15 April, 2010

Happy New Year

Today is Nepal’s New Year. The day started by everyone gathering in the prayer room and singing. Along with Bhola, Jaya and Ama, Bhola’s brother and his family and his sister all came (along with other family members). After the songs, Ama blessed everyone by marking the forehead and giving the children sweets, money and other toys. The children were VERY excited. The kids here really are treated as their own although there are almost 30 of them. Upon our return from Kathmandu each child was given a bag of sweet mango (I think) and the other day they had their own package of crackers. (I was able to snag one of those myself).

After the festivities we ate our meal and then I gave the camera to the kids and told them to ‘have at it’. I figured I would test out my new Olympus Stylus Tough Camera (shockproof up to 6.6 ft and waterproof to 33 ft.). The camera survived and I was able to get in a couple of shots. Here are some photo’s the children took:

Bhola’s sister wanted a photo of me and her and then the other women wanted in too. Ama was overjoyed (but honestly, I’ve yet to find out when she’s not) and wanted her photo with the ladies and then with me. She then arranged her things and motioned for me to take a photo of her with them. She was like a little kid as she wanted to “see the photo” as soon as it was taken. Just being around her makes me feel closer to my own grandmother who’s around the world and about 15 years older. The tradition here (out of respect) is after each day when we gather to pray before the evening meal, all the children youngest to oldest bow with hands in prayer position to Ama as she gently places both hands on their head, the kids then go through the line of any adult that may be there. Then the adults go to Ama for her blessings. The first day I got up and went to her as her eyes lit up and she started laughing. I bowed and as she put her hands on my head I felt REALLY good inside. Now she continues to crack up each time I do it; laughing/smiling is our only way of communicating, since the only thing I’ve managed to learn at CPH is “sit down” and “mine” and “thank you” –all of which I learned from my students.

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