Last year I joined a volunteering project in Nepal with the organization CDN. I was in Kathmandu for three months. I taught, together with Floor (another volunteer), at a the Children Model Highschool en worked in the orphanage Bal Mandir. Because I knew Harmke from back home, of course we visited the project which is supported bij CSN! The house was really near to the school where I was placed, so I could just walk a couple of meters to come there. I felt at home from the first time, the atmosphere Pragati and Niken created was really pleasant.
It was nice to meet the children who live in the house en play with them. We played Dutch games like ‘Twister’ what moved us with our bodies in the most silly positions. We had a lot of fun with it! The kids liked our visits but I think it was a little strange that their teachers were in there house. It made them a little shy.
With Pragati and Niken I spoke about the children, de school system and the Nepalese culture. I learned a lot more about Nepal. It’s really interesting to hear about the way Nepalese people think and work. In different ways, it’s just another world then I’m used to.
Pragati and Niken liked me to tell about Holland, they visited it a couple of years ago. We talked about the culture, the nature and the habits of the Dutch people. They served us real Dutch food: ‘pepernoten’. Of course we were really surprised en happy with this delicious snack.
I think it’s special that CSN offer children the change to visit a qualitative good school so they’ll be prepared for their future. The private schools in Nepal teach in English what is really important these days. The children we met who get help of CSN, were all serious students and realize their dreams about a good future.
I like the way the children stay in contact with their families. They visit their families every week en during holidays. It’s really important for their development to belong to their communities en families.
I’ve much admiration for CSN for spending lots of time and energy in this project. I’m sure the people in Nepal are very grateful for this. But I’m sure too that seeing the happy children who are developing, gives lots of energy back.
I wasn’t homesick in Nepal, but after I came back in The Netherlands, I sometimes was to my ‘home’ in Nepal!
I’m sure I’ll go back to Nepal once, the memory has a special place in my head en heart!
7th of June 2011
Hanneke (alias Hira!)