10 May, 2010

New Bus!

The new bus is here! The HVP-Nepal school in Dang (where the children attend) just received their much awaited new bus. The old bus which they call the WWII bus (as it looks like it has been through a war) has taken its last trip and will now be retired with honors. HVP bought the used bus 19 years ago and their mechanics have managed to keep it running…up until now. The new bus was driven carefully to the school by the giddy bus driver. The driver was acting like a kid in a candy store –it was so funny to watch. A language barrier cannot hinder the understanding of certain emotions.
The bus was properly ‘blessed’ and marked with a tika (blessing mark on the forehead) and then incense were lit and waved around the bus and in the engine for. Sweets (little cake rolls things) were then given to everyone who stopped by and I was told that it’s common to give sweets for a special occasion. It was really special to witness how the children gathered around to partake in the blessing and also to touch and climb into the bus for a quick glance. After that the driver took the bus to the Ambikeshwori Temple, an ancient temple in Ghorahi to have it blessed there as well.

One of the teachers told me that the blessings are to ask god to keep the children safe while in the bus and also to keep anyone around the bus safe (in the case of an accident). That is one of the many wonderful things about this country –the time and effort (and ceremony) put into things others may take for granted. Maybe I’ll try to fly Nepali Airlines!

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