Nepali Stories

My friends here work with up to a dozen kids, but there are about 9 super-regular kids, the ones who went with us on the mountain trek.

The smallest boy, G, is not the youngest. G is 8, but he wears hand-me-downs from a 5 year old. He is probably small because until last year he had a lot of rotting teeth. It hurt him to eat so his nutrition was poor. My friends were able to take all the kids to the dentist this past year, and G had several rotten teeth pulled. Now it no longer hurts him to eat and he eats so much more. He is a cutie.

Many of the kids are small. A is a cute and sweet girl who looks about 8 or 9 until she smiles and you see she has all her adult teeth. She is actually 12. Heather is not really sure if nutrition or genes play a bigger role in the kids’ sizes-probably both. A is beautiful and has a tender smile and is good natured with a light child-like laugh. When A started coming to tutoring she was painfully shy and reserved, but now she is much better. She was one of the kids that wrestled and pillow-fought with David in Nagarkot, and watching her you would never have thought that se had had a problem with shyness.

There are two boys who are very handsome and cute and are brothers, Sj and Sv. They are 9 and 13, almost 14. Heather told me that years ago their dad went overseas to find work and send money home and they never heard from him again (this is pretty common here). Their mom said the Nepali equivalent of “to hell with that” and went through the gruelling process of learning to drive, which took 6 months-she had never even learned to ride a bike. But sadly she has to leave at 4:30 am and doesn’t get home until 9:30 pm every day, so the boys don’t have a parent around much. The mom loves them so much, but cannot take more time unless she risks losing her job. Heather has an idea to buy the mom her own vehicle (a three wheel mini-bus, estimated at $8k US) which would help her a lot. She could come home by 6 pm probably and not have to worry about job security because the vehicle (a small 3 wheeled bus) would be hers. And she could stop walking up to 2 hours to get to the garage to pick up the vehicle, she could store it near her home. And she could take one day off a week. Women are not allowed to be taxi drivers in Nepal!

There is another girl, Sg, 12, who was neglected until she was 6 and now has some problems. After many talks with doctors back home, they think she has something called attachment disorder, which doctors still are not sure how to treat. She doesn’t respond to being punished (she doesn’t change her behavior next time) and she lies all the time, but she can be well behaved sometimes. She looks like a nice girl and it seems so sad to me that she has this condition because of something beyond her control. The parent that raised her until age 6 suffers from a serious mental illness, so Sg wasn’t bathed or hugged to taught anything or taken to school.

But when I see the kids together they are happy and healthy and they are learning and that makes me happy. I love getting updates from Heather in my inbox.


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