My experience in Nepal lasted one month.

I arrived at the Aishworya Children´s Home on 24th September 2016, after a troubled journey by cab.

I was excited and I couldn´t wait to see the children. They welcomed me with open arms and introduced themselves even shaking my hand. The were very curious and wanted to play with me. They were singing, dancing and playing without any toys or stuff; they didn´t need anything but themselves: I was really impressed.

Besides, they were interested in my fair skin and used to style my light and blond hair.

A family, who manage the Insitute Aishworya Children´s Home with other volunteers, hosted me in its flat.  I had breakfast every morning; I used to eat biscuits and drink a cup of tea which was tasty. At a later time, I started to walk almost 25 minutes towards the Institute.

Orphans and children who left their poor families are very young (between 3 and 15 years) and live in this structure where they are helping each other, joined up into a “kin group”.

They can attend classes, receive a good and basic education and learn English very well which helped me to interact with them: I was really impressed.

It´s useful for little kids to improve their language skills, therefore the English language is being taught in the kindergarten too.

I´ve never had the chance of meeting so many autonomous boys and girls before.

Especially the little girls who can cook, clean up and look after the kids in a quite spontaneous way.  I had the pleasure to help them doing their homework, playing, cuddling the babies, whereas the grown-up taught me something about the local cuisine.

Despite the big cultural differences, I got used to eat rice and other dishes, such as Dal (lentils) and Bhat (rice) with potatoes or other vegetables, which is the most important and loved meal in Nepal.

Later they used to spend one hour in their rooms just praying.

By day just the little kids, the teenagers and those who´re sick used to stay in the Institute. The others came back from school at 4 pm and could snack on something which looks like our traditional crisps. We cooked them in boiling water and ate them afterwards: it was such as a spicy noodle soup!!!!

On 1st October, the “Dashain” (the most important Party in Nepal) and the “Institute´s birthday” took place within the Institute itself: it was a great Party. The ladies dressed up put on makeup, and we all got a  benediction on the forehead: the “tikka”. On this special day, lots of guests gathered together for this event and brought different kinds of dishes and meals, such as meat and cakes. Gifts were given out to the children who sang and danced: it was an enjoyable and unique day.

We shared my last week with Julia, a friend of mine who came from Italy to stay with us. Unfortunately, time flies… It was hard to say goodbye ….the last day. We really got along well and have grown quite fond of each other.

How time flies!

Nepal, the Institute Aishworya Children´s Home, the children and the Nepali gave me a great opportunity to share these amazing moments I shall never forget.

Lena Dibiasi