It's still our summer vacation over here. We made a bucket list for vacation and are slowly but surely making our way through it. Bucket lists are our new favorite thing these days. Awesome for big families. At the start of vacation we make a list of all the things we want to do and accomplish and then slowly chip away at them. It makes the long summer days go by fast and fun. Family soccer games, room cleaning competitions, cooking challenges, scavenger hunts and movie marathons. It's kind of like our own Kopila summer camp over here.
We decided to spend Nepali New Year's on a camping trip with all of the big kids. It was the perfect little adventure. We packed up food and survival gear and headed out into the wilderness on our trusted school bus. Jamie and the volunteers google mapped a potential drop off area and then we all hiked down to the Karnali river. A path leading down from a teeny tiny village ended up taking us to a little piece of paradise.
We spent the day jumping off of rocks, bird watching, swimming in the river, skipping stones, and doing gymnastics on the sand. We cooked dinner over the fire, made a failed attempt to catch fish, and made shelters from the jungle. Poor Krishna Shahi got bit by a scorpion while picking up a rock for our lean-to. It was actually kind of scary because scorpions in Nepal can be dangerous. Caroline whipped out her first aid kit, and thankfully Deepak had some ice left in his frozen waterbottle. We called out to a local guy who happened to be crossing the river on a tube at the perfect moment and he rowed over. The boys had found and caught the scorpian that bit Krishna and showed it to him and he told us not to worry. He immediately took off the pincher crushed the scorpion up on the rock and rubbed it over Krishna's finger. Anti-venom? I'm still not sure if there's anything to be said for this but I've learned in the past that sometimes village remedies are the way to go. At last we called back home to Becky at home who dug out our go to book "where there is no doctor", and as the ibuprofen started to kick in and we all calmed down.
We made camp fires, sang songs, celebrated Krishna Bogati's birthday, played our favorite music on Kelly's portable speakers and danced around the fire (tribal style.) When night fall came around it got cold and all we had was our homemade shelters and fires to keep us warm. Some of the kids stayed up chatting til two in the morning snuggled up in their blankets but eventually everyone fell asleep. It was the first time in a long time that we've gotten the space to be so together with just the older kids and it was such a treat. You know how when there's little kids in a family they can sop up a lot of the energy and attention? No offense to the little kids or anything, we love them, but this trip made us all realize with the kids getting older how important it is for them to have "big kid" time and opportunities. I've never seen them all so "in their element", Bhakta with the machete climbing in the trees reminded me of how I knew him when we met and seeing how natural they all were gliding up and down the mountain, and how they shrieked with joy jumping into the river, or laughed skipping rocks. At one point snuggled around the fire watching them all dancing wildly under the full moon, I thought to myself, this is the happiest I've felt in a long long long time. What a gift to sit under the stars, by the fire, with food in our bellies and water from the river.
When the morning came around we played a little more, packed up camp, and made our way back up up up the mountain. We got up to the village, drank tea with biscuits, and the bus arrived just in time to take us home. We all slept the entire two hour ride through the forest back to Kopila HQ, promising ourselves that we would do it all again soon.
It's officially the year 2071 here in Nepal!!!! Happy NEW YEAR!!!! Thanks for letting us share our adventure with you.