*Day 28: Sumit's Story
Trip Start May 20, 2008
77Trip End Aug 19, 2008
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Emily and I have joked about how fat she's probably going to get immediately upon being introduced to America's abundant greasy food supply and the concept of supermarkets, and how much we'll eat ourselves as soon as we both get back
Anyways, after the morning routine, I accompanied Emily & Lindsey on a brief errand into New Baneshwor. We ate lunch there at a neat café that employed deaf people, and of course I didn't realize our waiter was deaf until midway through ordering. The food (mo-mos, Tibetan dumpling things) was a bit oily for my tastes but twas decently filling. On the way out of this café, Lindsey halted and heard a faint meowing coming from the roof
Following this funniness, I separated from the two of them and hopped on a bus bound for OCRC, or so I thought. It was actually a direct bus to Bhaktapur (OCRC is off the backroads just outside Bhaktapur) and let me off elsewhere than where I needed to be. Bhaktapur's historic old town was only a short walk away from where I was, so I shrugged my shoulders, made the best of it, and did a brief round of sightseeing. While crisscrossing it's Durbar Square, a friendly Nepali college student named Servis approached and began chatting. After I was sure he wasn't another annoying merchant taut, I joined him for a cup of yummy delicious milk tea. He told me tales of a funny old priest in his village who got electrocuted and woke up from the resulting coma with a senile new life goal: attach fans to his shoulders and become the first human-helicopter hybrid
I spent most of the time at OCRC letting it's sole worker, also college aged, talk to me about the orphanage's problems, and his dream of traveling to the US for his master's degree. At the risk of getting jingoistic, every single Nepali I've met labels America as their dream. It's never the UK, Europe, or Japan... always "Amerllieeeeka!" That's saying something I think. For all our troubles of late, there's at least one corner of the world that still looks up to us, and for good reason. We rule. Mr Worker went on to lament how the few Nepalis fortunate to make money abroad lose hope of ever salvaging their homeland from ruin and set up a permanent life in the West. He means to reverse this trend. He said that even if he's only one man and can't offer much help beyond sending what little money he makes abroad to his family, he'll at least be able to die (many years down the road) knowing he did something. Channeling Gandhi for a bit, he said that if he set an example, eventually more and more would follow and a trend could begin
Confirming my suspicions from a couple days ago, the worker informed me that they've been struggling to feed the kids for a while now. The cook-lady is poorly educated and doesn't know how to set up a balanced diet and their insufficient rice cooker just cant churn out enough food fast enough during meal times. With a couple exceptions, the children aren't skin and bones, but many are bloated and most definitely in poor health. One child however is most definitely skin and bones. This kid, a maybe 7 year old boy named Sumit, never talks to anyone, sneaks up to holds my hand then drags me into a secluded corner to cry. I asked Mr Worker what was wrong with him, and heard the kid's story. He was separated from his sister somehow before arriving at the orphanage and has been depressed ever since. He doesn't fit in with the other children and has zero self esteem.
Is there anything he needs? I asked...
"He just needs love."
I was waiting for Nepal to sneak into my heart and jumble things around...
At that moment, it did.