The Oda Project

Essential healthcare and education - giving Nepali communities in extreme poverty a fighting chance

Let me see your body...

That is probably the statement that makes me laugh the most thus far…As I mentioned in previous blog posts, many of the students and teachers know that I used to wrestle.  I’ve had to explain many a time that no I’m not John Cena nor have I met John Cena.  I’ve actually downloaded a video of intercollegiate wrestling just to show them what I did when I was in college and High School.  That being said, I still get calls quite regularly asking “let me see your body”.  Typically the response to this is a couple of flexes followed by rounds of cheers.  While this is extremely flattering, I also expect myself to be a little bit more muscular than some underfed Nepali children!
Moving along, life has been moving along nicely since the birthday party post, and I’m getting into a pretty solid rhythm.  I typically wake up at 7:30, make my bed, check my emails, and then head down to the kitchen for some breakfast.  Typically, the volunteers have been meeting around 8:15, so its pretty nice to start off the day catching up with everyone.  Following my breakfast, I normally get my bag ready for school and walk over around 9:30 for the day.  I’ve been spending much of my mornings in the principals office, working on assorted projects, and helping out where I can.  Whether that means covering for a teacher, organizing the extracurriculars, or simply working through my emails the morning tends to be pretty busy.  After working through the morning, the volunteers and teachers will usually eat at 12:15.  Thankfully, my old self is not the one in Nepal or I’d be in real trouble.  For those of you who didn’t know me when I was younger, I used to be the PICKIEST eater ever.  While the lunch here is pretty simple, I still think the only thing on the entire plate I would have eaten if this were 5 years ago is the rice.  Additionally, since we eat the same meals every day, I would be eating lots of rice and pretty much nothing else.  Thankfully, as I’ve grown up I’ve become a more adventurious eater and and getting by just fine on the Nepali diet… I can’t say I’m not getting sick of the Nepali diet and its lack of variety, but I didn’t sign up for the Nepali cuisine!  During lunch I spend a couple hours playing with the lower and the upper school kids which has been a great deal of fun.  I’ve actually been playing a lot of basketball and Frisbee and am getting much better at both of them.  Initially I was running just about every morning, however, 2 hours of activities during lunch, 2 hours after school, and about an hour after satsung has been catching up on me and my running has really been limited over the past several days.  Typically after lunch, and the play time associated with it I’ve been heading back to the house for a brief nap while the kids are all at school.  Living with forty kids can be a grind, and the house is pretty much only quiet while they are at school.  Even then, you can often hear the hammering, sawing, and other sounds of workers around the house.  Following my nap, I usually head back to the school at around 3 for planning and set up for our inter-house championship practices! We’ve had 3 successful days of practice so far, and I’m really hoping we can build on the momentum.  The soccer rotation has been working well, and with a little bit of enforcement the boys have been respecting the girls space on their days, which was a nice surprise.  We’re still hurting in a few sports, and trying to increase the enthusiasm, which I think we did today.  This morning was a poetry competition/assembly and prior to the poems the principal and I got on stage to inform everyone of the schedule, and work towards getting more and more people into the games.  
Poetry Reading
 So far I am very happy with the progress though, and look forward to more organized and productive practices to come.  As a result of the increased number of kids on the field we’ve been forced to “cut the grass”, which was one of the more interesting experiences I’ve come across.  Evidently in Nepal, they don’t cut the grass typically, which means they don’t have lawn mowers.  This is a problem, because when I showed up the grass was nearly knee high, and was not only un-fun to play in but also unsafe.  Following discussions with the principles and groundskeepers I was instructed to cut the grass “by hand”.  This means, taking a sickle and cutting down each blade of grass one at a time.  After and absolutely pathetic start by me, an all star team of aunties and goats was brought in to salvage the situation.  In Nepal, the men really slack off relative to the woman.  I felt absolutely terrible having these woman toil in the field in order to provide a better playing surface, however, they seemed fine doing it.  They’ve actually been working about 8 hours a day for the past three days and still have some more to go.  I am extremely indebted to these wonderful women, for making my life easier and the lives of the kids safer and more fun.
Fresh Cut Grass!
Afternoon practices, usually take up the brunt of the afternoon and I’ve been leaving school around 6 to 6:30.  Following practice I run home, jump in the shower, and get dressed for dinner.  Once again I usually meet the fellows around 7 for our dinner (which is served after the kids eat).  We will usually sit around and talk/catch up on our days until satsung which begins at 8. We’ve actually had some troublemakers recently, and over the past few days we’ve been forced to put some people into “the book” which is the houses mechanism for tracking poor behavior.  On a happier note, hour newest fellow arrived last night all the way from Seattle, Washington!  It was really interesting seeing the welcome song, and the overwhelmed face of Kelly and very comforting knowing that, that is no longer me! 
After satsung I’ve been spending some time with a couple of the boys working on my Nepali, and wrestling around.  I’ve tried to show them some real wrestling moves, but every night ultimately boils down into some sort of WWE showdown between about 8 of them against me.  I won’t lie, so far I’m undefeated!
I will continue to update you all as much as I can!  I have a feeling this post was a bit all over the place, but I’ve been asked time and again what my usual day is like, so I thought I’d do my best to fill everyone in.  On one final note, I’m very excited for tomorrow as I will be going with some of the fellows and some of the teachers to Surkhets newest hot spot…(please note the sarcasm as there are no hot spots here!).  That said, we’re going out for dinner and drinks at a new restaurant which should be a fantastic break from the norm.