By Prakash Shrestha: at 2017-09-22 00:00:00
Up the winding mountain roads; past rice fields, rivers, banana trees, roadside shops, skipping schoolchildren, buffaloes, wandering chickens, and motorbikes we streamed our way past the beautiful world of the Helambu valley. With a stranger’s child leaning on my legs and one arm around an old lady, we clattered and bounced our way up from Kathmandu to the small village of Nakote.
A village nestled high in the mountains, a pristine blue-roofed, whitewashed school and 60 children with beautiful eyes and smiles to fill your heart.
The crackle of a fire and the quiet calling of birds was soon going to become the most comforting alarm clock. The children’s ‘good morning miss!’ my favourite wake-up call as they came to collect their supplies of ‘chingam’ and chocolate from the shop. A breakfast of butter tea and a bag of books, my day would begin: days of excitement, discoveries and eager children. Their desire to learn, to play, and experiment made lessons a joy to teach, such fierce attention etched in their furrowed brows and counting fingers. A beautiful sight.
Each treasured moment: each football match, or bed-time story, each new game played after school, filled to the brim with joy and smiles, these children are wheeling kites in the tempest of life, riding the winds with happiness. I remember sitting for hours with painting colours, or running to the top of the helicopter pad and throwing rocks off the top, playing hours of football, singing songs and fixing the beautiful clothes of the children in the hostel. So much energy filled our delighted faces as we secretly shared sweets and balloons.
These children taught me to play Holi, to drink sweet tea, to embrace the monsoon rains and scramble up tiny paths. We spoke in songs and dances, through laughter and tears. I learnt unconditional love, in the smiles of these children with the stars in their eyes.
A tin roof over our heads, this place I now call home, a world of kindness and sunshine. Each day spent writing a new story, we took on the world together, hand in hand, a skipping rope, and a stone. These little explorers showed me their world, we sheltered from the wind and ran in the rain, feet splashing in puddles. And with the winking stars in our eyes and love in our hearts we slept silently, dreaming of mountains in the clouds.
2017 Volunteer placed at Shree Pemachholing Ghyang Basic School, Nakote.