One of the projects we’re working on in Nepal, is to give support and training to the teachers here to help them to be more successful. Teachers here have many difficult obstacles to overcome from the society not valuing education, a lack of funds, and children from unbelievably difficult situations.
Our team put together a series of workshops at a prestigious school in the city, which graciously donated space and resources to host the teachers.
They came from private schools, government schools, and from tiny schools in destitute villages from high in the mountains. Each of our team took a different area of focus and the teachers rotated to a total of six separate sessions. Senator Miller from Vermont taught the session next to me, covering public service. My session was on how to utilize spirituality and direct action to bring about social change, both in the schools, but also how to teach their youth how to become empowered to change their circumstances and the future of their country.
All of my training sessions went exceptionally well. The teachers were eager to learn new ideas and I was able to help them by giving them new perspectives and helping them organize. I’m helping them create a Nepal Teacher’s Association and suggested that they start a Facebook page. There is so much potential here, but also much poverty and hardship. Many of the children don’t even have clothes or homes.
At the same time the adults facilitated teacher workshops, our youth leaders facilitated student workshops. I am so impressed by the way our younger counterparts performed. They easily mixed with the youth of a different culture, and shared universal values and peace building skills. In the end, our first project was a huge success, having brought concrete skills and accessing needs for future help. And of course, making life-long friends with lots of invitations to return.
After the training, the sponsoring school’s students put on a cultural show for us with students retelling the story of the goddess Durga and her destruction of a powerful demon.
The students dressed in bright Nepali costumes and danced in delightful style.
Following that, a famous Buddhist nun, Ani, sang for us.
After the festivities, we were transported to Yogi G’s ashram across town, for even more entertainment, and lastly, to a wonderful restaurant called the Bakery, for a closing meal and fellowship.
Pomp and circumstance is highly important to the people of Nepal, and long rituals and lots of speeches precede every event. And hospitality rules the day, with even the poorest of villagers, offering all they have to a guest. As I’ve said before, the people of Nepal are very special, and I feel so honored to be in their presence!