During the winter of 2015/2016, Utopia Volunteer Kayla is volunteering at the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC)/Butterfly Home in Nepal. After progress was significantly delayed from the earthquakes that devastated the country in the spring of 2015, February 2016 marks the completion of the NEW Butterfly Home!
Here is an update from Kayla, February 2016:
It is official, the Butterfly Home is now truly a home with all 45 ECDC kids running around. There is still a little last-minute painting, organizing, and tree house assembling to be done, but those are little things compared to this big and long-awaited accomplishment! I was honored to take part in a Nepalese Ceremony to bless the house and celebrate the kids that took place before the first night in the new home. All the girls got to dress up in their traditional, bedazzled Nepalese dresses and I did my best wearing one I last minute found in a department store. The ceremony included a lot of chants, fruits and herbs representing different things, and seemingly endless handfuls of candy for the kids. It was a happy day for everyone.
The move-in week we were lucky enough to acquire more helping hands as Thomas Morgan, the creator of Waiting For Mamu (the documentary on ECDC), his family, and a returning volunteer joined us. They were all such lovely, generous people who I was honored to experience this memorable moment with.
The transition from the old to the new home has gone very smoothly with only a few misplaced items and a not-so-welcomed reminder of last years devastation when a 5.3 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal awake the night before moving in. Luckily, there was no damage and the kids are tough enough to not be phased by the scare…excitement wasn’t dulled a bit that day.
I am having the most rewarding time spending day after day with these extraordinary kids. I am surprised daily by their strength, passion, and endless love; and now with their new and improved home they can play like kids and pursue their passions. This is their first home with a yard to play soccer and do handstand on, sinks that dispense water, and an oven to bake homemade treats in. They can now experience a bit more of a life as a kid with less troubles and more joy.
The next challenge is for me to teach the staff and older kids how to bake. Our first attempt at making brownies put into perspective just how many mouths they have to feed here, and how much chocolate these kids are capable of devouring. But besides the excitement of a new home, routine is still in hand and settling into the new home seems to be an easy task for them.
Life is good here at the Butterfly Home, even the impressive amount of bumps and bruises from pretending I’m a kid are welcomed.
Namaste from Nepal,
— Click here to read Kayla’s previous update from January, 2016. —