Category Archives: [:ca]Visites i excursions[:en]Visits and excursions[:es]Visitas y excursiones[:]

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.

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 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.

Small excursion around Bhimphedi

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

Sunday 29th January was a public holiday: Shaheed Diwas, in English The Martyrs Day. This day commemorates four young revolutionary pro-democracy protesters against the Rana regime that were executed in 1941 (Shukraraj Shastri, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Dashrath Chand and Gangalal Shrestha).

We took the opportunity to stretch our legs in the paths around Bhimphedi. Once the picnic and bottles of water were in our bags, 13 of us took the way to the hills.

The round walk through Suping and Jamire has wonderful views, that we try to share with you with some of the photos we took:

bhimphedi-bridge
Ramesh and Manuj after crossing the Bhimphedi bridge.
som
Som is thirsty! but better not to drink from the tap…
samir
Samir loves to pose in front of the camera!
cows
Our expedition wasn’t unnoticed in Suping!
suping-house
A House of Suping.
suping-bridge
Now we are crossing the Suping bridge.
farmer-cows
Some people didn’t take the Martyrs’ day off!
ashish
Ashish between Suping and Jamire.
ramesh-anoj
Ramesh Syantangand Anoj on the way to Jamire from Suping.
bhimphedi
Bhimphedi from the hills.
sarita-kiran
It’s time to picnic in Jamire: Sarita and Kiran.
basu
Basu is hungry!
team
The team (left to right): Som, Ashish, Raju, Basu, Samir, Anoj, Manoj, Ramesh, Purnima, Sarita and Kiran.

School trips

Written by Daniel Roig, coordinator of the Children’s Home

Nepal is a country geographically diverse and interesting where we find the highest mountains in the world (the area of the Himalayas), 3000 meters high hills of lush vegetation (the area of the Hills) and plains that remind us of the Indian jungles (Zone of Therai). Nine of the children in the Children’s Home could visit some of these areas with their school friends these past weeks:

 

5th grade trip to Chitwan – Nature in Therai

Fifth grade is the last year that kids of Bhimphedi can study in the community school. From sixth they have to shift to the public school or go to another village (option chosen by all who can afford it).

This is why every year the community school organizes a day trip to farewell the students who have studied for 7 years at this school property of the community of Bhimphedi. This year the three kids from the Children’s Home studying 5th grade have been especially fortunate because they have gone to visit the natural park of Chitwan. They visited another Nepal they did not know: the jungle plains where you can find elephants, crocodiles, deers, rhinoceros of single horn…

20170107_071639
Some of the girls of class 5 with their teacher Manisha.
DSC01553
Already on the bus, ready for the 3 hour trip.
20170107_144505
Once in Sauraha, on elephants, they went inside the jungle of the national park.
20170107_145149
From the top of the elephants they could see spectacular views,
20170107_144741
crocodiles,
20170107_145729
and one horned rhinos, without any fear.

DSC01657

DSC01764
At night, on the way-back-home bus, everyone sang and danced.

10th  grade trip to Pokhara and Gorkha – The Himalayas and history

Students of grade ten currently preparing for their final exams, they organized a trip of just a night out to not to harm their study. But do not think that this prevented them to do an ambitious plan: to catch a bus for eight hours to reach to Pokhara on the Annapurna feet. From the lake at 800 meters high you can see the mountains of 8,000 meters.

But it would be a shame to return direct to Bhimphedi, so the next day they did six hours of bus to reach to Gorkha, a historic town:

Prithivi Narayan Shah (1723-1775), King of the small kingdom of Gorkha, conquered many of the mini-kingdoms around and moved slowly toward the Kathmandu Valley. There he began to conquer kingdoms around to be able to isolate the valley. Impatience led him to attack twice on the city of Kirtipur, situated on a hill from which he was planning to do the final attack on the Kathmandu Valley. But in both cases he lost and paid a high price in his ranks. Finally he got the city of Kirtipur, they had to surrender due to the blockade of food and water supply. But the king was not merciful and cut off the noses of all the men of the city.

From Kirtipur, Prithivi Narayan Shah submitted to the other cities of the valley, establishing a single kingdom powerful enough to remain outside the influence of the British Empire, unlike the kingdoms in present India.

Already satisfied and exhausted the kids of class 10 took the bus again and did more than 10 hours of road to return to Bhimphedi. The next day the class of grade 10 was pretty empty.

DSC00994

DSC00980
On the way to Pokhara, playing the guitar on the bus.

DSC01118

DSC01303

DSC01260
On the background of this photo you can see the Anapurnas and the Fishtail.

DSC01032

DSC01097

DSC01155

DSC01223

DSC01366
View of the stairs that lead to the Castle of Gorkha.

The trip of 6th, 7th  and 8th grades – The hills and religion

Children of sixth, seventh and eighth grades decided they did not want to be less, so they prepared a picnic. It is very common that families, schools, neighbors or cultural groups organize such a day trips: Take a bus to go to visit a temple. And there, near the temple, to have a good meal prepared over a wood fire. And of course they take a good speaker to play Bolliwood music and start dancing and singing to help to digest the heavy food.

Life and religion, food and celebration, dances and songs. Nepalese are able to mix modernity and tradition like no other can do.

DSC01810

DSC01870

DSC01891

DSC01863

 

For all other children of the Home do not worry because, although they didn’t go for a trip they had fun and good food in the center! Look at that chicken “croquetas”:

20170107_124530

20170107_124545

20170107_124556

Walk to the big pipe of the hydroelectric plant

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

Saturdays in Nepal children do not go to school. Saturday mornings, in Balmandir, we make the common tasks. One group prepares the snack, another helps in the kitchen garden and the last one cleans deeply the kitchen. Saturday afternoons we have free time and the kids play, bath, use the computers…

The smallest kids wanted to go to the hills and after lunch we decided it was a good time to go for a walk. The kids of secondary level had to study for exams, so they couldn’t join. With Manisha, Xavi and all the kids from the primary community school we left Balmandir at three o’clock. Our destination: the big pipe of the hydroelectric plant. It has been a long time that they had not gone and some of them, as Purnima, Samir and Sarita had never been there before.

p1090313

We climbed up to the peepal tree and we stopped, as we always do, to admire Bhimphedi’s view. Some of them climbed up to the tree but they quickly came down because they wanted to reach down to the river.

p1090314
Sumit making a master class.

We continued our way, the kids went faster than us because we stopped often because Sumit was teaching us many of the plants that we were finding on the way. Chestnuts, ferns… When we reached down to the river we found the kids fishing, with the hands and feet inside the water. But this time the prays were not small fish but crabs. A pity that Tonyo has already gone because we would have done a tasty rice.

p1090325
Som, one of the best fisherman of Balmandir.

Crossing the river we found soon the huge pipe and began to climb the stairs.

p1090345

p1090322

Some kids were counting the stairs (while they were telling us that there were 1100 to reach up), others were making music with the echo of the tunnel and the most brave were climbing uphill without using the stairs. When we had reached almost three quarters of the way we realized that it was getting late, and we decided to return at home.

p1090346

The descent was faster, especially for the kids who run stairs down. When we reached to the foot of the huge staircase we found the kids playing. With plastic bottles they had made sleds and they were racing. And some of them finished with holes in their pants…

p1090359
Sleds race.
p1090362
Resting to regain the energies to walk again.

The way back was very fast. We did not stop to see plants or to catch fish or crabs. When we were descending the sun was setting and when we arrived to Balmandir where the dinner was ready.

p1090368

Small magical nooks.

Written by Joana Alsina volunteer at the Children’s Home.

Dashain is already over but we are still in holidays waiting for Tihar’s festival. During these holidays the weather is being very nice so we decided to do some excursions. The first hike we did was with the youngest ones. We took the goats to graze to the hills and after crossing the river we went until the Peepal Tree, a sacred tree.

arbre1b

There is quite a climb from the river to the tree. Some of us climbed quickly and others went slowly, but all of us finished sweaty. From the tree there is a beautiful view of Bhimphedi. Sitting under the tree contemplating the landscape was very relaxing, but the calm did not last long! Kids wanted to go back down quickly because they knew that after the hike we would go to the river for fishing and bathing. And they really love it!

arbre2

After a week, we did another hike but this one was a serious trip. Our destination: Hattisude hills, the elephant trunk mountain (2900m). Only the biggest ones were allowed to do it. We left after Dalbhat around 9 am with our backpacks full of water. We went to Supping, the neighbour town located at the top of a small mountain. We crossed a hanging bridge and we started climbing. Along the way we met people over-loaded with plants, packages, shopping or milk-can on the back.

pont
Hanging bridge.

After half an hour we reached Supping. This village is divided into three areas: Low, Middle and Upper Supping. The houses are scattered through the mountains and there are approximately 700 residents. His livelihood is agriculture, horticulture and livestock. Corn is the main crop but they also cultivate ginger, beans, peas and other legumes. At this season they have already harvested the corn. There we could see corn drying hanged in the balcony or forming circles in the columns of the houses. When we arrived to Upper Supping we met Maya and Ram (Children’s home workers) who would guide us to climb Hattisude Hills.

supping
Upper-Supping house.

So, we went to the jungle with beautiful landscapes behind us. At the beginning the path was well marked but we lose it and we started to climb the mountain. As they say “monkey way.” There were many trees and plants unknown to us, even though we were in the jungle we didn’t see many animals, only a lot of leeches! If you stopped to breath for a few minutes they already were inside your shoes, or climbing up the pants. If you put your hands on the floor to help yourself to climb, in seconds you could find leeches between your fingers and on the arms. It was a very enriching experience, especially for them!

Finally we returned to the main path when we were already close to the top. The jungle was becoming clearer and there were few trees, exposing a completely different landscape; meadows of tall grass with flowers and really wonderful views.

muntanya

At the south side, towards Hetauda, we could see a small village surrounded by high mountains. To the north side we could see Bhimphedi, Balmandir and even the Peepal Tree. The pity was that we couldn’t see Himalayas because of some clouds.

grupcim
The team: Sushil, Ramesh S, Bishwo, Sumit, Bishnu, Ramesh T, Krishna, Ram, Maya, Marina and Joana.

After 4 hours walking we took snack. Maya told us that she was born in the summit of this mountain. Her parents farmed these lands, where they grew potatoes and lived in a stone house.

maya
Maya in the summit of the mountain.

The descent was much quicker, although we often stopped to harvest medicinal plants, fruits and flowers. This time we went down by the right path and it was much easier. When we reached to Middle Supping we took a little path that led us among the crops and we went to visit Krishna’s family. We were invited to a cup of tea and some cookies.

krishna
Krishna’s family.

Finally at 5 pm we went down back home with tired legs but with the mind full of memorable images that we carry with us.

snak

Note: I would like to thank Marina for her great contribution to this tour, attracting all the leeches. Thank you for your generosity, we all appreciated it very much!