The future belongs… 20 October 2010

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams…………..this sign of hope appears on the wall of Snowlands in big letters as a reminder of ‘what could be’……….but ‘what is’ is not that clear………….for me, visiting the school becomes this emotional tug of war between hope and despair……………the pervading sense of goodwill and love amongst the kids for each other and for all the volunteers who are there on any given day, is the light that shines very brightly for all to see. But the shadow is there too, if you keep a mental check on reality………..is everything being done to further the best interests of these children or is the insidious greed of those who take more than they give stronger than the obvious need? the answers are not clear. All I know, is that time spent here is enriching at a heart level from the perspective of real and touching human contact. But the moment I go into my head space of trying to effect even the smallest change and make a difference that will be sustainable once we go home again, I feel frustrated and inadequate. I get the feeling that nothing we do changes anything here………….the system is so entrenched in the Nepalese culture and even the locals can’t find an easy solution to the obvious problems. Overcrowding, level of education, acquiring skills for life as a successful adult in Nepal – these are issues for which there are no immediate solutions. But there is a willingness, combined with an open heart and mind for many who come into contact with the Snowlands kids, to find a workable system that can make a difference. Meetings are being held constantly to find ways forward…………we can only hope and pray that those who have the control will make the necessary shifts. Until then, whilst I am here, my desire is to spend as much quality time as we can with these wonderful souls who seem to love every minute we give them……….yesterday we made cards and took photos for them to send to family (if they can locate them); today we will make a pudding (chocolate and biscuits layered cake – the only solution Joan and I could find to baking without an oven!) – they don’t get dessert in their daily diet – so the fear is that this might be too rich for them. The painting continues – each time we arrive there is another order for paint to refresh another dormitory or classroom – the local paint man gives me a big smile every time he sees me approaching…………..we have probably increased his monthly sales by tenfold!
We have enjoyed the hospitality of many of Marie’s contacts here – given freely and lovingly during this festival time………….we have been tika’d (blessed with the red past applied to our foreheads) a few times, and participated in private family celebrations that have been delightful to witness…………….even the family of the Nepalese cricket captain welcomed us into their home and shared a delicious lunch with us, plied us with gifts and then sent us on our way. We have many photos which serve as a visual diary…….but my computer skills limit me sending them from the internet cafe…………
Our visit to Nagarkot to watch the sunrise over the Hilmalayas defies words……………it felt like a view through God’s window………….not really sure which one of the snowcapped peaks was Everest, but the sight was overwhelming………..shared on the rooftop of the hotel with a ‘united nations’ of other guests…………..we stayed in a charming hotel with cottages clinging to the hillside……….a little concerning when we felt the midnight rumblings of a distant earthquake…………
Bhaktapur is the ancient town we visited on our return to Kathmandu…..and had the priviledge of meeting Madhu, a Thanka painter, who creates exquisite works of art……each significantly inscribed to convey special blessings for the person who purchases it. The meditation room at home will now be adorned with a rather stunning painting of the Goddess of Compassion with her many heads and 1 thousand hands…………she comes complete with a satin shroud to maintain her ‘energy’ – the idea being that you only lift it when you wish to meditate on her ………she is hidden at all other times.
Looking forward to heading off to the school again now………….to enjoy more of what the children have which they are happy to give so freely………..love and affection.
x Kim

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