Newsletter no 4 2019
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Newsletter no. 4 2019 from KMCH Support Group
Ekerö 2 of October 2019
Hello, Namaste och Thashi Delek
This newsletter contains mainly reflections on our journey to the school home this spring. There is a longer text by Elisabeth and Mats and a brief reflection by Pär. News from the school home, about our students and about Nepal and Humla will be included in the next newsletter.
Impressions from our trip in Nepal by Mats and Elisabet
Mats and I have for a few years talked about to accompany one of KMCH's travels to the school home in Yangar in Humla. We have been impressed by the work of the support team, to give children and young people in Humla the opportunity to go to school. So, of course we said Yes when we were asked to follow along on the trip in mid-April. To imagine how the trip would be was not easy, but we got good information in the emails from our travel companions and from Chembal. When we, in retrospect, read Hans newsletter from the beginning of April, most of it feels so familiar – it was about so our journey was.
On 19 April we flew from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, where we stayed with Candy, at the hostel Traveler`s Village. It was a good dinner and a chat out in the garden before we went to bed. When we woke up early the next morning it was with a feeling in the body that today the adventure begins. After breakfast we went to the airport. The weather looked promising, so we'd probably get away soon. And at 9 o'clock it was time to embark on the small propeller plane. I (Elizabet) was fortunate enough to sit at the front, at the window. It was a fantastic flight! We flew over snow-capped peaks, sometimes so close that it felt like we could touch them. In less than an hour it was time for landing in Simikot.
After installing us at Paradise hotel and some tea we went for a walk through the village. There was full activity and of course some people looked at us with interest. Among other things, we were stopped by a couple of teenage girls who wanted to talk to us. After our conversation we went on, now with a little boy in company, and soon came to a small temple. There we met the boy's father, who went with the help of crutches. Thanks to Italo's knowledge of Nepali, we were told that the man had a spinal cord injury that needed surgery, but he couldn't afford to pay for the operation. This is just one example of the great poverty that prevails in Humla.
On the way back to the hotel Lallo, Jonatan and I (Elisabet) went together when one of the teenage girls that we met earlier came up and asked if we wanted to go to her home and have tea. We accepted and were invited to the house, where she lived with her parents and her brother. She lit fire in the small wood stove, sitting on the floor and invited us to tea. The girl talked pretty good English and we realized that she was 18 years old, was an atheist and that she had no plans to have a boyfriend or marry. She wanted to study further, preferably in Kathmandu. She was also curious about us and we had a nice conversation.
|At the girl in Simikot||Cooking in Kermi|
One of the highlights during the hikes to and from the school home was the meals in Kermi. (See picture above.) We stayed there in two rooms in a private home. One room was a prayer room and the other was a storeroom. After several hours of hiking in warmth and radiant sun and bathing in a hot spring, we were a bit frozen when the temperature went down and the evening cold took off. Then it was magical to step over the high threshold into the warmth of the large kitchen. It was rather dark and smoky in there. The only light that was in the room came from the wood stove. We sat on carpets that were laid out on the floor around it. At the stove sat the wife of the house and cooked food to us. The food consisted of rice, potatoes, vegetable mess and fried bread that we ate with honey. It tasted divinely. After the dinner we sat and talked about the day's hike and what was awaiting us tomorrow. With the help of Chembal, we also asked some questions to the couple who lived in the house. Our two horse men were also with us at the meal.
One of the more emotional occasions was when we arrived at the school home. The staff and children had had a reconnaissance after us to be prepared for our arrival. When we turned around the last bend before the school home, we were welcomed in a way that we never will forget. All 67 children and adolescents were standing in a row in age order, with the youngest first. They sang a welcome song and as we walked along, we got flowers, shawls (kathas) or wreaths. Several had painted signs with texts, expressing gratitude to KMCH for the possibility of a better life. Not an eye was dry.
After installing us in our room, which in normal served as a prayer room, and on Fridays and Saturdays also as a TV room, it was time for the great Welcome show. They spread out a large tarpaulin on the ground and built benches around. Then one in the staff presented one song and dance number after the other. We also got to hear some poems. Some of the children were dressed in beautiful folk costumes. Even we guests made a small appearance by singing a song. On one of the benches Chembal sat together with his parents, who had walked here to join and welcome us.
One day we visited the school and the monastery in the neighboring village of Yalbang. We followed the pupils from the school home in the morning. The school day started with a line-up in the schoolyard. All the school's pupils stood on file and had morning gymnastics. They also sang some songs, before they marched to their classrooms. We in the KMCH Group met the headteacher and some teachers, to discuss, among other things, future opportunities to study up to class twelve in the school, and the quality of teaching, including English. We also had the opportunity to visit some lessons in the higher grades. 30 close-fitting teenagers listened intensely to the teacher. Impressive. When we came, the teaching was broken so that students could talk to us. We understand why this school is one of the best in the country, with such ambitious pupils and dedicated teachers.
After a short visit to the health clinic nearby, we walked to the monastery where everything began. Chembal and Hans told me that "inside that window we had tea 20 years ago". To hear the story of this, their first meeting that a few years later led to the formation of KMCH, was fascinating and impressive.
One of the days at the school home we were invited to lunch at the home of Chembal's parents. They live in an elderly living; A collection of houses located in the hillside near the village of Yangar. The children and other relatives help them to cope with everyday life. When we arrived, we were welcomed by Chembal's mother, father and one of their son's wife, who frequently work at the school home. The house consisted of a kitchen and a room. In the room we sat on thick carpets on the floor around a low table.
These nice and generous people offered good food and drink and on themselves. As when they told me about when they, many years ago, saw traces of a Yeti and about how to see the difference between a male-Yeti and a female-Yeti. We also learned how to behave if we should meet a Yeti. Amazing! We asked many questions and Chembal worked great in the role of interpreter. After an incredibly fascinating moment, we went up to the school home again.
From the arriving to the school home and until we leaved we felt so welcome. At first, some of the children were a bit shy and hesitant, but this quickly went over. Jonathan, the youth of our group, contributed a lot to this. He played with the children, all the time with the camera on standby, and then showed the pictures for the children.
The older girls almost at once looked at me (Elizabeth), because I was the only woman in the group. Several of the girls were skilled in English and translated to those who couldn't or dared to speak English. Of course, they were curious about me; If I was married and had children, what I worked with and so on. I also got questions about Sweden, about politics and weather. And I asked my questions; about how they enjoyed the school home and the school, about their future plans and dreams.
Everyone wanted to continue to study after class 10 and their dreams often showed a desire to work to help other people. I was really fascinated by how much warmth and security they radiated. And such joy! One of the evenings I got a new hairstyle, with small tresses and flowers, another evening a drawing of two birds, dedicated to Mats and me. And then came the last evening, when they asked for a long conversation with me. We pushed ourselves into the upper floor of the bunk beds, talked and laughed. So nicely we had it then and so hard it was to leave them and the other kids a few hours later.
The next morning, we took some photos of the group. Then the children and staff stood on a line, just as the day when we arrived at the school home. This time we also got flowers, wreaths and kathas, before we started our hike back. As long as we could see and hear each other the air was resounded of the words "Tjena, Tjena", which Jonatan taught the children to say and "Bye Bye" (it meant according to one of the big girls that we would be seen again). It was a very emotive farewell.
We have here described some experiences that are particularly stuck in our memories. There is so much more to tell; The board meeting with Chembal and his brother Lakpa, about the previous year, about the completed projects and the plans for the near future, the interviews that Pär did with some of the children at the school home, meetings with other organizations with the aim to seek cooperation or money and more.
So impressive to experience a very well-functioning aid project, where we can see with our own eyes that the money given to KMCH makes a difference for so many. What also impresses is the young people's awareness of that these efforts really give them the chance to a better life. Because of that, so many of the young people have high ambitions and are focused on their studies.
The journey of spring; Pär reflects
It’s the fourth time I walk the trail from Simikot to Yangar and our children. As beautiful as ever. Extra nice this time as it’s springtime with coming greenery and growing buds. Just some weeks ago the snow covered the landscape. Anticipation. What has happened since the last time? Are the children as happy as then? Has the money we sent been used as we wished? At the arrival: There are more and happy children! The new top floor is finished! The waste bins are there! Everything is so well organized and normal, so I almost forget how difficult and complicated our project is.
Last summer the water stopped coming! Our dwell dried out, probably due to the global warming causing winters with less snow. Only small drops of water from the new water taps and the children had to carry water from the creek far away. And walk there to wash the laundry. Now there is water again! Thanks to good cooperation between the village and the authorities, successful negotiation by our director Lakpa and money from us, now enough water comes through a nine kilometer long pipe, our old big tank and a new, smaller, tank financed by the authorities. The essential water is secured! While we are there, we decide that two shower rooms and one new toilet will be built this summer. They certainly will be ready when I get here the next time. We’re so good!
We will inform about KMCH at
Ekebyhov Castle in Ekerö on Sunday 27 October at 14 am. and in
Rämshyttans Bygdegård in Borlänge municipality on Saturday 16 November.
Please book these dates if you are nearby.Support KMCH from abroad.
Greetings from the Board of
KMCH Support Group