|Cleaning out the dust, leaves and cobwebs.|
|Picking up litter with more enthusiasm than actual helpfulness|
|Steps leading down to our centre|
|Rewiring our future computer lab|
|Collecting parcels on Christmas Day|
Yesterday, Himalaya Primary School celebrated its 50th Anniversary AND formally opened the new building that Manisha UK helped to fund along with the local government. I decided that it would be great to take the gifts from Howard Junior School at the same and add to the celebrations!
I decided to make the trip my final run of the year and enjoyed 12km of undulating jeep track and some hazy views of the Annapurna Mountains on the way. Miraculously, I wasn't harassed by a single dog for once!
As usual at these events, we had to sit through lots of incredibly long, tedious speeches by local politicians. It never ceases to amaze me that they can continue talking for so long, even though it's very clear no one is listening as everyone has their own conversation. But eventually, the ribbon was cut on one big Christmas present, the new school building. This is such a huge improvement on the old building, where desks sat on uneven mud floors and noise carried from room to room. And most importantly, it's safe and children no longer have to study in classrooms that were officially condemned after the earthquake almost years ago!
After a few more speeches, and being repeatedly promised we'd be able to distribute the gifts next, impatience got the better of me. During another long, droning speech, I started calling over children and asking them to round up everyone in their class and make a line for the lucky dip. Once others saw what was happening, it wasn't hard to get them all over to me! We'd put stationary into sets and left other prizes, such as hats, on their own so that everyone would go away with a great gift. Children in Nepal so often lose their smiles as soon as a camera is pointed at them, but I can assure you there were plenty to be seen!
|The speeches were occasionally punctuated with dance. These children are wearing tradtional Magar dress.|