Rain, fun, and a new brother!

Written by Josep Mas, volunteer of the children’s home in Bhimphedi

It is monsoon time when the landscape acquires an intense shade of green and a scent of earth and vegetation. The plants in Bhimphedi valley grow at dramatic speeds, and the sound of the rain keeps you company all day long. How is life in Balmandir Chilrden’s Home with the arrival of the rainy season? Keep reading to know more about our activities, games and outings these days… and about the arrival of a new brother!

Vegetation blossoms in Balmandir gardens with the arrival of the rainy season

Despite the rain, there are sun spells every now and then, and the activity in Balmandir doesn’t stop! Let it be painting, playing, or making origami works…

A sunny morning?! Time for painting!
Lov and Ramesh during an exciting button football match.
While making origami works time flies, and our collection of small art pieces keeps growing!

There are also those who impatiently wait for the door of the computer room to be opened. Power outages happen on a daily basis, but as they say here, “ke garné!” (what to do about it!)

A small crowd eager for for some computer time!

One of the trends these days are trolley strolls across the garden, something that everybody enjoys, and not only the kids!

But not everything is staying in Balmandir. Nature is all around, and rain is not an excuse for giving up on small outings!  In fact, puddling in all possible ways makes the walk much more interesting!

A walk in the rain to Bhimphedi hanging bridge

 

Small Ekendra did not miss the stunning views from the arms of Kiran, despite the hood!

Going to school is also much more exciting under the rain. Everybody hurries up to get hold of a raincoat or an umbrella before leaving, to avoid getting drenched from head to toes….

Kushal and Binita had a lot of fun the first time they came back from school under an umbrella.

These days the river grows bigger and, when in calm, it’s an ideal place for a refreshing dip. There are skilled youngsters in Balmandir who don’t lack inventiveness to build a pool with stones and branches, where they can jump, dive, and maybe catch some fish…

A pool in the river, under construction.

If sun shies away as the afternoon progresses, a small bonfire by the riverside helps warming up before coming back to Balmandir, just in time for a good dal bhat meal!

Getting warm by the fire after a river dip.

 

But as you know, not all are good news during the rainy season. Monsoon also brings problems every year with transport, flooding, and landslides. Young Bikram, born in the vicinity of Bhimphedi, lost his parents and brother in one of these fatal landslides about a year ago. Nepali newspapers related about that episode of floods and landslides that took away the life of tenths of people across the country,

After a few months living with his grandparents, without enough resources to offer him a secure future, Bikram got into custody of Nepal Children’s Organization (NCO), who assigned him to Balmandir Children’s Home in Bhimphedi.

Bikram explains us about how was his family before a landslide took them away.

Here he started a new adventure, new house, new school, and a big family where everybody shares the conviction that whoever enters Balmandir becomes a new brother! This is for the good and for the worse, to share fun, games, some fights, and happy moments.

This new house of Bikram does not lack colour, thanks to the help of his borthers and sisters.
Teachers of Bhim Aadhar Community School giving Bikram a level test on his first day of school.

After a few weeks Bikram is already making himself familiar with Balmandir and its surroundings,  catching insects, collecting plants, or climbing somewhere high with a good view from where to contemplate the valley of Bhimphedi. Who knows which new adventures are awaiting for him?

Bikram on a tree with a view to Bhimphedi

Another monsoon day grows older in Bhimphedi, as the music of the falling rain leads us once more to the world of dreams.

Building bridges between Kathmandu and Bhimphedi

Written by Isabel Valero, volunteer in the Bhimphedi Children’s Home

We had spent many days rehearsing dramas with the big and the little ones for this weekend, and that is because the youth project of Kathmandu have come! They have been rehearsing for a long time for this event in Bhimphedi, and the truth is that they are very good. So the children of Balmandir also decided to do a drama and both big and small did theirs.

It has been very emotional to welcome them in Balmandir. They arrived in three jeeps full of material and backpacks, and the children showed their rooms. We doubled the population of Balmandir!

Youth project in Balmandir

Then came the great surprise! For the snack, they had to cook more than 600 momos! Yes, they all started to cook in few minutes. Some made the dough, the others stretched it to make the shape, others put the mixture of vegetables or meat with the dough and the last ones that cooked them. It was very exciting to see the whole kitchen full of people eating the momos that they had cooked.  

cooking 600 veg and meat momos for snack

With the stomach full we had time to meet each other with different games and then it was time to do the exchange of dramas that we had been preparing so eagerly. First, the little ones show us theirs, who made everyone laugh with their way of acting so spontaneous and fun.

many energetic games after drama exchanges
Small children playind their drama

Later, it was teens turn, with a drama that tolds the story about some friends who are finding out what Balmandir’s routine is, adding, of course, the touches of humor that they like so much. The youth from Kathmandu knew what we are doing here.

showing the routine to youth from Katmandhu

Finally, the youth gave us a small tasting of the play they would perform the next day at the school. To end this small drama exchange, we all made some games to take energy before the big day.

Small taste of youth drama in the exchange

In the evening, we decided to take a big speaker and announce all over Bhimphedi the work they would do the next day, and the workshops that would be there later so that no one would miss it!

On Saturday we woke up early to drink some tea and cookies and we warmed up all together to take energy. While the youth did the general rehearsal, the others played and they dressed up for the occasion.

Finally, the great moment! We went to school before to prepare the whole stage and all necessary material for the workshops and put the music high for people to begin to come.

Youth project acting

When all the chairs were busy and the porches full (the only place with shadow, my God! It was so hot!) the drama began, and what a success! After the show, the workshops started that were also the strong point of this event where everyone could enjoy and learn new things.

Manual Art workshop
Science workshop. How to make a Scallextric work with the energy of a cycle
Dance workshop
Babia workshop.
Music workshop

Tired, we returned with all the material to Balmandir, and we rested a bit. After Dalbhat, the party started with music where we laughed and danced a lot under the rain until a last song sung by one of the young of Kathmandu gave the final touch to this weekend.

The better to see you with

Written by Vanessa Martínez, volunteer of Bhimphedi Children’s Home.

As we did last year, we checked the vision of all girls and boys of Balmandir. Three of them showed some visual problems so we took them for a complete examination with the ophtalmologist and the optometrist in the Hetauda Community Eye Hospital.

We found that Sumit needs new glasses because his prescription increased a bit, and Purnima should start wearing glasses as well. For now it seems that Binita doesn’t need any glasses.

Both Sumit and Purnima have convergence problems, so we started a visual therapy to solve also the issue and finish with their reading problems.

Purnima with her new glasses!
Sumit with his new glasses!

 

Paint and body work

Written by Joana Alsina, volunteer of Bhimphedi Children’s Home.

In Balmandir we are always busy. When kids go to school, we try to improve Children’s home. After few months we have decided to do a post with some of the results.

The entry: The door was rusted. We have painted and we have treated it.

The furniture of the canteen and of the study room: the benches, tables, and chairs were broken, so we put wooden triangles to reinforce the structures. We put new wood to the canteen banks and plastic for protect them.

Window of the study room: we changed the broken glasses and reinforced the window with some wooden slats to protect it from the balls.

Plumbery: All Balmandir’s taps had leaks. Xavi was really busy for few days. He changed all of them.

Electricity: We improved electrical system and we did a new installation for the rice cooker.

The hostels: During Dashain’s holidays we began to paint rooms. Next step was the hostel of the small ones, toilets and the corridors with plastic painting. In one room we made a white wall for project films. We also have changed the metallic doors.

Store room: We restored the door as well. Now there are cleaning products and the clothes in suitcases.

Office: We took out two beds and we put two shelves. We have more space and light. Now we have two desks and even a printer!

Store room : Space completely changed: shelves painted and upholstered with plastic, boxes for food, save place to put the oil…

The board: The older one was faded. There are some artists in Balmandir so we had renewed it. A lot of patience and accuracy.

Study room: We have also painted this room and decorated. Now there are photos, drawings and the chronological frieze.

Thanks to Josep María, Tonyo, Xavi, Marina, Mercè, Nico, and Anna for all this work.

River and fishing!!

Writed by Vanessa Martínez Lozano at the children’s home

It was 20 years since the last municipal elections in Bhimphedi, and for this reason there was one week of official holidays. We took the opportunity that we had holidays again and that it was very hot to go to the river many days!

While small kids enjoy the river and learn how to swim, some of the big boys are fishing.

After a while, by the river, a bit of sun to get warm.

Ready for fishing!!

We use the walks to the river to take pictures of the plants and later look for information about them. The kids know a lot about local plants properties and they love to search for new plants.

When we return to Balmandir everybody works together on cleaning and cooking the fish.

Sumit, Basu, Bisu y Kush are working toguether on cleaning the fish.
Sushil is in charge of cooking today!!

 

Birthdays and more!!

  Written by Vanessa Mártinez volunteer at children’s home

April is a month full of birthdays, so we celebrated all of them with a big party!!

We had gymkhana, cake, presents, music and lots of fun!!

Kush singing Manu Chao!!
Samir, one of the birthday’s boy enjoying the cake!!

We celebrated the birthdays of Samir (9 years old), Bishnu (12 years old), Arjun (18 years old), our didi Beli and Mònica from Awasuka.

And to refresh ourselves in these hot days we went to the river! Kushal that is just 4 years old, walked downhill and uphill without any problems.

Beautiful hill sight!!
Kushal’s first time at the river. He gets crazy!!

New school year, more kids!

Written by Pau R. E.

In Nepal the new school year begins in May. This new year also comes with new additions to the center. We go to the Nepal Children’s Organization coordination center in Kathmandu with a new volunteer that arrived recently. Once in the coordination center, we ask to pick up the children, but they are not ready yet. After almost 4 hours of paperwork, finally 2 boys and 2 girls are assigned to us.

With the letters prepared, we first go to pick up the girls, who are in Naxal children’s home. Just arriving many children recognize Dani and they start shouting that they also want to go to Bhimphedi, all of them very excited.

While they finish preparing the girls, the children of the center are put to play with us making a circle around us. Once the girls are ready, we get so surprised by their age, they are very young (6 and 4 years old)! And they are sisters too! We continue our trip to pick up the 2 boys in the Siphal children’s home. Once there, the boys are already ready; but they are even smaller than the girls (4 and 3 years old)! What a surprise!

So now we have everything ready to continue by taxi to Balco, where we take a Jeep towards Bhimphedi. We are assigned the 4 back seats for the 6 of us (2 volunteers and 4 children). Just before riding the older girl begins to cry. She has recently arrived in Naxal, so we can’t imagine how she felt. After trying to reassure her without any success we decide that she will eventually accept the situation, so we proceed to get on the Jeep where her crying persists and seems to start passing into her younger sister. The rest of the Jeep passengers (6 more people) start to be bothered by the crying. But luckily soon the two sisters fall asleep, leaving only the two boys awake. The older boy gets along very well all the time, and the younger one doesn’t stop eating cookies and playing with curiosity with the window of the Jeep.

The first half of the journey takes place with a lot of traffic, mainly caused by the amount of mud left by the rain of the last days. The Jeeps, despite having four-wheel traction, they slip and have a hard time making some of the hills. All this makes us arrive much later than planned at the break point, in the middle of the journey. In this places they offer food and/or cleaning of the Jeep to the driver, because they all end up full of mud, all in exchange to bring the travelers as customers.

Once at the stop we awaken the smallest girl, the oldest one had been awake for some time now. We try to get everyone out to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. The major girl does not want to leave the Jeep and we let her rest quietly inside the vehicle; she neither wants to eat or go to the bathroom. Meanwhile the rest of the passagengers of the Jeep ask curious about the gender of the children, since the boys dress more pink and the girls more blue.

After all the others kids have stretched their legs and have gone to the bathroom we continue with the journey, this time much less calm. The older girl starts to vomit as soon as the jeep continues. Despite asking for a plastic bag, it didn’t arrive in time and her vomit stain her side of the Jeep. The young girl takes little time to want to imitate her sister. We try to distract her and with the ventilation of the vehicle, and this helps her to not be the next one. After a while, the older one throws up again, but fortunately we are about to reach Bhimphedi.

Once in Bhimpedi it is night already, and we call other volunteers to help us carry our bags and the children to Balmandir Children’s Home. We walked slowly through the streets of Bhimphedi, now really dark. When we arrived all the children of the center received us with great enthusiasm, since they were waiting with impatience, and the Didis even more. They are very tired and go to bed early.

The next day we discover how the oldest boy is not a calm one at all, he is the most active in the whole children’s home: wanting to discover all the corners and do as many activities as he can. Who would think that seeing him being so calm in the Jeep! The younger boy is the favorite of both girls and Didis. The new girls need one more day, but they end up playing together with other kids and with a very big smile. It is hard to imagine she is the same girl full of tears inside the Jeep.

The next day we go to buy new shoes for the younger girl and they all go together to take pictures wearing the uniform to enroll in school. So everything is set to start the new course.

New year in Smarak park

Written by Joana Alsina, volunteer of Bhimphedi Children’s Home.

Happy 2074!

In Balmandir, we have started the year in a great way in a fun park!

Manoj: “I liked so much jumping in the castle. We can jump as much as you want and you don’t get injured.”

Ramraj: “This is new year and I like so much visit in group and go to the swimming pool.”

Ashish: “The thing that I prefer was jumping to the swimming pool because there aren’t stones and we can go so deep.”

Santa: “I enjoy a lot the swimming pool.”

Bishnu: “I like swimming.“

Ramesh: “In Smarak park there are wild animals. I really liked to see the leopard, walk in the park with many people and beautiful flowers. It was a hot day and we ate an icecream. It was delicious.”

Anoj: “I like so much go on the ship”

Samir “Yesterday I enjoy a lot, but I prefer go with the pirate boat”

 

Sita: “ When I was in the wheel I was scared but it was funny.”

Basu: “I liked the wheel and the ship, I was scared but it was funny”

Bishwo: “I love animals and I enjoyed a lot the horse riding.”

Som: “ I liked the horse riding”

Sarita: “ I loved to go to the swimming pool and ride on the horse.”

Purnima: “The wheel was so funny, I was not scared. I enjoyed a lot.”

Beli didi: “I went to the boat for the first time with Manoj. I was a little bit scared.”

Maya Didi: “Seeing the monkeys, deer and crocodile, it was amazing. When I went to the ship I felt really scared.”

Santa Maya didi: “Seeing animals was the best thing. The ship was so scaring”

The End:

In the water…

Written by Nicolas Gautier, volunteer at the Children’s Home

In April in Nepal there are some holidays before the new school year begins at the end of month. In the district of Makawanpur it’s very hot these days. So the kids welcome any opportunity to refresh. And nothing is better than a swim in the river of Bhimphedi!

Sarita the little mermaid!
Purnima in wetsuit!
Sister and brother: Purnima and Samir.
Basu the fisherman.
Would Samir find Nemo or Dory?
Manoj the handsome boy!
The river team (left to right): Basu, Samir, Anoj, Sandip (from the village), Sarita, Purnima and the handsome boy.

The place where you can not go from

Written by Joana Alsina, volunteer of Bhimphedi Children’s Home from 4th May of 2016 to 30th August 2016

There is a place in the world that few mortals know and where only the privileged have been reached. The mountains guarding as it was a fortress are gray and inhospitable during the dry season, offering a lethargic panorama to anyone who walks there. Suddenly the sky becomes a party, and as a noisy alarm relives the mountains and fields, spreading slowly across a blanket of water. Within few days gray and brown turn to bright green, the streams begin to revive, fields of corn growing unstoppable inch per day and buds of the old caterpillars hatch to butterflies so spectacular that they might be confused with mythological animal.

Joana foto 04

There is a place in the world where there parsimony and improvisation, where timetables and plannings lose all validity, forcing outsiders to develop a sense of patience to a professional level. Ke garné!

In this place of bright colors, the hours pass peacefully and often too fast between tea and tea, surrounded by bollywoodians rhythms that flow from the radio at full sound and the smell of incense every morning to honor the infinite deities that take care of maintaining the harmony of the place.

Joana foto 07

Always with wet feet you walk through the fields or up the street among strong small men pushing heavy carts and goats that seem horses. The bus that carries the milk reaches and distributes its cargo to the women of the town, using the opportunity to chat about the news about other villagers, laughing and shouting with their characteristic endearing and stridency. On the other side of the street starts a parade of dozens of uniformed lads with miraculous white clothes way to school, and dozens of uniformed youth also carefully disheveled way to college.

There is a place in the world where teachers play truant more often than students and where every little event is reason for celebration. In the afternoon the students return home undoing their ties and pulling their shirts out of the clamp trousers. It’s time to go back with family. In this corner of the world there is the most numerous of all, a family where brothers and sisters are counted by dozens. His home is a temple in the middle of the valley, although you should not expect to find the mysticism and peace of a sacred place… nothing further from reality! When you enter this temple, often you can see some of the its young inhabitants hanging over ten meters high trees taking the tasty spring fruits or on roofs next to the water tank that needs a simple and temporary reparation. Yes, there is a place in the world where children run and jump and climb without the help of any adult and without any soft surface where to land safely on. They fall, and sometimes they get a scratch or hound, but nothing happens, on the contrary, because these young men and women adore everything that can be found in a simple medicine kit and the shock of the moment immediately becomes excitement with the first drop of Betadine and the smell of hand sanitizer.

Joana foto 01

Joana foto 05

Joana foto 03

Between laughter and shouts, brothers and sisters take care of each other with delicate words… or with a slap! Their relentless sincerity and spontaneity will make you feel the most special person in the universe or sink you into the cruelest misery. Nothing eludes these little beings!

Joana foto 06

You can find them all over the temple playing guitar, rehearsing the choreography of the latest megahit, practicing complicated magic tricks, cooking wild plants, planting pumpkins, helping to bring to the world small goats or building any new (and when I say any is any) device. The members of this particular family have infinite abilities. You can also see them with bored face in the study room, memorizing and repeating like parrots the lesson or in the most critical moments, laying on the floor with the head on the notebook sleeping. But if you really want to make sure to find them, look for a screen! Computers, phones, televisions… screen addition is the strongest of the pathologies that suffer these kids.

Joana foto 02

After much excitement it’s time to sleep. The amazing and loving mothers check that no clever kid goes to sleep without washing teeth, while elder boys gather with absolute secrecy to discuss which the most charming girl in school is. Then, very early, they fall asleep, in pairs, in threes under the fans of the hot room of the temple. Peace reign again for a few hours under the stunning starry sky of this village.

There is a place in the world that has a strange magic that prevents you from leaving it. A place where the emptiness that you feel when you are going from, can be only filled when one day, months later, you wake up and realize that all the memories are real, you were one of the few mortals who had the privilege of reaching Balmandir, Bhimphedi.

www.amicsnepal.org/bhimphedi