Desperate Girls

The Badi Girls

Between 7,000 and 12,000 young girls, aged 9-16, are trafficked each year from Nepal; mainly to India. According to Nepal Monitor/On line journal, 2007, there are more than 200,000 Nepali girls in Indian brothels.

The Dalits(untouchables) are the lowest level in Hindu society, and the Badi community, in Western Nepal, are the lowest of the low. As a displaced hungry people group the Badi community has made sexual subservience a way of life. Young girls from this group “serve” other groups. This has become a tradition and means of livelihood. Many girls, even when they are unwilling, are forced to serve as sex slaves. Family members knowingly sell their daughters to traffickers.

Though prostitution is illegal in Nepal, the industry reportedly has links with highly ranked officials and political leaders. Large groups of girls are taken across the border with many police and government officials being in collusion with traffickers and brothel owners.

Traffickers and related criminals are often protected by political parties, and if arrested, are freed using political power. As a result, there is an underlying distrust of police that has led people not to file cases against traffickers.

Domestic action involves activities of NGO’s and other volunteer groups. These groups are playing a major role to address girl-trafficking and sex slaves issues. Some NGO’s are playing a very important role to improve the situation. From creating social awareness to rescuing and rehabilitation, they are providing services (and relief) to those that need it the most – the likely victims as well as the rescued ones. The Lighthouse foundation is one of these.

*See Chandra Kala’s story on this blog site.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Reflections from Oz. (2)

I am also thinking of all those scared little girls in the bus looking so miserable.  Katie took follow-up photos of each one, and the transformation in just a few days was amazing.  I played chasie and tickling with a tiny little 3 year old,  She giggled her head off and ran  off and waited to me to do it again.  We played that silly "Shakey, Shakey, all around the house' with the little new ones.  I'm always sorry afterwards, as they never want to stop.  Little full tummies and a safe place to live, and I can see their little faces as I sit here back in my comfortable world.  With all our comforts, we seldom have that great thankfulness for the smallest thing as they do.  They are so appreciative of everything.  They always have such a humble spirit.  I don't only mean children.  They are always thinking of how they can serve and not what they can get.  Their worship if real and unashamed; set free for a new life...Just like everyone else, I'm so grateful for this country and all its benefits, yet we are the ones who have many lessons to learn from our dear Nepalese friends.  We had all sorts of difficulties the last few days with the internet.  It was almost impossible to connect.  The last couple of days, I was really sick and didn't know how I was going to make the long journey home sitting around in planes and airports endlessly.  Grahame is not well today either.  So once, again, I didn't dodge the Nepali germ bullet.  I guess, this is time to sign off for this trip.  September looks like a huge one, with around 28 on team.  Many there for very different tasks.  It will be a challenge

God bless


Relections fromOz.

Well, we are home on Aussie soil and it feels good.  We arrived this afternoon, to clean air, perfect roads, with traffic travelling in the right lane. No cattle standing unconcerned in the middle of the road, No bus looming on our side of the road loaded with people hanging out the doors or huddled on top. It is great to have power 24/7, uncontaminated water to drink, fruit and veges we can just eat, instead of the long process of making them safe in an uncooked state.  No unloved and hungry children and animals everywhere you look.  No wondering if the garbage man will come today or if at all and how to dispose of it if he doesn't.  No weariness from living in another culture with not only language barriers but also the fatigue of just not understanding cultural norms and trying to do the right thing. and the hourly frustrations from issues small and large.  And yet!!!!!  As it sit here at 11p.m. unable to sleep, I am remembering so fondly many of our experiences and lovely people.  I'm thinking of a 35 year old lady from India who is in the half-way house , whose life has been indescribable.  And there she is sitting in the doll making class, looking hardened by life, but yet so carefully sewing every pretty thing onto her own creation with great pride.  Singing to it, like it was her child. So thrilled that she was actually allowed to have it at the end of the course..  The relationships built with them all, teaching, laughing, dancing, all without interpreters.  It is amazing how much is communicated.  Doesn't take long to know when you are cared for.  Katie, our great photographer, has taken "glamour shots" of 6 ladies from there.  They turned up with their makeup on, hair and nails neatly done and in their best outfits.  Katie has done some amazing photos which she will give to each one.  How lovely they looked. Let's hope it will make them hold their heads high and to know they are loved and worthwhile.(continued)


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

What a day!

Yesterday, we flew out from Kathmandu to a place called Biratnagar, in the south-east of Nepal.  Katie, Raju, and his wife Simita, Grahame and I left here this morning to see a Bhutanese refuge camp  Raju had to teach at a little Bible School part of the way, so we dropped him and his wife and went on to the camp.  We had no idea, when we left here at 7 a.m. that it would be a 10 hour day.  We were unsure of what we would see.  Many Nepali Bhutanese  were chased out of Bhutan in 1992 and have been in the camps ever since.  We met a young man of 19 today who was born in the camp.  They cannot work as they would be taking jobs from the local people.  There are 40 thousand of them at present.  Originally, we are told there were 160 thousand.  So they just wait to be sent to the States or other places they have applied for.  There are 3 camps in all.  There were 9,000 in the camp we saw.  We were so amazed at what we saw.  Rows and rows of little houses made of bamboo.  The walls were like a basket weave and the roofs  were thatched.  Very humble little places but  everything was very clean.  No paper or rubbish anywhere.  We were invited to lunch at one of the elder's little houses.  We were humbled by the fuss they went to, cooking rice,dahl and even chicken, with curried vegetables.  They have so little. They get a quota of rice each week provided by UN.  We were a little worried, as Grahame and Katie are still not quite well from a meal they ate 10 days ago., but we seem OK tonight.  They tell us that 70% of the camp are Christian due to crusades that have been held by Americans and Australians.  Apparently, at first some say they are converted just because they think it will give them a better chance to get to the West.  But over time, they truly believe.  They are such lovely people.  It make the rough ride worth it.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Home alone in Kathmandu

The team will be arriving from the West at lunch time tomorrow. They will be bringing two Badi boys and four ladies for the halfway house. It will only be an overnight stay as Grahame and Robyn, Raju and samita and katie will be flying to Biratnagar where there is a refugee camp for Bhutanese refugees.
Raju and Grahame will speak at a Bible school and we will be away two nights. Linda and liat will stay in Kathmandu and continue on the work of setting up the Voc. ed. program. Sujan has done a wonderful job on the garden. Not long after he finished planting the neat rows of vegetable seeds the sky open up as if on cue and it rained all night. We have great storms here with the thunder rumbling around the hills. Its awesome. There was a very pregnant cat lying on one of the mounds and I was hoping it was not going to give birth here, but fortunately it ran away when someone came to the gate. We can do without a litter of kittens. There are already so many starving animals around the place. There is a dog in the street with an eye ball like mince meat and every time I go out there he is "eyeballing me". Poor thing. I was being followed to closely by a cow today. I had an encounter once before with a bull and I don't want a repeat performance. Looking out our window we see clapped out taxis, motor bikes, funny little men with funny little bikes, with funny little things they are selling.Then the odd cow or two, then the very handsome rooster and his fat hen, women in their bright clothing, and the excruciating sounds of men expectorating. That I won't miss.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Hostel visit

I have just returned from visiting the new little girls.  What a difference a few days make.  The barber was there giving the kids a haircut.  I'm sure that pile of hair could walk away on it's own.  The girls were happy and smiling.   They have full tummies, and had a few good night's sleep and for the first time been shown some affection.  What a houseful it is.  Trish, is you are reading this, the little girl in the pink dress is much more settled, and has the biggest big brown eyes and eyelashes that would made a cow envious.  It is so gratifying to see them respond so quickly.  I'm indulging in a cuppa and some Cadbury's chocolate, in the all too silent guest house.  I was at the Stupa (Buddhist temple) having lunch with my lovely little interpreter, when a grand procession of monks with big, red feathered hats led the way followed by some monk of some importance, presumably, as he had a canopy held over his head.  Round and round they marched around the circular building, followed by many of the faithful. Much trumpet blowing etc. etc.  All of this ceremony and ritual, straining for approval of a god.  How blessed we are.



well, four of our team are sitting here waiting for the taxi to take them to the airport.  It will be like a morgue here. Me, myself and I.  Grahame and team will be here on Sunday.  We are rejoicing, as we have just received 22 sponsorships, so all the bedraggled little girls who arrived last week, all have sponsors.  There is another group of girls coming . I'm not quite sure how many, but it will be a bus load.  I finally finished the stories of the doll-making class.  I was totally wrung out afterwards.  It is inconceivable what had happened to these women.  It is beyond the imaginations of any of us.    Today, I have one little teenager to talk to, and then to photograph the new girls, get their names, and ages, and some background information.  When we come back in September, once they have settled down, we might be able to find out a little more about them.


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Thursday,Braced for interviews

Yesterday, was the last day for the training.  Margaret and Gloria's cooking class was a great success and the girls turned out beautiful cupcakes . They had a little party afterwards.  Then we all had lunch together.  Sujan has cooked lunch for us for the past two weeks.  The first week there were about 26 and the second week about 16.  The sewing class finished also and I was so proud of my ladies and the lovely dolls they created.  They had such good ideas about colour co-ordinations .  We then had our foot-washing event.  This is always a highlight for me.  They had such brown little feet, some showing the hardness of life here.  One lady, who has had such a difficult life, was very reluctant and we both shed tears as she finally agreed.  They always insist of reciprocating.  afterwards I also had a lovely massage. They learn these technics  in their beauty training.  It was lovely.  Head massage, shoulders, arms legs and feet.  I was very floppy afterwards.  Afterwards I began listening to their individual stories.  We only got through 2 in two and a half hours, and I was totally drained afterwards.  How anyone can survive what these young women have been through is unbelievable.  Watching them laughing and dancing , it is impossible to conceive what nightmares must be lurking behind the smiling facade.  Today, the whole day will be taken up with stories.  I'll be glad when it is over.
Grahame rang this morning from out in the bush.  Three of the ladies have had stomach troubles , but are OK now, but. Grahame has come down with it.  He will stay close to the house today.  The joys of the third world.  There are many joys here though.  The passion of these people is so inspiring.  We just love them so much.  Margaret, Barry andGloria are off today to the tourist area off Kathmandu.
They have worked hard and long days, so they are having a social day before flying home tomorrow. Joanna arrives this morning from out in the bush and she returns to Oz tomorrow as well.  I will be here on my own for two days.
Sujan and his wife are here in the little flat upstairs in case there is some drama that requires a Nepalese speaker


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I surrender all.

Yesterday, Tuesday, I could hear lovely singing and it sounded very non-Nepali.  Then, I recognised that it was a tune I knew. "I surrender all".  I had to find out where it was coming from. Just around the corner in the little tailor shop, was a gathering of about 10 people, in full view of all passers by, in their little home group.  Margaret and Gloria and I joined in with them.  One lady was very sick with Kidney Stones, and she asked if we would ask our Father for help.  We were glad to do so.  So nice to feel so free, when we find other brothers and sisters in far-away-lands.  We had another problem with the power last night.  Just our floor was without electricity.  Sujan, our helper, went and got an electrician.  He was here in 10 minutes.  Imagine getting a electrician at home in that time.  A new fuse plus his labour cost me about 80cents.  Today, we complete our sewing and cooking classes.  I will miss them .  They are so responsive, and so full of love.  These classes have been a breath of fresh air for them.  something new, and fun.  Margaret taught them some funny action song, and they love it.  They taught us a fun game called "Shakey, Shakey, Shakey, all around the house" where we stand all in a circle, and the one in the middle, has to wiggle their hips as they sing, them cover our eyes, and point to someone in the circle, and then it is their turn.  They think it is hilarious  when we wiggle, especially Barry.  He is a lot of fun .  They love it when we are silly.


Go west where life is really tough

Hi all,
Grahame here.
I don't blog much as Robyn is doing a great job keeping you up to date.
Linda, Liat, Joanna and myself left Kathmandu late last Saturday with Raju and Rabita (Primary Principal CCS1) for Nepalgunj and on to Surkhet.
We stayed at our usual comfortable hotel in Nepalgunj for 2 nights.
On Sunday we drove west to a village in Bangi where we met up with the pastor Bharat and his wife  Sita who attended the ETS training in January 2012  and we met Balkumari  who has been through the Bible school.  Sita and Balkumari are teaching in one teacher village schools and as they are bother christian who have been though some initial training with us we have decided, in faith, to commit to support them both and continue their training. We were primarily there to Baptise  17 new believers. They are of the Tharu people group and this is the first church HCM have planted in this people group.
We were also asked to speak at a youth program in another Tharu village. It was an ordeal getting there as the road had been blocked due to an upgrade of sorts. They cam and got Raju and Rabita on a motor bike while our van back tracked and took a wide arc on rough roads for an extra 40 minutes.
Both Raju and I spoke there and they are keen to attend out Youth Rally and training planned for Surkhet next September.
On Monday morning we visited the disabled Badi village and photographed 31 girls for the new hostel.
After the shops opened in Nepalgunj we purchased a new bicycle for Bharat as they live 25km from the church and the bike they have is very old and has no gears. It takes them two and one half hours to pedal to church and also to discipleship classes midweek and two and one half hours home again. This is on some of the roughest roads covered in bulldust in the dry and mud in the wet.
Talk about commitment.  More tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Hard labour

Across the street, a four floor building is being built, with a flat roof on the top.  There  is a little woman who looks in her 50's.  She comes up from the ground floor with a large basket on her back and a strap around her head to bear the weight.  Her basket is full of bricks.  She trudges up each floor with her very heavy load.  When she gets to the top of the 4th floor, then there is a spiral staircase to the roof .  She clings to each bar on the railing, and drags herself up one painful step at a time.  She has been doing it all day.  If we are inclined to complain about our workload, or how badly done by we are, remember the lady with the bricks.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Monday 15th

Last Saturday, we went to Dololghat, about 2hours drive from the city.  It is a lovely drive through the country though it was very smoggy and we couldn't see the lovely mountains.  There is a huge statue of the god Shiva on top of a hill.  It is 143 feet high and gold.  Apparently, the creator of the statue put his own face on the idol.  Delusions of grandeur!  The church is in a little loft above some funny little shops.  When we got there, I couldn't find the building until I realised it,was partially demolished.  We had to scramble of the piles of bricks etc. and then mount the stairs, covered in rubble, to climb into the loft.  The  owner is rebuilding the shops on the street front.  It is such a different experience from the main church in Kathmandu.  
Raju is making a DVD of some traditional dancing, incorporating the church band.  We were blessed to see the draft of it the other night.  We are hoping to have finished DVD when we come home.  The girls,look so beautiful in their colourful costumes.  
Some of them are our sponsored girls.  We hardly recognised them.  Their   movements are so graceful.  We were told the other night that the little girls from Rukum mostly live in caves.  No wonder they are in such a state when they arrive.


Happy New Year

Don,t think that I am going crazy.  It was New Year,s Day yesterday in the year 2070 in Nepal.  It was a relatively quiet affair.  No wild parties.  Even our local dogs, who usually drive us crazy at night, were quiet.  It has taken me over an hour to get on line today.  I have also missed a couple of days because Grahame and half the team have gone too
Chinchiu  with his laptop, and my I pad didn't want to co-operate, but we seem to have sorted it out.  One of the ladies in my sewing class never seemed to talk much and we wondered if she was deaf.  apparently, is does have hearing problems, but I found out that someone  had cut her tongue in the place she lived before so she has to sort of sign.  the other ladies seem to be able to follow along.  he cooking classes for the younger ones had finished this week and the older ones are doing the training this week.  We will finish their dolls also.  It was my birthday yesterday and it was a lovely day, I took my sponsored little girl out to lunch, along with our son,s girl also.  Margaret took out two other girls who are sponsored by friends.  We took them to Mexican style place that makes great pizza,s. Boy! Can these skinny little girls eat.  Then, last night, I had a surprise birthday cake and a bouquet of flowers and a beautiful Pashmina, arranged by  Raju even though he is 600 km. away.  Our lovely young man , Sujan, who is here to make sure that we have everything we need, very subtly, asked if I had any candles.  Then with a look of pride, he led me downstairs to present me with a lovely gluten free cake with chocolate icing.  I am hoping the ladies who are out at
Chinchiu will blog of their experiences. They will be having some amazing experiences though the going will be tough.  We had installed a water filter, so we don,t have to carry boxes of  water home.  We also have an ozoniser, to put our fruit and veges in and it cleans it and now we can eat fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes etc.  Of course, we are restricted to the power times, but it is a big help in giving us more variety in our diet


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Weeks end

Sewing classes are finished for this week, but the job is not finished.  I'll have to grab a half hour each day after the cooking classes they will be in next week.  Margaret and Gloria have just finished their first week of their classes and the girls have turned out the most beautiful cupcakes with very fancy icing on the top.  To end the day, they had a little party and then had a foot washing ceremony with the girls.  They were very touched by it and then insisted washing Gloria and Margaret's feet.  Every one had to have their turn.  They will have the cleanest  feet in all of Kathmandu.  The whole place is always covered in dust.  Wipe off the dust and in a few hours everything is covered again.  Last night, at 2 a.m. we had a procession of monks through the street, blowing a horn and chanting.  Apparently the horn they use is the shin bone of a human.  I was wishing I had a bucket of water  to dampen  their ardour.

Last night we had dinner at pastor Raju's house -what a welcome we had

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Baking Class

Namaste from Nepal! What an absolute privilege to be working with these amazing girls. This year my friend Gloria Higgins has come to help in the baking class and what a difference she makes!! The classroom is organised and calm instead of the chaos of last year. We also have Modu who will take over the class when I leave. She speaks quite good English so is able to interpret as well.
Another thing that has made a huge difference this year is the booklets we are using. They have the recipes in English and Nepali plus a photo of every step. Today, some of the girls will be making a batch of cupcakes, piping and decorating all on their own. They will just use the booklets. Many many thanks to my friend Steph Edwards for making up these booklets. they are invaluable. There will be an assessment of their work but this is low key as we don't want to make them nervous. They are doing really well. It's hard to explain how it feels to look at their happy faces knowing their tragic stories. Their love for God is so evident. Tow of them prayed for me on the first day and it was hard to hold back the tears. They teach us so much.
Margaret Dell

Lit up in Kathmandu

Finally, we have our power restored.  We got an electrician to check the house and apparently, the wiring is in a bad state.  We have a voltage regulator sitting on our fridge which has made a great difference and we have settled down to our normal power shortages.   Grahame and our photographer, are meeting 26 new little girls at the bus at 7a.m. this morning.  They will be very weary after an 18 and half hour trip on a rough, winding road and probably being sick all the way.  We are looking forward to seeing our new little ones.  We will need to hear their stories, but will need to wait till they settle down a bit.  Margaret's cooking class is going very well.  She has 14 girls and we can smell aromas of cooking cakes wafting through the house.  And inspect, with awe, all the colourful cake decorations they are enthusiastically churning out.  The ladies in my class will be doing the cooking class next week.  It will be quiet here for a week, as quite a few of the team are going out to the west for almost a week.  Joanna will be setting up the new little school out there.  One young woman from here will be the principal, and another teacher, plus two in training.  Katie will be doing her magic photography of all the events.  So I will be here with Margaret, Barry, and Gloria.  We feed all the trainees for lunch plus all 11 in the team.  Fortunately, we have a fine young man who cooks that meal, which gives me a break, only leaving the evening meal to do for everyone.  Everyone got in yesterday, when the power was on, and cleaned,and vacuumed etc.  The dust in this place is indescribable.  Everything in the house is covered in a layer of dust.  It is back there again every day.  We have had a lot of tradies here to repair the many things that seem to be breaking down here.  Lets pray that we have got all the bugs sorted out now.  Linda and Liat will be here for 10 weeks, so we don't want them to have those sorts of things to have to worry about.  Out September team has grown to 27.  I'm glad I have two ladies coming next time who will be a great help with the cooking.  We bought an ioniser  to put the fruit and veges in so that we can eat them uncooked.  Naturally, it hasn't had much use to date with the power problems but now we can eat some the the lovely grapes, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  We can now have salad for lunch.  We have to blog early in the morning, as the traffic on the internet after about 8 a.m is horrendous.            Robyn

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The teachers at Milpani have been attending classes each day from 1-5 and as I have said before I admire them for their dedication. Most of them get up early and attend college before coming to school and also are very committed to helping out at home each afternoon and night.
Sometimes it is a challenge understanding each other but we have also found some common ground because we are all teachers. as usual I am a bit loud, silly and like to get carried away on my favourite topics. We have found that laughter is a cross-cultural language and I don't mind being the reason for that!!
The other day throughout the three hours we ran 10 different English groups and throughout the girls were able to talk about their learning together, think of other uses for each activity and most of all be active and have fun learning. Today I will be listening as they share some good teaching ideas with each other. I am really looking forward to this!!!

Tuesday - Electricity in the air.

Yesterday, we were overjoyed to see a man up a pole fixing our spaghetti wires. but our joy was short-lived.  We still have some power, but our fridge was not co-operating.  The fridge in the kitchen downstairs was working, so everything was run down there.  Then we discovered that one switch in the kitchen turned the whole house off, all four floors.  Charging our equipment is a constant frustration .Anyway, we are determined to get some one here today and get this crazy system sorted out.  It is bad enough with 10 hours off a day, without all this when it is "sort of" on.  We had our birthday party yesterday with our little 15 year old.  I got a cake with chocolate shavings on the top, and bought her two little bracelets.  She was  so happy , a bit stunned, to receive all the attention.  Her little face was beaming as she opened her little gift and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her.  It is one of the highlights of our trip so far.  The women are doing so well with the sewing.  They really have taken to the project with gusto.  We actually had a garbage collection yesterday.  First in 10 days.  Someone heard the whistle blowing and we all flew downstairs and ran to the gate to fling our bags of very smelly rubbish in the back of the truck.  We are getting more organised though.  We are going to dig all our vege scraps into the garden, burn our paper and then the rest can to go to the "garbo" when we see him again, whenever that is


Monday, 8 April 2013


Well, the "bunda" has come and gone so it turned out to be a rest day for us as we needed to stay at home.  Needless to say, we still have only one phase of electricity.  We have to pay a man to fix it today as if we wait for the electricity department, it will never happen.  We got our generator serviced yesterday so we managed to pump up enough water to keep us going for another day.  Any one travelling yesterday had to sneek around the back streets on their bikes.  Apparently, there were marches in different parts of the city, but all has returned to normal (Nepali normal that is).  I tried to use the washing machine yesterday, but because the power was so low I couldn't run the washing and spinning at the same time on our little twin tub.  So while the spinner was going I stuck my arm in the washing tub part, and was the manual agitator.  My doll classes resume today, till the end of the week.  One of our girls, one of the three new arrivals I told you about earlier had a birthday yesterday.  She is only 15.  So today we plan a little surprise party for her at the end of the day.  Margaret and her team begin their cooking classes today.  They have a long day beginning 9a.m. to 4 p.m..  for the next two weeks.  That is a long time to be standing in a kitchen, especially for people in their 60's.  Some of us plan to take out our little sponsored girls out on Saturday after church, so we look forward to that


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Dramas in Kathmandu

 We have had 48 hours without power and it has been very frustrating.  When there is no power, we have no water as it has to be  pumped up into the tanks on the roof.  We are twelve in number, and we couldn't flush the toilets, have a shower, or even get water to make a cuppa.  We had to borrow electricity from a neighbour for half an hour to pump the water up to the roof.  It is strange because we can get a few lights to come on.  We have had no refrigeration either so I have to throw out a lot of food.  The problem is not  load shedding but some power problem on our side of the street  and if you look at the power lines like bundles of spaghetti, I can't possibly imagine how it will ever be fixed.    We went to church this morning, and one of our girls gave her testimony.  Then Liz left for the airport heading home.  This evening, Raju took us out to dinner as a "thank you" for the Aussie contribution to the school and the training.  Tomorrow, there is a "bunda" ( strike)  There are 30 political parties flexing their political muscle , so no one can travel in the whole of Nepal, for the next 24 hours.  No cars, bikes, buses.  We have been advised to stay indoors as foreigners could compound the problem.  So much for our planning and training.  It is a good thing we cancelled Bill Newmans trip as the situation in not a good one at present.


Friday, 5 April 2013

Friday. What a week,

Today is a day off for the team so two of the ladies left early this morning for a mountain flight to get up close and personal with Everest and then later the whole team are going touring for the day.  Grahame and I have many things to do today with shopping and collecting four more team members, buying pillows, things in general as we are still trying to set up the guest house. We ran out of water again today because the electricity didn't come on and we couldn't pump the water up into the tanks.  Fortunately we have a generator here and Grahame is at present sorting out our water problems.  What would we do without our men when it comes to things like that.  Liz will be heading home tomorrow, having had a great time.  There is so much to see and learn about this country and a week is not  even enough to touch the surface.  She has been a great team member, just a joy to be with.  We always meet  different people each time with different skills, so it is always interesting dynamics.  The sewing class continued yesterday.  They all arrived late the first day (typical nepali) and I told them that was disrespectful  to the teacher, so every other day, 5 mins early every day.  I was very proud of them.  Yesterday, Linda took the class training them in painting the faces on the dolls. She is much more capable than I am.  I had a talk with them after  class about Rahab, and other days, Ruth and a Sychar encounter.  They love stories.    

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

First Milpani School Visit

Yesterday was my first time at the Milpani School Campus. The teachers were very friendly and I was able to surprise them by remembering that some of them had been in the Service on Sunday in the dances and singing and I could tell them what they had been wearing. This pleased them greatly and I thanked God for giving me that great visual recall as it made them feel special.
I was very nervous but thought I would start the teaching session with a song - I do not have a great voice and it is even harder with nerves but the second time they joined in and their lovely voices encouraged me a lot. The teachers were hesitant to participate initially but with lots of encouragement and some smiley stamps (!) they became more animated and eagerly relayed what their peers had said in a think,pair, share activity and I learned that nearly all of them leave school at 5 and then help their mothers or in-laws with chores,shopping and dinner, study, cyber and then sleep and then early in the morning prepare food for the family and tomorrow get up and do it all again. Some of the teachers travel for one hour each way to school. they certainly are dedicated and it encourages me to see how committed they are to their jobs.
We talked about the two parts of spelling; phonics -the sound and phonemes - the formation and knowledge of the letters.  We then had a go at listening to sounds and spoke about the importance of listening well. We had a bit of fun doing a Mr Tongue rhyme which helps students practice correct tongue positions for different sounds. We made plenty of time to see their rooms and talk about what they currently do in their classes I have many ideas running around in my head now for today. I am keen to get their students moving and as they are my students at the moment we will be having some fun and learning today as we do many simple fine motor activities that they can easily prepare for their own nursery and Kindergarten students to build their hand/wrist strength and co-ordination well before they start writing.

joanna henderson

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Easter Sunday

Wow! what a day.  The hired concert hall was packed to the rafters, the stage was filled with all the band, or should I say orchestra, and all the singers; the young women looking  spectacular in their glittering saris.  It was a wonderful sight.  We sang some lovely choruses, even one we knew, Above All".  Then we were entertained by a traditional Nepalese band with all sorts of strange instruments.  While they were playing, an old lady came to the front dancing gracefully to the music.  She was soon joined by some young men, who danced a little more vigourously; Raju's Dad joined in too.  It was lovely to see them celebrate.  So different to our culture.  Then we were blessed to watch two national dance events.  Hard to describe, but wonderful to watch.  Then we saw 40 of our young girls from the hostels singing as a choir.   Raju then preached an impassioned message about Easter.  All in all it was a great day.  We left home at 10 a.m. and got home about 5 p.m.  Long day.  We saw our beautiful little babies from the Miriam centre.  They have grown so fat in the last 2 months.  I was so glad to see little Miriam looking well after her operation.