Wednesday, January 23, 2013

四个月尼泊尔的志工分享

 2011 年二月,我去了一趟尼泊尔,在加德满都当了4 个月的义工。 我想在这里和大家分享一些经验。
文章记载了从我开始接触 到策划,然后到实行的心情, 好让那些有心要当志工而又感觉到害怕的朋友有一个可以参考的地方。
让我慢慢的把 我的纪录上载给大家分享。也请大家多多指教。

Friday, October 7, 2011

A SUMMARY OF MY NEPAL VOLUNTARY PLACEMENT

After being continuously working as an engineer in over the past 10 year, I had come to the decision to have a career break by end of 2010. Right after the Chinese New Year in February 2011, I set off for Nepal, one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world to participate in a four-month volunteering work.

Having done some studies, I had finally chosen Umbrella Foundation (UF), an Irish founded Kathmandu based Children home to be my placement for the voluntary assignment.

The UF is a small Independent None Government Organization (INGO) whereby its operations is basically support by the donation raised from all over the world.

Ten years of civil war in Nepal, which ended in 2008 had displaced more than tens of thousands of children. With countless children orphaned and even more trafficked and/or abandoned, UF was established with the goal to rescue destitute children and given them access to education and at the same time working on re-unify the misplace children to their family. There are currently seven children homes under the UF, sheltering over three hundreds children; of which six are in Kathmandu and another one is in Rasuwa, which located at the edge of The Himalaya range.

Upon arrival, I settled into the volunteer house which located within walking distance to the children homes. At here, I get to know other volunteers from all over the world such as Ireland, Germany, Canada and France.

My volunteering life began with a simple greeting “Namaste”(NOTE 1) . I was being introduced to 46 boys as their new sister (NOTE 2). My worries waned immediately when I was warmly welcomed with the innocent smiley faces of the children during out first met. Thereafter, I sat to have my first dal baht (NOTE 3) meal with the kids, learning to eat with hand by mixing the dal with the rice and the skill of putting it into my mouth.

My daily duties involve serving the morning dal baht at around 820am before the kids go to school and walked them to the school which is about 2 km away from the children homes. Volunteers will then gather back at the volunteer house to have our weekly meeting or to have a group discussion for the Saturday activities. Around 3pm, volunteers will again bring home the kids and help to serve them their tea and bread before they began their afternoon study session. Football, basket ball and frisbee are the most popular games for the kids in the evening. Dal bath will then be served at 530pm follow by an evening study session.

As Nepal rest day is on Saturday, we shall endevour to organize some activities on every rest day such as football match between houses, drawing or chess competition, treasure hunt, talent shows or sports day.

Apart from what had just mentioned, each of the volunteers are being assigned with different jobs. I was being assigned to update the kids’ background in the organization database which is of great help when come to reunifying the kids with their long lost family. I was also involved in the preparation of teaching material for school in Gurje, a remote village located north of Kathmandu whereby the UF is working closely to educate the locals. Two volunteers will travel to Gurje to conduct an English teaching lesson to the local school and at the same time promoting personal health and hygiene knowledge to the locals on weekly basis.

Whilst, my assignment with the UF has also enabled me to personally witness a few cases of family reunions. I still can recall vividly the emotional impulse and excitement between the ‘lost-and-found’ kids and their respective parents, moving all of us to tears.

In May 2011, UF opened a new home in Rasuwa. 60 kids were being sent back to their origin province in order to be closer to their families. 130km north of Kathmandu, deep down into the bottom of the Himalaya range, it took the kids 9 hours journey by bus to arrive at a small village name Syambubesi, which is a famous for the starting point for Lantang(NOTE 4) trekking.

Three weeks later, later, together with another volunteer, we set off to Syambubesi to visit the kids . Notwithstanding the beautiful scenery along the countryside, our journey was “incredibly terrifying”. The bus was overloaded with uncountable locals and their poulty such as roosters & goats. Some were even ‘sat’ on the bus roof! I can feel my heart beat jumping fast and i dare not to even look out the window as the road is to narrowed for the bus to go through, one inch away from the road is the canyon with few thousand meter depth in the Himalaya range. The bus wheels just couldn’t afford to slide more than one inch away from the ground

The visit to Rasuwa home was wonderful and I am delighted to find out that the kids adapted well to their new environment. The UF is working closely with the only school in the area in order to provide education for the new arrivals. Having been relocated closer to the kids’ origin village, I witnessed mothers carried baby on their back, walk at least 4 hours over the mountains to visit their long lost child. After a series of assessment, families which are affordable to bear their own kid are allow to bring home their children; else the children will continue staying with UF to received education.

In a blink of an eye, my four months of placement ended with a good mixture of laughter and tears. The bond between the kids and me has grown strong to an extent that words can not describe.

End of June 2011, when it was the time to wake up from this wonderful dream and head back to reality. I had a wonderful farewell party with the kids followed by the traditional Nepalese blessing ceremony whereby tikka(NOTE 5) and khata(NOTE 6) were presented.

Stepping out from the house holding my farewell cards from the kids, I turn around to see the kids gathering at the gate and the balcony waving good bye to me. I wave back strongly to them the one last time with my tears rolling out from my eyes. Whizzing through the small alley heading back to the volunteer house, accompany by millions of stars smiling back at me, I feel the satisfaction for what I had done for the pass four months. The memories with the kids will be kept deep down in the bottom of my heart as part of the most unique and unforgettable experience in my life.


Note:


1. Namaste is the most common greeting in Nepal. It has the same meaning as Hello or How are you.


2. The kids address a female volunteer as sister and a male volunteer as brother.


3. Dal bath is the basic food in nepal which consist of rice and dal and abit of curry vegetable. It is being served twice a day as breakfast and dinner.


4. Langtang is one of the most remote areas of Nepal. Bordering Tibet, the mountaneous Langtang National Park is known for its spectacular Himal Mountain Views, and is a popular trekking destination.


5. Tikka is a red powder to put on the forehead as a blessing.

6. Khata is a scarf to be given to someone who is leaving for a journey as a good luck and safe journey blessing.























Monday, April 11, 2011

玻璃杯&汤匙

上个星期五,我特地带了3 个星期天早上回去了Rasuwa  的孩子到Durba Square 一天游。 想让他们看看加德满都另一番面貌,好让他们可以记得他们在这里一些不同的画面。
孩子一早已经换好衣服,乖乖的在等出门。Pasang 还很有礼貌的把手洗干净,抹干了以后才来拖我的手。一个这么可爱懂事的孩子,无论他怎么做,我的心早就已经被他溶化了!
上了的士,孩子很礼貌的问我可不可以把 车窗搅下。 在我轻轻的点过头可许下,孩子才小心翼翼的把窗口搅下。 一阵凉风吹进,我不知道过些日子,孩子还会不会记得有这么的一天,但肯定的是 这一天必定会是我人生当中最值得怀念的其中一天。
到了目的地,孩子很小心的把车窗搅回原本的位置, 这么自律的举动让我感觉到他们的细心!
其实我们在Durba Square 上的活动 并没有什么特别值得纪念的, 大伙儿只不过是拍拍照,追追白鸽。
过后,我带了他们进入了餐厅,买了他们很想吃的雪糕给他们。每一个小孩得到一杯自己专属的雪糕。他们高兴得不得了!要知道这些住在一个拥有46 个小孩的大家庭里,有谁可以真正的拥有过属于自己的一杯雪糕呢?
当服务员送来三杯用玻璃杯装着的白开水时,孩子很小心翼翼的拿起杯子, 轻轻的和大家碰了碰杯,偷偷的笑了一下,然后才开始喝起来。与此同时,还是忍不住地互相的通过玻璃杯里的水而对望,想必是在取笑着对方因水中的折射而造成有趣的脸孔。 一个我们感觉平凡无奇的玻璃杯对尼泊尔的小孩来说可是无比的特别和有趣!因为大多数的尼泊尔人一生当中都只用铁杯子来盛水和茶!玻璃杯对于他们来讲已经是很奢华的惨剧。
我叫了一碟饺子给孩子吃。孩子轻轻的问我,“姐姐,等一下我们用手吃还是用汤匙吃?” 我告诉他们只要他们喜欢,他们可以选择用手或者用汤匙。 三个孩子异口同声地说了一声“我们要用汤匙!” 他们这个回答,让我顿时发现原来孩子觉得可以用汤匙吃东西是被看重的得对待。原来这些小小的心灵是那么的希望被尊重和拥有自己的Dignity (尊严有一点太重了,但是我找不到适当的字眼来代替)!!我赶快就服务生给我们送来汤匙, 孩子很兴奋的握着他们的汤匙他们的,津津有味的吃着鸡肉饺子。
一段小小的出门,三个小男生让我上了一堂人生课 (至少我是这样认为的)。 一些我们毫不起眼的事情,可以是对别的人有着莫大意义!只要大家细心一点的观察, 你也可以为周边的人带来快乐, 甚至是他们的尊严!
我希望,这不是我过分幻想的情形,至少我已经尝试着尽我所能的把事情做好!
回家的路上,孩子告诉我“Sister, I am very happy today! Thank you Sister!”
我使劲的忍住我那已经在眼眶里打转的眼泪回答他们“ Sister is happy if you are happy!”

Friday, April 8, 2011

Gurje Photos

   
Overview for Gurje
For more Gurje photos, pls visit
http://www.facebook.com/pages/%E5%8F%8C%E9%B1%BC%E7%9A%84%E5%87%BA%E8%B5%B0/192928537390463#!/album.php?fbid=214147381935245&id=192928537390463&aid=67391

The Thunderstorm Night in Gurje


The second night was a rough night in Gurje. Waking up by the thunderstorm, I peer at my watch which shows only 1.30am.
Heavy rain pound on the metal roof, creating a loud yet scary noise. Strong wind treated to blow away the roof and even the entire village. I start to imagine landslide might occur and swallow the entire valley. When the rain gets heavier, I felt it just falls right next to me as there are barely any sound proof on the that single layer of roof and the thins layer of stone wall.
Embrace myself more inside the sleeping bag, I try to falls back into sleep, telling myself to let it to the god as there are nothing much I can do at this moment.

Waking up in a peaceful and silent morning, hearing only the bird singing gracefully, everything seems to be in place and the whole village is still standing still fine.

Walking out from the health post, a clear view of Lantang Mt appears right in front of my eye. Thank you to the thunderstorm, which wash away the dust in the air and clear the sky, I manage to have a closer and clearer view of the magnificient Lantang Mt cover with snow.
I stroll down gentling towards the UF base camp to help preparing our dal bhat before leaving the heavenly place, Gurje.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Greeting


Waking up at 6am in the fogging morning, I try to get ourselves ready in the limited facilities. While I am walking up back to the UF base camp on the winding mud road, I heard a little voice shouting “Sister! Namaste!” It cannot be true as there were only local kids on the hill. Without more hesitation, I continue walking until I heard another little voice calling out “ Sister! Namaste!”
I look up and see a boy, who is only 7 or 8 years old, carrying his younger brother on his back waving at me and call out again “ Sister! Namaste!!!”
I quickly response and greet them with my hand waving strongly to them “ Namaste Boys!!” I am trilled! I think the boy must had attended the English class in the school, which teach by the UF volunteer every Wednesday and Thursday during school term.

Oh boy! They just brighten up my morning with the warmest greeting and smile on their face! The boys running into the wheat farm and disappear themselves, leaving me with the echo of the greeting “Sister! Namaste!” in the air.