School Performance - by Pia

Wonderful day! I woke up early this morning pretty sick actually, and did an extremely unlike me thing and ate a packet of chips for breakfast :p! I'd never ever usually, but I didn't want to go out in-case I missed Padam and it was the only thing I had, it was kind of perfect for my stomach although gross feeling :p... any way at 11am the lovely Padam came and collected me and took me to a school performance where I met Susil. It was their Nepalese New Year performance, where the teachers made funny speeches, awards were given out, and the students sang and danced. The performance routine reminded me pretty much of the ones I had at school, except the kids at this school were so amazingly encouraging of one another, and they were all so close; hugging and holding hands (the boys as well), sitting on each other, sharing all their food, and cheering a lot when their friends got awards or had preformed. (Sadly from my memory most dance performances at school were about who was a 'better' dancer instead of supporting everyone to feel good and do their own individual best.) The older kids were looking after the younger ones, and instead of teachers telling kids off, the older students went and held the younger ones hands and steered them elsewhere. It is encouraged by peers, teachers and parents to do well at school, and getting awards isn't something to feel embarrassed about, it isn't seen as geeky or un-cool but completely supported. All the students seemed fairly confident and completely wanted to be there and be a part of the concert, there were no kids moaning about having to perform, they were all really excited and sure of themselves :). Kindness, giving and compassion is something that is highly valued. Some young boys moved me to the front so I could see better, really sweet and selfishly made me feel more a part of it :p... and the older boys encouragingly patted the younger ones on the back for being nice. These little girls came up and asked me my name, and where I was from, and spoke English really well, they were nine! And this other little girl kept pocking my back through the chair, I’d grab her finger and she'd start giggling, that went on for some time :p. The older boys gave out little golden cardboard boxes of food containing; a vegetable Somoza, lots of little fried some-things (like chips), and two sweets.

I talked to some of the teachers afterwards and they were so proud (as they should be), they said that encouraging kindness and generosity toward one another was really important, and it is, this would make a huge difference to our schools! To be understanding of each individual, compassionate and respectful toward one another. There was so much respect from teacher to student and vice-versa, so nice to see on an all student/teacher basis.

Susil then gave me a ride back to his office after the six hour performance, where he ordered us sweet tea :) and he asked if I'd like to do some volunteering at the school teaching English, after I’d had a little bit more time to get used to everything (which would be wonderful :)! He said he'd be happy to help organize some trekking and getting to the Chitwan National park as well, ahh so nice, so nice! I'd be so hopeless without him and Padam, honestly! (Thank you Steph!)

I'm now back in the hotel room, the dogs outside are barking madly at each other while I've been trying to get this SteriPen to work it's meant to clear any water, however it's not working, so I asked down stairs if the water jug in the room was safe to drink and he said ‘yes I think so’, haha so hopefully it is because I'm drinking it. Will try to pop some pictures up of the performance...