Let’s Celebrate! जनम िदनको शुभकामना

I’ve spent a few weeks here in Nepal and I’m no where near ready to leave yet. I’ve bonded really well with the students at the school and have become really close with my host family’s kids. Thankfully, I still had some time here but for Emre and Tim, their time was coming to a close.

Me, Tim, and Emre with Amisha, Aakash, and Amish.
Me, Tim, and Emre with Amisha, Aakash, and Amish.

For their last day at the school, the teachers and students christened them with red powder on their foreheads and cheeks and gave them a certificate of completion and appreciation. After school, Tim, Emre, Zahra, and I took one last walk together around the mountain along with the Thapa kids.





Even though today was their last day in the village, both would still spend a few days in Lakeside before they head back to Kathmandu. Meanwhile, Zahra and I were busy planning out Mina’s birthday which was just in a couple of days.

Mina's birthday was coming up! How old was she turning?...I didn't ask.
Mina’s birthday was coming up! How old she was turning…I didn’t ask.

We went to Lakeside over the weekend a bought a few gifts for her and wrapped them. We got her a new shawl, some incense candles, a mayan calendar, a wool blanket, a head garment, and a few pouches of specialty tea. We lugged those back up to the mountain in secret.

During school, Zarah and I snuck away during one of the periods and bought some balloons from a small shop nearby. The balloons were only two rupees each, so I bought a bunch of em. We definitely got we paid for; less than half the balloons were usable. The rest either had holes in them or burst upon blowing them up. We hung them around the porch and headed back up to the school without anyone seeing us.

Zahra blowing up the balloons.


These balloons sucked, but they did the trick...barely.
These balloons sucked, but they did the trick…barely.

Later on, as we followed Mina and the kids back home, she saw her newly decorated porch and thanked us. That wasn’t all the surprises we had un store for her. Later on after our dal bhat dinner, I summoned the whole Thapa family back into the kitchen and instructed them to please have a seat. A few minutes later, Tim and Emre came through with a giant chocolate cake that read “Happy Birthday Mina” in Hindi. The family didn’t expect to see Tim and Emre again but both planned in secret to come back up for the night to surprise Mina. They were thoroughly shocked.


Tim's back!
Tim’s back!
Little Aakash.
Little Aakash.

After the cake, I once again summoned everyone but into the family room this time. One by one, Zahra and I gave Mina her gifts. She didn’t expect to get so much! Once she was finished opening one gift, we handed her another and another and another. As Mina was opening up all the gifts, Amisha jokingly mentioned not to forget her birthday either which was coming up the week after. We won’t forget Amisha!



Tim and Emre spent the night, one last time in the village before we said goodbye to them again. This wouldn’t be the last time we would all see them again though. I’ll tell you how so on a later post. We shared some really great times with the kids!




For the remainder of the week, I had planned for the volleyball tournament to commence at the school. The grade 8 girls vs the grade 9 girls and then the grade 7 boys vs grade 8 boys vs grade 9 boys in a big battle!

Of course the champions of the school will get a nice prize…and I have something very special planned for the winners.

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