So I'm about a week and a half in and things are plodding along nicely here on Lakeside, Pokhara. I'm settled into a work routine now, making daily visits to one of the local Street Kids centres out here. These place take in children (mostly boys) who have been sent by their families to the city in order to make some money to send home. They tend to quickly get involved with other children and become quite dependent on sniffing glue to get them through the day. Because they can be quite successful with begging for food and rupees they often resist help from any of the agencies out here who would feed, clothe and educate them as well as give them a stable roof over their heads. The allure of a life on the streets where noone can tell them what to do is too much. Fortunately their are plenty who have been rescued and I'm getting to know a small handful of them. Bibek, Jivan, Shandeesh and little Alani are just some of the boys I'm getting to know and what an intense experience it is! They're very scrappy and can be quite vicious about sharing the coloured pencils and paper I take every day. On a whim I picked up a pack of stencils from the Early Learning Centre before coming out and they love them - I'm building up quite a collection of colourful drawings which I'm sure will make it onto my classroom wall! When term starts again next week I'll be spending my days in one of the local schools. but will come and spend time with the boys in the evening, helping with homework and bedtime.
In other news myself and some of the volunteers are getting ourselves ready for a Nepali wedding that we have been kindly invited to this weekend. We have been into town to choose the fabric for our traditional outfits and have been seeking advice on appropriate wedding gifts. In the meantime I'm also hoping to visit the nearby Mountain Museum (apparantly I'm surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains here but there's not a chance of seeing them through the constant monsoon cloud cover!) as well as a trip to the Seeing Hands massage centre, staffed entirely by blind masseurs. Also hope to make it up the the World Peace Pagoda soon; our last trip was called off because of rain. My feet are starting to go quite manky in the mud - I've got a couple of nasty bites on one foot which have gone a bit yukky and swollen. Hope I don't come back with trench foot!
That's it for now. The sun is making a rare appearance and I fancy a stroll by the lake.
All the best,