We had such a difficult time saying good-bye to our new friends. They have become family to us. We have been so generously welcomed into their hearts and homes. To thank the school for giving us the honour to volunteer with them, we held a huge assembly, followed by a dinner for all of the staff and some prominent locals. We had wanted to have the food catered, but they insisted on making us traditional Nepali dishes. Jeff went with them to purchase all of the food from the market and a lot of it came from their gardens. The teachers then set to work to make us a feast that was incredible. I know, I know, it was us who wanted to thank them, but they are so kind they thanked us at the same time. They even made Grace eggs on toast, as they knew she may not enjoy the spices. There was so much to choose from and it all tasted so fresh and delicious.
Grace and Ella doing their Nepali dance with the teachers.
The Leueny Boys doing their thing!
The day of the assembly I was snatched away by Bindi and Shova. They wrapped me in a traditional sari, complete with belly shirt (yikes!), did my hair, make-up and bejewelled me. I was like their Canadian Barbie doll. We then joined the rest of the school. Jeff had gone out and purchased a block rocker (a portable amp/sound system) and it was all set up with the students excitedly gathered in front. Luke entertained the kids by dancing and singing (air band style), while everything was readied. We then enjoyed singing and guitar by Jeff and Luke, Nepali dancing by some of the students and an amazing Nepali dance performed by Grace, Ella and two of the teachers. It was wonderful and enjoyed by everyone. You could see the people out on their balconies and gathered around the schoolyard.
Our official last day at the school was a very tearful one. The staff made us beautiful garlands to give us safe travels. We were also blessed, by our hosts, as well as Bindi and Sureesh, with silk scarves. The students smothered us with hugs and flowers. Our arms were so full, that we couldn’t reach up to wipe away our tears. The kids were given little trinkets and private little notes, written with love by their new friends. I am not sure we have ever been shown such love, from so many at once. As we drove away we were silent, all overwhelmed by the day.