WHAT AN ADVENTURE!!! We trekked six days and trekked six nights. Walked “Nepali Up” and “Nepali Flat” but somehow never “Nepali Down”. It rained. The sun shone. Our tents flooded. But we made it! And what a great sense of achievement.
We spent each night camping on the football pitches of various CAIRN Trust schools and the welcomes we received got bigger and bigger each night. By the time we got to Hille Taksar to open the Trotters School, we had so many garlands and friendship scarves around our necks that you could barely make out our faces! People had come from miles around to greet us with smiles, “Namastes”, and a hot cup of chai tea, with the local band of traditional musicians serenading us along the path up to the school. We’re not sure that “overwhelming” does it justice, and we were smiling so much that our cheeks ached. It is so incredibly hard to describe how we felt as we took our seats on stage (dressed up in local Nepalese dresses of course). Before we even knew it, the five hour ceremony had finished. Speeches made (we did ours in Nepali – not quite as fluent as our fellow speakers, but apparently good enough to be broadcast on national radio….), ribbons cut, plaques unveiled, classrooms opened, library revealed, dances watched, dances taken part in, and finally 300 Kipus’ handed out. Check out our photo of all the children holding them up, they loved it!
Exhausted we crawled in to bed in our “home” for the next three nights, a lovely change from the tents on trek. The next couple of days were spent playing games, reading, singing, drawing and getting to know the children who would be attending the new Trotters School. We brought out with us our four favourite books from Trotters (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Hairy Maclary, The Gruffalo, and This Is London) which were read several times cover to cover and given pride of place in their new library. The Kipus’ never left their sides the whole time we were there and were showing signs of being very loved already.
The school itself is absolutely beautiful and by far the nicest that we came across throughout our trek (we may be slightly biased, but do check out our photo!).
The library proved to be extremely popular, and even the older children could be found in there, engaged in very serious-looking games of chess and ludo. For all you Kipu-owners out there who helped Trotters to raise the money to build the school, you should be incredibly proud! We were most certainly beaming with pride to be part of the Trotters family and felt totally honoured to be witnessing firsthand the wonderful work that Trotters has done and the life-changing opportunities that they have presented to these children and hopefully many generations to come. What we failed to mention on our previous blogs was that before the new school was built, lessons were taught in waterlogged “classrooms” (often knee-deep in the monsoon season).
As tempted as we were to pack a few of the children in our pockets to bring back home we sadly had to say farewell to all our new friends, which in true Nepali-style lasted well over an hour (again garlanded up to our noses!)
So for now, we will say a final Namaste but watch this space as we certainly hope to be back!