Nepal July Update by Ryan Vitale
As we drove through the fields, filled with the greenery of the rice patties, women dressed in colorful saris and vibrant homes we were all eager to begin construction and education today in the Suntahkun village. Collectively we have deemed our driver the ultimate “New York Taxi Driver” due to their insane capability to maneuver through rigorous mountain roads and chaotic city streets. (Don’t worry parents and friends, we’ve only almost tipped over once; while crossing a bridge which was only inches wider than the bus) After a 45 minute drive to the village we stepped out to only be greeted by the most heart-warming and tender smiles of the 228 students we will soon become forever connected to.
Today was our first official day of construction. Our team goal is to finish the new school building, which is only about half complete, including plastering and painting rooms, all by the end of the week. We wiped, dusted, and sanded down the rooms, preparing them to be freshly painted. The students were all so willing to help us with our wall plastering project, forming an assembly line moving bricks from the upper level of the school to the lower. Coming home all covered in dust made the day’s work feel worth it. Both Erik’s, James, and Ryan even had to go buy new elephant pants down the street from our hotel because their work pants were so dirty.
Nepal so far has been amazing. We spent our first day in Nepal being greeted by Nabin, and his friends and family. He showed us traditional Nepalese food and the temple around our hotel. By 6 pm we were all trying to keep our eyes open and I don’t think anyone had trouble sleeping. The next day we could really appreciate the culture on their holy day, walking around the temple outside our hotel. We all shopped for gifts, and learned how to properly barter with the locals. We went and visited Monkey Temple (yes there are monkeys all over the temple) which was a very humbling and amazing experience. We got to see where they cremate people and send them down the river which connects to the Ganges. The culture is amazing here, and the people are so happy even though they have almost nothing. The village is beautiful and we have never felt more welcome before. We can’t wait to make great relationships and help finish the school!