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2/15 Nepal: Orphans, Spies, and Refugee Camps

April 18, 2010

P R O P E R T Y   S E A R C H

R E S T I V O – H E C H T M A N    T E A M

Contributing Author and Photographer:  Michael Restivo – “Mike in Nepal”

Michael top of the mountain

Namaste everyone! Sorry for the long wait for an update but I’m back and finally healthy. In this time, I’ve climbed mountains, gone whitewater rafting, and fought a cold and a really bad case of Dehli Belly (the “disease” from drinking tainted water or eating something very unclean.
But first to the kids, I’ve officially been in Nepal for just over a month and loving the kids more and more. We decided to give them a real treat and threw them a pizza party, we had some excellent pizza and orange Fanta which had them bouncing off the walls for hours. We also had a birthday party for Monkey who turned 8, and Saraswoti who turned 12. We spent the whole day blowing up balloons and making banners and bought them a beautiful chocolate cake from the German bakery here, the kids loved it, especially because none of them had ever had cake before. Up until now, a birthday was celebrated with the kids getting a small piece of chocolate or a small candy. We also found out our kids are spies…yes…spies. Damn good ones too!
Next to the orphanage live a series of cranky people who don’t like the kids kicking balls into their yards. One of them even destroyed the kids only football with an axe. (What these people expect while living next to two children’s homes is beyond me) So one day the kids accidentally hurled the ball into the yard. The woman didn’t notice, so 3 of them (who shall forever be known as “Mikes Devils”) pulled off a freakishly precise operation to get their ball back. Bijnu climbed up to the roof of the orphanage to act as a lookout and give directions to Sanjit, one of the smaller kids in our group, who snuck over the fence, and while hiding behind walls and bales of hay, successfully got our ball back. Meanwhile the lookout would direct him with hand signals to let him know where the woman was, whether to move forward or back, etc…I was completely astonished.
At night we tutor them by candlelight teaching them math, science etc…I believe I’ve somehow become the resident math expert which is odd considering it was the one subject I always suffered in. So while our kids are in school we usually hang out at the other orphanages with Angela and Brendan, two other Aussie friends in our group. We’ll take day excursions or get personal things done.
We visited a project for Tibetan women who are given work, food, and shelter for weaving handbags, purses, unique and all handcrafted items. We were given a full tour of their operation and saw how they get the cotton, weave it, dye it, and hang it out to dry. I intend to pick up a few things to help their cause.
We also visited several Tibetan refugee camps and villages and got to participate in the Tibetan New Year celebrations. We watched dancing, drumming, and music…  and then…  I got blessed by a Tibetan shaman.

Additional posts by Michael Restivo on MiamiRealEstateCafe.com – Nepal.

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