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Author Archives: Avigayil

India– a dream come true!

So, I am very backed up on posts lately, and I did not complete all I wanted to write about Sundrawoti. But because lots of time has passed and I am currently In India, I want to write about the last few days.

It was a very long journey to India, more then 40 hours from Pokhara, the vacation city, West from Kathmandu where I spent a week. I traveled with Keshet, a fellow volunteer.

The journey in short: A 10 hour bus ride from Pokhara, then a rickshaw to the boarder, a 3 hour bus ride to a city named Gorakpur, a 10 hour bus ride to another city, Lucknow and finally another 10 hours on a train to New Delhi. At least we arrived in one piece before Shabbat and had the amazing opportunity to stay at my Uncle’s apartment in New Delhi which was so nice and comfortable, and a great rest.

The funniest part was the rickshaw to the boarder. It was an un-motorized rickshaw, where you sit on the back of a bike that the rickshaw driver pedals. The rickshaw drivers who were  trying to convince us to get on their rickshaw’s were calling us fat… I guess I was not to offended because  I am used to locals calling me fat in Nepal. We decided to get on one rickshaw, me and Keshet and our two big backpacks. Needless to say the ride was long because the driver could barley get us moving. On the way he began talking about himself and told us he married in a ‘love marriage’ an ‘inter caste marriage’. It was interesting how proud he was that he married for love, no matter how unpopular it is.

It has been hard in India not to speak Nepali, which just slides off my tongue. After spending almost 5 months in Nepal my Nepali was finally very good and now I can no longer use it. I hope to try to learn some Hindi even though most of the locals speak English in a very strong, understandable Indian accent.

My lesson learned was always fly if you can and you have the money. Such long journey’s are more torture then an adventure.

So I am now looking forward to my 5 upcoming weeks in India. I hope to keep you folks out there  updated as much as possible.

Lila tov from India!

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Nachne Samoaa ( Dancing group)

There was only a month left to volunteering, but I did not want my ECA (extra curricular) class at the Kalika school to just be about fun and games. So I decided to start a dancing group for girls in class 4 and 5. I had the amazing help of Rajkumari, my Nepali instructor, who has been a dancing teacher in the past. We chose two songs and split the girls into two groups, so it would be easier to teach. One boy also decided to participate, but didn’t end up dancing. I have never seen girls more excited to stay after school and learn to dance! It was incredible to see their determination, especially during the last week when we met them every afternoon to practice. We were preparing to show their dance in front of the entire school. The school then decided to make a whole program out of it and many children got up to read their poems in English or Nepali, to sing or to dance.

The girls brought sari’s to wear during the show, mostly from their mother’s or older sisters however, most of them did not know how to tie the sari’s on. As we were preparing for the show, meter after meter of sari’s were being thrown around the room, and I felt in an Indian movie. It was unfortunate that I did not know how to tie a sari either and only Rajkumari or Upama could help.

Upama helping out

 Some girls and myself before the show

The program lasted about two whole hours! I even gave a long speech in Nepali, thanking my amazing girls and staff and of course the school. I have it on video and will try to post it here later on.

So here are the videos Mordechai took of both groups.

The elder girls dancing to the song “Ilam Bazar ko”

The younger girls dancing to the song “Maitighar”:

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Planting rice

As promised, some pictures of me discovering my love for planting rice in muddy waters.

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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Makai and Chamal Fields Forever

Dear readers,

The last weeks at the village have come to an end and I am now in Kathmandu for the end seminar. However, I would like you to show you the agrictultural changes that have taken place recently at the village (even though I am not there anymore).

The corn, or in Nepali Makai have grown so incredibly high and have made it sometimes hard to get around the paths of the village.

The rice, or in Nepali Chamal, bright green nurseries are ready and all villagers are now transplanting the small plants, deep in the mud before the monsoons begin.

Planting rice

I have to admit that I helped out for 5 minutes as well. But I will save that photo for next post.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Nepali biaa garne?

So I thought Nepal was kind of different than other countries I have visited. In the past, lets say in Egypt for example, when someone from the opposite sex asked me if I was single or married, without hesitation I would answer married. It just always made situations easier, more simple and in Egypt you just do not want them to tell you how much camles you are worth. But something about the easygoingness of Nepali’s, the fact that there is hardly any crime and that it is a traditional society made me answer the question differently, especially when it came from my Amaa samoaa (Mother group).

During the first meeting of the Amma samoaa, during the initial introduction they offered to find me a Thami guy from the village (Thami is the local ethnic group). At first I would say “Hoina, Israel manche matrai” ( no, I only want to marry an Israeli man). But my answer did not suffice and the question arose at almost every single Amaa samoaa. So I started making a joke of it and told them that if they found me a tall Thami man ( which is actually impossible, most men here reach my shoulders, especalliy Thami’s) then I would marry him. Needless to say this always caused them to laugh hysterically.

I kept on receiving the question “Nepali biaa garne?” (Do you want to do a Nepali wedding?) many more times during my stay at the village, usually on the roof of some bus while making small talk with the man sitting next to me/ on top of me/ on top of a goat.

So a few weeks ago I was on the way up to Kalinchock mountain, the mountain above the village when I stopped with Mordechai for a cup fo tea at a local pasal (shop). There was a nicesh man there who we were talking to when again he asked me if I wanted a Nepali biaa (wedding). I gave him my funny Amma samoaa answer that if he found a tall Thami man I would do it. So he then stood up and said, I am a tall Thami man, would you like to marry me? Truth be told he was the tallest Thami men I ever saw, but he was also about 50+ years old….

So there I got caught.

But later on, while freezing my butt off on the top of Kalinchock (@ 3300 meters) sitting around the fire at the guest house the question came back to haunt me once again. Another fellow Nepali who was at the guest house would not stop asking me if I wanted “to do” a Nepali wedding. I kept answering him no (Hoina, Hoina Hoina!!) and he just kept asking. Possibly he had already gotten very drunk on Raxi, the local alcohol. He was pestering me so much that I told him that on Shabbat, my special Puja (ritual or prayer) is that I keep silent. ” Ma Sanibaar puja garne, na bolne”. I guess the fact that I then turned to Mordechai to ask him something gave me away….  

Anyway readers, my recommendation is always tell men you are married and save yourselves the trouble of explaining, apologizing, feeling embarrassed and so on and so forth. It just makes life easier, also in Nepal :)

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Framing

During the activity before last with both my Amaa samoaa haru (women group’s) we made photo frames from bamboo and wool. We previously took photos of all the women and printed them in the nearby town. During the activity each participant received a photo of her fellow friend and she had to describe what characteristic she loves about her neighbor/ friend. Later on the women held their own photos and were asked  to speak about what they like about themselves and what their dreams for the future are.

Look at the beautiful frames created by the Milijuli Amaa samoaa (lower village):

And the Jagaran Amaa samoaa (upper village):

But what was most amazing and inspirational was that this week one of the women, Amika didi showed up with this:

She has built a mega frame for her children’s photos.

Things like this remind me what I am doing here in Sundrawoti. This women learned something new and went home to make an even more amazing creation. Now more then ever I feel like maybe I can help the village for the better.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Wheat harvest season

The past few weeks have been hectic here at the village since it is wheat harvest season. There is lots and lots of work to be done, picking the wheat, separating the straw from the seeds, grinding the seeds to flour and more. I have come to appreciate bread since now I know how much work is put into it.

I hope the following pictures can portray the immense amount of work. Check out the old-fashioned sickles.

Helping out by cutting wheat stalks

Endless bushels of wheat
Hard at work

Seprating the wheat stalks

Munisa the ninja

Thanks Mordechai for the lovely photos!

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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