Here’s the latest in our series #myamagharstory… the story of a visit to Ama Ghar from three amazing, dynamic British women – Sherry Hornagold-Prosser, Elissa Judd and Suzie Bowley – in their own words and pictures, from their Facebook page.
January 2, 2018
We have arrived at Ama Ghar, greeted by the children who were so excited. The roads in Nepal must surely be amongst the worst in the world!!! Nestled at the foot of some mountains the house looks out over a large terrace and numerous play areas for the children, football being a big favourite for the boys. The whole area was bathed in warm sunshine when we arrived but now the sun has set the temperature has dropped rapidly. We are getting to know the children and will be doing formal introductions and giving out care packages donated by friends after dinner. Leela seems particularly enamoured with Suzie! We all love the 3-legged dog that is also an earthquake survivor. Bonnie has been so welcoming and kind. We can’t wait to get really stuck in with our activities tomorrow!
January 3, 2018
Today was a special day for the children as they finished the last of their exams and were all relieved and excited to have some time off. It was a gloriously warm and sunny afternoon and we started by making aromatic play dough. The children of all ages enjoyed the manufacturing process and then went on to make the most amazing things, starting with shapes and moving on to pots, animals and people. The two dogs, Zuzu and Sidi enjoyed eating the crumbs of play dough left behind. The air was filled with the smell of lavender, geranium and chamomile essential oils.
Twister was good fun with the children making up their own version and then settling to do embroidery and make pom-poms with the materials very kindly donated by Hobby Craft in Northampton. Whilst the discovery of a fair amount of bubble wrap caused much excitement, the highlight of the day was no doubt the care packages and gift bags for them. This was a massive treat for these little children who have never received an entire bag of items just for them. They adored having a bag each too with their name on. It was lovely to see their faces as they discovered all the items inside…we spotted many a new hat and scarf and socks being worn for dinner! The hair accessories in many of the bags went down well!
January 4, 2018
We made our way from our home stay in Taukel to Ama Ghar all by ourselves today! We walked through the village waving and greeting locals. A local man asked us to take a picture of his calf that had just been born. The ‘micro’ wasn’t quite as squashed today and more amazingly we got off at the right stop at the Pati. We then have a steep descent down into the valley where the home is.
Such a fun day full of much laughter as the children get to know us and look forward to us arriving. We kicked off with musical statues and then dancing. Yoga with the children in the wonderful sunshine was very special. We massaged each other’s shoulders in a circle and I doubt they will ever forget the words ‘squishy squashy’. The massage evolved into all out tickling and laughter. They adored the story time with ‘The Tiger that came to Tea’.
It was lovely to see the children playing with lots of the items from their bags. We have been shown some beautiful handmade cards the children are making for all of you whom prepared bags. The children are pleased that we still have a couple of days left and thrilled that we are returning next year.
We arrived around lunchtime today. Bit of an unsettling incident with a very persistent beggar which is apparently rare here. Glorious warm sunshine again. We all had a hairstyle makeover with the girls here…rather eye watering at times…but they love doing it particularly to hair that isn’t black, so Elissa’s blonde locks are definitely their favourite.
After snack we kicked off with the Macarena and other dances. They absolutely loved ‘The Hokey Cokey’. We were so out of breath after all the dancing and were then reminded that we are at altitude here so that is part of the reason! (6000ft). Games and then making dream catchers. Many of the more shy or withdrawn children are participating so much. We have had so many compliments from the staff today and feel so appreciated…yet we simply appreciate the opportunity to be here in this wonderful place.
After dinner we did the ‘chocolate meditation’ which everyone loved. Doubt if most of them had ever tasted luxury Swiss chocolate let alone letting it melt slowly now in their mouth. We spent a very welcome hour or so in the comfort of Bonnie’s bungalow (Bonnie is the in-country director of the Ama Foundation) drinking Australian red wine in the WARM. Learning the tragic and very upsetting stories of some of the children we have grown close to over the last few days. We have also learnt more about human trafficking in Nepal and the wonderful work and ethos of the Ama Foundation.
Our final day… dancing, finger knitting and the “Ama Ghar Spa” filled our day. Making hair accessories, pom poms and friendship bracelets. Teaching the girls how to do facials and about skincare and Indian head massage went down a treat with the older girls and it was lovely to spend some one to one time with them. Inevitably the queue for treatments grew and grew and eventually all the house mothers were pampered and several of the youngsters too. Even a house father joined in!
As a departure gift we were treated to an entertainment programme by all the children which was amazing, Hindi dancing, break dancing and much more. Everyone, from the youngest to the oldest took part. We are now a part of the Ama Ghar family and feel so very honoured and privileged to have been allowed to come here and get to know the children and staff of this wonderful place. We were asked to say a few words and battling the tears we managed just a few. We set out to make a small difference during our time here and I think hand on heart we can say that we have. We have received enormous praise and thanks from the staff and they are already looking forward to our return. I truly think #3MumsDo have made their mark. Needless to say we left very tearful.