December 2nd – Playing Father Christmas!

What a fascinating day today has been! There has been no school as it is a public holiday – a Buddhist one we discovered this morning. In Nepal it is the 17th day of the 11th month and the year is something like 2037! There have been big processions through the streets today with singing and banging of drums etc – a cacophony of noise from dawn to dusk. If you are a Buddist, today is the most auspicious day of the year on which to get married, so there have been wedding ceremonies galore. Unfortunately they all seem to take place behind closed doors so we didn’t really see any of what was happening, we just endured the noise. Sushil arrived at the hotel at 10.00 on his ancient motorbike and have offered to take me on his pillion, which I politely declined, we set off in search of the best deals we could find for musical

one of three sets of tabalas we bought today.

 instruments. It seemed to take for ever as we haggled over prices and qualities, with young men rushing off on bikes to find better instruments to meet Sushil’s exacting standards. In the end we got a good deal with about twenty five percent off for quantity and Sushil was like a child at his first Christmas when he is old enough to understand about presents! Hopefully we will take some pictures tomorrow of the students playing them. We also found the DVD player, music system etc etc which was needed to link up the mixer board and various bits of kit that he has in his ‘music room’ (thank you so much Nick for your contribution. It is a Sony system, so should be really good) and ordered a taxi to get it all back to the hotel. We then set off in search of CDs and DVDs which will show the students what it can sound like and came back by Rickshaw as Sushil told me he had never been in one! He eventually went back to Samata beaming in all directions, leaving me just time to sort out all the parcels in my room before Basu and Gopi arrived for lunch and shopping expedition number two! They, like Sushil were totally overwhelmed by the hotel. I don’t think they had ever been in one like this before. They wanted to eat what we were eating – steak and chips as it happened – but when it came I suddenly realised that they were picking at their food because they didn’t know how to use a knife and fork! They eat with their fingers of course. So steak cutting lessons followed and they thoroughly enjoyed their western food.

These madalas will be used by the Class 10 band at a special assembly tomorrow

We then set off for the first of about six book shops specialising in reference books for teachers and senior students. Having tactfully enquired about what they earn a month – Basu about £50 and Gopi £40 ish – I realised that the text books they need for their teaching (such as a good Oxford reference dictionary, a thesaurus etc, represent more than a month’s wages! They spent a couple of hours ‘in heaven’ trying to decide what they needed most for their work and also what we could buy for the older students that would not be locked away in the library, and therefore inaccessible, when the volunteers are not there. This is a problem we HAVE to resolve if we can before we leave as it seems to what happens much of the time. I found proper picture books for the nursery class which will go into the cupboard that is going into the nursery classroom tomorrow so that they are accessible at all times to the little ones. Back to the hotel for a cup of Marsala tea before Basu rushed off to a cousin’s wedding and Gopi to is studies. It was wonderful to see three people so delighted and overwhelmed by being given the materials/resources they need to do their jobs properly, and made me realise yet again just how fortunate we are. The ‘book’ is coming together. In between shopping sessions today I have managed to type out another five essays and Janice has also done a couple for me. I have a meeting with the publishers tomorrow evening, so I just hope we can agree a price I can afford and the go ahead with the printing.

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One Response to “December 2nd – Playing Father Christmas!”

  1. anne from finland Says:

    What an adventure you´ve all the time! On Tuesday evening we were at Kalle´s school concert at Alava church and he will be there with his orchestra again next Tuesday evening. We really enjoy! As mrs. Santa I´ve busy times just now. You´ve one week left there. Have a nice week!

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