29 May, 2010
It happens with me and children like that; I can immerse myself into‘make believe’ for hours and recently even got into ‘princess mode’ while in DC (luckily no photo’s to prove that one –but it was do or die in the very pink and very wonderful Cannovalicious household!) Likewise, when I am in front of the class, I forget ‘what I look like’ as I use every facial expression and hand gesture to get my point across.
I have made peace with my teaching responsibility. I don’t admit to love it, but I like it – I’m beginning to enjoy the older students and dare I say, they enjoy me too!?
26 May, 2010
I love the children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”. It’s a great cause/effect story. The title of this post emulates the short story of what happens when ‘You Give a Nepali Boy Named Kishan a Camera".
On this beautiful cloudy (NOT hot…yet) morning I grabbed my camera to take a couple of shots of the neighbor kids who always find their way to CPH when they are not tending their animals or working. After the photo shoot (another blog post forthcoming) I helped Soraj edit his ‘background story’ which we are preparing in send to WatOpot Children’s Community in Cambodia –thus starting an amazing vulnerable children’s connection in different countries (yet another blog post forthcoming with more info…).
25 May, 2010
24 May, 2010
CPH has about 5 huge mango trees here and they are dripping with fruit!, but unfortunately this year they will not ripen (not sure why) which is very unfortunate since mango in my opinion are ‘fruit of the gods’, they are so delicious!
The frustrating thing for me is that I am super allergic to mango sap or the skin of the mango. I can eat the fruit by the handful, but give me one fresh from the tree (or even one in the supermarket) and I get this rash starting up my arms. I first found this out when I lived in
and was covered in a rash one day. I thought I had poison ivy or oak, but since there was none of that on the island, the dr. said it was probably mango’s as it has the same reaction in people as a poisonous leaf. I got it time and again in Hawaii until medication wouldn’t cure it and I had to get a shot to rid it from my body. I shied away from mango’s after that and once back in the continental US, instead of mango sap, I suffered through the poison oak my dog, Mattie, would bring me each time we went on a hike –sort of like a special reminder of our fun day together. Hawaii
I really don’t mind that I’m allergic as actually getting the fruit from a mango is not so easy. The skin isn’t always easy to peel off and the fruit sticks to the large seed inside. In DC, there was a woman selling ziplock baggies full of cold sliced mango on the corner near where I lived. She charged around 2.00 for a bag and it was worth every cent on a blazing hot day. Once my friend questioned the price and I said “Just pay it! Do you know how much work that women went through?” I didn’t tell her that some days, I would slip the woman a $5 bill slurring out ‘keep the change’ as my mouth watered and my eyes glazed over at the beautiful orange mango flesh.
22 May, 2010
21 May, 2010
I’ve watched hundreds of children over the years ‘play house’. Usually little girls, but on occasion the little boy (who’s future as a father/husband looks bright) joined in. In all my many years of observing children ‘make do’ with limited household supplies, today has definitely topped the list in ingenuity and imagination.
I stumbled upon Satyata and Jyoti playing house. I didn’t know what they were playing at first as my Nepali isn’t even up to their level yet and their ‘game pieces’ were unrecognizable; but then I realized their actions could only mean one thing. Their ‘babies’ were an empty water bottle and part of broken bat that the boys broke earlier playing cricket. They were using leaf dishes and Jyoti was flipping a bowl full of little stones the same way I have seen the older girls do with wheat or rice to remove their husks. Satyata then was picking through her imaginary grain removing the stones; which took REALLY good imagination as she was picking choice stones out of her plate full of stones.
Jyoti then jumped up to get her water bottle baby and drapped it over her shoulder –it must have been crying! She also was wearing a long piece of discarded material around her neck (like a scarf). It’s hard to get any good shots of the kids without them knowing since as soon as someone sees a camera they shout “ONE PHOTO MISS!”
Luckily I did get a couple of shots in before the other children saw me. Check out the video if you get a chance it's less than a minute.
20 May, 2010
Soon here comes the wasp just beeboppin’ along and then the buzzing intensified as he spotted his defunct home. The wasp was probably a little confused at first and then was just plain pissed! The buzzing went on for awhile in trying to find an answer to the mystery of the missing nest. I found myself thinking “don’t look this way, don’t look this way” as I sat not moving a muscle. The wasp finally gave up and flew back out my door. I hope it’s not coming back and that it tells all its wasp friends to stay away from the ‘room with the disappearing nest’.
I was checking out an organization in
- http://www.watopot.org/- that helps HIV+ orphans and while looking at some photo’s of the children they have there, three of the CPH teenageish boys wandered into the ‘office’. They immediately wanted to know about the children I was looking at. I explained to them that most of the children are HIV positive and other children are there because their parents have died of AIDS. Cambodia
I asked them if they knew about AIDS and they said yes, that they learned about it in a class at school called Civics, population (I think) and Health. I was very impressed about the class but moreso about the boys desire to find out the AIDS statistics in
. After we had looked up where Nepal Cambodia was and the prevelance of HIV AIDS there, we then found a link to . The last statistic shows Nepal as having 70,000 people living with HIV+ (no data was available for how many were children –which the boys really wanted to know). They thought 70,000 was a lot until I showed them the data for countries in Africa (some in the millions) and the Nepal (over a million). US is one of the better countries for infection rate. Nepal
The boys then wanted to know what people have AIDS and we read about Sex Workers and drug use as being the main culprits. The United Nations site we were on mentioned that the biggest spread of the disease into
Nepal was the migrant workers going to in search for work (obviously bringing more than money back home to their wives). I found it interesting that while discussing the way it is spread (sex workers; men having sex with men; etc.) that there wasn’t an uncomfortable feeling as we (a woman and teen boys) discussed some intimate matters regarding the disease. India
They wanted to know the statistic in their region, Dang. We couldn’t find data on that, but we did find an article where there was an AIDS awareness in this district and read about that and then looked up the statistics in some of the towns in
India that border . Nepal
We went back to the
site and looked at the children some more. Their genuine concern for these children who did not have parents was evident. They looked through all the photo’s and then at the newest arrival at Wat Opot a tiny HIV+ baby girl. http://www.watopot.org/update-on-ann-marie/ They wanted to know if she was going to be alright, and I said, I think so, but you never know. She was born with an incurable disease and is sick and her mother died already of the disease. One of the boys said “oh, I think she looks good and will get better because there is medicine for her”. Cambodia
A very memorable time here at CPH.
19 May, 2010
We finally made it to his family’s house along the way stopping at his “sister’s’ house (although he only has one sister, Satyata’s mother who lives in Butwal) and then another stop at his ‘brother’s’ house (although he has no brothers) When I finally mentioned the discrepencacy, he asked what I call my sister’s husband, to which I replied “brother-in-law”. He said, yes, my bro-in-law, that’s where we stopped at, which made even less sense to me and just added to my confusion.