Our trip has gone by so quickly! We are having an amazing time here in Nepal. To recap, on Saturday we had our excursion day. We visited a few different Hindu temples and then we visited the Monkey Temple, which is a Buddhist Stupa. It rained on the second half of our day, when we were at the Monkey Temple, but we continued to tour and shop. We still had so much fun because we were able to relax and enjoy our day off. On Sunday, we went back to the village and continued to work on the patio and canteen, as well as painting the classrooms.

We have successfully painted the whole outside of the school and we’re currently painting four of their classrooms. Meredith Barney is in charge of one of the rooms and she sketched out a beautiful arch that represents Utah. Her idea lights up the classroom and it looks really good! In another classroom, the students asked us to paint flags across the room, which also looks amazing! Madeline, our Assistant Team Leader, has been writing quotes outside of the classroom windows and Team Leader Ruth has sketched a globe in one of the upstairs classrooms. The school is starting to look more lively and happy and we are all so excited!

After all of our leveling, digging, and hard work, we finally finished the patio! We are all so happy to have finished it. It looks great, and it is exciting that the kids now have a better surface to play on! The canteen has been a work in progress for this trip. We have a lot to do, but we are determined to finish since tomorrow is our last work day. This trip has gone by so fast and all of our projects have been so successful! It feels great to go back to the hotel every night and be as tired as we are because we all put so much effort into each project.

The home visits today were amazing. According to one of our translators, he nearly broke into tears because it was heart breaking. In one situation, a woman spoke about her forced arranged marriage at 13 years old. Students on the visit were taken aback by this story and it is saddening that women are still forced into arranged marriages. Also during these home visits, the group visited many single mothers that were struggling who shared their stories as well.

Ever since our excursion day, we have done some major shopping. Our hotel is located around the Boudhanath Stupa, where we have some time each morning and evening to shop. I think we are all pro-bargainers since we’ve been bargaining this whole trip. We will have closing ceremonies soon. We are all sad to leave the kids and the school. I think the most important thing we’ve learned from this trip so far is cooperation, and we’ve all learned to get to know each other well. Our team gets along and has a great team dynamic, I will miss Nepal so much and I am so sad to leave!

-Maddie Kwun