Category Archives: [:ca]Idiomes i lectura[:en]Language[:es]Idiomas y lectura[:]

Twenty-fifth, Christmas!

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

In Nepal the streets are not glazed, the trees are not decorated, the lights do not flicker night and day but even so, the 25th is a national holiday also in Nepal. So, we decided to make of it an special day for all of us, as we had already done the previous two years (2014 and 2015).

This year we organized an orientation race for all the town for the 8 groups of 3 kids from the Children’s Home. The preparations took us several days. But it was fun and interesting. We learned a lot, both volunteers preparing, and children playing.

This Christmas game in groups consisted of:

1. we gave a map to each team with a cross that they should locate and go. (The original map was provided by Mònica Sans. Raquel brought the printings in A3 format from Kathmandu).





2. Once there, the three members of the group wished “Merry Christmas!” to the shopkeeper or the family they had to find and they asked if they had something for them.

3. The selected villager told to them only the beginning of a Nepali saying or proverb. The work of compiling, transcribing and translating the proverbs was done by Manisha, with the help of the other community school teachers, books and technical help from Dani. The work of allying with the villagers was also made the day before the game by Manisha (our Nepalese volunteer), with the help of Joana and Raquel, walking around the village, map in hand, to mark the selected places for the clues.

4. The group, then, had to return to the Children’s Home, and write the complete sentence on the board to get up to 5 points. If they did not know the complete proverb they had to find someone to help them (and the great wild card was Maya didi, the caretaker of the Children’s Home who knows all the Nepalese sayings).





5. Once the phrase was written, the group had to invent a small representation of a situation in which that proverb could be said. 5 more points in play.




6. Once they had done these two tests a new location was made on the map and they had to go there again. Each team had to get up to 5 sayings from different places of the town.

The locations were drawn by lottery so that some groups had to go several times to Chabeli (the farthest part of the village, uphill). It was two very intense hours. Kids ended up exhausted of going up and down, and volunteers stressed of receiving so many groups with the new phrases to be checked and scored.


Finally, around twelve-thirty noon, we finished the game. The first three groups were asked to choose one of the three Christmas lots we had prepared.






There was also a gift for all of the kids: speakers to watch movies and listen music.



But the surprises did not end here. Kush brought meat for everyone for Christmas dinner. It was delicious! So at the end, this didn’t become being so different Christmas for the volunteers, although being so far from home we were with family, with excitement and surrounded by good food.

We leave you with the 21 Nepali sayings we used for the game. Now all the kids and volunteers can already use when necessary:

Example sentence that we represent Dani, Raquel, Manisha and I:

मुखमा राम् राम् बकलिमा छुरा।
Phonetic: Mukhmā rām rām bakalimā chhurā.
Literal: In the mouth Ram Ram, in the pocket a knife.
Meaning: When someone says good things, but later in the facts he betrays his own words.




The 20 sayings the kids had to find in different locations in the village:

हाड् नभएको जिब्रो चिप्लिन्छ।
Phonetic: Hāḋ nabheko jibro chiplinchha.
Literal: Because the tongue doesn’t have bone, it slips
Meaning: If we speak sometimes we will make mistakes.

वैगुणिलाई गुणले मार्नु पर्छ।
Phonetic: Vaiguṅilāī guṅle mārnu parchha.
Literal: We have to kill the bad with good.
Meaning: Even when people do something bad to you, you should do good to them.

तै रानी मै रानी कसले भर्छ कुवाको पानी।
Phonetic: Tai rānī mai rānī kasle bharchha kuwāko pānī.
Literal: If you are a queen and I’m a queen, who will take the water from the well.
Meaning: If no one wants to work, who will do the necessary things.

अचानाको पिर् खुकुरीलाई के थाहा।
Phonetic: Achānāko pir khukurīlāī ke thāhā.
Literal: The knife doesn’t know anything about the pain of the cutting board.
Meaning: Who is suffering some pain, only himself can understand.

रात् भरी करायो दक्षिणा हरायो।
Phonetic: Rāt bharī karāyo dakshiṅā harāyo.
Literal: Someone who shouts all night and doesn’t get anything
Meaning: When someone works hard and doesn’t succeed.

एकले थुकि सुकि सयले थुकि नदि।
Phonetic: Ekle thuki suki sayale thuki nadi.
Literal: One split dries, hundred splits make a river.
Meaning: Alone you cannot do big things, but all together we are powerful.

नाच्न नजान्ने आगँन् टेढो।
Phonetic: Nāchna najānne āga:n ṫeḋho.
Literal: Who doesn’t know how to dance, feels the ground irregular.
Meaning: When someone who doesn’t know how to do something, blames the environment instead of accepting his own weaknesses.

आफ्नो आङ्गको भैसी देख्दैन अर्काको आङ्गको जुम्रा पनि देख्छ।
Phonetic: Ᾱphno āηgko bhaisi dekhdaina arkāko āηgko jumrā pani dekhchha.
Literal: On your own back you cannot see a buffalo; on other’s back you can see even a louse.
Meaning: It’s easy to see other’s mistakes, but it’s difficult to realize about your own.

अल्छि तिघ्रो स्वादे जिब्रो।
Phonetic: Alchhi tighro swāde jibro.
Literal: Lazy thigh, delicious tongue.
Meaning: When people don’t want to do any effort, but they want to get the benefits.

मेरो गोरुको बाह्रै टक्का।
Phonetic: Mero goruko bāhrai ṫakkā.
Literal: My ox costs twelve.
Meaning: When someone is stubborn and feels he is always right, and he doesn’t listen to others.

के गर्छस् मङ्गले, आफ्नै ढङ्गले।
Phonetic: Ke garchhas Maηgale, āphnai ḋhaηgale.
Literal: What Mangal does, to himself the mistakes.
Meaning: When you do bad actions you will suffer the consequences.

वनको बाघले खाओस् नखाओस् मनको बाघले खान्छ।
Phonetic: Vanko bāghle khāos nakhāos manko bāghle khānchha.
Literal: The tiger of the jungle may eat you, or not; but the tiger of the heart will eat you.
Meaning: If you are scared that something bad can happen to you, then even if bad things doesn’t happen, you will not be fine.

घरको बाघ् वनको स्याल्।
Phonetic: Gharko bāgh vanko syāl.
Literal: House Tiger, Jungle Fox
Meaning: When someone is very stubborn and rude in house, but later outside when someone does something wrong to him, he doesn’t dare to confront.

खुट्टा भए जुत्ता कत्ति कत्ति।
Phonetic: Khuṫṫā bhae juttā katti katti.
Literal: If feet, a lot of shoes.
Meaning: If you don’t succeed in something, don’t worry you will find other options.

हुने हार् दैव नटार्।
Phonetic: Hune hār daiva naṫār.
Literal: What has to happen, God can not stop.
Meaning: Noone can do anything for the inevitable events.

बुढा बुढिको झगडा परालको आगो।
Phonetic: buḋhā buḋhiko jhagaḋā parālko āgo.
Literal: The fight of husband and wife is like the fire of hay.
Meaning: When a husband and a wife argue, they cannot be angry for long time; so others should not interfere.

जसले मह काट्छ, उसले हात् चाट्छ।
Phonetic: Jasle maha kāṫchha, usle hāt chāṫchha.
Literal: Who cuts the honey leaks his hand.
Meaning: Who makes labor can collect the fruits.

बादरको हातमा नरिवल्।
Phonetic: Bādarko hātmā nariwal.
Literal: The coconut is in the monkey’s hand.
Meaning: When someone does not take care of something, so it may break soon.

१२ छोरा १३ नाति बुढाको धोक्रो काधँ माथी।
Phonetic: Barhā chhorā terha nāti buḋhāko dhokro kādh: māthī.
Literal: Twelve sons and thirteen grandsons, but the heavy pack is on the old man’s shoulders.
Meaning: When someone, even being surrounded by many close people, he/she doesn’t get any help when needed.

एक हातले ताली बज्दैन।
Phonetic: Ek hātle tālī bajdaina.
Literal: One hand cannot clap.
Meaning: We should help each other.

“La primera pel quinto i per tothom …” in balmandir becomes more than a game

Written by Marina Viñas, volunteer of Bhimphedi Children’s Home.

“El Quinto” – also known as “la Quina” – it’s a typical Christmas game in some catalan regions. Since September in Bhimphedi we are working to get all ready for the special annual session organized by “Amics del Nepal” and the S.C.R. El Ciervo de Sabadell that will take place on January 7th. The benefits of this special session will go directly to balmandir and our kids will make one of the games even more special.

The broadcasting team: Samir, Purnima, Raju, Manuj and Sarita.

First of all, for those who don’t know anything about “el Quinto”: How does it work? Each player has a card with 90 numbers (from 1 to 90) randomly distributed in six squares of five columns into three lines each one (so 15 numbers each square). The first player who fills one line shouts QUINTO and. later, the player who fills a square shouts PLENA. The person who says (or sings) the numbers is called Lloro (parrot).


What do we mean when we say it’s going to be an special game? As it happened in the last two years, the balmandir kids are going to be the parrots of one of the games!

We put the 90 numbers – made with paper – inside a plastic bottle. I asked the kids – one by one – to do as a parrot while I recorded them helped by Rojan. But it had to be in Catalan! It was not an easy work: “it’s so hard!”, “I don’t know how to say it”… In the home there are 26 kids so each one had to say 3 or 4 numbers. But slowly they started to enjoy doing it and at the end I got all the numbers (“at the end” means that it took me three months!).

Rojan trying to remember how to say the number 14: “Sant Magí, Sant Majà, tinc caguera i no puc cagar!”. Easy, isn’t it?
We can sing the numbers in any place,

It’s the third year that kids are asked to do this job so the questions quickly started: “Why do we do it?”. “How does this game work?” They were curious about the game and fortunately I had put some cards inside the suitcase (thanks to S.C.R. El Ciervo of Sabadell for giving them). So we started playing with the youngest kids in the “English version”, achieving to remove the mix-up between 13 and 30, 14 and 40, 15 and 50… We have a new tool for the study! Using this game we also did some maths: additions, subtractions…

First quinto sessions in balmandir

The elder kids have also played quinto but in the “Spanish version”. We’ve been doing Spanish classes for some months and we thought it would be a great idea playing “el quinto” in spanish to practice the numbers. At the beginning Ashish, Kush and Lov (who are advantaged students) translated the numbers to Nepali. But after playing, playing and playing,  even Kamal and Ramraj dared to act as Parrots singing the numbers themselves. Great!

Spanish version of quinto. Ramraj was singing the numbers that time!

“El Quinto” becomes more than a game in balmandir. You can play with us on January 7th at the S.C.R. El Ciervo (C/Viladomat 26, Sabadell). See you there!


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

Quite often, the little ones have already finished their homework when we start studying in the morning. For this reason we divide them into small groups and do activities that allow them to learn while they play. When I arrived in Balmandir I realized that it was quite difficult to read in English for most of the kids. In the home there are many story books so we started reading every day. But many of the children did not understand what they were reading. So, we decided that we had to think of another activity to be able to improve their reading and writing skills and acquiring new vocabulary while playing.

Laura, a volunteer of the Atrapasomnis, suggested I could make a mobile alphabet so children could form words by playing with letters. With cards of different colors we made the vowels and the consonants to be able to differentiate them easily. With the letters of the alphabet each child forms a known word. In this way we try to isolate the sounds of the word one by one. As the child says the sounds, he places the corresponding letter in each phoneme. From here all the letters are joined, thus forming the whole word. This process is repeated to form 8 or 9 words, depending on the child. One day we work on words about animals, another day on fruits and vegetables, another day on the objects we see in the room or through the window. Little by little the number and the length of the words increase, and we form even simple sentences.




We also use the mobile alphabet to add new English vocabulary. We started this activity in the girls room. They had to make some cards with the name of the objects they saw and hook the names onto the object. First they had to write the nouns with the mobile letters and then they had to make a card with the name of the object. In this way, each time they enter the room they read the cards hooked on the objects and they become slowly familiar with the vocabulary. Once we finished the objects in that room we continued with the computer room and the study room. Balmandir is very big so we have many more words to write.





Although we did this alphabet to help the little ones to read and write, the other kids also use it. They use it to play crossword puzzles. Each boy creates a new word adding new letters to the words that are already in play.

The birth of a new project: NEPCAT connection

Writen by Marina Viñas, volunteer of Children’s Home

On the plane Barcelona-Nepal, an special passenger accompanied us: NEPCAT CONNECTION, a project whose main objective is the cultural exchange between Balmandir children and Catalan children, opening the door to new ways of living and understanding life by exchanging emails.

In Catalonia we have an accomplice – Glory Iniesta, teacher of the Col·legi Mestre Pla of Castellar del Vallès – who presented the project to their colleagues. All of them agreed immediately. So good! They have two classes of 5th and two 6th grade with which we started the project. So we can make four groups. Come on, let’s go!

We created an email account and divided the children into four groups, mixing them for ages, so the eldest ones can support the younger kids. It looks like an easy job, but it’s not when we start. The first day, I immediately realised that including one of the elder boys in each group was a great idea. That day, I had to start only with the two youngest children because the eldest had to study. When I said: “Come on, how can we start an email?”, I just got silence and astonished faces as answers. But persisting, in two weeks we managed to finish and send the first mail with each group. Then it was the turn of the Catalan students. Will they answer? Will it take long?

From left to right: Bishwo, Ashish, Samir and Manoj. The first group to send email.
Purnima, Raju, Ramesh and Sushil writing one of the e-mails

Meanwhile, we connect to google maps and begin to look at the place we are sending the emails. Children enjoy seeing the buildings and streets of Castellar del Vallès. Once we have seen the school and the houses around it and we have discovered this new Internet tool, the kids request me: “Can we see the Camp Nou?”. So “travelled” around the Camp Nou, Sagrada Familia and the sea! As if we were looking through a window.

Four weeks after landing to Nepal the project had already begun to take shape: one group had already received the first response! yuhu! And now, after eigth weeks of the arrival in Nepal, we had exchanged photos, food recipes, traditions…

Sixth B class from the “Col·legi Mestre Pla” (Castellar del Vallès)

We are very happy and thrilled, hoping that the trend is going to be very positive and gradually grows. It is not only an exchange of perspectives, of their day to day, of the concerns, traditions, etc. The “connection NEPCAT” wants to go further because it will also allow the group work, practice English, explore new tools to search for information, Internet tools, etc.

This is just the beginning

Multilingual kids!

Some weeks ago we started to give Spanish and English lessons to the older ones in Balmandir. Up to now they are acquiring basic notions of Spanish and they can already express some simple sentences to greet, ask the time, the name, the age… It is kind of funny to walk around the house or Bhimphedi and suddenly hearing  “Como estás?” (“How are you?”), “Adiós!” (“Bye”) or  “Buenos días!” (Good morning!”) (even if sometimes they wish you good morning right before going to sleep! We’ll allow them to do so, poor them…) Besides, not only Balmandir kids greet in Spanish. Our boys have taught their classmates some sentences and they also shout in Spanish to us when they see us around.

Learning how to use the verb to be.
The new students taking notes.
Kamal, an advanced student!

Back to the Spanish lessons, the kids are learning basic vocabulary, the days of the week, the months of the year, the numbers, the alphabet, to conjugate some verbs… step by step! Every fifteen days they take part in a Quiz run by Dani. With some against the clock questions we check if they have assimilated the contents during the week and depending on how they manage the situation they can accumulate some points. Those points will be converted into prizes which they will have to choose by themselves. In this way we put their cooperation and effort capacity to the test while they learn a new language.

Concerning English lessons, we are reading every day a fragment from the novel “Momo”, written by Michael Ende. This book narrates the adventures of Momo, an extravagant girl but with an exceptional sense of empathy. Momo has to fight against the Men in Gray, some thieves who steal the time and joy to her town citizens. With this reading we intend the kids to get better English skills and to learn new expression forms and vocabulary. From time to time we watch a part of the movie based on the book. In this way we get away from routine and we clarify some parts of the book that they didn’t understand well. We also place some other activities among the Momo reading, as grammar or writing exercises and more amusing other ones.

Ashish and Ramraj focused doing the reading exercises.
Kamal re-reading the text.

The Amazing Buffalos

In April we started English classes for high school students in the public school in Bhimphedi. The only specialty that is offered in school is “education” for those boys and girls who want to become teachers, specialty in English.

Most of these students do not speak English. And they have studied in a model school where they are learning by rote, where teachers used physical punishment, lack of punctuality and determination (not a day that all school teachers appear in class). So, we thought that if we provided some different classes, where they could improve their English (to be taught in a few years) might be interesting to think how they want to teach in the future.

The classes are presented as follows: “The classes are completely optional, and do not put any note or give any certificate. Come only if you are interested in learning, do not have to pay anything, nor get teachers paid. But teachers will come every day to class, so all we ask is that you come every day and you may be punctual.”

Nerea and some of the students in the english class
Some of the English students

Since the first week we saw that these instructions were not as easy to follow for these future teachers… Every day, a different number of students, and every day there were and reappeared old who had not come the day before. Why? “Big problem at home”.

So we gradually reducing the number of students, thinking that if they saw that we were strict, they would be responsible. But eventually only one student has survived. But what a wonderful student! Just for him it is worth all the work.

Prabhat comes every morning at 9:30 at the shelter, once finished high school classes (which hopefully are 6 to 9 am). When he is with us he practices English grammar, reads Harry Potter in English, learns typing or using the computer.

Prabhat and Isabel doing an English class in Balmandir


In addition to strengthen this guy, we decided to sign him for teaching us help small children at the shelter. So he can gain experience and earn some money.

There can be no other way to end this post by thanking the wonderful volunteers who have been taking these classes in high school: Laura Conde, Nerea Guezuraga and Isabel Valero! Thank you and thank you!

I leave you with the first video of Prabhat directed by Sergio Rodríguezm an original story that Prabhat has prepared in class! The video has the option to add subtitles in English to follow better the story:

Harry Potter

In the Children’s Home we have some books: novels, stories and comics. But it is very unusual to see a kid reading any of these books. However, it is quite common to see a kid with the school bookd memorizing them. It is as if they were training for playing a Trivial tournament. Reading anything that does not prepare them for it, it’s considered “wasting time”. It is absolutely essential here to know who named the Pacific Ocean; or which is the lake located in the highest altitude; or the exact high of the mount Everest.

Nepalese use the same word for “to read” and “to study”: parnu (पढ्न). The number of literate people has increased a lot in the last ten years. But the culture of reading for pleasure is not widespread yet.

A few months ago Nerea Guezuraga started an activity with the secondary level kids of the Children’s Home to promote reading and to improve their English level. Every evening, after dinner, from 7 to 7:30, we have met in a room all together and listened a couple of pages of the first book of Harry Potter, read by the actor Steven Fry. In the most interesting or complicated passages, we stopped the recording and by turns a kid re-read the passage, and discussed it.





For months we have had this good habit. At first the children were a little bit reluctant, but towards the end of the book, the kids used to came quickly after dinner to the reading room. Many days requesting to read an extra page.

Finally, Sunday we finished “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”!

Tuesday is holiday: Sonam Losar (Tamang cast New Year), so we decide to project the film of the book we havejust finished reading. In this way we celebrate the first book of over a hundred pages all these children have read!

Within two months the children have to make the final exams. Once finished, we will begin the second book, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” Until then, children will keep training to be the best Trivial players!