As the new month started, our regular routine went on as per usual. Classes have been going well and, as the day scholars have started regular schooling once again, we have been taking extra precautions in order to prevent the virus from getting inside NAG. The hand washing station and the mandatory mask rule have been working as no one has caught the virus. All of the older NAGers who have started going to school outside of NAG got tested for Covid however, no one was tested positive. We have also started a remote learning program in order to give quality education, not only at NAG but also to government schools in villages. A TV was set up in a school in a remote village, and our teachers have been joining in online from their homes to teach the students in a safe and effective way. In other news, extracurricular activities have also been continuing with NAG’s cooking competition taking place weekly. External judges have been visiting in order to give cooking lessons to the NAGers and judge the dishes made by the students. It’s a fun activity to occupy their minds as the virus continues to spread. However, NAG’s head nurse, Munu Lama has gotten the vaccine as she continues to work in the front lines to aid the situation and heal those who have been infected. It is a rough time for everyone around the world, yet we must continue to strive through persistence and determination as the vaccine brings hope to better the situation.
We celebrated the coming of the New Year with movies till midnight and a special meal for all the NAGers. After the long year of 2020, the New Year was just what we needed to celebrate during these trying times. The NAGers also started participating in sports competitions once again, starting with rock climbing as it is not a contact sport and is therefore Covid safe. NAG’s climbing team won 1st and 2nd in the women’s competition and 2nd and 3rd in the men’s. And finally, since all of the other schools have been reopening here in Nepal, NAG is open since January 11 to the day-scholars once again. We are still taking extra measure to prevent the virus from getting into NAG with a mandatory rule on wearing masks as well as a fever check each morning and the installation of a hand washing station at the front entrance. Teachers are also obliged to follow the necessary measures as well as all of the other members of staff. NAG has also taken one step further into eradicating the virus as the first NAGer has gotten the vaccine against Covid 19. Dr Raju Khatiwada has gotten his first dose since he is one of the doctors working on the front lines. Lastly, NAG has started its very own cooking competition for those in the hostel who have an interest for the arts of the kitchen. Two rounds have already been conducted and will soon be uploaded onto the NAG YouTube channel. We at NAG have not sat idly during these harsh times and have instead brought new ways to entertain and teach the NAGers. Although the virus still spreads, the vaccine brings hope and with it, an end to the hardships brought by Covid.
Climbing up high
Getting her temperature checked
Hand washing station by the entrance
Day students coming back to school after very long months
As winter got harsher, we lit up the fire place once again, waiting for the festive season. The majority of the month was rather uneventful, with classes and activities going on as usual. As the days progressed, a Festive bobble competition was announced, where anyone could make an ornament and the best ones would receive a prize. Finally, the holidays came and we celebrated with a day of food and gifts. Everyone got a gift bag with a red NAG hoodie, warm socks, some snacks and some cash to spend on something they want. The bakery team made some cake for everyone and for dinner, some of the NAGers cooked a special meal for everybody. Lastly, a disco was held on the basketball court with music and lights, the kids staying at different places also came, but were still in separate areas for safety measures. Overall, given the circumstances, it was a fun and festive day which everyone enjoyed. And since this year has been as chaotic as it was unpredictable, the last day was celebrated with Thukpa, a noodle soup, made by some of the NAGers and a movie night till midnight.
We’ve been slowly anticipating reopening in person classes with the rest of the country, taking extra measures to ensure everyone’s safety. Until yesterday, only the younger day scholars were coming in for half the day, separated from the hostellers, for in person lessons. Kids at a higher risk of the virus are being quarantined elsewhere, joining classes online. Since yesterday, January 11 2021, the school is officially open again for everyone!
Overall, although 2020 has been tough and chaotic, we all managed to power through it and hopefully, the year 2021 will bring better fortune and hope for everyone. Thank you for your support and showing your interest in us!
After the Dashain festivals ended, Tihar, the festival of lights approached. We celebrated in different ways this year due to the global pandemic, but it was no less colourful. Since the kids could not go visit other families to perform at their doorstep, all of the performances were done here. The mandalas were also different as we decided to be more eco friendly and make them out of recycled material instead of powdered colour. Bhai Tika, the festival that celebrates the bond between siblings, was also celebrated with all of NAG enjoying snacks and movies during the day. As the Dashain and Tihar holidays came to an end, all of the NAG’ers came back to NAG with a negative PCR test. Those who had caught the virus were sent to a quarantine centre as everyone else was quarantined here, in a separate area, at NAG, just to take extra precautions. After two weeks and once everyone was confirmed with negative tests once again, online schooling started back up with the day students joining in from their homes. Although our routine is back on track, we’re still wearing masks in order to ensure the safety of everyone here. The grade 12 students finally had their exams after having to wait many months to graduate. It was taken in high security, with tables placed outside and the day students being separated from the hostellers. Now, as our routine is back, all activities have also started up again. The kids are playing basketball, practicing dancing, doing art and playing music as they normally would, just while keeping the masks on. We’ve also started showing films with a projector in the dining hall, providing a theatre like experience right here, at home. We hope everyone is staying safe during these troubled times and hope a quick recovery to those who have been affected by the virus.
Preparing for the festival of lights
Enjoying a delicious meal
Bhai Tika – honoring your sisters and brothers
Grade 12 students taking their final exams under different circumstances
As the virus started to spread again, we took extra precautions, starting with official PCR tests for everyone before they went home to their families with negative results. Everyone was tested with those being at a higher risk, quarantined elsewhere and sent home. As a break was taken from school, we also started wearing masks more often in order to ensure the safety of everyone. For obvious reasons, less kids went home this year in fear of the pandemic so for those who stayed, more activities were available to occupy their Dashain break. A trampoline was bought and set up and the telescope was put to use at night to view the moon as well as mars while it was at its brightest. Undoubtedly, we celebrated Tika day this year, still taking precautions. Everyone got a bag filled with sweets, fruits and snacks as well as toys or hygiene products. Regular activities still take place, sports, art and music included. Lastly, evidently the most memorable event of October, arrived; Halloween. Like every year, a costume competition and a pumpkin carving contest took place as well as a Covid 19 themed horror escape room. The bakery team also made pizza for everyone to commemorate this spooky occasion. Although the pandemic is lasting longer than anyone could have predicted, we keep our spirits up with activities and events, as we would every year and hope everyone stays safe during these trying times.
The telescope in action
The very cool bags with all the sweets, fruits and other fun things!
With the continuous spread of Covid-19 in Kathmandu, the need for blood donation has grown. So, to start off this month and to celebrate 27 years of NAG, some of the NAGers who were old enough, decided to give blood. Being locked up, the feeling of being helpless didn’t cease so we decided that this was something we could do, while still staying safe. Although we donated blood during the first of September, on the fifth, we had an anniversary program with just those inside NAG. The kids, having learnt more about world history during the lockdown, put on an incredible dance compilation, showing human evolution in a nutshell. The dances were choreographed by the kids and NAG’s incredible dance teacher, Anjali Tamang. And since all of the outfits of the historical figures were also made by the NAGers, a fashion show was held to judge all of their wonderful creations. The day was topped off a special dinner for everyone.
Other than celebrations, online classes have been continuing as everyone has started getting the habit of it. A few classes even participated in a mango tree planting competition to see whose would grow to be the healthiest saplings.
As Dashain approaches, the annual clothes shopping outing also came. And, NAG opened up its lockdown restrictions. Each kid received 2000 Rupie to buy a good pair of jeans and a T-shirt and/or pullover. 500 Rupie could be spent on shampoos or something else they liked. Obviously, due to the current circumstances, the kids could not go to Bhirkuti Mandap as per usual, so they went in small groups to Bhat Bhateni early in the morning as to avoid other customers. Full precautions were taken including masks, minimal contact with anyone from the outside and full protective gear for those more susceptible to the virus. We wish everyone else around the world the best during these trying times and hope to continue staying safe.
Bellow you find a few pictures as well as the movie about our “History Dance”.