The Oda Project

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

Sarah Kay, Haircuts, and more Sports!

Hello again! As you would expect, things continue to hum right along here in Nepal. The past few days have been a lot of fun, and as I mentioned in my last blog post we had a very special guest here! Sarah Kay is a wonderful and well respected spoken word poet from New York. Prior to her visit I really had no idea what spoken word poetry was, and had heard vaguely about a “Poetry Slam”, but didn’t' know too much about that either. Thanks to youtube, I knew Sarah was very talented, and boy was I right! She began her visit with a wonderful presentation of Hands: you can see at the link I just provided, which comes from her appearance on HBO's “Def Poetry”. She also performed “the astronaught and the scuba diver” which you can see here: In addition to her introductory performances and talk, she also taught the 6, 7, and 8 classes about poetry, and specifically spoken word poetry. All of the volunteers were just as excited as the kids, and after going to my first class I decided to go back for a second visit. While I don't think I've found my calling as a spoken word poet, I have gained an appreciation and understanding for that art form. In addition to myself, the kids LOVED her class, and I learned a huge deal. In addition to the classes, Maggie led Sarah and the Kids on a hike up the surrounding mountains. Unfortunately, I got a pretty bad stomach bug, which prevented me from going. Looking back I'm pretty sure it was the Nepali, Kentucky Fried Chicken Maggie brought back from Kathmandu that did me in...No good. Chicken aside, Sarah's' visit was absolutely wonderful and we will miss her greatly.
Poetry with Sarah Kay
Sangeet...the next Robert Frost
In other news, I received my first Nepali Haircut yesterday. After letting my beard and my hair grow for a little while, I decided to clean up my act a bit, so yesterday I rode a bike into town in order to get my hair cut. At first I was a bit worried about what they would be giving me. As you can tell by a lot of my pictures, most Nepali people don't fashion their hair quite like I do, and I had my doubts. Well, much to my surprise they did a wonderful job, and it was actually one of the most pleasant haircut/shave experiences I've ever had. Due to the fact that we're in Nepal, they did nothing with clippers, rather, they used scissors for the entire thing. I think this was actually a great change, seeing as I've never been a fan of “buzzed hair” and I don't like when they take the buzzer to the side of my head. After the hair cut, the barber gave me a wonderful shave and face wash. I'm not sure exactly what he used following the soap, but he put on a second round of lather which felt amazing, and my face felt so clean afterward. To wrap up an extremely nice barber experience, he closed with a couple minute head massage. Being used to DC hair cut prices, I was shocked when the total came to, 80 ruppees...90 CENTS! In addition to the haircut I recently got a new suit made, which I picked up yesterday as well. The tailor (Ramesh) was fantastic, and the suit turned out really really nice. Between the fabric and the tailor it came to about 45 dollars US, and fits better than several of my suits in the states, which costs about 20 times as much. Well, per the request of Tope, I wore my new suit to school yesterday, and when combined with the new haircut/shave the kids were blown away. Many of them thought a new volunteer arrived, and were shocked to find out it was me. A few of the girls came up to me, and mentioned how handsome I was and wondered “why I was hiding my handsomeness beneath hair” . Turns out facial hair is not a very Nepali practice, and they're very partial to a freshly shaved John!
Unrelated...but Christmas Tree Decoration!
To close out, the sports are still going great and the current standings go: 31 pts Sky house, 28 pts Moon house, 27 points Sun house, and 27 points Star house. The kids are doing great, and I”ve been ultra impressed by the girls ability to pick up volleyball. At the beginning of the week it was a disaster, but has come a very long way. Kelly and I have been coaching each team and it can get pretty heated, but we are having a wonderful time. Unfortunately, there are still tears, and we're still working with many children on how to be graceful in both victory and defeat.
Hope all is well...I might not write for a little while, as I'll be leaving at 7am on Sunday morning for the National Badminton Tournament! Wish us luck.