Led by trek coordinator- Stephanie Moe, our intrepid 2013 group of volunteer trekkers arrived in Kathmandu on October 21st (along with TRIFC board member, Rose Stevens).
This group has done a spectacular job of raising funds with over $20,000 in donations coming in as a result of their efforts!!! TRIFC will utilize these funds for the greatest needs at our many projects sites in Nepal, helping to inspire, empower and educate children and adults with disabilities!
The day after the group arrived included sightseeing at UNESCO heritage sites- Kathmandu Durbar Square (palace square) and Swyambunath, or “monkey temple”.
|Is Angie Guiding Sita, or Vice-Versa?|
Following that, the group visited another world heritage site- Bodhanath Stupa where they had a ‘roof-top restaurant’ lunch with a beautiful view of Boudha Stupa.
|Tika Time at Kasthamandap Temple|
|Kid and Pigeons|
I’m sure the highlight of the day for our group was our afternoon visit to DNC (Disabled Newlife Center), home to 35 children with disability. Although many of the children had gone home for the Dashain holidays, there was a great group of about 15 excited kids left to interact with our group. After a brief tour of the DNC facilities we divided both the children and the volunteers into groups and did various activities. Quiet ones like coloring, artwork and puzzles, along with more active, outside games. Our volunteers did a fantastic job of engaging the kids and making up games and activities.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos yet because I was so busy prepping for my first ever, DNC puppet show extravaganza! I took some of the older kids aside and together we read a few short children’s stories that I had written. We chose one of those stories to bring to life via puppets and the portable puppet theater I had brought with me from home. We chose the story, ‘Seema and the Brown Bear’ to re-enact with the puppets. We practiced a few times and then ‘debuted’ the production for the entire group. What fun!!!
Lastly, we had some more snacks and handed out the ‘gift bags’ we had packed prior to our departure with a ‘Beanie Baby’, candy, toothbrush, toothpaste, a glider, pencil, etc. The kids LOVE these gifts. As always, it is difficult to leave this wonderful group of kids, but as darkness encompassed us, we boarded our bus and headed back to Kathmandu Guest House, home for the group until the trek begins.
It was a busy but inspiring day for the entire group…..we all slept well after our special day!