Thursday, October 6, 2011

Postcard to Tricky

Aunty Penny arrived home safe and sound from her Nepalese adventure yesterday! She sent Tricky a blog-card (like a postcard but in blog form). And just like all postcards, it arrived after she left Nepal. Enjoy.
___ . . . ___ . . . ___

Namaste Tricky!

It’s your Aunty Penny here, and I’m on a big adventure in Nepal (get your dad, Map Guy, to show you on the map where that is – it’s a long way away).

I came to teach English to kids here, as a volunteer, and for a holiday. The teaching part didn’t really work out like I’d expected. The kids here are way different from at home. There were 50 kids in each of the classes I was teaching with another volunteer at a Government school. 50! When you go to school there’ll only be about 30 in a class. And my goodness, these kids were sooo naughty! They’d run around the class, hit each other and pull each other’s hair, stand on the desks and put their hands in the fan. They copied off each other constantly, so there wasn’t much learning going on. The local teachers didn’t seem to care. And the noise! All the kids screamed and yelled, nearly all the time. It was pretty bad. I didn’t like it. After a while we told the school we wouldn’t be coming anymore – the kids weren’t learning, and we were wasting our time.

So instead I taught a conversational English class every day for blind university students, to help them improve their pronunciation. They loved learning and were very fun and enthusiastic. So that made me feel really good.

But I’ll focus on the kids I’ve met, ‘cause you’re a kid. Man, they are very different here. In many ways good, in some ways bad. There’s lots of playing outside with neighbours, unlike in Australia, and most kids don’t have a TV in their house (which I think is a good thing). It’s such a poor country though, that the kids don’t have many toys or books or clothes, or anything really. I bought stickers with me for the schoolkids and they were crazy about them. The other volunteer bought balloons and one day we blew them up and gave them to the kids that lived in our street. They loved them! They played with them for hours, or until they popped. Kids here really appreciate the things they are given and look after them, because they have so little. That made me a bit sad, but it’s really sweet too. They also make a lot of their own games and toys. Kites are really popular here at the moment. They make them out of bits of plastic bags and things like that. And they’re so good! One day I walked past a little boy who was about 7 and he had a string in his hand. I looked for the kite and it was so far away I could barely see it! It was amazing!

I met a little boy called Shivaraj at a support centre where the mother from the host family I stayed with worked. He had been a child labourer. He was about 8 years old and walked with a limp. My host mother explained to me that Shivaraj had been a dish washer in a restaurant, to support his father who wasn’t able to work, and his mother was gone. One day Shivaraj fell and broke his leg badly and so he couldn’t work anymore. His leg didn’t get properly set at a hospital because he was so poor and the government is so poor too that they can’t give free medical help to people like we get in Australia, so now he will walk with a limp for the rest of his life. But the positive news is that the centre where the host mother works tries to help kids like him, and get him back into school and get help for his family so the kids don’t have to work. Their aim is to stop child labour completely.

A lot of people speak a little bit of English here, and kids have to learn it at school. Speaking English here can help people get better jobs, especially in tourism. One day I was hiking up a steep hill to a lookout with my friends, and I got so hot and tired I decided to go back down after only a quarter of the way. A little boy called Arum (who told me he was 11, but I think maybe he was 9) saw me and invited me in to his neighbour’s shop to buy a drink, and told me that I could get a taxi up to the lookout instead. He spoke good English for his age, and he came with me to find a taxi, and told the taxi driver in Nepali where I wanted to go. Then he got in the car to come with me! He brought along his little friend, who didn’t speak English. All the way up Arum chatted to me and told me interesting things he knew about. At the top of the lookout he pointed out places we could see. When we got back to the bottom of the hill I wanted to check my emails at an internet shop, and asked if Arum and his friend wanted to go on the internet too and I would pay for it, to say thank you for being my ‘little guides’. He looked a bit shy, and said they would like to. So they sat next to me as I checked my emails and they watched YouTube videos of animals. They really liked one of a tarantula vs a centipede (spoiler alert: the centipede doesn’t come off too well). It only cost me 25c for internet for an hour, but it made them really happy.

I’ve got so much more to tell you, and I’m missing you and your mum Glowless and look forward to seeing you again soon little one!

You wouldn’t have seen Fraggle Rock yet, but it was a popular show when I was little. In it one of the Fraggles gets postcards from his uncle from around the world, and they’re signed ‘Uncle Travelling Matt’, so I’ll sign off now….


Aunty Travelling Penny

Click to view larger image


  1. Hey Aunty Travelling Penny, you don't know me but I loved the postcard, loved Fraggle Rock, & am way impressed with your volunteering.

  2. this is such an awesome postcard and something Tricky can keep forever! So well written and interesting.. gorgeous xx

  3. lovely blog-card to tricky.. might inspire him to go trekking and teach eng overseas too! :)

    Ai @


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