December 1st – this time next week!

This time next week we’ll be home! It doesn’t seem possible that a month has gone by – well almost – since we left England and that it is now December. Yet in other ways it feels as though we’ve been here for ever. The class 9 (15/16 year olds) – who have been frantically trying to finish their essays for the competition today, as the deadline was 3pm – have all been saying “ do you have to go home ma’am?

The competitors - all hoping to be 'published' + Basu, their teacher.

Can’t you stay a bit longer? It’s been fun and we’ve still learnt a lot.” (They don’t do fun in school normally!) What more can you ask for from a bunch of teenagers? I shall miss them tremendously. They’ve all been giving me their email addresses today; none of them have computers of course, but they all have email addresses which they use at the very grotty so called cyber cafes that are in shacks on almost every street corner. I can see I shall be kept very busy an answering them. I also have invitations in principle from three secondary high schools to go back and do some teacher training in October next year, which is when they have their long holiday. I would love to do it in many ways and it is what they desperately need. We’ll see. I shall need quite a bit of work from EMLC to pay for it. We have an interesting situation in the hotel at present. Yesterday there were big union meetings of hotel and restaurant staff across Kathmandu and the threat of a major strike of hotels and restaurants. When we went down to dinner last night there were hardly any staff on duty at all; breakfast this morning was also sparsely staffed and the food was not as varied as usual and dinner tonight was served by one person, and there were almost no other people eating. No-one will say what is going on but we think they may be working to rule and were it not for us and a very few other long term ‘regulars’ the hotel would be closed. It’s like a ghost town up here now; beds have not been turned down tonight and the cleaning today seems to have been minimal. We’re not complaining as the staff here have been wonderful, but it would be good to know just what is going on! The idea for the bookof children’s writing to be published out here and sold in the UK seems to be taking shape and I have a meeting with the publishing company on Thursday. The biggest problem is getting all these essays typed out and into a format that will work before we leave next Monday. I was up till 1 am this morning typing away, and another twenty or so have been handed in today.

The redoubtable five - Janice, Mary, Ann,Chris - and me!

They won’t all go in, but a fair proportion will, and they need quite savage editing in some instances, as Nepalis do tend to be quite long winded, telling you things several times just in case you didn’t get it the first time! Even more boring in writing than speech. It will be worth it though, if I can pull it off. The children are so excited at the thought of seeing their names in print, and their teacher is also delighted that it is his children that have been chosen, and that he is mentioned in the foreword. On that note I shall stop rambling and go back to typing out their stories. Tomorrow is a public holiday so we can have breakfast somewhat later and then I have my three teachers coming for their shopping expedition.

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One Response to “December 1st – this time next week!”

  1. Christine Says:

    Sorry I have not contacted you before – but what a fantastic and worthwhile time you seem to be having, delly belly notwithstanding! I have been reading your blogs avidly – at least I have since I realised that the ‘feed’ I had subscribed to was not picking them all up and to be sure I had to go to the website.

    Do hope we will see you next Tuesday when you get back and see all you photos. Give me a ring once you collect your car from Hemel. We are off to New York this evening, but will be back Monday morning, and I am not going into work again until Wednesday. Incidentally, if you do not feel up to driving back home on Tuesday evening after the long flight, you would be very welcome to stay the night.

    One thing you might be interested in. Just after you went to Katmandu I saw an obituary for Canon Stephen Verney. I had not realised he had died, and nor had I realised he had gone to Repton at some stage after Coventry, so perhaps you came across him again then? Trouble with obituaries is that you always learn such interesting things about perople – such as what he did during the war – that you wish you had known when the person was alive!

    Nepal has also been in the news here too. Don’t know whether you have been aware of it, but there has apparently been a big festival where 250,000 animals were killed. Not sure who was most outranged – animal rights people, or those who thought children should not have been taken to watch.

    Anyway, I really need to go and pack as we need to leave for Heathrow in less than an hour!

    Safe journey home, and hope to see you on Tuesday

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