I volunteered with Hands with Hands at the Nandumaya Orphans Home, which is hour north of Katmandu and consists of 18 playful children between the ages of 3-13 years. Ramesh and Serala are the couple who live with the children and run the place. At night Ramesh sleeps with the 12 boys and Serala with the 5 girls. I was touched by their simplicity. No big ideals, no great philosophy - they just saw a problem and decided to be part of the solution.
Nepal and the Himalayas have always exerted a strong attraction on me. I only stayed in Nepal for a little more than two weeks and still it seemed like an eternity full of transformation, overwhelming emotional experiences and richness of heart connections.
We went to one of the self-sustained orphanage homes a little outside of Kathmandu already nearly in country side. We were all welcomed like queens; the children had painted pictures for all of us and had prepared songs and dances. Step by step they performed the entire program mixed with playing games and having fun using our digital cameras. To see all these children left without parents, coming from mostly disadvantaged families, sharing only two rooms among each other and having barely nothing -according to Western standards- and still being so cheerful, playful, funny, alive and at the same time peaceful and balanced was so deeply heart touching that really no words can describe what I felt during this visit.
I went to the small village Talamrang in the mountains 4 hours north of Kathmandu to an opening of a new school building. It was Kira, co-founder of the Hands with Hands Program, who helped to liaise with the sponsor and village - Mio and her father from Japan.
Simone writes about volunteering at the Annapurna Selfsustaining Children Home in 2008
Ich bin Simone und bin 44 Jahre jung. Ich war auf meiner langen Reise durch Nepal im Frühjahr 2008 zwei Wochen in Phokara im orphon home. Ich bin sehr, sehr dankbar für diese Zeit! Am Anfang war es sehr ungewohnt mit den Menschen einer anderen Kultur auf engstem Raum zusammen zu leben. Nicht in einem Hotel sondern genau so, wie die Kinder und Erwachsenen alltäglich zusammen essen, schlafen, arbeiten und spielen.
For my 12th birthday in April I went to Nepal for two weeks to stay with Kira Kay an adult friend of mine.
Our plan was to visit some of the self-sustaining Orphan Homes established by Hands-with-Hands organisation. The first one was in Pokhara, then we drove 4 hours south to Chitwan to visit the second one. From there we drove another 6 hours to Itahari were we were planning to build another orphan home. After this we went on a long 11 hours drive to get back to Kathmandu. In Nepal the smallest bit of road can take the longest time if it has to wind up a mountain. There we visited the Bakthapur and Phutong orphan homes.
Over the past couple of years, I have been twice to visit Nepal and the Hands with Hands projects. It is a wonderful way to get to know the country and its people. and I was often very touched by what I saw and experienced there.
einKommentar von Andreas Weidner, April 2008
Nun bin ichwiederzurück in Deutschland, allesistwohlgeordnet, stabil und befestigt. Deutschland wirktleise, etwassteril und irgendwieunbewohnt. Und esistkaltnichtnur in der Nacht, sondernauch am Tage.
When I made my decison to have a three month journey to nepal for volunteering I've had no idea what will come up.
I was never interested in Nepal, Himal or trekking but time was right for doing some usefull things and KirasOrphean houses sound like this.
After talking with Kira we agreed that I splitt my time three weeks for aschoolproject and three weeks for an orphan house. I've got a recommended hotel, contactperson incl. phonenumberand took my flight to nepal. I was very happy to be picked up at the airport because Kathmandu is "a lot". During the first days Guru, the volunteercoordinator, was very helpfull to get used to Nepal. He teached me nepali, take me around and explained the historical, religious and cultural backround. It was really interesting.