Sunday, March 15, 2009

Holy Festival (and my last day at the orphanage)

Holy crap. Today we celebrated "Holy." I still don't know exactly what the festival means, how it is related to Hinduism, or why people celebrate it the way that they do. All I know is that it has been my favorite day in Nepal so far. I was told the night before to wear a bad set of clothes that I did not care about. By the end, all of my clothes were stained pink, purple, red, green, blue, turquise, yellow, orange, and every other color you could think of. I was dripping with paint and water from head to toe, and I had a couple of crushed tomatoes and crushed eggs in my hair.

I got to the orphanage around 10:00AM and was greeted by a cloud of water balloons, dyed water, and powdered paint. For the next two hours, we opened up bags of powdered paint and dumped them on each other's heads, took all food that was left out and threw it at each other (there wasn't much food around), and filled up buckets of water to unload on people that were still dry. By the end of the day, there was not a spot on my face or arms that was my true skin color

We managed to use up all of the water during the water fights, so there was no running water to wash our clothes or take showers. We walked the kids to a river, brought bars of soap, and all jumped into the river to shower and wash our clothes. It worked surprisingly well. A couple of the kids were scared to get into the water because they could not swim, so I grabbed them and got rid of their fears.

When we got back to the orphanage, they had a ceremony for me since it was my last day. About 1/3 of the kids kissed me goodbye they were so sad to see me go. I really want to figure out how to get back here and see them again.

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