Saturday

“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

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Saturday is the day off in Nepal. In villages this often means picnics, where families get together to cook, dance, and hang out in a field. Here at Hopeful Home, Saturday is the cleaning, bathing, and washing day, as well as a day for the children to play football and badminton in a nearby field.

The children are up by about seven and start sweeping and cleaning their rooms as well as the kitchen and hang-out area. Normally we then go to the field for an hour or two to play football, badminton, or tag type games. All of the children (and teenagers for football) from the neighborhood join in as well, and I have somehow adopted all of the village girls. I always seem to have a child in my lap, and a few grabbing my arms, and most of the time they are girls I don’t know. Then at ten o’clock we eat breakfast, rice and dal with meat. This is the only time of the week that meat is served and everyone looks forward to this delicious meal with anticipation. After that the children start bathing and washing their clothes. The youngest two boys get scrubbed down in the open by the older kids, and then run up on the roof, butt naked, to warm up. The other children shower in the bathrooms, though you can always hear a few voices in there at a time.

After their chores are done everyone just hangs out and does their own thing. Most of the time there is a large group hanging out in the sun, doing each others hair, looking at books, or sleeping. One day I brought henna (the tubes are only ten cents here!) and I must have spent three or four hours doing designs on just about everyone. The girls are always singing and dancing, as well as drawing (some of the boys as well), activities that can entertain them for hours everyday.

Around two or three we have tea and a snack, cooked yams, biscuits, or beaten rice, and then proceed to the field again to play before dinner, which, once again, is rice and dal. The day is pretty much finished after dinner. The dinner clean up crew takes care of the dishes, while the rest of us watch a bit of tv, read, or just hang out.

Then on Sunday the children return back to school, I know, school on Sunday! There are so many holidays here in Nepal (such as the last two days for us), and their days are so short (they only start at ten) that I can definitely understand why they have to go six days a week. And there is a Nepali Saturday for you!

Here are a few of the children trying to put the youngest in the basket and carry him around on their head….

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…which always ended up with them crashing and rolling around on the floor giggling.

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Here is some of the henna I did.

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This is a pretty typical scene throughout India and Nepal; someone picking through someone else’s hair, a bit like a chimpanzee. They are actually looking for, and taking out, lice.

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Hanging out on the roof doing some homework.

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Playing badminton and hanging out at the field.

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