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.

Lama Dhundup!
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. 

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The Storytelling Session!
While the older students rearranged the furniture in a classroom, all 109 students sat on soft mats, eager to see what I had projected on the screen. It was the first time an author had visited their school, and the room went hushed as I began to speak about ‘Little fish.’ All eyes and ears were fixed on the presenter. I switched between English and Urdu, a first for me in a mixed-language storytelling session.

Oh, the joy we had as we all began singing the Little Fish’s fruity roll song. One of my favorite memories was hearing the youngsters sing “All for me.”

Tach the Hurler
When I introduced Tach the hurler and the game of Hurling to the children, they were initially confused, but quickly became fascinated. They had never heard of Hurling before, and the most common response was, “Is that hockey?” Well, hasn’t ground hockey originated in Hurling? The children soon showed an interest in playing hurling in Nepal. I’m not sure how they’ll manage to play on the edge of the mountain, but they haven’t lost a football yet, so these amazing children may surprise us all! I’ll be doing another full blog on GAA and Tach the Hurler in Nepal after this.

Donate a book
Although the children lacked ‘worldly’ possessions, they were all content and happy. However, the children are eager to study and discover more about the world. I left with a treasure trove of memories.

There are numerous photos and videos attached to this article that I hope will serve as a window into their world! Please contact us if you would want to support these children by giving books or in any other way.

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