Today marks sixty days in country and the beginning of our final week on project. I’ve spent the morning walking around the village, discussing with members of the community our final week project goals. As I walked around this small collection of thirty-two houses, I reminisced back to the first time I completed this walk, recollecting how my feet had been more cautious then, my surroundings less familiar and the faces unrecognizable.
Though Hukka Baan may be a thousand miles away from the familiarity I call home, my sense of belonging in a different country has never been stronger. I did not expect to bond with the surrounding community as much as I have, to the point of feeling surrounded by family. When I look at my Aama, I feel the same warmth as if it were my own mother, the same care and respect and even the same fear of disappointing her with my messy room.
This close connection makes the work that we have been doing here seem more worthwhile. The people that have loved and cared for us now have access to safe drinking water through the distribution of a new pipeline and the establishment of a new water collection system. Community organizations have been strengthened by our presence, allowing for more sustainable development to continue after our departure. We have been supported throughout our program by the villagers, all keen to engage in the construction, learn from the training and progress from our awareness raising.
As volunteers we have been adopted into the village as temporary sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, aunties and uncles, grand-daughters and grand-sons. When walking around the village, there is a constant flow of invitations for chiya, puffed rice and aamba, it is like being at your grandmother’s house and being force fed to capacity. Every community member has a role in my Nepali family; Aama, Buwa, Didi, Daai, Bhaai and Bahini.
Written By Lydia
November Charlie 1