Published: February 1st 2012February 1st 2012
So we decided to make the wise choice and fly to Kathmandu, after a week in hospital I did not fancy a 20 hour bus train bus bus ride to get here! We arrived just before Christmas and had a rather uneventful couple of first days.
The most important thing to mention here is that Nepal eats buff. Buffalo. Yes the closest you can get to a cow in these parts. And maaaaan was it good. Our first steak in over 2 months tasted like a slab of heaven.
We thought we'd treat ourselves for the festive season and booked into a room with a bath. And hot water to go in it! Luxury!! We also spotted our first Christmas tree which was very exciting as we hadn't seen a peep of Christmas thus far. Unlike at home when as soon as Halloween is over it's rammed down your throat.
We spent a whole day Christmas shopping for each other. Which proved more difficult than we first thought as in Thamel there is not a whole lot of choice unless you want something made of Yak wool or something to help you climb a mountain. But we managed and also brought some tinsel and a Santa to hang on the chair in our room which was our make shift Christmas tree. Christmas eve we went to a French restaurant to hear some carols and such, then indulged in some cocktails whilst awaiting midnight.
Christmas day was very nice. Watched some Christmas films, open our pressies the usual boring crap. We then took on the laborious task of choosing where to have our dinner. The choices were endless. So it took some talent for us to pick the worst place ever! Turkey in orange sauce. That is not Christmas dinner! Very upsetting. Later on that night we did find a junkie in our corridor. As it was the season of joy etc we invited him out with us for a drink, as he did look very suicidal and I didn't want to find him dead on boxing day. Upon our return at dawn we found the gates to the hotel locked, so we had to climb them, pissed as farts and they were like 12 foot high.
Boxing day - write off.
27th of December we left the city to head to the suburbs to the Orhanpage we are volunteering at. It's about 20 mins from the centre of Kathmandu and away from tourists.
I just wrote, in lots of detail about the Orphange, however stupid computer had a fit and lost it. SO. This is the basics!
Big green house. 11 kids (more coming next month) A family of 5 belonging to the director. 2 housemothers. 3 other volunteers. 2 stray dogs and 3 puppies (but they live outside however we have adopted them!)
Our role is like fun older cousin who is visiting. We help with homework, play, tell them to get ready for school. They don't particularly listen to us so I suppose they are like perfectly normal kids from anywhere in the world!
Rice time! Is both dinner and breakfast (sometimes lunch too). However we are blessed as "Didi' our housemother is a great cook, her curry, although vegetarian, is amazing! I am coping alot better than I thought I would!
As the kids are all at school we get the day to do what we want. Being toursts we have done the usual museums, Durbar Square, Garden of dreams (which is lush), Boudhanath and several bars. Usually we just sunbathe and read books!
All the volunteers booked new years day off as we planned a big night in Thamel. We had dinner and then went to a club to see in the New Year. Very drunk. Then after party for us on our floor of the orphanage. Responsible! New Years Day was off course another write off!
The best thing we have got to do is visit the village that the director and half the children come from. All the volunteers and 3 of the boys went for a week. We stayed on his parents farm. It was situated on a hillside with lots of fields and animals (the usual farmy stuff). The boys went to stay with relations. In Nepal unfortunatley when a parent remarries they often discard the children from the previous marriage (leaving so many orphans) so some of the children even seen their parents.
It was so quiet and the air was clean!!! Every night the family gathered to perform an evening ritual which we were included in. Then we sat around the fire looking at the stars which were definatley the clearest I have ever seen them!! We were really sad to leave as it was nice just to have a glimpse into the lives of the people who live in the country. There were no other tourists so it was unspoilt and we were very grateful.
Me and Ciaran also went to Chitwan National Park and done safari and that. Rode an elephant, seen some rhino, bird watched, that sort of thing. Was nice to chill out without any kids for a few days! The hotel was really really nice which was surprising as we got a cheap deal.
Our time at the Oprhanage is coming to an end so we will be on the road again soon!