The Whole World in my Bag

I returned to Gorkha for my second attempt at offering both ACCESS teachers and students some training on technology. It was good to be back and I felt I was more prepared for the scenario and the students opened up more this time. They treated me like I was an old returning friend, which I am.As I’ve said in previous posts, it is a challenge to teach technology to students who barely have life’s necessities, to make my time and theirs worthwhile. They came on Saturday, their only day off to attend. They go to school 7 days a week and many come from great distance on foot. It’s not easy for me to leave my family for the weekend, to give up family time with them to travel on a bumpy, dusty, windy, cliff-hugging road. But I do it because I care about these students. I want them to know that technology is an important tool — and fun. When I started pulling all of my gadgets out of my bag, one very wise teacher said, “You’ve got the whole world in your small bag.” So, that’s why I do this.This time we watched a movie I made about them and Nepal. They loved it and it got their creative juices flowing. I then told them that the Prime Minister is coming to Gorkha and he wants to meet the ACCESS students. He wants to see if the program is worth continuing. This is their chance to be proud of their town, their school, their academic achievements. I gave them five questions and they wrote the answers. Then they took turns filming each response and taking pictures. Keep in mind these students have been learning English for 5 months. Here are a few of my favorite responses among the 40 students:

I love Nepal because:

  • It is my motherland
  • It is beautiful country and has many resource of water and wonders. It is just like a heaven. It has Mount Everest which is highest mountain in the world. So I love Nepal and I proud of my Nepal.
  • I love Nepal because I born in Nepal and all my family live in Nepal.
  • It is smaller than America but it is so simple and beautiful. I like my country very much.
  • It is a country full of natural beauty and greenery. It is the place where Lord Buddha was born. It lies in the lap of the Himalayas.
  • There is many kinds of temple. In Nepal is many forests and rivers. In Nepal is very lovely place. They love each other. Nepal is my born place.
  • Nepal’s people have Nepal’s aim.
  • In Nepal every person lives together and helps each other.
  • There are many kinds of festival.
  • I love Nepal because Nepal is one of the most beautiful country in the world. All love their birthplace and I also love my birthplace Nepal by heart. The culture of Nepal is many and different, but by being different culture, the pople of Nepal never fight in name of culture but all the people share their culture to each other. Nepal is an example of peace and friendship. So, I love and never forget my beautiful country Nepal.

One thing I like about living in Gorkha is:

  • It’s my birthplace, where I get birth and enjoy every moment of my life. As well as many love of my parents it is one of the historical and important places of Nepal.
  • It is a district of Nepal and here are many religions and temples
  • It is not so big but naturally beautiful
  • It is historically important and here are many architecture, wood, and art from ancient time
  • It is so beautiful and unity
  • People follow heir traditional culture. The are cooperative and it’s full of natural heritage. It’s so peaceful. There is unity.
  • Clean environment and full of opportunities
  • Our forefathers Gorkhali are very brave, clever, and they became success to save their life and nation
  • All the Nepali people came to Gorkha and pray for their long life.
  • There is no crime and people help other people

When I found out I was accepted into the ACCESS program, I felt:

  • Very happy
  • Very glad and excited
  • I think I can learn many new things
  • Very proud of me
  • I think that I learn something from here to make my future bright
  • There was no boundary of my happiness
  • I’m very lucky because I got opportunity to learn about English language and American’s culture. I like American’s country very much.
  • I became so excited and I felt that I am the lucky student

Learning English has been:

  • Very useful and so important
  • International language speaking all over the world
  • Very important in university and college
  • Backbone of human being
  • We don’t know the English then we don’t do anything
  • I can express my view and expression with many people from different country. I feel more comfortable speaking English

To me America is:

  • The future career
  • Very beautiful. If I got the chance to go to America I feel I’m very lucky in the world. America has different culture. There’s language, style of sit, style of eat, style of clothes. I love it. I’m fan of America. So I love America.
  • Very developed country, rich in scientific area, powerful country
  • There are many facilities. We can spend better life there.
  • It’s ahead in every sector
  • To get entertainment
  • Richest and big country
  • One of the importance country
  • America is one of the gifted country for technology. For me America is one of the helping and loving country who help us like student for giving scholarship and help for making good in English
  • Is like a god because America helps to read at any cost. No any countries has been helping this way. America is my future.

As always, I am the one who gained. I am the one enriched. Several of the students drew me pictures, but the words of one beautiful girl will remain with me:

Gretel,
Thanks for your group and thank you for you
Great people like you is few
Thanks for being our friend
And trusting us like student
All the beautiful things is for you
I want to give many more thanks for you
And many many love for you.

So, maybe the whole world is in my bag after all.

[I went with 3 educators who did teacher training all weekend and distributed books donated by the U.S. Embassy to regional school teachers. I also donated a printer so that the students will be able to print, scan, copy, and fax. It was a successful weekend for everyone. Part of teacher training involves teaching American culture and traditions, so the ACCESS teachers learned about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Students (and teachers) don’t get enough opportunity to do arts and crafts as the supplies are too expensive, so it was fun to cut/glue/tape/color with them. I was the ‘puzzle expert’ and helped each teacher assemble their puzzle. All these years on the floor with my children paid off.]

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One thought on “The Whole World in my Bag

  1. Dear Gretel, I am glad to hear of what you are doing, and I came across your blog when I read the newsletter from Boise. Currently, I am also a student at the Boise edtech program. Based in Singapore , I also travel around developing countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia etc to volunteer as well as conduct training. Would love to hear more about your volunteering experience 🙂 perhaps you can drop me a message when you are free? Cheers, boonlaifoo@u.boisestate.edu

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