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We have already celebrated the Dashain!

Written for Guillem Pujol, volunteer at Bhimphedi Children Home’s

In the month of october takes place the biggest festival in the nepalese annual calendar, Dashain . It is celebrated all over nepal, just like Christmas in our country. But what is the story behind this festival?

This commemorates the  victories of the gods against the demonds. One of the reasons of this tradition is because god Rama killed Ravana, the boss of the demonds. But he didn’t do it alone , since he was helped by de goddess Durga. who was the one who overcame the demond.

That is why the first days of the Dashain symbolize the fight between deities.  Now, the goddess Durga is adorated like the deceased mother, offerings and  sacrificies are made in her name.

They put tika on Razu

During these days, everyone travels the necessary miles to meet at the family home and spend all these days together offering diferent things and making rituals for Durga and all her manifestations. For that, the Balmandir family couldn’t be less and we also celebrate Dasahin.

They put tika on Kamal

In the dining room everything was ready: a tray with rice mixed with flowers, a tray with pasta for tika- rice, coloring and yogurt- and only sprouds were lacking.

According to tradition, the oldest people of the family  put tika to younger relatives to bless them abundantly in the coming years and give them Dakshina (a small amount of money), along with blessings. So Didi Maya started: she first took flowers and, as if she was baptizing, she scattered a little water over her heads. Then he tossed some rice with flowers on top and put the tika on the forehead, between the eyebrow and the eyebrow (where there is the third eye). Finally, they gave them a germ sprout wrapped in money. This was done one child at a time, from the smallest to the oldest. And the great surprise was that she also did it to us! Then it was the turn of  Surendra and finally, the Didi Belly.

During these holidays other rituals are also made, such as animal sacrifices. Normally we only eat “mass” (meat) on Saturdays night, which is the holiday day  of the week. But during the days of Dashain “massu” is quite present in each meal. And the surprise was yesterday morning when Surendra arrived at the center with an unknown man . He had expressly come to sacrifice one of a goat, previously bought by Kush, a young boy from Balmandir.

Saran with the goat before being sacrificed

We went wherever they were doing the ritual and,  Basu helped by Ram  under the eyes of the children of the house, began to peel the goat, clean it, spread it with an orange paste (which for what they have explained is to conserve and to give flavor) and to squash it. After removing the different viscera, the children helped to clean them.

The next day came the members of the Nepal Children’s Organization to put the tika and all together we took some pictures in the garden of the house.

The family of Balmandir with the members of the NCO

The family of Valeria visited us

Written for Guillem Pujol,volunteer at Bhimphedi Children Home’s

These last days Valeria visited us, she was one of the first volunteers who started Awasuka project. With her also came her mother and brother, with this opportunity and being the Dasahin days we made a lot of activities with the boys and girls of the house!

Then you can find a summary of those!

Trekking to Dorshin

The last Saturday and taking an advantage that the children had holidays of the school, we went to Dorshin! The trek was so nice and beautiful, it came all the children, babies and also the oldest and, at the end, we were waiting for a stunning surprise!

No less than good waterfalls to refresh up, after the exercise we had done and to be able to recover for the return!

Balmandir children playing in a river

It was a great experience that it will cost to forget .

Boys, girls and volunteers with Valeria and her family.

Creps workshop

 

Another activity that we did with Valeria’s family was a kitchen workshop, and what we cooked?

Well, we cooked a lot of delicious CREPS! In this case they were only the youth boys of the house who participated in this activity, because the youngest was still going to school and therefore they were in class.

 

Valeria and Didi look if they can use the paella for make creps

But the children didn’t miss to try these delights, because Didis  took them in their Snack Time directly to the school and still hot.

Bishnu with hands in the dough
All the team working
Kamal i Ramesh making creps

No matter how intense theses moments were, Valeria’s family has had to leave us to continue with their fabulous trip through Nepal. We hope you visit us again shortly and go all very well!

A nice greeting from Balmandir!

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.

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!!