Shiva Puri Cottages and voluntourism extension in Dadagaun Village

Before we left for Shiva Puri Cottages, Cory, Tom, Pam and I started to walk to Assam Market, an authentic Nepalese market near-by. En route, we met an artist who took us on an unexpected tour. First, we stopped at a small temple, then to his Monastery about a ten-minute walk from the temple. We wound our way down the narrow streets to find a lovely Monastery with a Thanka shop and painting school. It was an unexpected highlight of our trip. Tom was returning to Maryland and planned to leave his job at the end of the year. He spent time talking with the artist and buying a thanka painting to symbolize his journey to the next chapter in his life.

These paintings were made in an old monastery- they seemed filled with light


Tom purchased a painting from the artist. He plans to leave his current job at the end of the year and join a law practice


Later that morning, we received a warm welcome to Shiva Puri Cottages and lunch on the patio. Lesley, from England and who’d just returned from a trek, joined us and seemed part of the group. In addition to our service. work there was time for yoga in the morning, rest and enjoying spa services.

The service work is optional. The work we do here continues to build on previous years and the contributions from other groups around the world. It is heartening to see the progress and how the villagers have learned to feel at ease with us and vice versa. The school was closed and many Mountain Village Children’s home residents were away for the holidays. The school calendar has changed allowing teachers and children who travel to visit their home villages to stay for one month for Dashian and Diwali. As always, Neeru Webster organized, planned, and facilitated our work in the village.

MUSIC PROGRAM:

Before #10 TOYL group started trekking, we went to Sarangi for dinner. As always,  the musicians were there playing including Subash Gandharba, the music teacher for Dadagaun Village School. In between singing and dancing, he explained that the school sorely needed 15 more flutes because children love playing the flute and just don’t have enough. He also thought they’d enjoy a drum that looks like a large black box. It is a new instrument in Nepal. Using donation money given to me, Subash ordered the flutes and drum and will surprise the students with them when school starts again.

Music Teacher for Dadagaun Village children


THE MOUNTAIN CHILDREN’S HOME

After we were settled in at Shiva Puri, our first stop was the Mountain Children’s home to introduce ourselves and plan for the following days. While on a tour with two of the residents,  Uma said, “I’m so glad to be living here. Or else I’d be in Kathmandu.” She also asked me to say hello to Christine, in Australia.

To my surprise, there were 4 young women from the United States who had been volunteering at the Children’s Home for nearly one month! They are in-between high school and college, working at Papa John’s to save enough money to return to Nepal. Kieva Foutz, Elise Jones, Lydia Selden, and Naomi Koski were homeschooled in Arizona.  I suggested that they might like to help out at the school teaching English and supporting the teachers. They were receptive to my suggestion and delighted to know about the school. One said, “I wasn’t planni