A day with Engely in the mountains

Rupa leans with her head on my shoulder. Tears of happiness are rolling down from her eyes. “I am a queen”, she says. Today she, as well as the other kids of the Noble House, got new clothes.

Engely flew over from the Netherlands and thanks to all the sponsors her bags are filled with dolls, drawings and clothes. I take Rupa to the mirror so she can admire herself. Again the tears start floating on her face the moment she sees herself.

Engely has come to Nepal with a head full of plans. Plans to expand the Noble House, so there can live more children, plans to build a school, to give more children a future. A lot of things to do so we catch up with each other on the back seats of a cab on the way from Katmandu to the Noble House. Today we are going to look together with Utsab for some land to build a new school. Letty from Meijel is also joining us. She and her husband are the sponsors of one of the girls in the house.

Utsab asks the driver to stop when we arrive at the first piece of land which is for sale. We walk up a steep small path before we arrive on the hill. When we enter the field of grass we are witnesses of a gathering of the village. The local people just killed a waterbuffalo and are deviding the animal between the men of the village. Despite the smell we are making plans to build a school allready, the place looks good and thee are a lot of children who don’t go to school here. An old woman grabs Letty at the moment we want to leave the field. She is shouting and she wants definitely something from us. The smell from her mouth points to a lot of alcohol. The old lady doesn’t get what she wants and pushes me in the back. In the few words of Nepalese that I’ve learned, I can make her understand that this is not the way. The drunken lady bounces back and we walk to the car to continue our trip to Nagarkot.

In the mountain village Nagarkot we visit a school which is sponsored by Rotary clubs from Japan and Taiwan. The children are very shy when we enter their classes. The building looks nice from the outside, it has just been painted, but the only things they have to teach are a blackboard and some chalks. For the rest the classes are filled with children. On one side the boys, on the other side the girls.
We visit a nursery class and the teacher tells us that the children are playing. The only thing I see is a group of children sitting on the cold ground. The teachers as well as the children don’t know how to play…..

When the tarmac road stops and continues into a bumpy road we go by foot. We are looking down into a fantastic valley. Utsab stops and points to a big, green field with rice somewhere in the valley. The field is surrounded by a few villages. From this point we start our tour through the jungle and on small steep muddy paths. It’s great but also hard to find ourselves a good path to the piece of land where maybe we are going to build a school. Utsab goes in the front and we are following him. When we catch the first lychees from between our toes we start laughing and we can’t stop. We feel like Jane in the jungle and on the same time we are desperate to get out. But when we arrive at the field we are impressed. The children here are living in small huts and don’t have a chance to go to school. Girls have to marry here very young and will have children, and at the same time they have to work hard in the fields. It would be so great to give those children some future.
A path leads us through the valley and we arrive in the village where Srijana and Anjana grew up. These sisters are living in the Noble House from the start. Their mother spots us very quick and she takes us to her small hut. I have a strange feeling in my stomach when I stand between the walls of bamboo and mud. Daylight is not there and the ‘kitchen’ is made in a small corner of the hut. Due to the monsoon the hut collapsed on one side and because of this the woman and her son had to find another place to live. Temporarily they live at the other side of the street but the woman can’t afford to pay the rent. Engely talks to Utsab and they decide to give the woman money for the rent once a month when she comes for washing clothes of the children in the Noble House. Tears are rolling down on the face of the woman.

Then it’s time to give some dolls away. The moment we sit down with a bag full of dolls from the Netherlands the children start to approach us very carefully. Everybody starts smiling. Utsab tells us that there are needy families in the village. We arrive at the house of Anita, a ten year old girl. Her parents have to take care of her and 5 other sisters. The grandfather and the father are calling the girl. It gives me a strange feeling; these men would like to get rid of the girl. Now I can see how the eldest sister of Anjana and Srijana had to leave the village a few weeks ago. The father of this 13-year old girls just sold her to a man and now she is somewhere in India. How the situation of this girls is we don’t know and there is nothing we can do. Anita will have another future, she can come to the Noble House.

When we want to leave the village we meet Sane. Sane is a boy of 10 years old who has almost nothing to wear. The hair on his head is dirty and dry. Sane takes care of the goats of the family every day and when he arrives in his hut in the evening he hopes that there is something to eat for him. For this boy there is no future as well and when Utsab tells him he can come to the Noble House and that he can go to school we see a little smile on his face.

The sky gets darker and when we leave the village it starts raining very hard. We climb out of the valley on slippery paths and in my thoughts I am still in the village. I can’t believe how they treat their children and I am very happy with Engely who started the Noble House. When I see how happy the children are in the Noble House, how much they want to learn, how they help each other and how they go to their beds after enjoying their Dahl Bat, I am glad that we could do something today……



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