Saturday, March 19, 2011

"It is dangerous out there"

So Sima and Bisal tried to convince me before I left on Laxmi's husbands motorcycle to Chitwan National Park today. Nothing, however, was going to stop me from my night's vacaction from orphan home action! According to those two goofballs, today (the SECOND day of Holi, I thought there was only one) is going to be even worse with attacking tourists with bags of powdered color. They said they saw it in the news. I, however, had been attacked six times yesterday, and couldn't care less if it was about to happen again!

Holi turned out to be a weekend affair, with extended families coming to visit their homes in Nauranga (our village), houses packed to the brims with colored-powder-toting children, always on the attack. I had washed my face so many times (for some reason, the powder is only directed at the face) that I thought I had a fever my face was burning so badly. I wasn't quite sure how to relay in Nepali that my sensitive white skin couldn't handle another dose. So I sucked it up and took it. Towards the end of yesterday, I had had enough, when a band of teenage girls from school showed up ready to attack me. I threatened them with a rice scooper, and ran to my room and locked myself in. Luckily, they left.

Today Laxmi's husband kindly drove me on his motorcycle to Sauraha, in the national park. The experience makes me want to learn to drive a motorcycle even more than I did before (which was mainly based on the cool-factor), and now I am sitting in the massively overpriced internet cafe listening to children whooping and dancing outside in the town square, with yet more colors. On the ride into town, I was only sprayed once, and could easily wipe it off as the motorcycle whizzed by. I also have seen the newspaper for today, and smack on the front cover is a huge photo of some white people covered in color! Though quite a beautiful celebration, the extent of it is a taaaaad much. Hopefully today I can camp out at my little hotel in the jungle and meditate myself into tomorrow. Actually, peace of mind isn't what I need so much as sleep.

Yesterday marked the third day in a row waking up at 3 or 4am- and though usually a morning person, I was starting to get pissed. Parapatty tried to wake me up at that hour because the solar power wasn't working, and the conversion box is in my room. Unfortuantely, I couldn't get my Nepali thoughts together enough to relay to her that it was THREE A.M. and why does the solar need to be on??? We determined that we couldn't fix it and she left until 5am, when the chicken men arrived in their truck and sat revving the engine in our yard until people came out of the house. At which point, all the children and I groggily trapsed back and forth to the coup, gathering the remaining 200 chickens. The comedy that can't get any funnier? I learned later that Parapatty actually called the solar power repair man (who I love, he comes by all the time and is very nice) at 3:30am! Laxmi definitely made fun of her for that :)

However, it was Parapatty who saved me from the annoying teenage girls and their colors yesterday, by screaming at them (she doesn't ever raise her voice) and asking me to practice her English with her. Let me tell you, she is a lifetime away from the houseparents that were here in 2008. Though I don't think she has a complete handle on all 17 children yet, she is extremely even-tempered and good natured. Plus, she has the best sense of humor I've seen in a while, and we usually just find ourselves laughing at the silly things the kids do (no wonder she has a hilariously goofy Tenzin as her son!). We are going to try to work on Nepali-English sessions everyday from now on, though I won't be at the orphan home very much longer!

That brings me to the scooter- I tell you, things take time- which we won't be getting this week. I leave the orphan home on Saturday, but I don't leave Nepal for a few weeks yet. I am going first to volunteer with a Kiwi organization in Sangachok (First Steps Himalaya) and go to Pokhara, and then actually go BACK to the orphan home for a couple of nights. Laxmi has been in conversation with the scooter salesman for the past three weeks about the deals she could get on a scooter. Well, it happens to be the Nepali New Year in about three weeks, and there is going to be massive "End of the year" sale on scooters. Evidently if she waits another week and a half, she can get a $300 service plan and a TV (I think, at least this is how I interpreted it) with the deal, plus a cheaper price on the scooter. Being all for the bargain, I told her she should DEFINITELY wait, and that I would come back to take pictures and see it before I left Nepal. To her extreme excitement, she said she was going to buy it the DAY it went on sale, so that she could get the one she wants. She also told me that if I was leaving earlier, she just wouldn't get the deal- she wants me to see the scooter before I leave!

So to all of you out there that are wondering what the heck is going on with your donations- do not fret! We're all coupon clippers to some degree, I think :)

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