Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 1 at the Orphanage - Painting

I visited the doctor on the Friday of that week, but annoyingly I was probably mostly better by the time that happened, so he couldn't really do anything with me apart from prescribe some broad antibiotics for either parasite or bacterial infection. The clinic was fantastic - precisely what I would expect, having paid through the nose, the bill came just under my insurance excess so no joy claiming on that either!

The following day, Amy invited me to her orphanage to help with some painting. I had really hoped to visit an orphanage at some point so this was a great opportunity. I was feeling much better so had no problems walking for well over an hour to reach it.

Upon reaching the orphanage, I was somewhat mobbed by a collection of young lads yelling "What's your name?" "How are you?" "Are you married?" "I'm fine thanks" who then grabbed my hands and showed me around the orphanage til they had named the occupant of every bed, taken me onto the roof to look at the woman next door wash her hair, and re-introduced me to Amy as if I had never met her before. 

To calm them down, I offered to play Connect-4 with a couple of them. This did not work. But we did have a lot of fun. And I did manage, on a few occasions, to defeat my 7-year-old opponent.

 After a while, the owner of the orphanage (Amy's host father) and a whole load of his mates arrived. Painting was to begin! First to be painted was, unintentionally, a section of the floor (my fault) but after that was cleaned up we set to work with pencils, sketching flowers and scenes and characters from the kids' books and I began work on my 'aviation wall', inspired by a poster that the kids had in the hallway of their orphanage. 

It very quickly transpired that the men that Bikram had brought along with him were not just any old buddies of him, but excellent artists and were soon sketching very convincing Pinnochios, mountain scenes, birds and the Google Chrome logo. I stuck to my Aerospace training and drew most of Edinburgh Uni Gliding Club's fleet, a paraglider, Sudip's C172 and R44, a hot air balloon (they're easy) and an Airbus A380 in isometric projection.

e could then begin colouring in earnest. And earnestly is certainly how my young assistant began applying the yellow paint on Snoopy and, not content with the traditional Cessna white, repainted Sudip's aircraft in lurid blue and green. Our wall soon ended up by far the messiest but I clearly chose a different balance between inclusiveness and perfectionism to everyone else!

Spot which walls were painted by the kids, and which were painted by the professionals!

The painting and decorating team.

All too soon, the painting was done for the day and I gathered many of my moustached painting-fellows together for a final Movember portrait. For the date was the 1st December and Movember was now complete.

Thanks so much to everyone who donated - I raised £69 from donors in the UK and Nepal (I matched all the Nepalese Rupee donations), which has helped my team do pretty well!

That evening, Amy, Adi and I headed into Kathmandu for a little bit of luxury Western entertainment. We took the bus and walked through central Ratna Park, just for a change, and to look upon the preacher chap who sits in a tree and amuses, lectures and educates the crowd below in Nepali and what Adi assured me was English (though it just sounded like more Nepali). He is a Civil Engineer by training but now just likes to put the world to rights in an amusing fashion. As we joined the crowd, completely oblivious to the content of the lecture, it clearly changed so that we were the subject, judging by the number of eyes swivelling in our direction... 

We exited through the largest market I have ever seen, pondered who would buy a bullet-proof jacket from a rather dirty-looking woman squatting next to a pile of them on the floor, then headed over to Civil Mall for an evening of frozen yoghurt (buffet-style, absolutely awesome) and a film. Life of Pi 3D - I had always been put off the book because it sounded very much like a kids book, but the film was very entertaining. And was the only English film that wasn't Bond (and I have already said I wouldn't see that again).

Afterwards, we walked to Nepal's first Pizza Hut! Mainly just as an interesting point of comparison but also because we knew we'd get great food there. And we did! If a little bit expensive.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you're back to writing on the blog Col!

    Life of Pi - isn't that the one with the tiger in boat?