The World Writes to Maikot
People all over the world are looking at our website, they learning how beautiful our village is and how ambitious and studious we are.
We have already received a letter from England and will publish it on this page. People from France and from Trinidad (near Venezuela) have sent us text messages and will write to so that we can publish their letters and pictures on our website.
We hope many more people from all over the world will write to us, tell us about their lives and send us pictures. Then we will really enjoy learning English so that we can be friends with all these lovely people all over the world.
Therefore, please write and send us a picture soon.
Friday, 09 December 2011
Dear Children of Shree Maikot School in Takukot,
Namaste! How are you?
I am writing to you because I was lucky enough to meet your great Headmaster, Mr Dhitalji, when I visited your village three years ago. I live in England, near Manchester (North-West England), but I have truly spent one week in your beautiful village. You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Mr Dhitalji has told me what lovely children you are, that you are so well-behaved, and that you work so hard and are so keen to learn. Mr Dhital has sent me pictures of you when you are taking notes outside your school. You are writing everything down so that you don't forget anything. Your parents must be very proud of you to have such lovely children.
When I visited Takukot, I walked all the way up from Bhalu Suara. It was a long walk. It took me seven hours to go by bus from Kathmandu to Bhalu Suara . Then I had to walk for five hours to reach your village. First I walked for 2 1/2 hours up-river on a wide track to reach a footbridge over the river Daraund , then I had to walk up and up and up and up on a narrow trail (= small footpath) to reach Takukot. That took another 2 1/2 hours. So overall the walk took 5 hours.
On the way back it was faster because my friends sent me downhill by a more direct route. When I reached the river, opposite Bhalu Suara, I had to cross the river by walking through it. The water reached my hips and I had to hold my luggage high above my head to make sure my belongings wouldn't get wet. I was worried that the river would wash me away and take me several miles downstream before I could reach the other side.
Ishvara anugraha I got to the other side safely. Thank God this was in summer (June). I am sure it is not possible to cross the river like this in winter. It must be far too cold. What do you think?
I spent the night in a hotel in Bhalu Suara to wait for the bus for Kathmandu, which was leaving at 6 a.m. We slept in a dormitory which contained about 30 beds and quilts to keep us warm. One side of the dormitory opened to a veranda overlooking the river Daraund, so I had lots of nice fresh air, and could hear the murmurings of the river all night long.
There was also a baby goat in the dormitory. I think his mother had rejected him. That's why he was spending the night with us, running around between the beds and jumping up on the beds, kissing the guests good-night and then jumping down again to make the next guest happy.
He also came to me and offered to stay with me for a while and keep me warm.
I taught him some English (Hello, darling) and he taught me some Nepali (Namaste-ji). So he is now my best friend in Bhalu Suara. I cried when I had to say good-bye to him in the morning.
I wanted to say something nice to him, like "my darling baby", but I did not know the words. So I just started crying and said "Good bye, Bakhri". But he said: "No, I am not a girl, and I am only little, and if you want to be nice to me, you can call me 'Patha'. And now go away and learn नेपाली because if you speak my language, I will love you even more. When I am big, I will run up the mountain and go to Shri Maikot School, because up there they have the nicest children and the best teachers. And then I will learn English and go to England and shake hands with the Queen. And I will give her a kiss on her forehead. She will like that."
Write to me
Have any of you ever been down to Bhalu Suara? Have you walked through the river or did you use the bridge? Have you ever seen the bus which goes from Bhalu Suara to Kathmandu, or have you even been on it?
Where else have you been? In Gorkha? Or in other villages? In Lakuribot, Mailung, Pandrung, Dandagaon (the village with the big stick), in Keurepani? Or do you actually live there and have to walk to school from there every day?
If you like, you could all write me a nice letter, in English. I am sure your English teacher will help you to make it nice and clear. I suggest you write the number of your class, and your name and age and boy or girl on top of each letter. Your teacher will give it to Mr Dhitalji, and he will scan your letters and send them to me by email. If he cannot scan them, he will send them by paper mail.
I would also love to hear about your life in Takukot, about your families, about the things you enjoy, and the things you hate (or do not like), and about your plans and ambitions for later in life when you leave school; about your friends; about your festivals; about your animals. What do you do when you fall ill; when you have a toothache? Tell me about your walk to school, how long does it take in the morning, how long in the evening?
Do you ever have to walk to school, or from school, when it is dark? Are you scared when it is dark? Do you have ghosts in Takukot? What are they called? Are they nice or are they naughty? What do they do? Have you ever met one?
What is it like in winter? Is it very cold? How do you keep warm? Do you have a rainy season (monsoon), as they have in India?
What is life like at school? Which is your favourite subject? Are the girls smarter (more clever, more intelligent) than the boys?
What is your favourite religious festival? Do you like reading? What do you read?
Look, how many questions I have! Will you be able to answer them? I am sure you can, and if you all send me a letter, you will make me really happy.
You will see that it is worthwhile learning English because if you know English well, everybody, anywhere in the world will be able to understand you, and you will find many friends.
You already have one friend in England; that is me. But if your school one day gets computers and access to the Internet, you can find friends all over the world, in Nepal, in India, in England and even in America. They will all understand you if you learn English well.
You must be grateful to your English teachers for teaching you something so useful. Your school already has a website (Mr Dhitalji will explain to you exactly what that is). Its address is: www.takukot-village-nepal.org
Where I live
I live near Manchester. Manchester is a big city in the North-West of England. It is about 4 hours by train from London and 5 or 6 hours by car. We do not have high mountains in this part of England, but we do have hills.
Sometimes we have ice and snow. But we are not used to it, so when suddenly there is a lot of snow, people get very upset, the cars on the roads get stuck in the snow, and if there is ice as well and some people try to drive too fast, then the cars crash into one another, and some people get killed.
When the weather forecast (prediction of weather) on TV and radio says that there will be a lot of snow overnight, sometimes the local government ("the Council") will send out lorries loaded with grit (a mixture of salt, sand and tiny stones). They throw that on the main roads. The salt makes the ice melt (you have to ask Mr Dhakal and Mr Shrestha, your science teachers, to explain to you why snow and ice will melt when you throw salt on it.
The sand and small stones will make sure that the cars do not skid (slide fast and suddenly) when they have to break.
Christmas is coming
Soon (on 25 and 26 December) people in England will celebrate Christmas. That is a big Christian festival (the most popular festival) when Christians remember the birthday of Jesus (also called Christ) and therefore the festival is called Christmas. ("mass" is a Christian form of prayer). So the whole word is "Christmas".
But we also celebrate Eid and Diwali here, because we have many Hindus and Muslims living in this town. Most of them come from India and Pakistan. I have not yet met any Nepalis here, but now I will start looking for them. I will tell you if I find any.
In my town, the Hindus invite non-Hindus to their Diwali celebration every year. The Mayor always comes; also the Chief of the Firebrigade, and some members of the local government (town administration).
There is usually a professional band from India making live music. Often there is a performance of classical or Bollywood Indian dance. Everybody also gets a tasty Indian vegetarian meal. People come not only from our town but also from small towns in the vicinity. Some Muslims also usually come to this Diwali celebration because they like the relaxed atmosphere; and, of course, many white English people come. Our Mayor this year is a woman, and she was born in Jordan. Do you know where Jordan (an Arab-speaking country) is situated? Have you ever heard of the River Jordan?
This Diwali celebration is also a New Year Celebration, and everybody is very cheerful and happy.
During Eid, if the weather is good, you see many Muslim girls in their new beautiful Eid dresses in the street. Families visit each other, and the children are getting (and asking for) their "Eid money". The girls always get a new dress and like to show off with it, and the boys also sometimes get a new pair of shoes (called "trainers"), which they like to show off to their friends.
You know that Mr Dhitalji is writing to me by email (electronic mail, which is sent by computer), and I get his messages 60 seconds after he has sent them. Isn't that fantastic! A letter which travels in 60 seconds around the world, when by plane it would need 8 hours, and by donkey it would take 60 years, and the donkey would die before arriving in England.
If you are taken to Gorkha or to Kathmandu, you can go to places called "Internet Cafe" or "Cybercafe", where they have many computers. For just a few rupees you can sit on such a computer for 30 minutes and send me an email message. The guy in charge of the Cybercafe will help you and show you how to do it. Just show him the card with my email address. He will help you. Just tell me that you are one of my friends in Takukot. Then I will reply.
If you have any older brothers and sisters or uncles and aunts who live in Kathmandu, or in India, or anywhere else in the world, please give them my email address and tell them to write to me, because I would love to meet many people from your lovely Takukot.
Now I must finish this letter. I have given you enough to read, haven't I.
I wish you a Happy Christmas. Remember us in England and pray for us when we celebrate Christmas, on 25 and 26 December. And we will think of you and pray for you when you celebrate Mahashivaratri and Holi in February and March.
Saturday, 7 January 2012
Dear Children of Shree Maikot School in Takukot, How are you?
to come soon
to come soon