by Timothy and Stephanie
After a week of travel and sight seeing in Pokhara and Kathmandu, while worrying about a banda (strike), we arrived in Nangi. We had been planning this trip for a year and a half, planning to arrive one year ago. Our trip was put off due to political unrest.
Our projects for the next three weeks were simple and straight forward. Steph, a teacher, had brought tools to help the local teachers to better teach English Language skills. Tim, a physician, also brought teaching tools to review basic anatomy, physiology, and physical diagnosis with the health care workers in the village. It was most enjoyable to interact with Lila and Rupa, Nangi’s Health Care Workers. Steph totally enjoyed her work and interactions with the teachers at the school. She fell in love with the children and came away with great admiration for the hard work and dedication demonstrated by the staff. From our perspective the projects went well. W certainly learned a great deal and hope that we were able to impart some knowledge as well.
Our spare time was spent exploring the area, especially the Sacred Forest, which was introduced to us by our guide and go to person Chitra. Day hikes, a weekend to Mohare, and attending local celebrations added to the fun we experienced in Nangi.
But most of all we enjoyed meeting and interacting with the people of Nangi. In addition to Lila and Rupa, we thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated all that Hectumari, Ganga, Krishna, Chitra, Kishan, the paper ladies, the mushroom ladies, Moti and the nursery, and so many more faces for whom we cannot attach names, did to help make this a truly extraordinary experience.
The beautiful smiles from the children and the countless greetings
of “Namaste” will stay with us forever. Nangi has done remarkable jobs with the mushroom house, the paper making project, the nursery, the fishery, the cross-breeding project and connecting so many of its people with the outside world through the internet project. The cleanliness and organization of the village was far superior to that of other villages we visited. This, in no small part, was aided by containing the domestic animals and having in place a system for collecting and disposing of trash.
Both of us left Nangi with much gratitude to Himanchal Education Foundation for affording us this amazing life experience. Only our active personal and professional lives in the US keep us from spending more time there. We look forward to the possibility of rekindling our acquaintances in the future.
For those people considering a volunteer project in Nangi, we heartily encourage you to do so. Your project should, as ours, be simple, straightforward and aligned with the goals and vision of the village. Prior experience in a resource poor environment would be of much help in understanding they rhythms of the village life.