It is hard to describe this truly human experience I lived in Jhumlawang…Even before I arrived, I could feel the warmness and protection of the members of this community. The way I’ve been hosted is still in my mind, so much generosity and attention towards a stranger is precious, and very rare. I lived for 13 days in one of the houses of the village, with Kusum’s parents, who directly made me feel at home, and deeply faithful. I will always be grateful for the caring and the delicateness they treated me with. The first days, one or several persons took me to visit different places and projects; the community center, the health center, a school attached to the association’s network, the village’s school where I spent the most of my time, for my greatest pleasure.
I first witnessed what was happening there, it was the beginning of the national exams in Nepal. Then I taught fine arts and dance, one or two hours a day.
Children were really open and excited to discover a totally different way to learn, eager to try, experiment. Even if it was sometimes difficult to communicate, the spontaneity of the children and the presence of the teachers helped a lot and made these moments relaxed and constructive. The team who works there surrounded me with kindness, humor, and a lot of curiosity. Some people I met became friends, substitution mothers, new brothers and sisters.
I had a particularly strong relationship with my little neighbors, four adorable children who surprised me with their extreme maturity. It was hard to leave this village behind me, I lived so many things during this few days that I felt as if I had stayed one month. On my way to Pokhara, they did their best to make my travel easier, arranging hosting for me in Khalanga, district head quarter, and Ghorahi, Dang, thanks to other members of the community.
I eventually met Purna in Kathmandu, to talk about this experience and share my feelings. I want to thank each person who made my stay in Jhumlawang so beautiful, I’m pretty sure I will come back, and I’m already impatient…
By Clarisse Bachellier
17th August 2013