Monday, May 28, 2007

Walk to Sarangkot

A walk to Saragkot isn't actually correct but we did walk in that direction and up many hills to a point where we could observe all of Pokhara.

Yesterday was the tenth day in a row at home for the children and everyone was getting restless. I offered to take the bigger kids for a walk in the late morning as the heat would have been too much for the younger ones. So Dinesh set the cutoff line at Mina, Maya, Babit, Dhiraj and Amrit.

There was great preparation for the outing. The boys changed into dressier shirts and the girls switched from their daily kurtas to clean ones. Indreni dabbed the girls' foreheads with black tika and gave them shawls to wear, even though it was at least 93 degrees. Everyone also brought along a handkerchief--to stanch the flow of sweat from the brow.

It was only a two mile walk but sharply uphill. We stopped often for refreshments which were gladly received. They complained a little bit about the heat and their aching feet ("Chris Sir, mero khutta dukhyo") but once we could see the top of the hill they took off running, incredibly sure-footed and nimble in their sandals. That never ceases to amaze.

The hill was graciously windy at the top and we could see the entire town below. The kids ran in circles and up and down, jumping off any sort of precipice they could find. They asked to have their pictures taken, planning different poses for each shot. It was really great to see them rush to each side of the hill for the new view and collectively trying to identify landmarks.

From this vantage point we could see the room where Amrit used to live (see February 2007). He was showing it to the others. Dinesh has pointed out that the children don't like to talk about their homes or where they used to live. They don't have fond memories.

Stopping for Coke. Good times. Later we drank "Frooty" mango juice. Mina told me they prefer it to Coke. "Frooty"--ask for it by name.

Trying to located Sam's House from the top of the hill. You can actually see it from here just barely. If you trace up from the space between Babit and Dhiraj's heads you can see two red roofs side by side. Sam's House is in the group of smaller buildings directly in front of that.

Maya, Babit, Amrit, Dhiraj and Mina. Maya, Babit and Dhiraj are in class 1 and Amrit and Mina are in upper kindergarten, or, as they like to say U-K-G (you-kay-zhee).

And a quick work about Mina. She is nine and still in kindergarten, never having gone to school regularly before. Today I saw her in school and she was the tallest girl in her line by far. She came with two siblings, Saran and Rina. Their mother left them at the house and left to look for "work" and didn't return. In their village they had been living in a cowshed and, Dinesh tells me, incredulously, "It wasn't even their cowshed!" Anyhow, Mina is the most likable, friendly girl you'll ever meet. It's really pretty amazing how congenial she is.

Imitating Hindi dance moves from a Bollywood film--any Bollywood film. They all have a rural dance scene.


Sheila said...

I'd walk for a Frooty or a Coke, but it doesn't take much to get me to go for a hike/walk.

Jells said...

Do they have Vernors in Nepal?

Looks like a fun bunch of kids.