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Volunteering @ Prabhat Children Orphanage

After 3 days of sleeping in, chilling out all day, catching up with friends and family, eating everything I missed for the past 3 weeks and drinking beer again I was done with doing ‘nothing’. Pokhara (the ‘city’ I went to after the trek) sucks you up, it’s hard to get out…everybody is just doing nothing all day, for days, weeks, months… So I decided to do something. After 2 months there’s a few things still on the list… The list actually keeps on growing but I’ll have to come back for the rest (no problem):

1. Going on a roadtrip from village to village
2. Do some volunteering work
3. Visit a couple of places travelers have recommended

Number 3 I’ll do on my way back to Kathmandu, number 1 maybe next week and number 2 is what I’m doing right now… I’m helping out at Prabhat Childrens Orphanage.

It feels nice to do something for the country I am traveling in. When I look back on it, I should have volunteered on more trips. It’s a good way to learn more about the culture, get to know local people and it’s very thankful work. In a way you don’t only do it for them, you also do it for yourself…

At the orphanage there were 11 very sweet kids living, all without parents, all with their own story. They are like a big family with 2 ‘parents’, Kul and Sita. They are social workers but this is their life and the kids are like their own children. Kul is out all day, trying to find volunteers, founders, working online, etc and Sita is working in the house the whole day, taking care of 11 kids. If mothers think they’ve had a hard time raising their kids, than think of Sita raising 11. The whole day you hear “Auntie, auntie” which means “mummy, mummy”. I can’t understand the rest but I have a lot of respect for her. It’s tough, she’s a very hard worker. I’m trying to do some washing but I realize it takes me 1 hour while she’s washing the same amount of clothes in 10 minutes. She kindly asks me to just hang the washed clothes and I understand. I feel a little helpless…So I decided to leave the washing to her and do something maybe more valuable, something they don’t have the money and time for.

So I bought paint! Lots of blue paint! And this is what we did…

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The toilet block had never been painted before and the rest of the building really needed a fresh look…
Together with Sissi, Elicia (two other volunteers), Auntie and lots of little children hands we painted it all. I stayed at the orphanage about a week and on the days when the kids didn’t have to go to school we cooked together. We made banana chappati’s but also ‘Halva’. Halva is an Indian / Nepali dish and it’s delicious. I’ll make it when I get back, it’s so easy and very tasty. I love easy dishes (see below for the recipe).
The orphanage is about a half an hour from Pokhara lakeside and every day the ride there is a changing adventure. We’ve had ‘busses’ (what’s left over of it..), jeeps, trucks, tractors, chicken trucks, motorbikes… Just take anything that goes in the right direction because otherwise you might be waiting an hour or more. Busses here don’t have such thing as a time schedule.

If you ever go to Nepal and you have time… go and see this orphanage! It’s a beautiful place with lovely kids. They always need help and unlike some other volunteering places they don’t charge you a ‘volunteering fee’. Which is to me a very strange thing. Charging money for your help? Seriously? It’s a big thing here. At this orphanage they just really appreciate your help, even if it’s just for a day.
Looking for volunteering work in general? There are 3 websites I like with many volunteering possibilities all over the world:

http://wwoofinternational.org

http://www.workaway.info

http://www.helpx.net

Have fun!
LIS.

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Recipe Halva:

2 3/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon saffron strand, soaked in 1 tablespoon boiling hot milk
140 g unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups semolina (coarse grained)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/3 cup sultana
1/3 cup sliced or chopped coconut

1. Combine the water, sugar and the soaked saffron in a 2-litre/quart saucepan. Place over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
3. Melt the butter in a 2- or 3-litre/quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the semolina, and slowly and rhythmically stir-fry the grains for about 20 minutes, or until they darken to a tan colour and become aromatic.
5. Add the flaked almonds and coconut to the grains towards the end of the toasting process.
6. Raise the heat under the syrup, add the cardamom and the sultanas, and bring it to a rolling boil.
7. Raise the heat under the semolina for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
8. Remove the saucepan of semolina from the heat, and slowly pour the hot syrup into the semolina, stirring steadily.
9. The grains may at first splutter, but will quickly cease as the liquid is absorbed.
10. Return the halava to the stove and stir steadily over very low heat until the grains fully absorb the liquid, start to form into a pudding-like consistency, and pull away from the sides of the pan.
11. Place a tight-fitting lid on the saucepan and cook over the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes.
12. A heat-diffuser works well. Removed the covered saucepan from the heat and allow the halava to steam for an additional 5 minutes.
13. Serve hot & enjoy…

 



2 reacties

  1. mam wrote:

    Goed bezig geweest…. Ik proef graag je gerecht als je terug bent :) Ben benieuwd…

  2. René wrote:

    Jeetje Lisanne, heerlijk verslag weer. Leerzaam voor ons in onze consumptie maatschappij. Inderdaad vreemd dat sommige een vrijwilligers bijdrage vragen. Je kostenloze, liefdevolle hulp is toch al grandioos voor ze.
    Geniet en leer nog maar veel! Doe voorzichtig en pas goed op je zelf!

    Groetjes en dikke kussen, René