All is well

20th April 2017

Renu Maya Thapa. Aama. Mother. Inspiration

Aama has lived in her pastel pink house in the upper end of Simaltar for the past fifty years. It is her marital home, in to which she moved aged fifteen with Bua Balbar Thapa, a bus driver ten years her senior.

Aama is fun. Her laugh and smile lights up the room and everyone in it. Her life has not been without hardships but you would never know it.

Shortly after she was born her mother died, and with her father posted abroad in the army, she was raised by her stepmother. Fortunately, she was no wicked step mother like those from fairytales, far from it in fact. Aama’s eyes glisten as she tells of the strong mutual love between them.

UK team leader for NC8, Lauren shares a laugh with Renu

She is now herself a great grandmother. Aama first fell pregnant aged 17, but the child died in infancy. Four years later, she bore the first of her four healthy, successful children. The eldest son still lives locally and is a teacher in the primary school, her other son is an administrative officer in Hetauda. Both her daughters live in Kathmandu – one is an accountant, the other manages a business with her husband. Aama has only been to Kathmandu once, and once was enough. The congestion and dust and people were not to her taste, she much prefers the beauty and peace of where she was born and raised. I can see why, Simaltar is undeniably beautiful.

Aama never fails to amaze me. At sixty five her day to day work put my body under some serious strain, and I’m less than a third of her age! One morning she armed me with a scythe to cut down vegetation to feed our cow, which was lots of fun until I attempted the traditional carrying method of said vegetation. Aama often carries a basket upwards of fifty kilos on her back, enough to put any gym shark to shame. Aama found my inability hilarious. As a general rule in our village: as long as Aama’s laughing, all is well.

Written by UK volunteer, Hayley (November Charlie 8)

Youth Economic Empowerment Nepal