corridors with kids.....
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Now Moira and I are trying to deliver a couple of projects before we go and they are as follows:

1- We would like to furnish the Lower Kinder Garden class I have been painting over the last 2 weeks ( pictures above) and for this we will need:

  • 8 double cushions at 3000 rupees each
  • 2 low tables for arts and crafts at 3000 rupees each
  • 1 storage cabinet for all kids work and teachers materials 10000 rupees

craft material (paint, scissors, paper, paint brushes, sponges, scrap paper drawer, glitter, stickers, wool, etc...) 3000 rupees

2- We would like to do a playroom in one of the 3 rooms of the outbuilding and we will need...

  • paint & roughly plaster the room 15000 rupees
  • 1 storage cabinet for the playroom 15000 rupees
  • storage boxes for the toys in playroom 5000 rupees
  • some more toys (shoe lace x 5, wooden blocks x 3, big lego, big foam blocks x 1, mecano box x 3, small legos x 3, tell the time x 3 ) 5000 rupees

This room currently looks like
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3- If I have time I would like to get the fence done in the playground 173000 rupees
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4- If I have time I would like to fund the finishing of the building of the 4 toilets and storeroom outside for 435 400 rupees
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If you are interested in giving, then you can use:
my bank account in UK - Cahoot account number : 20281785 sort code : 090640 please give some details of where you want the money invested if you would like it to go to any projects in particular
or
the KSW Trust fund (a charity that works with Happy Home ... in this case email me as they also cover other projects in Nepal and I need to let them know how much they need to send to my account. Please see their website for how to give http://www.ksw.org.uk/the-trust/ways-of-giving
or
the Deutschland Happy Home Bank account using the link to our existing website
http://www.happyhomenepal.org/

I need to find out the French NGO I can use to give tax deductible donations.... watch that space....

Many thanks to you all in advance...

Emmanuelle

Posted by ealonso 17:56 Archived in Nepal Tagged happy_home Comments (0)

Happy Home Orphanage Big Birthday bash

sunny 20 °C

Last Friday the volunteers organised a big birthday party for all the kids... It was awesome !!!!

All the volunteers were there...
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Teo & Hayden had fun!!!
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We had a giant bouncy castle
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a face painter ...
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some cartoon characters outfits....
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music...

We organised some races and games....
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We had popcorn and pizza and cake!!!!
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We danced...
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And all the teachers and staff had great fun!!!
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We had lots and lots of fun.....
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Posted by ealonso 00:17 Archived in Nepal Tagged happy_home Comments (0)

Swayambhunath stupa

sunny 22 °C

Today as we had been working for 9 days in a trot I decided to take the kids to the monkey temple otherwise known as swayanbunath… It is located in the north west of Kathmandu about 20 minutes drive from Thamel…. We took a micro to Thamel and then a taxi to the temple… There were a few guides trying to take us round and we took one that looked nice and for 300 rupees you get an hour tour…. You go through a lovely gate and look up to at least 100 steps up in the sky, at the top of which the oldest stupa in Nepal….
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The steps were hard and borded by craftmen and souvenir shops and snacks shops .. This seemed crazy as monkeys are everywhere and if you come with a plastic bag they will try to grab it off you and if you come with food same thing they will try to steal it from you. There was a very funny monkey that was trying to drink out of a plastic bottle which had a hole at the bottom… he was so so funny…
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We walked the steps very very slowly and came up to the temple area. There were originally 2 twin towers on each side of the stupa, both built by the king, one he gave to his wife. Unfortunately there was a thunder that crushed one of the tower and it is now in bits. The oldest stupa stands in the middle of the complex… surrounded by other temples and Buddhists monasteries.
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We went to the monastery the closest to the temple and spoke with the monk inside. He told us that at the age of 12 he was sold to the temple by his parents who could not feed him. He was hardly educated and was now 26. Makes you wonder about the good of the religious orders sometimes. Similarly we saw some kids making bow and arrows and we went to see them to see if we could do some with them.. Again we asked them about their lives and they were all 8 or 9 years old and were in year 2 and one of them was 15 and was in year 5. The kids were sweet and showed us how to make a bow and arrow and Teo and Hayden had a go at shooting with those the apprentice monks had made. Next to the stupa was a temple dedicated to children and a priest was making offerings for a family. The guide told us that if you had a poorly child you would come here and pay the priest to do a prayer for you.
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There was a lot of other temples behind the stupas and the guide explained that they were tombs for the riches… We walked to the side of the stupa and went to the golden temple which is in fact a golden statue in the middle of a little pond. At the bottom of the statue is a urn where you throw some money in it … if you reach the middle of the urn you are very lucky. So Harry our guide went to get some coins and gave some to the kids. Hayden threw the first coin which fell in the water. He threw the second coin without looking and it fell in the urn!... Teo tried but did not manage to throw it in the urn. Harry threw some coins and he managed to get his second coin in.
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We walked to the third temple called the education temple where the kids give rice and some pencils a specific day a year to be good at their grades…. We then walked back to the temple where Harry left us and we went wandering around a little longer. On the way down we bought some craft material which are used for embroidery. I thought we could use this to embroider the bags made by the Dallu mothers in the orphanage. We bought 2 sets of embroidery kits as well as the colours of the logo. We then walked back and went to Thamel to get the laundry and change the camera.

Posted by ealonso 00:13 Archived in Nepal Tagged swayambhunath Comments (0)

Chitwan

rain 20 °C

We decided to go to Chitwan with Bishwa older brother and his wife and child who befriended Teo and Hayden when we went to Pokhara... As usual mummy decided to go there with a bus to see the scenery and come back with a plane ...
Our journey was very very very long and we did not even get proper seats so I regretted my decision a tat too late ... But we were quite entertained to see goats on the bus!!!!
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Once we arrived, Sargan, Laxmi and Sargan junior were there waiting for us at the Jungle Sunset Camp... We had a quick lunch and went to the museum whihc was very interesting as it explained how the Reserve was created and how it functions.... There is a buffer zone where locals can cut grass only 10 days a year now in order to preserve the wildlife. It showed the law that applies for poachers and explained the species we can find in the park. We then went to the elephant breeding center. This was kind of disappointing in the sense that all elephants but the babies were chained to a pole. We saw the only elephant twins in the world (5 years old now)... and also the cuttest baby ever... There was a man making food for the elephants, a mixture of rice, molasses and grass... Both Hayden and Teo had a go at helping make the food and fed the elephants which was nice. We had a tour of the premises and again that was very interesting as we saw where they prepared the molasses .. it was a big big fire and a massive pot where the molasses are melted and it smelts soooooo goood.... We then saw the staff in charge of making the feeds and that was their full time job... so hard and so tiring staying sat down for hours ...
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After the visit we went back via the river and saw the 2 types of crocodiles there is in Chitwan, the Gharial and the Marsh Mugger. The Gharial has a long thin beak and only eats fish, the Marsh mugger has a much wider mouth and is a man eater... We also saw a river snake.... After diner we went to a dance show which aimed to share the different dances performed by the locals throughout the year and we even got to go on stage...In fact it was Hayden who really wanted to go on and dragged me on stage.... very funny... We met a badminton coach who lives in the USA and came to visit and I asked if he could come to visit the orphanage to show the children about badminton and also explain how he managed to go and live in the USA.
The next day we had an early start with a canoe trip along the river and again we were lucky as we saw a double horned rhino, a lot of kingfishers and other birds and again a lot of Gharials and Marsh Mugger... When we came back there was the elephants from the tours having a bath in the river and you could pay to get on top and be thrown in the water.. as the kids had just had a shower they decided not to do it and we left it for the next day ... Shame as we never made it the next day ....
We came back to the hotel and there was a TV crew shooting a documentary on the hotel so we managed to get interviewed, both me and Sargan senior.. I also chatted with the crew and asked if there was any possibilities to do a shoot at the Happy Home orphanage to promote the place on national TV. You would not believe it but the cameraman happened to live just round the corner from where the orphanage is so he promised to see what he could do ...
In the afternoon we did a elephant ride in the buffer zone and that was very interesting with lots of deers, monkeys, eagles and rhino. The rain started and we had forgotten our waterproof coats so we thought " well that will be fun, a true jungle experience"... Hummm we did nit bank on the rain not stopping for hours... by the time we got back to the elephant resting area we were wet throughout and all shivering .. so guess what we had a long hot shower when we got to the hotel. We had diner and tried to dry all our clothes on the railing but it rained all night. As everyone told me Chitwan is hot I had no change of trousers for the kids, one pair of shoes each .. total disaster in terms of clothing so the kids were in pijamas all day the following day!
We decided to stay one more day to see the Gharial breeding centre in the reserve itself. It was the occasion to go in the jungle and see the reserve.
So the next day we go in a jeep and drive for hours to the jungle. The TV crew decided to come with us so we had the cameraman and an actress with us. She wore high heels and you just thought ... "hum talking about appropriate clothing I think she was a little mad"... It is interesting as there is a guard post on both side of the river (demarcation line between the reserve and the buffer zone) manned by the army to deter poachers. We then need to walk for 30 minutes to the breeding centre. The breeding centre was fascinating as there were babies from 1 year old to 10 years old and the little ones were so cute... We could not hold them for obvious reasons.. Some had their beaks broken as they fight a lot (I realised that I was lucky with the level of fighting my 2 get up to!!!!). The guide we took went out of the centre and called us as there was a rhino just a few metres away ... we all followed him and the cameraman was mad trying to get so close that the rhino turned around to face us and I had a sudden fright for the kids life and I dragged them back as I was expecting the rhino to charge any minutes. We honestly saw him within 3 metres max... amazing!
We drove back for the 1.5 hours and Laxmi and Sargan junior and senior left to go and visit their relatives and we stayed in and watched daredevil (so cool my hero!)...
The next day we planned to fly back and were disappointed with the 3 hours delay which meant we only came back mid afternoon home... but it was great... Next time we will go in a lodge in the jungle and see if we can see the tiger and leopard!!!!

Posted by ealonso 23:28 Archived in Nepal Tagged chitwan gharials marsh_mugger jungle_sunset_camp Comments (0)

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