The Oda Project

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

Merry Christmas & Annual Day!

I hope all of you back at home at a very merry Christmas back in the states.  Things have been very busy over here, with new guests, annual day, and of course Secret Santa with the kids and staff.  We had such a wonderful time, and despite some moderate food poisoning I managed to have a wonderful Kopila Christmas.  The annual day celebration was a huge hit, with 3 very special guests; the district police chief (fully equipped with his team of 10 armed body guards), the provincial minister of education, and the national minister of education’s daughter.  Although, the program was a bit speech heavy for my liking, that is how things operate in Nepal, and there are specific people that are pretty much required to speak.  After the program I learned that while there were lots of speeches, that Maggie has cut it down from years past when the talks simply got out of hand.  That said, beyond the speeches we had a great deal of fun, which included a number of songs, dances, and a drama performed by the students.  As one final surprise for the kids the 4 fellows and Maggie performed.  We’d been practicing for about 20 minutes a night, for less than a week in order to get ready for our big routine, I actually think we might have spent more time picking out our coordinating outfits than was spent practicing.  Needless to say, we were all a bit antsy to see how the actual performance would go (in addition to our limited practice time, we had never practiced on the stage at the school).  Well when the time came, the five of us got up in front of 1000+ people, and they went WILD.  It was great fun, and all of the faculty, students, and families loved it.   Thankfully we have lots of video’s and pictures and you can check out the dance on youtube here: .  The fellows have been talking about it since we performed, and I really think that was one of our fondest memories.
Fellows Dance

Special Guests

Lets Get It Started!
In addition to annual day, we had a very fun Christmas Day with the kids finally got around to our Secret Santa at about 7pm on Christmas day.  The kids were adorable in their new pajama’s and thanks to our guest from Dubai, we had a boatload of new gifts for everyone.  There were new soccer balls, volleyballs, badminton racquets, you name it.  It had been quite some time since I was around kids on Christmas morning (to be honest, I think the last time was when I was a kid), and it was great.  So much fun seeing their smiling faces opening gifts.  Amazing how far 200 ruppees ($2 US) can go in bringing a smile to their faces.  I just think about all the money spent on Christmas’s when I was growing up, and I’m not sure I was ever as happy as some of the kids were opening their 80 cent necklace, or 60 cent gloves.
Well, things are starting to get back to normal around here.  Dan headed, back to Dubai, however, Brittany and Brianne are visiting from “She’s the First” and we’re having a nice time with them.   
Secret Santa
Additionally, we just bought 15 tickets to Shani Villages New Years Eve event, which should be a blast.  Maggie bought tickets for all of the uncles to join, and they can get wild so I’m really looking forward to a fun night.
I’ll be sure to write again soon but in the meantime Happy New Years!