Fa la la la la, la la la laaaaaaa

Friday 14th December 2007

Hello everyone!
I’m getting fully into the Christmas spirit now, and everything’s so exciting!

We’ve got a new volunteer who has come to our orphanage a few days ago, she’s called Karla, and is from Finland, and is really nice, so that’s good.
She and I have been putting our heads together to plan a lovely Christmas for all the children, and I’m so excited now! I can’t wait – it’s going to be so much fun!

I’ve already talked to the kids a lot about Christmas, and we’ve done xmas vocab in English, and made a lovely big snowman and xmas tree to put on the wall in lieu of a real tree – I’ll attach a photo cos it looks really great!
The kids all made paper presents to stick under the tree and coloured nice pictures etc.
Anyway, the plan so far for Christmas is quite elaborate, so I’ll let you all in on my plans (it’s SOOOO exciting!!)

We’ve decided to celebrate with the kids on the 24th, so that we’re free to celebrate our own way with friends on the 25th (i.e. – down the pub!).
We discussed the concept of stockings, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. The socks I bought for the kids are really too small, and plastic bags are a bit crap, so we decided to use the metal bowls the kids eat rice in. We’ll put a sticky label with each kid’s name on their bowl so “Santa” will know who’s they are, and lay them all out in the office on the bed on the 23rd.
Then Karla and I can fill up the bowls with oranges, bananas, sweets, biscuits, and jellies etc – all sorts of goodies!

I’ve bought a little present for each kid – plastic watches for the boys, and jewellry for the girls, and teddies for the babies, which I can give them on the 24th.
In the morning, after the initial waking up and excitement of Santa (it’s my first time being Santa and it’s SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!), instead of making black tea, like we have every morning, I’m going to buy milk and make hot chocolate (I don’t think they’ve ever had it before) and porridge with honey for breakfast (sugar overload).

Then later on we’ll go and buy some chicken and veggies for them to have a proper big yummy lunch!
We’re going to have a Christmas party, so I’ve made a pass-the-parcel (with 26 layers), and we’ve got some left-over toys and games for prizes, so we can play musical chairs and musical statues etc, as they love singing and dancing. Lots of Simon Says and silly party games.
It’s going to be AWESOME!

Then in the afternoon we can settle them down in front of a nice movie, (I’ve been buying Christmas-themed movies like Home Alone and stuff) and we can disappear off to Thamel for our night out. A lot of the scandanavian volunteers celebrate Christmas on the 24th and not the 25th anyway, so we’ll all go out for a nice dinner and drink a lot, and then on the 25th we can all chill out (we might try to find a posh hotel with a nice pool and spa and go there for the day or something a bit different). Then on the 26th a few of us are going down to Pokhara, which is a beautiful city at the base of the Annapurna mountain range, and it has a lake and is apparently very calm and peaceful after the mad bustle of Kathmandu – sounds wonderful!

We’re going to spend two or three days there, chilling out by the lake, going for small walks (preferably not up any mountains though!), generally relaxing and enjoying the views, and being on holiday.
Then I’ll come back for a few days over New Year, and on the 3rd of Jan, me, Alan and Dom are going back to Chitwan for three days (should be a lot warmer in the jungle!) with RCDP for our mid-term camp, as we’ll be halfway through by then.

Then I’m back at the orphanage for a week before my big sponsored silence – the ten-day meditation course starting on the 14th of Jan (don’t forget to donate now!).
By the time that’s all finished I’ll have a week or so to exercise my vocal cords before two of my lovely friends from Korea are coming to visit me for a week.
I’ll be able to show them around and do lots of nice touristy things!

So, a VERY busy month or so coming up, but I’m looking forward to having a break (I think I deserve it after four months), – the 1-day weekends are getting a bit difficult to be honest, but I’ll appreciate my break all the more for it!

Anyway, I am now fully geared up for Christmas, and SUPER-PSYCHED about playing Santa and all the lovely presents and surprises I have in store for the kids. I’m even happier about the fact that Karla arrived with perfect timing to help me pay for all the food and things!
We’re also going to take Aamaa and Priya out for a nice dinner sometime next week, as it’s nice for Aamaa to get out once in a while.

So, I am literally brimming over with Christmas cheer, despite the lack of tinsel and carols in Kathmandu, and am having a really brilliant time getting ready for Christmas.
I also bought some AWESOME games for school yesterday – I found these wicked puzzles with sums on the back of each piece, so you have to match the piece to the answer on the board to make the picture. They’re fantastic!

Anyway, sending lots of love and happy thoughts your way – I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me again before Christmas, but you can never have too much merriment can you?

Very Merry and also Happy Christmas,

tons of love and good cheer
Merry Maya (aka Santa)

Ps- A very big thank you to all those who have donated on my website – you’re all very generous!

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