Today was the first day we worked with the kids. I was working with Sarah and Carrie with sports and we played football (soccer) with our groups. The kids were so receptive. They were ready to play and even without speaking the same language we were able to communicate. All the kids were laughing and cooperating and seemed to really enjoy themselves
But today was bittersweet. As much fun as I had with them, I was totally overcome with emotion and I broke down completely and cried. I was out of commission for a good twenty minutes, which I was so upset about because I wanted to play with them.
As I went through the morning I observed little things about the children. One child had pants on and the zipper was broken, another had shoes on that were about three sizes two small and one little little girl was extremely dirty, so early in the day, as if she hadn’t taken a bath. I had slowly been noticing little things throughout the day that indicated the kind of poverty these children were living in and it was too much to take in at once.I was pushed over the emotional edge today into a sea of tears because I told my group of little athletes to sit down and try and kick the ball to each other while remaining seated. I glanced over to a little girl I had bonded with earlier. She was sitting on the ground in her skirt, attempting to put her shoes on which created a gap in her skirt, only to notice that she wasn’t wearing any underwear and she wasn’t even sitting on the skirt. The first thing I thought? “that is so dangerous and she could contract an infection”. The second: “if she is so comfortable sitting on the grass like that it could mean she does it a lot”. I went over to her, scooped her up, making sure her skirt covered her bottom, and sat her on the ground between my legs.
Before I had picked her up I was feeling a little emotional from the joy and pure fun that the children were having, simply kicking a ball around. By the time she was sitting with me, I was barely holding it together. And then she leaned back into me and laid her head on my arm, clearly showing she was comfortable, and I knew I was going to cry.
The worst part about this day was realizing I pass this kind of situation when I drive through my country. And I know in my head it is this bad but to come and live it and be stared in the face by it, is so hard to digest and comprehend. No amount of knowledge of the situation could have prepared me for what I experienced today.
These children can’t even wear a clean uniform all the time because they don’t have access to running water and the more I see and grasp the level of poverty in this country the more I want to kick myself for having to fly halfway across the world to learn about my people and the lives many are living. It was always in front of me and I never knew. And instead of doing anything about it at home, I’m in Nepal. This isn’t to say I’m not happy that I am here and helping because I am so elated and satisfied with the difference I’m making here. But now I know that things also need to be done right in my own backyard and I’m so ready to go home and do the necessary things to make changes.
But aside from the revelations I’ve made, I want the world to know the situation here. I want everyone to want to make a change, because if they do, this world will be changed and these children, and many others will have a chance at a better life.