Over spring break I traveled to Nepal along with other Friends students to begin construction on a school in a rural village. We partnered with an organization called build on (www.buildon.org) that helps to build schools in rural communities all over the world. As we approached Damaliyah we were able to see the towns people in the distance, they were all gathered in one big mob waving to us in anticipation of our arrival. Almost immediately after dismounting the van we were whisked away to an opening ceremony that the villagers had prepared for us. The ceremony was filled with endless dances, songs, and speeches and by the end one thing was clear. They were certainly pleased to have us there.
My favorite part of the trip was interacting with our home stay family. The first night was awkward. Our host family only knew a few words of English and our only knowledge of Tharu came from a 5 page handbook that was mostly outdated. After some practice and with the help of our translators we were able to manage fairly well. It was easier to communicate with the children than it was the parents because the children were more out going and less embarrassed than the parents. One of the most satisfying moments of the trip was getting to play soccer with a bunch of the local kids. As a gift for my host family I got a soccer ball but at first the kids began to it to play volleyball. We played volleyball for a bit until I put the ball on the ground and made a motion for soccer. The other kids nodded and we began to play. Within no time everyone was screaming and yelling at each other and even though we didn’t speak the same languages, I still felt as if we were still able to connect really well