It was with mixed feelings that we woke up on day 3. We were exhausted after the grueling drive the day before and we dreaded (at least Laurie and I did, who had done it before) the 3 hour off-road drive to Belauri. But, we were also very excited to see the children. We had talked about this for so long and Sam and David had heard about this place so many times that they couldn't wait to go. After all, this is one of the main reasons why we came to Nepal.
So, we met Delindra and took of in our Jeep. We decided to purchase some things for the children before we took of, like backpacks and school material, and then headed for the dreaded oh-so-you-call-this-a-road drive. When I asked Delindra about any improvements to the road he said "no, not really" but when we spotted Belauri after only 1 hour I just chalked that up to "lost in translation" and was happy to arrive 2 hours earlier than expected...and as always with a mixture of excitement and nervousness that came over all us as we turned onto the street where the apartment is. David and Sam and Laurie had never met the children so this was the big meet!
In short, everybody had a really good time. First, it's greetings and awkwardness. Then it is small hugs and attempts at communication. Laughing and giggling all the time. Nervous looks. Excited looks. Running in and out of rooms.
Then as the nerves settled a bit Sam and David and the children started playing and having a great time getting to know each other. It was a joy to see. I was also very impressed to see that they ate all the food they were given. I mean, here we are in Far West Nepal and out in a field in a tiny village being served home cooked Nepali food...and they loved it and ate it all up. Not just hot dogs, fries, hamburgers, Pizza and Tacos!
The drone flying experience was a little strange. As we went out to the local field/park to have fun with the children and play football and volleyball and see Sam fly his drone, hundreds of children and youth came to watch. Most of them were kind and sweet and curious but the older youth were not so kind...or at least trying to be cool. It was just a little much and when they started to make the Family Home children uncomfortable we left. It was just better playing together at the apartment without the massive attention and they really found stuff to do or say. Again, impressive.
As for Laurie and I we went from hugging and playing and talking to the children to being with Sunita and Delindra checking on how things were going with them and the children and the Family Home in general. Things are going well! The book keeping is getting much better. The children are healthy and doing better in school (some as good as top 3 in the school). The houseparents are happy...but also looking forward to a bigger place.
I forgot to tell you! In Dhangadi we had taken the time to visit the new house we have rented to the Family Home. We decided together that they needed to move, for lots of logistical reasons, to a bigger city and a bigger place...and this house is nice. Brand new, three levels, great kitchen, 4 bathrooms and a yard. It is down a quiet alley but not far from the city center. We (and Delindra and Sunita) are very excited about the move!
There isn't really much to say as far as details about what else happened these two days (or if there is, I will write it tomorrow). We just enjoyed visiting the Family Home and seeing our and their children bond. I think this was one of those "memories for a lifetime" moments. It made the whole journey worth it. Here are some great pictures from two wonderful days:
|Visiting India (notice the white border stone in the background)|
|Driving to Belauri|
|Driving to Belauri|
|Driving to Belauri|
|The poorest of the poor live in these "tents" on government land.|
|Grass roof, clay or stick walls|
|Smiles all around|
|The new house for the "Family Home" in Dhangadi|
|As per usual, waiting, by ourselves, as we get to the Family Home to see what is going to happen|
|Laurie showing them her new guitar|
|A small part of the crowd coming to see Sam's drone...and the white people :)|