The second day of the jungle jamboree was exciting, interesting and at parts boring.We started the day off with a ‘light’ jog and some exercises.- that was anything but fun. And after, the same as usual; breakfast. Nobody seemed to have milk in their cereal however everyone is enjoying the pancakes and honey.Once everyone was fuelled and ready we started out activities. Meeting the Nepalese scouts was great as we got to learn about the differences in culture across Nepal. However, it is safe to say pretty much everyone got tired and a bit bored towards the end – probably due to the heat.The best part of the day was most definitely the Holi festival. We all through colourful powered paint at each other and danced to good tunes; it was a laugh. We then went into to river to ‘wash off’ and have a water fight.We had a spit roast for dinner it was a large pig. Most people enjoyed it however there was many complaints about the amount of fat.To finish the day we had a traditional campfire of the jamboree. It started off a bit boring however after a while it was great and lots of fun.
Participant Blog Day 8 – Millie H
My tent-mate woke me up at 7:25 for early morning exercises. The entire camp consisting of 31 of us and about 150 Nepalese Scouts walked to the airfield which took about 10-15 minutes, although most people walked, which is what we were supposed to do. We did six Baden Powel exercises – a lot like yoga. Not happy. Then we walked for breakfast and I accidently put warm Yak’s milk onto my cornflakes instead of cold!
After breakfast we started your activity – it was supposed to be raft making but we did not have the right equipment and so we used inner tubes and the scouts floated down the river. We put poles of bamboo in the river but the Scouts couldn’t get through them and kept getting stuck. Also later that day was a small celebration and so some of the scouts were wearing their best clothes and didn’t want to go in to the water.
We had pasta for lunch – I liked it – sort of. Lunch keeps giving me hiccus – I think I’m eating too fast.
After lunch we carried on with our actvity and so we have many more scouts come to us. Most of the scouts really enjoyed just playing in the rubber rings. I think ours was the best activity.
After we stopped for the day we had a small Hali celebration – different coloured powdered paint – yellow, green purple and pink – were on trays and we threw it at each other. I was wearing swimming goggles and so I didn’t get any in my eyes but I did get some in my mouth – it tasted horrible. The Nepalese leaders put on some dance music and then started throwing buckets of water over us. After 10 minutes we all went down to the river to wash off. It was actually really fun beacuse the music came with us and we had a great time in the water. That was the best bit of the day.
For tea there was roast pig but I didn’t have any and stuck with the boring rice.
After tea we played cards for a bit and then there was a campfire – we all got given glow sticks and then there were campfire sketches and songs.
Participant Blog Day 7 – Amina B
This morning, we made the final preparations for our patrol activities. My patrol, Bayaghari are running a blind trail and we had to clear the course and make obstacles. Around 1pm, the opening ceremony began. Around 1200-1500 people from Meghauli and 150 Nepalese scouts participated. This began with the National Anthems of both countries and we marched around with the Nepalese scouts and welcomed local people to the campsite. Dignitaries such as sher Bhadur Duwa, the Nepalese Ex Prime Minister gave a speech along with Scout leaders from both groups, and some scouts including Lexi. The atmosphere was amazing because there were so many people; however I was very hot as it was the middle of the day and we had to wear our uniforms. The ceremony concluded with Nepalese dancing and singing, and all the Scouts were given Jungle Jamboree neckers. Because the ceremony went on longer than expected, we didn’t run any activities today and had a refreshing swim in the river instead.
Participant Blog Day 7 – Aryan G
So I got up in the morning at around 7:20 and that was when I realised that breakfast was at 7:30 instead of at 8. I was surprised I actually woke up then because of the night before when I slept around 11 after the relaxing campfire. Then I went out the tent but went straight back in because it was quite cold and the dew was really dense; I could hardly see the toilets from there. I put on a jumper and sleepily ambled towards the toilets, did whatever, and then walked towards breakfast. I saw the same selection of food the day before and picked up two pieces of warm bread with honey because I had some muesli with warm milk the day before and didn’t particularly like it. The bread was really nice and I was pretty full after eating it so I just sat and talked to my friends.
By then it was around 9 and we were told to prepare for the jungle jamboree. The news wasn’t very good for me as it meant that I had to go collect heaps of firewood for our activity, which is fire-lighting/ fire safety and also making dampers. So, with a few others I set off tiredly and scoured the area for dry sticks and logs, which was made slightly easier for the fact that there was already some next to the campfire. Fortunately, we were told we could take some and I was relieved. Some people were working on the flagpole for the opening ceremony and others were working on their activities as well.
The rest of the people were doing the home-stay and I was eager to see them as I wanted to have an idea about the experience. All the people I asked said it was amazing and that they had lots of fun except for the fact that they apparently had to sleep on a hard, wooden bed with a sheet on top and their own sleeping bag. However, I wasn’t that concerned about it because we were basically doing the same except in a tent with a thin mattress instead of a bed.
After a while, the Chitwan Scouts started to file in. I was quite surprised, as I saw them march in time, quite similar to what I do in CCF. They were all in their own uniforms, but they all wore long-sleeved shirts and long trousers- I had no clue how they coped with the heat but they somehow stayed outside for a few hours while we were eating our lunches and finishing the preparations. Frankly, I think most of us would have fainted or got heat stroke by then if we were doing the same.
For lunch I chose my all time favourite- noodles with prawn crackers. The leaders informed us that we weren’t going to get any food until 7. So, I went up for seconds and after a few seconds was very full. A few minutes later, we all went over to the gazebo and got briefed about the ceremony. After that, we all went over to our tents and slowly changed into our scout uniforms with our Explorer shirts, neckers and dark shorts. Just then, Rob came over and requested me and Lexi to help on stage to hand out gifts and neckers to the ex-prime minister (Sher Bhadur Dawa) and the other dignitaries.
There was a massive celebration when the ex-prime minister arrived and a grandly-decorated elephant followed. After a few speeches, including the ex-prime minister’s one, Lexi’s one about scouting and Rob’s one, the ceremony was nearly over when music suddenly started and traditional dancing commenced. This was completely different to anything I have seen as they were singing, dancing and playing the drums at the same time! It was great! After this all the scouts including us apart from the few on stage had to form up and march. We were only taught how to do it less than an hour before and we were quite confused at times but in the end it was good.
A couple of hours later, everyone started to leave and we were quite exhausted after all the hard work. We all handed out Namaste Nepal bottles and Jamboree neckers to all the Nepalese Scouts and were finally told we could go and have a swim in the river, which was a great finish to the long day.
Some time later, we all had dinner, which was spaghetti bolognese with freshly fried chicken or vegetables. It was all very relaxed then, even with the Scouts, and it was all fun after dinner. Everyone went over to the campfire after dinner and taught each other their own songs with actions and there was a very lively atmosphere. Overall, it was a very organised and interesting opening to the Jungle Jamboree mixed with fun at the same. It was a great experience.
Participant Blog Day 6 – Rona H
Today I felt very privileged to have attended a Tikka with the whole group. We met Aama, Hari’s mother, who , at 88 years of age, blessed us all with the Tikka. This is the festival of Dashain, their last day, after the celebration of 9 gods, so the last day is celebrating the victory of good over evil. We received Aama’s blessing , a roti with potato dish in a sal leaf bowl, and some money.
I peeled away from the group with David, John and John L , together with Kevin – son of Peter and Beryl, founders of Clinic Nepal. With Surya we headed to Khem’s house, son of a Gurkha who is a Trustee member. We met his mother who gave us a second Tikka blessing on arrival. We were invited into a Tharu house and met Rayan, 6 year and his family. His Mother was diagnosed with cancer in pregnancy who was supported throughout her journey by Clinic Nepal. We then saw women cutting rice in the paddy fields and many men fixing a broken down truck.
The jeep then took us on untarmacked, bumpy roads to the Byaghari region, to the primary school and kindergarten of the Dalit people (lowest caste and marginalised sadly). There were dignitaries, head teacher and scout boys and girls, posy’s of flowers locally grown.
600 ladybird books from Bristol and Plymouth were presented to the children. The speeches were typical for the Nepalese and most surprising was the beautiful patience of each and every Scout listening.
I met with Chunmaya, a midwife apprentice and first aider at the school. A foetal heart rate monitor, blood pressure equipment and stethoscope were donated. Chunmaya attended to 3 patients who had arrived. The children mingled, quite a different experience with no attention to confidentiality. Terribly moving however as it cannot be a given that she can go on have investigations and scans as the patient has no money. I understand that Clinic Nepal can help her with referral to the hospital.
The children became more confident, asking my name and laughing at my many years. The eldest Scout had beautifully braided hair and on complementing her insisted I have mine done too. Consequently I left looking much tidier!
The boys looked keen to interact so they showed me the kindergarten. This is a one room building to the left of the Shore Pavilion, where toilets and showers are housed, adjacent to the Library – a room currently empty with no books but a bookcase recently assembled to house the Ladybird books being donated. The boys delighted in showing me the Kindergarten. It had decorated walls, numbers , ABC in both languages but was unlike any other nursery that I’ve seen. Only one slide. No toys, no games, no tables, no colouring pens, nothing else actually. The children regarded Kevin with a loving attentiveness and respect. Kevin gave consistent advice and encouragement to the children; make learning fun and learn English. Evidence of the Project was everywhere with clean, happy children with gleaming white teeth. So clean running water, Chunmaya’s guidance to promote health and hygiene and school education are probably the major factors contributing to this. Hopefully in addressing the deficits at home for these Scouts will effect change for the next generation.
My whole day is probably best described as humbling.
Participant Blog Day 5 – James H
Today in meghauli we were split into two groups and half of us built a bridge over the river, surrounding camp. The other party went into the town to explore the shops, we later rotated after a long morning of activities.
In town me and Sam M got matching suits tailored and are picking them up in 5 days, we also got some amazingly tastie dough balls that tasted like doughnuts. Also in the city our guides picked some amazing supposedly massive lemon but it turned out to be a pik grapefruit.
One patrol went for an elephant safari and took amazing photos.
We also had a brilliant game of football against the Nepalese and the score was 1-1. Just before dinner most of the people went on a jungle walk and a few of us helped finish the bridge. We had a scrumptious meal prepared by Harri’s wife who made us some amzazing BBQ chicken. So all in all it was an amazing day.
Participant Blog Day 5 – Ben G
Today began with an early start but quickly changed into an amzing day. In the morning, the unit was divided into two groups. The first group began by helping to build a footbridge over the river but whilst extracting the trees to form the foundation of the bridge, a snake caused pandamonium amongst the group. Fortunately, it turned out to be a non-venomous snake which posed no threat to anyone.The other group ventured into the villiage to purchase clothes and an attempt to buy knives which was soon cut short by the language barrier.After an incredible lunch, the two groups swapped activities and Lexi P and I helped the Nepalese scouts distribute invitations to the forthcoming opening ceremony. After this adventure, the group returned to camp and relaxed with an exiting football match between Nepal and England which ended 1 – 1.Soon after, Bayaghari embarked on an elephant safari and saw a wide variety of wildlife such as deer, rhinos and a wide variety of flora.Meanwhile, the main group finished the construction of the bridge and visited the Meghauli water project established by Hari to combat the rife water bourne diseases in the area. This walk also enabled the group to view the rest of the village and enjoy the curiosity of the Nepalese children. Upon arrival at the campsite we had time to relax but unfortunately, no game of football was played. The day was rounded off by an incredible array of food prepared by Harr’s wife which brought an end to an amazing day
Participant Blog Day 4 – Bella F
Hello everyone in England!
Today was an interesting day: it began at our hotel in Kathmandu, at 8am, which is when we all had breakfast. We then went to get our bags from our rooms that we had packed the night before and began to load the vans ready for the journey to the airport. We handed in our keys and got prepared to move on from the city life in Kathmandu.
We arrived at the airport around 10.30 and loaded everything onto trolleys. It was clear that security is no where near as thorough as in England – more of a courtesy than necesity it seemed. The airport was small and hot but interesting to see. Flights were extremely delayed but at least I had time to send my postcard. This was the first toilet I decided it would be wiser to squat. Not as luxurious as the hotel at all.
The flight was turbulent and not my favourite but was only 25mins and we had a great view as we didn’t go too high.
Entering Meghauli felt like entering an oven – much warmer. We made two friends while waiting for baggage- two boys who plucked up the courage to practice their english with us. It was very heart warming and sweets and selfies were shared.
After a 45min bus journey with great music playing through the speakers we arrived at the campsite. We were greeted by a huge elephant and lots of scouts. We paraded down the road to the camp.
The camp is really nice, with flags everywhere, a swing, and cool bamboo toilets. I am writing this inside a ‘patio’ area where everyone is playing poker and other card games.
Goodnight, have a good week, love you family xxx
Participant Blog Day 4 – Matthew F
Today was very eventful, it began at our hotel in Kathmandu with an early start followed by a great breakfast. Following this we took a coach to the airport to get on our flight. I was selected to be the lone explorer/scout to be on a smaller plane with a few of the leaders. The plane we got on was very small with only around 18 passenger seats and propeller engines. All was good…until they tried to start the plane. When turning on one of the engines to test it before take off it began billowing black smoke. This engine was swiftly turned off and someone was sent to check it. When opening a hatch to check the engine this worker looked away in a combination of surprise and shock at what he had just seen. It was at this point which we new we had to get off the plane. Everyone safely exited and we were put on a replacement plane. The following flight was a great experience with beautiful views, and we arrived safely at our destination.
From there we took a coach to magauli, the village which we are now staying at. We were welcomed with flower necklaces, trumpets, drums, and even an elphant! From there we have been having a nice day at the campsite, with great meals and friendly football games.
Participant Blog – Day 3 – Lexi P
We woke up to a typical hotel breakfast, except with a live cooking omelette station. After exchanging our money we headed of to the monkey temple where most of us experienced our first haggling. The top of the hill was beautiful: the roof of the shrine was completely gold and prayer flags joined each building to one another. Then we walked down the other side of the hill to attempt (mostly usucessfully) to throw coins into a pot in the middle of a fountain. After a buffet lunch, we went off to Durbar square, one of three in Kathmandu Valley. Here we saw the temple of Shiva which has survived two of Nepal’s worst earthquakes. We went for a short shopping break, then staright back to the hotel. Later, we all headed off along a bright street full of shops to spend 2 and a half hours waiting for pizzas to come.