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Friday, February 24, 2012

A happy Losar

The last few days have been spent celebrating Losar, the Tibetan Buddhist new year. The kids were overflowing with contagious excitement as they decorated their rooms and wore their traditional Nepali outfits. The morning of the first day was greeted by hugs and smiles and a special breakfast. Usually the volunteers eat breakfast after the kids are finished and everything is cleaned up, but that morning the kids waited for us to come down from our rooms to start eating so that we could join them. The day was spent playing outside, blasting and old Beyonce CD and showing the girls how we dance and being taught how they dance.Then dinner. Meals are a big part of holidays everywhere. The 4 days were mostly spent eating and playing with some alone time reading and drinking milkshakes by the lake side.Last night, for the final Losar hoorah the kids, the volunteers, the staff, and some visitors gathered together to watch the kids perform traditional songs and dances and eat the 800 some buffalo momos (nepali dumplings) that the staff spent the day cooking. It was impossible not to smile through the whole night with the amount of joy and laughter. It was a happy happy Losar.

Two nights ago me and 11 other volunteers spent the night at Sarangkot high up on a mountain over looking all of Pokhara. We woke up at 5:30 the next morning and watched the sun spill over the horizon, and made it back down to the city for breakfast time. I have met some fantastic, wonderful people here. Many of them are leaving tomorrow, which is sad, but really just means I now have a very good reason to visit Canada and Australia.

There are so many moments of pure joy that I have experienced here, it is hard to remember to write about them all. But I'll list a few briefly for a glimpse into the happiness I am feeling:

There are scheduled blackouts everyday, so there extended periods of time when the city has very little electricity. Many places have generators, but even still when it happens at night, it is incredibly dark. When the power is out at night, I like to go to the rooftop of the orphanage and look at the sky. The city is usually still awake and loud, but I still find such peace in that moment.

The kids are split into "houses" which are the rooms they stay in, and each staff member has a group of kids they are responsible for. Chewaang is the caretaker of the pink house, and on the first day of Losar, the girls gave him something wrapped in paper. I watch him open it after breakfast, and he peeked inside and saw that it was a single rose. He exploded in the most joyful laughter and just laughed and laughed and smiled as he showed us what was inside the paper.

One of my volunteer friends, Dave, playing the drums while the kids sing and dance to traditional songs. All outside in the courtyard in the gorgeous afternoon sun.

Those are only a few, but again, every moment of every day here has been perfect. The time spent with the kids as well as the time spent with my new friends. My heart is full and I am learning so much about myself and all the people and things around me. Love and light.<3

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