Monday 19 March 2018: our Nepalese adventure can finally start! Adrien and myself start discovering Nepal through various schools. All of them are supported, built or on their way to be built by the Butterfly Help Project.
We started with Ghunsa. This Sherpa village is located at 3500 meters above sea level in the Kanchenjunga region (3rd highest mountain in the world). This village is the birthplace of Norbu Sherpa, cofounder of the association. We arrived in Ghunsa after 4 trekking days crossing small typical villages and breathtaking landscapes. A warm welcome was given by the children and the teachers the day after our arrival.
We had the chance to see Sherpa dancers wearing traditional clothes offered by Butterfly and to listen to traditional songs. We also visited the school as well as the boarding school. We also were given a presentation of the actions already achieved by different associations. It was a rewarding experience!
After this wonderful evening and a good night’s sleep, we came back to school to distribute clothes, teddies and pencils offered by generous donors. It was a particular moment to see how happy they are receiving just a t-shirt. That kind of moment helps us to put things into perspective and to question ourselves about our life in our country. It was so wonderful to see all children faces with a big smile!
The next days, we started to paint the walls with the help of Tashi Chhumbel Sherpa, our guide and brother of Norbu. We planned to paint 5 walls in 5 classrooms! The main idea was to paint educational and useful drawings for children and teachers. Firstly, we had to apply a light base coat. Then we painted the alphabet and numbers in the nursery school classroom. In the classroom I, we drew a tree and a big flower, so that pupils can learn the different parts that compose them. In the classroom II, a rainbow was created to learn the colors. In the classroom III, we painted the months and linked them with the seasons. Finally, in the last classroom, we drew the tree branches and all the children of the school came to put on their colorful hand to create a multicolored foliage!
We left Ghunsa after wonderful 10 days. We discovered lots of things, especially about Sherpa culture thanks to Tashi who shared anecdotes and childhood memories. Thank you so much!
Our journey takes us to Leptung, a small village located in the district of Dolakha, after 7 hours of driving on chaotic and dusty roads. The Association rebuilt the school destroyed after the 2015 earthquake. A warm welcome was given by the new school principal, Ganesh Karki. During the visit of this new school, we started to imagine future drawings on the wall. The challenge was high; we had only two days remaining to paint in every classroom.
We started on the next day. We were inspired by the educative material to make our paintings in 9 classrooms. Once again, we drew the alphabet and numbers in the nursery school classroom. In the classroom 1, we drew the seasons. In classroom 2, pupils will learn colors thanks to different flowers. We painted the water cycle in the classroom 3.In classroom 4, children will never be late thanks to a clock painted on the wall. In classrooms 5 and 6, mathematics themes appeared. Finally, the solar system as well as animal and plant cells were painted in the last 2 classrooms.
As we had enough time, we decided to paint a tree in blossom on the exterior walls.
Those 3 days were so intense in Leptung. Thanks to Ganesh who welcomes us during our stay, we learnt how to eat, dance and live like a Sherpa! We even had the chance to attend a Hindu festival organized to raise funds in order to build a new temple in the village. It was crazy! We will never forget these moments. Thank you!
Our adventure with the association came to an end in Palep. This village is not so far of the Annapurna’s region and is located at about 4 hours’ drive from Kathmandu. Mostly destroyed by the 2015 earthquake, the village is slowly recovering from the disaster. Butterfly Help Project is currently starting to build a new school. The new school will replace the current provisory school which is built with corrugated iron.
During 2 days, we painted 4 walls in the 2 existing classrooms. In the first classroom, we drew a colorful rainbow and the water cycle on one side, and seasons on the other side. In the second classroom, we painted a tree and flowers on one wall, and the famous solar system on the other wall.
The day we left Palep, the inhabitants began to dismantle the building located on the grounds of the future school. We look forward to seeing the evolution of the work!
In conclusion, we experienced a lot of ups and downs but we learned so much leaving alongside the inhabitants, the guides, our hosts or the children. It was really a chance to be able to live this unique experience. People have almost nothing but give so much. This makes us thinking about how we live in our country.
We spent 6 wonderful weeks. In addition to our experiences in these 3 schools, we had the chance to discover Nepal and its breathtaking wonders. We really enjoyed visiting Kathmandu and the crazyness of Thamel, the old town of Bakthapur and Pokhara. It was wonderful! We would like to thank our hosts, the Kanchenjunga Guest House in Ghunsa for your sympathy. We thank Ganesh in Leptung for your hospitality and generosity. Thanks to Wild Yak Expeditions for this customized travel planning. Finally, we would like to thank Butterfly Help Project and more specially Andrea and Norbu for allowing us to go to all these beautiful places. You really do great things and we were so proud to travel on your behalf.
Amandine and Adrien
“For me it was a dream to go there. Thank you to everyone who contributed to make it true.. ”
“I sincerely thank all the people who made this trip possible, especially my girlfriend Amandine for offering me to accompany her. I would have never experienced such an experience without her ”