During the winter of 2015/2016, Utopia Volunteer Kayla is volunteering at the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC)/Butterfly Home in Nepal. In addition to providing nurturing care and support for the children, and maintaining operations of ECDC, Pushpa (ECDC’s founder), staff and volunteers are preparing for a move into the new Butterfly Home.
Here is an update from Kayla during her volunteer time in Nepal, January 2016:
It has been such a blessing working with Pushpa and the kids! It seems I have arrived at a very hectic time for ECDC with the kids having their exams and Pushpa trying to get everything squared away for the big move to the new Butterfly Home. I am happy to be an extra set of hands for them all. I have been able to work at the new home with finishing touches and the never ending packing and unpacking. The new house is definitely a step up from their current living situation. It is absolutely gorgeous and you can tell Pushpa poured her heart into this project. The excitement expressed from the children to move into a proper home is highly contagious as well. It is still a work in progress, but they aim to be move-in ready in two weeks.
At the moment we do most of the cooking outdoors over a fire because of the lack of space and equipment in the dark outdated kitchen. Four kids sleep in a bunk-bed, an older and a younger per twin sized mattress. We wash the kids hair using the water pulled up from the well and bucket it onto their heads outside over the drain. Meals, studying, and playing are all done in the same outside seating area. The new home has a total of four buildings and includes separate dormitories for the boys and girls, a beautiful Waldorf room, a spacious kitchen with new appliances, bathrooms that include working showers, a library, a stage for the kids to perform and play on, and the entire orphanage is handicap accessible.
Nepal is really struggling with the border closed between them and India. Petrol shortage is the biggest repercussion and because of this all of Nepal has what they call 13 hours of darkness a day. There is scheduled time for when electricity should be on each day and it is supposed to add up to 11 hours, but it is hardly reliable. Pushpa took great precaution for this and has had several large solar panels installed at the new Butterfly Home so they wont have to get up in the middle of the night to take advantage of the unpredictable electricity anymore.
The kids are finally through with exams and are on a little holiday at the moment. Pushpa is in and out all day long so I stick around normally from 8 in the morning to 6 at night helping with whatever I can—playing, cooking, cleaning, etc. Teaching the kids yoga in the morning is such a blast. Their attention span is naturally a bit shorter, but as long as we get the lions breath in they are all happy as can be. I am learning a lot from them. Most of the kids speak as much English as I do Nepalese, so it was a bit of a struggle at first, but we have somehow overcome it and I adore their company. They call me Auntie Kayla and it is constantly called out throughout the day, so much so that I am starting to hear it in my sleep.
Pushpa has presented an amazing opportunity for me to travel to a remote prison with her to rescue two more kids. I am very honored to get this experience and see a bit deeper into Pushpa’s work and the life endured by these children. I will be sure to write a report on it when the time comes.
Namaste from Nepal,
— Click here to read Kayla’s update about ECDC’s Grand Opening, February 2016. —