In this blog post the nePALS would like to invite you to walk a mile in our shoes … or cycle 9 miles in our flip flops.
Our timetable for each day of the week in Pokhara is quite different but here’s our average Monday for you to live through.
We are normally awoken at roughly roughly this time by the sounds of dogs barking, cockrials, motorbikes, bells or sometimes even a cow mooing. Each day we try to get back to sleep with varying levels of success.
After lying awake for a while either reading – or simply doing nothing at all – we drag ourselves out of bed.
Our first activity of the day isn’t getting changed or brushing our teeth but instead going out onto our balcony to see if we can see the Himalayas or if they are hidden by clouds. If we can in fact see the mountains (which we normally can) we feel the need to excitedly tell the others “Look at the mountains!” – and we do that literally everyday.
We meet in the kitchen for breakfast and a quick chat about the day ahead.
We begin to cycle to our first projects of the day. The ride is battle with the added element of having motorbikes and buses to avoid, people to miss and dogs to dodge. The ride is sometimes enjoyable, often stressful but always eventful to put it one way.
We arrive at the main INF (International Nepal Fellowship) building far sweatier and red faced than we were when we left home. We quickly get changed for not only our benefit but the benefit of those who have to sit next to us all day.
Two of us head to the ACN office at INF to plan for the weekly kids clubs for local Nepali children that we are involved in.
Each has a different theme ranging from dance to poetry to child rights. ACN run these kids clubs in seven different locations each week and each week we visit and lead a different club.
After planning the club for the upcoming Saturday the two planners take a short walk to join the other two.
The two that are not planning arrive at Narajeewan which is a rehabilitation centre for women and girls recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
Narajeewan is the Nepali word for “new life” and that is exactly what the programme aims to give the women in their care. Somedays we are given specific activities to run and on others days we lead our own games and activities. We particularly spend time with with the four youngest women in the programme who are in their mid teens, playing games with them and speaking with them so that they can improve and develop their English. In turn, they love to teach us Nepali words and laugh at our attempts to say them correctly. We have really been blessed with an opportunity to build relationships with these girls and spend some real quality time with them.
Time to grab a quick lunch and then cycle home. The cycle back home is completely downhill and is probably one of our favourite parts of the day.
Arrive home and enjoy a short time of relaxing.
Cycle to PSC (Primary Study Centre)
Arrive at PSC to help out at their sports club.
PSC is a school for expat children. Most of the time we spend at PSC during the week is spent helping them prepare for their Christmas show by choreographing dances, painting sets and making props. The show will be preformed for the parents and the patients of Green Pastures Hospital which is right next door to the school.
Another uphill cycle home.
Youth Fellowship at our local church.
Our church in Pokhara that we attend each week is called Raam Ghat and is the oldest church in Nepal having recently celebrated it’s 67th birthday. The Youth Fellowship, just like the weekly service, is entirely in Nepali but each week so far we’ve had some very kind people offer to translate for us.
Walk home to have dinner – after a full day of cycling, walking and sports club we are very hungry.
The rest of the evening is usually spent doing a team devotional, clearing up, getting organised and preparing anything we may need for the next day.
Normally by this time we are falling into bed hoping that we’ll be able to sleep through all the noises of the night.