Nina Cejnar from Germany

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.

Upon arriving we were joined by a little band playing typical Nepali music whilst we walked to the school, and when we got to the school there were 800 other people waiting for us! It was so overwhelming and touching, we could literally feel their gratefulness and love for helping them to build this building. And I have never felt so safe and welcome in the middle of such a big mass of people.

There were 500 little children were offering necklaces made of flowers that they had made and red powder to put on our forehead, a Nepali tradition.  They were all watching us with their big dark eyes and having a big smile in their faces while greeting everyone.  I have never met so many heartful and unconditional loving people in the same place before.  You could literally feel their gratefulness and love while walking to the new building for the opening-celebration, and that all in the most pleasing scenery, in a valley surrounded of green mountains with rice plantations. The whole community of Talamarang and environment were present. They had all stopped work for this special day and came from the mountains to the celebration.  Some of them had to walk few hours to get there, and then few hours back up the mountain. They had prepared a four hour program, where people of the school and politicians were giving speeches to the audience, and many students from different classes were singing and dancing the typically nepali dances. Some of the children even prepared poems, which they read in front of everyone, very brave.

That night we were accommodated in the little cosy house of Bahrat and his family, one of the locals. I just can’t really put into words the dimension of hospitality. The mother and even her husband were cooking at the little fireplace in the house the special nepali meal of Dhaal Bhaat, and serving goat meat with it, which is very special. They do not eat meat very often. The headmaster was also guest at the dinner, and again they were thanking us for our help in a very lovely way.

This was really an unforgettable experience.

Nina shares her unforgettable experience whilst attending the opening of a new school building in Talamrang, a small village 4 hours north of Katmandu .... (2006)