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Childcare During Festivals

By Kim Smith 3 years ago
Categories Pokhara

The Projects

The schedule for childcare this week was a bit different then the normal GVI routine with all the festivals that have been taking place and the school kids on break. However, we were still able to meet the majority of the kids from the different projects.  A true joy in getting to know the kids and the creativity they hold when they live in a world where there are little to no computers and no television sets at home, but instead they pass the time playing out on the streets, utilizing their imaginations.


Streets: A 30-minute walk away from the touristy lakeside where cafes and shops line the main road, winding back through the small alleyways, I met the kids from the Street project for the first time.  The daily hour of homework starts followed by games or activities varied by the days.  Energetic boys from 5 to 16 years of age who have faced difficulties and hardships in their lives which can be felt by looking into their dark eyes, adversities that most wouldn’t understand. Yet still they hold kindness and care towards each other and are completely dedicated to their schoolwork and learning English. Football is a favorite sport and with most of the older boys out for sports day the little ones had to take over the main positions and score the goals. For this week’s craft activity, I introduced most to pinwheels; cutting out a square from cardstock, creating their own designs on the paper and then using pipe cleaner to attach the individually designed paper pinwheel to colored straws for handles. Their artistic skills are impressed and continued to impress me as the weekdays passed by. The excitement continued as they ran around the yard to get their handcrafted pinwheel to spin, which with a group of boys turned into using their arts project to fight each other with and they battled it out.  One of the boys found skinny large sewing needle like sized pins and engineered his to uphold better then the simple pipe cleaner fastener version


Conversation Club: Emotions was the theme this week in CC. After watching the latest film Inside Out, the girls and boys discussed what they learned from the movie and were enlightened on the basics of the brain; Cerebrum, Cerebellum and Medulla aka the brain stem. With the emotions inside of our head living in the cerebrum, the kids also learned that one may experience various emotions at the same time and that sometimes it is ok to be sad.  Initially discussing the five main emotions from the movie, the lesson expanded to teach the kids all sorts of emotions and using games like BINGO, Matching Pairs, Pictionary and Headbandz to grasp the concepts and of course add fun into learning the lessons! On Thursday, the activity for the five different groups was to create a new cartoon based upon an Emotion different from the five characters in the movie Inside Out. My group consisting of four kids decided to create Embarrassed.  Together, after some deliberating, they envisioned and designed a he/she character of pink coloring with bright red cheeks, messy hair covering an eye, wearing a big hat, always wearing sunglasses and standing behind others. The students’ ability to work well together and compromise on the makeshift and personality traits of Embarrassed, earned them the winning team for their design of bringing Embarrassed to life.


Girls Leadership: An afterschool club where the local teenage girls sign up to become members, where no boys are allowed! It’s interesting how much goes on in the world that we are oblivious/unknown/absentminded of.  Nepal hosted their presidential elections the day I arrived in Nepal and elected its first female president Bidhya Devi Bhandari who assumed office on 29 October 2015.  A remarkable feat in the country of Nepal and a perfect example for Girl’s Leadership on women’s empowerment, shifting from a male-dominated society to women holding positions generally held by men.  Streaming away from where society viewed women to hold positions working at home or in their farm, the girls voiced their desire to be nurses, doctors or artists. Circled around sitting on the white and blue plastic mat on the floor discussing the topics of emotions, relationships and jobs this past week. Confidence was focused on especially as women pursue careers in male dominated societies. The girls practiced public speaking and the ability to hide the feelings of butterflies floating around in the stomach, the ability to suppress those nerves in order to present oneself with pose and confidence to stand up and speak in front of others.  I was able to share my experiences as a female in the military, and not just the military but as a helicopter pilot holding a career in a male-dominated society and the confidence I have to build in order to succeed and hover above the treetops with the boys.  Finalizing the week and recapping the topics, Girls Leadership was moved to across the street at a Java Café where they worked in pairs to design posters on Emotions, Relationships and Confidence while sipping some delicious and elegant hot chocolate. A treat I have grown up knowing since I was young but for some of the girls in the group, this was their very first hot chocolate.

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Decisions, decisions, as I contemplated on what my travel plans would be in Nepal with only two weeks to spare. I love hiking and to hike the Base Camp of Everest would be an incredible experience, something on my bucket list of worldly adventures! Traveling to a country filled of trekkers all out to attain the same feat! But in light of the earthquake and the devastation the country faced, I wanted to help and looked into my volunteering options. With having a remarkable experience traveling to Thailand and volunteering with GVI, my Nepal desire to hike around the monumental Everest changed. After completing my first week, it was a decision made with no regrets and a bummer to only get to spend two weeks with the kids and the amazing people all living under one Nepali roof to help. An experience outside of the conventional vacation that most travelers won’t ever experience. So go out and venture forth and make a difference, learn the culture of others and the lifestyles they live, experience the laughter, smiles, and talent in the kids and their desire to learn. While lifestyles amongst the population may be entirely different, in perspective we all want to laugh and love and enjoy life. We all experience sorrows and challenges and process thoughts of mixed emotions, view points completely differently, yet we can all enjoy the simplicity of life, the warmth of the sun on a clear sky blue day or a refreshing calm, rainy afternoon and the smiles shared in that enjoyment.