21.09.2008 28 °C
What can I say - I love my girls - they are - Rekha, Bhagawati, Sadhara, Kungang, Dolma, Doma, Rechana, Durga, Minijang, Omni and Mindul. Each are unique and very special. The ages for the girls are guesses - as it really hard to figure out how old they really are !!
Nepal is trying hard to rid itself from the caste system - however the children are very aware of which caste they are placed in - Durga is among the highest caste in the Orphanage. She is 14 years old and has been living at the orphanage for the past few years. Her parents gave her to an aunt and uncle as they could not able to care for her. The aunt and uncle could no longer provide for her and so she ended up at the orphanage. She has a look about her and height that makes her look like a runway model. She is very talkative, bossy and a little hyper. She likes being the center of attention and of all the children I would say she is the moody one. She makes me laugh as she is very funny. She would like to stay at home and do household task as opposed to going to school. She is treated differently then the other girls by the family and I am unsure if it because she is older then the other girls or if it has something to do with her caste level. It is hard to figure out.
She also thinks that she is coming to Canada with me. During my first week at the orphanage she asked me to come to Canada - she thinks that I am very nice and kind. I told her that would not be possible. She has not talked about since but these last few days she keeps asking me as she is worried that if she is left behind that I will forget her.
Minijang is 11 years old and ended up at the Orphanage as her father was victimized due to political reasons. She is one of the children that can cook a meal for all the children with little problem. She is very good and is always quick to smile. She is sad as she really misses her home and she hopes to return one day. She calls me her Canadian mother and that works well. She is very gentle and is the mother hen of the bunch. She is the one that asked for the Louse shampoo.
Dolma is 12 years old and ended up at the Orphanage due to poverty. She is very shy and it has taken time for her to speak to me. She would not even let me take her picture as she felt she was not as pretty as the other girls. It has taken time to build trust with her - she would often sit outside the group of children I was playing with and just watch me. She now makes me little things and gives them to me - she likes when I say positive things about her. Her English and level of understanding is not as high as Minijangs however we do some how manage - it takes time - sometimes a lot of time.
Doma is 11 years old and ended up at the Orphanage due to her father being ill. Poverty was another factor as she comes from a very large family. She is very sweet and is always interested in doing things. Teaching her how to play Crazy 8s and Old Maid was a lot of fun. She is a clinger and I often back up into her as she is right behind me.
Bhagabati is 10 years old and ended up at the Orphanage due to poverty - she as well comes from a large family. I call her Spunky as she is a little live wire. She is also the resident Louse Picker - she is always checking the other children. She was one of the girls that got her head shaved during the last really bad outbreak at the end of June.
Rekha - I spoke about her the day Sam became ill. She has the sad eyes - even when she is smiling her eyes are sad. She is always looking out for the little ones and makes sure they don't miss out on anything. She is all about pink things, butterflies and ribbons.
Sadhana is 10 years old. She came to the orphanage as she was "politically abandoned" - I am not sure what that means but I gather her father was part of the Maoist army and her mother could not feed her. She is one of those children who doesn't really fit in any where. She is very sensitive and cries easily. One night we were sitting on the step (another power outage) and she asked me to be her mother. That was very tough - I told her I am not her mother and I can not be her real mother - she asked if I could be her mother while I am here. Yes I can do that - she is one child that needs lots of hugs.
Kungang is 12 years old. She came to the orphanage as her mother was sick and the family owned no land. She always is smiling - she is very shy. She can sing very nicely if you can talk her into it. She really likes to be clean and is always washing her feet.
Omni is 8 years old. She came to the orphanage as her father disappeared and again extreme poverty. She is very tiny and hardly says a word. She doesn't hang around the other girls and is often just sitting by herself. The one time that she was first in line and smiling was when I was washing (de-licing) all the girls hair. She was another one that had a shaved head with the last out-break. And she even gave me a very wet hug.
Mindul is 7 years old - I think she is more like 5 - but what do I know. She came to the orphanage as her father abandoned the family - again extreme poverty. She attends grade 1 and is trying really hard to speak English. She is pretty independent and takes care of herself. She does not receive any care from any adult - she is attached to some of the older girls and boys. She likes tummy tickles.
Rechana is 5 years old but again I think she is more like 4. She has been at the orphanage since she was around 2.5 years of age - her father died and her mother is disabled. You can not help but love her - she is so cute. What really is amazing is that she cares for herself and she is not attached to any adult. She really likes balloons !
Those are the girls. What amazes me is that these children care for themselves - no one tells them when to get up or go to bed, what to wear, when to wash, etc. They all seem to know what is expected of them and they just do it. They all have little trunks that they pack special things in - they collect everything - old balloons, little bits of paper, etc. The packages of kleenex I gave them to make flowers - they have the empty packages stored away. It makes me so sad - these children have nothing but yet they find joy in everything.
On Monday we washed hair and hopefully got the lice maybe a little under control. One of the things I told them that we need to do is wash the bedding and shake the pillows and blankets out. They did not know this - so Tuesday I got up very early and went to get bucket wash soap. I started washing the little bedding they had - their bedding is old and torn - the pillows are just "gross" but I smiled and I showed them what to do - after putting in the first sheet and pillow case in the bucket I quickly realized this will be a big task as I do not think anything has ever been washed - so I had to wash the first set three times and rinse twice and I still don't think it is clean - but at least it is a start. When the girls come home from school we will be beating pillows, blankets and anything else that can't be washed. I told them they need to do this at least once a month or more - I thought that would be good as it is difficult to do. They all made faces until I said louse and little bugs that bite will go away - they understood that and now thought this was a good plan.
The girls have been really clingy these pass few days and they keep asking me not to forget them. Everyday they get up and come to my room to tell me how many more days before I go. They have also asked that I come and see them before I leave for Canada - this may work as I would like to give them some pictures I took of them.
They are amazing children and I hope they can continue to beat the odds. Tough life for little ones - It makes me think maybe I really don't have anything to complain about