We have been visiting about 14 children per day here in Kathmandu. It is hot and dusty and the pollution is bad. So at the end of the day we are tired and every night the electric is out so we go to bed early. Today we visited Dev Raj who with his mother lived in a very tiny room which I wrote about here a couple of years or so ago. The room was only about 3 feet wide by 9 feet and had little daylight. It was right in the heart of the slums of Kathmandu. Today I was pleasantly surprised to find they had moved to a bigger, brighter room which had a separate kitchen. She explained she could no longer sleep in a single bed with her son who is 13. I was so happy with the room but now she is struggling to pay the higher rent. Dev Raj is one of our success stories as three years ago he was missing days at school and doing poorly academically now he has just completed class 5 with 78% and only missed two days of school the whole year. I am very happy with him and he has turned out to be a very nice young man. Some other children in their teens are giving us some problems with usual teenaged issues which are made worse by extreme poverty. Still we have to concentrate on our successes and they are many. We have quite a lot of children who took their School Leaving Certificate exams last week but the results will not be out until mid summer. All these students are hoping to go on to college. The hardships are many in this city. All our families live in one room so there is overcrowding and no quiet space to study made worse by no light. A lot of the fathers are missing or drunks and do not work leaving the wife to make a living doing domestic type work seven days a week just to buy enough food and pay the rent. So life is hard and when we have a problem with a child we have to put it in perspective and realize it is not easy for them growing into teenage years under such tough conditions.
You can probably tell by my writing that we had a frustrating day but that is how it goes. Always made worse by my continually losing things and through Mann and Jagat's vigilance on my belongings they do not permanently get lost.