Namaste from Linda in Nepal,
It’s been busy, busy here in sunny Swayambhu with lots of meetings and even more festival celebrations. Last week we celebrated Tihar (the festival of light), a five day festival which not only shows reverence to humans and gods but also animals like crows, cows and dogs. Homes and streets are adorned with lights, flowers, children singing and dancing. There are also patterns known as rangoli, which are drawn on the door ways and floors of homes and decorated with coloured sand, rice, flower petals and butter lamps welcoming the Goddess Laxmi into homes and businesses.
The final day of Tihar is Bhai tikka (brother’s day). Tracey and I were very lucky to be invited to our friend Sita’s house for her family celebration. Sita’s brother in law gladly became our brother with Tracey and myself giving him a tikka blessing and an offering of fruits and nuts. We were then treated to a wonderful feast, of course we contributed Australian wine…..and tried to behave ourselves. .
Today I said goodbye to Tracey (Elliott, our TUFA secretary) who is heading back to Melbourne after a six week stay. Tracey is the only person I have ever met who decides to book herself on 3 separate Nepal treks over six weeks! This woman seriously has rocks in her head! She achieved 2 out of 3 and unfortunately was not feeling well for number 3. It has been an absolute treat having her here and she has helped me so much with meetings and project plans…..will miss her and all our beer drinking sessions! Will post Tracey’s trekking experience in our next blog.
Sadly we have come to the agreement with Umbrella Nepal to cease support of our Australian volunteer program. Whilst the Umbrella Nepal program will continue, all future enquires and correspondence are to be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the years we have been 100% committed to the program with fundraising support and assistance for the volunteers. In recent times communication from Nepal has been very limited and has involved stressful situations not only to the volunteers but to our board members.
Signing off, until next time.
Linda (Harwood, president: The Umbrella Foundation Australia)
ps: All photos supplied by Tracey Elliott