Roni with children at the Friends of Angel’s Orphanage in Kathmandu in Nepal.

After the yoga retreat in India I was exhausted. So many colors and so much to see and do. I decided to spend a week in Nepal after by myself, and the first morning I woke up in Kathmandu I was thrilled to relax and ease into this time off. I ordered some breakfast in a sweet outdoor courtyard, a little haven in the center of Kathmandu. I struck up a conversation with a British man with grey hair and a kind disposition. I quickly discovered they were in town to check on their orphanage. Just then his wife Rose, a firecracker of a lady, walks up and passionately begins tell me about the orphanage. After knowing them for about 10 minutes she invites me to come with them to the orphanage. I looked down at my eggs and knew my relaxed day to myself wasn’t going to happen.

Before I knew it I was in a taxi with a bunch of strangers flying through the streets of Kathmandu. I spent the day with them cleaning, making lunches for the kids, visiting their school, and setting up solar powered lights. They couldn’t do their homework at night in the dark, because the city cycles energy and turns their grid off without warning. I learned that a married Nepali couple lives there as their day to day managers and parents at the orphanage. They described how important it is that the children refer to them as Mom and Dad. So that they know they do have a family, and do not miss the opportunity to experience the intimacy of those words. I learned that many orphans in Nepal still have parents who are alive, but they could not feed them in their villages so they sacrifice them to be sure they have a chance. It sounds hard to believe at first, but with no birth control, they have no ability to plan for their families. They all told me about each child, the ones that were rebelling, the quiet ones, the hams. They looked at their watches and in their adorable British accent they popped up out of their chairs and invited me to help make lunches and take them to the kids at their school.

They told me how important it is to them that the children attend a private school because the public schools will not give them the chance they deserve. I walked with the family to the school and was surprised at how lovely it was. It was clean and organized and all the children were looking so put together in their blue uniforms. When you don’t have nice clothes, a uniform provides a source of pride to these kids. When we got back we sat on the porch talking and I just had to ask. “Do you mind me asking how much it costs to send all the kids to the private school per year?”. They sighed “It’s very expensive.” Knowing the costs in America I could imagine but I pressed again for an answer. “It’s about $6,000 to send all the kids to school” says Rose. “Wait, all of them, for an entire year?” I blurted out. With all of the costs of the property, food, clothing and every other detail you can imagine the bills add up easily for this compassionate older couple just doing the best they can to contribute. I didn’t say it out loud. But that very moment in mind I thought “Bella Prana can raise that much. We are going to send these kids to school. That is going to happen.”

The next day I came back and did yoga with the kids and they were so respectful and responsive, even though I’m sure they didn’t always understand me. I have been in ministry and done mission work in Africa, Costa Rica and Nicaragua before my trip to Nepal. I don’t blindly donate to causes because I have experienced seeing funds misused. But I feel such peace and confidence about asking our students to support this orphanage. I’ve been there. I’ve asked the questions and felt the energy, seen the love, and believe in the mission. It’s time to make that dream come true! Since it takes 24 hours to fly from Tampa to Nepal we are going to practice for 24 hours on Saturday November 18th.  One class for every hour it takes to get to Kathmandu and ALL classes are DONATION ONLY. Let’s send these kids to school!

If you have any questions about the orphanage you can see their Facebook page under “The Friends of Angel’s Orphanage”. It is modest, so feel free to reach out to Roni directly about her experience there as well at  roni@bellaprana.com.

 

NOVEMBER 18th – ALL DAY LONG – DONATION ONLY YOGA!