The adventure in Nepal begins at the airport. My welcome to Kathmandu began with traditional-dressed immigration agents and distinctive Suzuki cars and taxis outside the airport.
The people’s friendliness was one of the first things that touched me. The city’s heartbeat seems to be social gatherings and community. The locals, made up of several clans such as the Newarai’s and Brahmin, greeted me with open arms. Along with the exquisite presents, I was introduced to a whole new cuisine, which I immediately fell in love with. Two things you must try: the indigenous drink tituari and the renowned MoMo! I’ve really been ‘MOMOtized’ forever!
The School: Snow Manjushree
So, why had I decided to visit Nepal? The main reason was to do one of my storytelling sessions in a monk-founded orphanage. When I founded The Wadi Tribe, one of my main charitable goals was to instill a love of reading in underprivileged children all across the world, with a special focus on orphans.
These sessions are similar to those I would do in any public or private school, with one-on-one attention given to each child. With the goal that the storytelling session may inspire a child’s ‘IMAGINATION’ and love for reading.We all know that imagination fosters innovation, which fosters economic progress. In such gatherings, there is always at least one spark. The response is always wonderful, whether it’s to read more books, become authors, or simply tell stories.
How do we make this happen? With YOUR support. When you all donate books through our website, the books will be shipped to orphanages for free. So, thank you for allowing the following story to transpire!
We walked up a steep slope with occasional steps. It was supposed to be a ten-minute hike up the hill, but it took me almost an hour. Every time I paused to catch my breath, children and elderly folks in their 70s and beyond walked by without breaking a sweat. As I struggled to climb the slope, which the locals climbed 10 times on average every day, they all gave me a sympathetic grin. I wasn’t even hauling 18 kg of donation books. The luggage was spirited up the hill by two lovely young lads.
Finally, we arrived at Lama Dhundup’s amazing school. With breathtaking views in the background, little kids formed a line and adorned us with the traditional Khatta. The greeting would be incomplete without mentioning Semo, the dog! A gentle giant who belonged to the school as much as the students. Dogs hold a unique role in Nepali culture. The street dogs are quite friendly and freely wander the streets. Some dogs even sleep on the street. Everyone here loves them and feeds them generously.
We headed to a classroom for the storytelling session after another warm welcome from the entire school in an assembly. An open playing area, which was a strip of land on the edge of the mountain with amazing views, was crossed along the way. Children in groups playing a variety of activities, the most common of which being football. The entire school sat on a massive mountain ledge, although I refrained from calling it a mountain since everything seems like a hill when you’re so near to the Himalayas.
Earlier, I sat with Lama Dhundup, who told us about the school’s history. An incredible story that begins with what can only be described as an abundance of humanity! Lama Dhundup, a monk himself, founded the school with one goal in mind: to provide a holistic education to orphans and children who have been abandoned by their parents because of financial difficulties. Children learn Spanish and Chinese, among other languages, in addition to English and Hindi. The children pay close attention. Fundamentally in the school, there is a strong listening for the kids, who are hungry for knowledge.