Journey to Archale
Journey to Archale…
We traveled the six hours from Kathmandu to the village of Archale, where our project is located. As we approached the village and entered the schoolyard, the students were wrapping up their day. The children formed into lines by their class in the back of the school to close the day with exercises and giving thanks.
The next day, many of the students arrived early as they often do to play games and spend time with friends. I joined in one of their games and enjoyed the energy and joy that radiated from each of the children.
That morning an old man from our village came by the school with his 4-year-old grandson who recently had surgery to repair a whole in his heart. About 8 months ago I had connected the family with a friend of mine who works at a hospital in Kathmandu who helped arranged for the little boy to meet with a renowned cardiologist. Due to the family’s economic status they were able to receive financial assistance from the government, which enabled them seek medical help in the first place. As the grandfather described how well is grandson was doing after surgery and how grateful he was, he was overcome with emotion and gratitude.
The next day, we went for a long walk to a few of the nearby villages to see a hydropower project that is currently underway. I was interested to see how the project was progressing, as it has already and will continue to change the lives of those living in the surrounding areas. Things are already starting to change, the landscape, jobs, constructing of roads, outsiders now living in small villages where before there had been very little contact with the outside world.
Over the weekend Paul (Saprinu’s Rural Development & Education Director), Sudan (the principal of the school) and I visited with the principal of the nearby government school. We were interested to learn more about what some of the struggles and challenges have been for their school in the past. It is critical to continue learning about the realities of working with the government in a place like Nepal. We learned that the government only supplies enough money to pay half of the teachers, so it is up to the school to figure out how to pay everyone else, making it difficult to focus on other things like quality of education. Just one of many topics we discussed.
Paul and I spent much time working in our new office in Archale, which is a magical spot about 30 min walk, under a grand old tree over looking the river gorge and a birds eye view of our village. As we sat and worked the occasional goat herder would pass by, and sit for a brief chat. As we spent our days working in the village, Paul and I both agreed that we’d take this work environment over working in an office any day! I feel blessed each day to be able to live and work so close to nature. My mind quiets as we travel further away from the city and the mountains begin to surround us 360 degrees.
Love & light,