We arrived back from our trek early enough on Monday to have a quick rest and shower before heading out for a bite to eat for lunch and then a refreshing sweet treat — frozen mint lemonades and chocolate milkshakes were favorites. After that, we went back to the hotel for a briefing about starting our volunteer project to begin the next morning and had some more down time.
For dinner we went to Lemon Tree and enjoyed getting to choose from a wide variety of meal options. Chicken burgers were popular. We also tested our knowledge with some trivia in honor of Canada Day. From there most of us turned in pretty early.
On Tuesday, we enjoyed a leisurely morning before heading off at 9:30 to our first of 8 days at our volunteer project. The school we are working at is called Shree Ratnaa Basic School and serves students aged 5 to approximately 14 years old. We spent our first day of work washing and spackling the walls of 2 classrooms as well as cleaning and sanding the classroom furniture. It was hot, sweaty, and dirty but everyone had a great attitude, kept busy, and worked hard.
After getting back to The Crown and cleaning up, we spent some time perusing the shops nearby. For dinner we headed back to Annapurna Adventures, and would you believe that on the way there we ran into the group from Dubai who happened to be headed there for dinner as well?! Such a coincidence! (wink, wink). It was the Dubai group’s last night before heading home, so it was really great to get to have this last chance to hang out together.
Today (Wednesday) we enjoyed the same leisurely start to the day before heading to the school to work. We started cleaning and spackling two additional classrooms and sanded and primed the classrooms we’d worked on the day before. This week the students are taking exams, so they are there for just a little while when we are working. Today, several groups of girls traveled classroom to classroom watching us work and practicing their English by asking all of us our names. This was a great opportunity for us to practice our Nepali by replying with, “Mero naam _________ ho” — which means, “My name is __________.” It is really hard not to take photos of their sweet faces to share with you, but out of respect for their privacy and safety and the culture, it is our policy not to take photos of children.
Tonight we enjoyed dinner at a Japanese restaurant and now the kids are making the most of a rain-free evening by hanging out on the rooftop patio. Tomorrow is the 4th of July! We’ll be having a regular day working at the school, but will be celebrating with hamburgers for dinner at the Lemon Tree. Wishing you all a festive and safe celebration back home!!!