Today I found myself in charge of six 10 year-olds during an overnight school trip to Nagarkot. Together with five other teachers (including Madan) and about 30 other students, we caught some minibuses out of Kathmandu. Once we’d left the polluted streets behind, we set out on foot for a hike. The second part of the walk was through thick vegetation and the teachers enjoyed scaring the kids with stories of tigers. The school had booked rooms in a 3-star resort. On arrival we had tiffin in the beautifully set dining hall before checking out our rooms. I was to stay with my six kids. We had a room with three single beds. I let the kids run amok for about ten minutes, letting them have fun exploring their new home. Some of the kids have never stayed away from home before and many have never been in a hotel before. I settled them down and let them watch some TV before allocating beds. Not wanting to share a bed with the kids, I arranged for them to sleep in threes on two of the beds. They only just fit, poor kids. The time came to meet the other students for a bonfire outside and for an hour and a half we danced to music by firelight. Dinner followed (a big operation, just like lunch and tiffin), then it was bed. I had to counsel one kid when he decided the others were picking on him and he wanted to sleep in another room. Then came the job of getting them to stop wiggling and giggling as they settled in. In the end turning off the lights did the trick and we all settled down for the night.
Morning. I smashed down a pancake breakfast before finding Madan in his office for a chat. We talked for a while and I got everything off my chest about how I was feeling overworked and struggling to enjoy my time there. We then made a rough plan for my last week, which might include a possible Friday bicycle ride for selected students and staff, and will definitely include a Sunday farewell in advance of my departure on the Monday. I don’t like the idea of a public farewell, but jt seems I will have no choice in the matter. It was clear I wasn’t going to be able to celebrate New Year’s and I had to be a little forceful to secure Christmas Day off.
|Accommodation||School at which I’m volunteering|
|Distance ridden today||0km|
|Total distance ridden||16,071km|