The Oda Project

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


Happy Belated Halloween everyone!  The past several days at Kopila have been very exciting.  Since my last post, the fellows have broken out into groups in order to assemble Halloween costumes for the kids.  I was assigned the Beige Room which consists of 4 boys and my shadow Bishal.  Over the course of the past week we went decided what we wanted to be, and shopped for the appropriate material. Sundar chose to be a Tiger, Krishna was Tom, Yaga was Jerry, Bishal was Batman, and Hari was “Super Spiderman” (half Spiderman half Superman).  We had to take several trips into town to purchase the appropriate materials, as the majority of the costumes had to be made from scratch.  I was actually very impressed with my group, and the 5 of us had a super productive trip into town.  I promised to buy them some MoMo’s if they promised to hold hands and act on their best behavior.  Our first stop was the fabric store, where I allowed each of the boys to pick out some fabric that they though would be helpful for their costumes.  Unfortunately, I’m not the most crafty individual, so we also purchased some colored pants, and a Spiderman mask to make things a bit easier.    After getting everything together it was time for costume assembly!
Happy Halloween!

As I mentioned, I’m not the most domestic person alive…If I’m going to be honest, the last time I sewed was for Home-Ec class in sixth grade.  That said I did my best with what I had to put together some stellar costumes.  My favorite was Yaga’s “Jerry” costume.  This initially started out with a brown piece of fabric that I effectively turned into a poncho.  After some cutting and some sewing and making some ears, it actually turned out ok.  I’ve made some jokes to the other fellows, but I definitely think I’ll be coming back to the States with a whole new set of skills that were lacking before I left.  I’m still not sure you’ll want me to sew your shirts, but I think I could make do in a pinch.  As for my costume, I worked with some of the kids to decide what a good costume would be.  After several different thoughts, the grand champion was Aladdin.  After purchasing some purple, maroon, and white cloth I cheated a little bit and got my costume made by the tailor.   Amazing what you can get made for $7 in Nepal!


As for the Halloween festivities, they were so much fun.  Granted, it was unlike any Halloween I’ve had since I was about 8.  We started off by getting our groups together at 4:00 yesterday to get them into costume.  You wouldn’t believe how hyper a 5 year old in a batman costume can get.  After some serious wrangling with the boys, I got all five of them and myself ready by 5:00.  After the initial stage we migrated over to the face painting station, where Tom, Jerry, and our Tiger got some amazing paint jobs by Maggie (more on her return later), Safira, and Kelly.   They did such a great job, which I’m hugely thankful for as it really helped salvage a few of our room’s costumes!  After face painting we all went down to dinner, where I collected ears, masks, noses, etc. in order to make sure they wouldn’t be lost.  Then, the real fun started.  The evening kicked off with a big scavenger hunt.  Ben and I were the captains of the two teams, and made sure that everyone got to the clue before it was read.  During the Scavenger hunt, all the lights in the house were turned out and the staff/other volunteers did their best to surprise and scare the kids.  At several points Maggie’s clown costume sent some of my teams younger boys into such hysterics that I was forced to carry them from clue to clue.  This was probably my favorite part of the night, the kids went wild, the volunteers had a blast, and the staff was incredible. 


Beige room!  On the way to face painting.

Following the scavenger hunt (which my team won!), we broke everyone out into trick or treat groups.  As I mentioned Halloween isn’t a Nepali holiday, so rather than going from door to door the kids went to all of the volunteers rooms for a treat.  We went out earlier in the day to buy snacks, and I think I had a winner with full sized snickers bars!  In addition to the treats, we all needed a trick too, and each of the volunteers did their best to deck out their room for Halloween.  For my room, I put a strobe light on, some Halloween music, hung long streamers from the ceiling and had them sit down for a story.  Initially I had crafted an intricate story, with three boxes, that they would reach into for a story from their past, present, and future.  It took quite a bit of set up, and lasted for about 4 minutes before I realized it was a bit much for the kids to sit through.  Instead, I came up with the most terrible story ever to take its place…somehow my last minute story turned out to be a success.  For the story, I had the group sit down on the floor and I would start off by explaining “Once a time there was a balloon, a purple balloon” then I would mention how the purple balloon was behind them…they would all turn around to see the balloon.  There was nothing going on with the balloon but when they turned around I would just scream and I’d say about 90% of the time they lost it.  Like I said TERRIBLE story, but I’m pretty sure the kids were so on edge anything would have frightened them.

 After the big trick or treating extravaganza we all went to the satsung room for a killer Halloween themed dance party!  I got a few dances w/ all the beautiful princesses including the one and only jasmine played by Nisha!  All and all it was probably one of the more fun Halloweens I’ve had in quite some time.

Hope all is well back at home, and everyone had a great Halloween.  I will write more about Maggie’s big return, and our tremendous progress with the extracurricular in my next post!
Aladdin and Jasmine!