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Holi Festival in Nepal

Hari Deakin is currently volunteering at Mahendra Jyoti High School in rural Nepal with 14 other Africa & Asia Venture volunteers. Right from the start Hari has had a fantastic cultural adventure whilst teaching English at her school, including trekking up her first Nepali hill (a mountain by our standards!) with her VERY heavy backpack, experiencing a local Bandh, visiting a Buddist Stupa, buying her first Kurta Surwal Shal, paragliding over Pokhara, attending a magnificent Nepali wedding, and ........mistakenly ordering 120 eggs! And she has two more months to go!

Africa & Asia Venture Volunteers prepare for Holi Festival in NepalShe has been busy keeping a blog of her time with Africa & Asia Venture and most recently has celebrated the festival of Holi - so here it is straight from our AV in country.......

"One word 'COLOURFUL', which is fitting as Holi is the festival of colour I guess! There doesn't seem to be any meaning behind it other than embracing spring.  First of all we were welcomed into the bosom of Gorkhathe tribes from Laxmi bazaar (the regulars), Besi Sahar and Bhoti woda, who bravely took the buses here.  That evening Anna, Carmella and I set out in search of powder paint and water balloons (called 'lolas' in Nepal), to arm us against the forewarned onslaught.  We came back with green, yellow and green - which turned out to be vibrant pink when mixed with water. I was itching to get the production started!  But alas I had to wait one more night......

When we woke up production commenced almost immediately- two people to each colour and Magnus on water filling.  Then Anna and I took over the water role, more colours on us than in the balloons.  The floor was full of burst balloon carcasses!  But we did end up with a bucket of Africa & Asia Venture volunteers test their colourful ammunition for Holi Festival in Nepalballoons and a plastic bag full too.  This was our ammo!  We were worried that we might be the most prepared people in the town and that Holi might not actually be such a big thing!  Suddenly Sarah, Caitlin and Will appeared smothered in red paint and t-shirts dappled in all sorts of different colours.  It was on!

But before we set out into town, we selected our first target, those who had yet to arrive at the house i.e. Kirsten, Amy, Fiona and Pippa!  We then set out, armed with makeshift water pistols made out of water bottles filled with dye and water with a hole in the top.

Africa & Asia Venture Volunteers show off their colourful battle scars as they retreat from Holi Festival in NepalAs soon as we were out the door the neighbouring boys came at us with handfuls of powder paint and smothered our faces.  We were still relatively unscathed until we reached the junction in town, and it just continued from there.  Water rained down from the rooftops, as did water balloons.  Purple, red, green, yellow, pink and even gold paint was thrown around, usually onto the foreigners.  There were a lot of us!  I think the community had planned this!

When we finally retreated back to our house, and the others dispersed onto buses in various directions we attempted to wash.  I mean, we did look like oompa loompas, but the paint was stubborn old stuff.  I still have pink hair, Magnus has purple hair, Julia is multi coloured and Ed, well, is ginger.  Hope you like the before and after shots - My clothes were white!"