It’s been a wonderful trip leading up to the New Year! Over the last couple of weeks, our organization, TRIFC, hosted a camping trip with the kids from both DHC Newlife Center (DHC) and Disabled NewLife Center (DNC) followed by a 6-day Life Skills Training course for the Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI). Many last minute changes occurred due to weather and bandhs (road closures due to political strikes). However, everything went without a hitch. The camping trip was a huge success - it included art and craft activities, a magic act, sleeping in tents (a first for many of the kids), followed by a road trip to Dhulikhel for a wonderful picnic at a gorgeous and spacious park. Both events, the camping trip and the Life Skills course was based at the DNC home. Fun was had by all!
But alas, here I am back in Thamel, the tourist district and last night was New Year’s Eve. Food vendors had set up shop on the sidewalks and the streets were packed with people all dressed up and ready to party. I got back early from my activities of the day and spent the evening with Naseer, a shop owner from Kashmir, India, talking about each others’ lives over a cup of tea. Tea flows freely here. Walk into any shop and tea will usually, but not always, be offered. I then headed to the closest store and got some treats for myself and the boys at the front desk here at my hotel. We enjoyed a delicious platter of buff (buffalo) momos, Fanta (it’s the go-to soda pop drink here!) and some crunchy snacks. It was our little way of celebrating the New Year. But it was short-lived as the boys had to get back to work to attend to their guests.
One thing about Nepal, there are numerous occasions to celebrate the New Year. For many of us the New Year is a time of reflection. As I reflect back on the last year and the last month for that matter, I am very grateful. I am grateful to be able to return to this lovely country in such a short time and spend it with amazing people, especially the kids! This trip has been and continues to be everything - exhausting but mostly rejuvenating, sad but mostly happy, yet most of all, inspiring. I’m inspired by the strength and spirit of the Nepali people. I wish them and all of you, a joyous, healthy and uplifting New Year 2072! Namaste.