I was surrounded by gigantic hills, it felt like I was living inside an enormous crown (like in Alice in the wonderland but only this crown was made of green hills and not gold and rubies)…same hills that I have been staring since I was a little kid but the only difference was… the colour of the hills; taadha (dherai taada )bata herda it looks like somebody roughly painted it in muddy shade of blue but now that I actually(well not actually :P) can count the trees in those hills, the hills look clean green like a farmer planted all those trees taking his own sweet time and care. To tell you the truth it took me quite sometime to really see that those hills were clean green and not overwhelming green. Two months ago if you had said “GO GREEN” right in my face I would have seriously punched you in your face; now you might get the idea of how much did I repel the color green. But now I miss that shade of green when I am back in ktm for holidays, that surprises me big time.
I joined the movement of Teach For Nepal cause I believed in every word it had printed in that small square white pamphlet explaining what TFN was all about. I felt like “Yes! I was born to be a part of this” (this feeling !!! I tell you is so easy to feel but pretty doubtful when you actually live it). I was excited to be a fellow at Teach For Nepal. Six weeks of training at TFN house! I wouldn’t know how to explain or even express what it was. It was a home for me- a place and people I adored.
Two years as a teacher in government school in a VILLAGE was what I had signed up for but the first thing I did when I reached village was that I complained the place was a village- “yo ta gaun jasto cha” was what came out of my mouth. The still silence of the place gagged me and literally I felt like I was drowning in the air.I wondered how people lived all their life here and not want to get away…I had so many questions and complains about the village. I had this wish of seeing a village once in my life but now that I was actually living in one, I remembered “careful what you wish for.” I waited for things to get better , cause I was told things would be better after 2/3 months and I was waiting for those months to pass by .
I stayed for a week and rushed back ktm to breathe the dusted air cause I missed the grey air of ktm. The hustle and bustle of the busy streets were like beethoveen’s symphony to me. Then I went back to village again collecting all the supplies I needed. Now that I knew I could go back ktm anytime I started to feel at ease and then started to adapt my new life there. Soon, I felt the chisoo and mitho hawaa of the village. I started to smile and talking to people at school. My students made me smile, made me proud, made me angry, made me sad but most important they made me see hope. I still am not used to hear the word “miss” after my name. When they call me “Nija miss” i am like “ah, that sounds awful” (I don’t say it out loud I just say it in my head)…but I like how they call out “eh miss!”.
I teach grade 7 to 10 and it is great but I love the lower grade kids so much more :P. Now and then when I get off periods I sneak into their classrooms when I see no teachers there. Few days back one of the fifth grader calls me “Addhi miss” and I ask him why do you call me that. “Tapai adha period padhaunu huncha tyo pani adha student lai matra, tei bhayera tapai adha miss”. I walk away from him and then smile to myself happily. I have leisure time during last hours in school so I spend time with the kids left in class…as most of them go home early when there is no teacher for last periods. These kids amaze me by singing songs I’ ve never heard and telling poems that would blow you off by surprise.Ah, i got another name as well “thuti miss” just because i have short hair”.
I begin my day with a great class and then I enter another class and have the worst class ever. Some days a kid would make you smile and the other day the same kid would disappoint you so much it hurts your heart so much you struggle to draw in the tears.I stand in front of the class and be their teacher, they look at me with those amazing innocent but mischievous eyes that don’t judge me but believe in me, in every word that i speak.Every now and then the most talkative kid shouts out “Halla nagar bhaneko…miss risayera bahira januhuncha ailey” just to remind himself to be quite in class. I think I know these young souls but there is so much i need to explore…they are just leaving me tiny faint hints for me to reveal their heart.
My achievement till now- they look into my eyes and then they smile…