Already today, riding my bike to the internet, I passed several children covered head-to-toe in colors. The festival of Holi is tomorrow, a Hindu holiday to celebrate the coming of spring and the end of winter, but is more markedly celebrated by throwing water balloons filled with dye at anyone and everyone that is out onthe street. That being said, elders are avoided, so it is mostly a kids game... lest you be a foreigner. I already agreed to play, and I am on a mission today to get balloons and colored powder. However, though excited, I am a tad scared about how much attention I am going to get from the village children, all of whom have been following my movements for the past week and a half! Let the colors fly! The throwing of water honors the cooling monsoon rains to come, as already in the past week it has gotten noticeably hotter in the Terai. Whereas my first few days at the orphan home I was wearing a jacket at night, I am now finding myself uncomforatble in my sleeping bag. God forbid I ever come here in the summer. Becca, you are a saint.
The kids are still in the midst of finals, and I believe that my presence has lost a touch of it's initial excitement, which I am definitely taking as a blessing. Though the little ones still follow my every move and haunt me when I try to escape to my room for a break, my head has gotten used to the chatter and general hustle and bustle (and screaming) that 16 children can create. I have been deemed Tenzin's nurse (He had a severe ear infection, and I am in charge of giving him his medicine... though he is the only one with a mother. I found this odd and slightly rude of Laxmi), and have successfully been able to put each child in their place when need be (that being said, it still doesn't work all the time). Last night, Sima, Soniya, Sirjana and I had an experimental session using flashlights and the long exposure on my digital camera- we definitely created some pretty sweet light movement shots. Yesterday also heralded the changing of gears in Laxmi's chicken coup project; the first 200 of her 400 mautre chickens were taken by the meat men, and 400 new day-old chickens arrived! I was in charge of counting the babies (OH so cute), and carrying some of the 200 mature ones down from the coup (not my cup of tea). Whereas Sima could carry 6 at a time by the feet, I was good if I got three in my hands without dropping one. Go city-girl. I also killed and bled my first chicken, which I can't say I felt either way about. Ben, you should be proud.
Though I only have about a week left of my stay here at Harka, I am going to spend a night in Chitwan National Park, simply because it would be nice! I have to admit, I have been craving something that is not white in color (the end of winter means the end of the food supply, aka potatoes, rice, and radishes), and a day sleeping past 6 am sounds just fantastic (or today, 3:15am, when I was awoken by half the children getting up and watching TV, and churning butter? Evidently they thought it was morning?). By then the children will be done with exams, and we can have several play days before I head back to Kathmandu!