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Voyage Népal 2018 – Nepal trip 2018

Comme chaque fois, l’expérience du Népal a laissé des traces chez les
visiteuses et visiteurs. Nous publions des textes rédigés par des élèves qui
sont partis au Népal du 21 mars au 4 avril 2018.
As always, the experience of Nepal left its mark on visitors. We publish texts
written by students who left for Nepal from 21 March to 4 April 2018.

« Les enfants du centre Sagarmatha sont doux et ont


tous quelque chose qui les différencie des autres. Leur
maturité m'a marquée. Il n'est pas juste qu'ils aient
eu à vivre ce qu'ils ont vécu à un si jeune âge. Ces
quelques jours passés avec eux m'ont permis
d'apprendre énormément. Une vraie leçon de vie. »
Alicia E.

« Ce furent deux semaines formidables et touchantes au Népal. La joie


de ces enfants fut magique à voir. Je suis heureuse que nous
ayons pu leur apporter le sourire. (…) Katmandou est une ville très
polluée, mais la luminosité, les temples et les couleurs des drapeaux
sont magnifiques. Les Népalais sont très accueillants. Si je pouvais
refaire ce voyage, ce serait avec grand plaisir."
Amandine

« 5h30 du matin. Les chiens aboient. Les lumières


du centre Sagarmatha s’allument lentement et on
entend les portes de nos voisins s'ouvrir. Une
dizaine de minutes plus tard, un enfant sort une corde
a sauter et saute seul dans la cour et la pénombre de
l’aube népalaise. De plus en plus d’enfants sortent du
bâtiment principal et le rejoignent. Les chiens aboient
de nouveau. Le ciel indigo se colorera d’orange, puis
de blanc, et une nouvelle journée débute lentement.
On toque à notre porte. Nous avons à peine le temps d’apercevoir 6 petits pieds qui
s'enfuient en riant. Quelques secondes plus tard, on toque à nouveau, mais cette fois, une
petite fille en robe de princesse rose et deux petits garçons aux regards vivaces nous
sourient devant celle-ci, avant de se tourner en riant et de s'éclipser par les escaliers. Les
prochaines cinq minutes s'enchaînent exactement comme la première, mais cette fois, les
petits curieux se font rapidement attraper. Les rires deviennent un écho dans le couloir, et
plusieurs enfants timides continuent de nous guetter.
Nous sommes emportés par une marée de petits nous invitant à jouer au loup dans la cour.
Ne vous fiez pas à leur taille... ils ont une sacré endurance! J’aurais voulu que ce moment
soit intemporel, qu’il dure à jamais. C’est en courant avec ces enfants de quatre à six ans
que l’on perçoit une réalité transparente dans notre vie quotidienne. Notre champ de vision
semble moins filtré, plus réel, sincère et précieux. L'énergie, détermination et joie de vivre
qu’ils irradient sont uniques et sortent du cadre de notre société de consommation.
Leurs regards persistent encore dans ma mémoire, avec cette idée terrifiante que leur avenir
ne tient en parti qu’à nos collectes et dons. Je sais que le ciel indigo se colorera d’orange,
puis de blanc, et qu’une nouvelle journée suivra son cours. Je sais aussi qu’ils possèdent
une maturité digne de nos plus sages, et une force qui les fera tous, petits et grands,
surmonter toutes ces montagnes sans doute plus haute que Sagarmatha. »
Anna-Maria

« The Nepal trip was one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. I
saw so many different and amazing things, from the busy streets of
Kathmandu to the beautiful colors in the stores, every day I saw something
new and beautiful. My favorite aspect of the trip was definitely spending
time in the Sagarmatha orphanage with the children. The happiness and
excitement that these children had was such an incredible thing to witness.
Every time we went to the orphanage, they always had big smiles on their
faces and absolutely loved to play with us. I learned so much from them, by
just watching them play and interact with the world around them. After
spending the day with them, a couple of girls and I spent the night at the orphanage. It was
such a memorable experience. Before dinner, one of the older children led everyone in
prayer, it was such an amazing moment, as I felt so immersed in their culture. The next
morning all the children ate breakfast and did a small warm up, to get them ready for the day.
Being able to share this experience with them was very touching, and it allowed me to see
what an average day and night was like for them. Spending time with the children,
enabled me understand that one does not need much to be happy. Seeing how
grateful and joyful the children were, allowed me be very thankful for what I have. It

was definitely a life changing experience, that has changed my perception of the world
around me and the way one must treat others. »

Audrey

« The two week long experience in Nepal was truly incredible. We


got to see a lot of Kathmandu, as well as other places outside of the
city. The visits to the ILO and the Swiss Embassy in Nepal were
very inspiring, and helped me learn some more about the country
and what could be done there for improvement. Because of these
visits I've gotten a taste of what I am interested in doing in the
future, I always thought that I wanted to work in Human Rights and
this was an affirmation to my future studies.
When we first came to Sagarmatha Center, we had a warm
welcome by all the children and Beena, their « adoptive mother ».
All the children had smiles from ear to ear. They were all so joyful, despite everything they
have had to go through. When I stayed there for a night, I saw how much independence
and love each one of them have. The youngest children were always helped by one of
the older children. I was even helped by one of the youngest girls who grabbed my hand
and led the way to where I had to wash my hands and where I was to be seater - next to her.
Every child at SASS has an amazing discipline and is extremely polite. During my stay
there, I also had the opportunity to see that everything is very well organised at the center.
An example to the level of discipline they all have, is the amount of studying they
do everyday. They have two hours in the afternoon and an hour in the morning before
leaving for school, I was honestly impressed by the younger kids focusing and working for so
long. All this was a true lesson for myself and my studying habits.
The second home we visited was Punarbal, it is a orphanage for HIV/Aids infected children.
They are discriminated from the society, but thanks to this home, the children go to
school and are treated like any other child. What I found amazing was the dance show
they did for us. It brought me joy when I saw how happy they were to dance. The Nepal trip
was an unbelievable experience, an I really hope I can go back some day. »
Benedicte

« The Nepal trip of 2018 was a truly wonderful experience.


We were able to meet many new and different people and
discover a new country, unlike the one we live in. The days
spent at the orphanage were filled with fun and joy. Finding
different activities every day for the children of the orphanage
enabled us to connect and interact with them. The variety of
ages in the orphanage meant that we could see what it was
like for all ages to live in such unimaginable conditions.
Speaking with the girls closest to our age, 13 to 16, made us discover that we had more in
common then we thought, in music, celebrities and tv shows.
These girls were very open to new things and seemed very interested every time we spoke,
asking more questions, strengthening their English and laughing with each other. The
younger kids were also very outgoing, except for the one shy one here and there, but it

wasn’t too hard to get them involved in the activities and become much more comfortable
very quickly. Seeing them smile and laugh was so touching just because it showed us
how happy they were and that we were making an impact. From blowing balloons to
paint with them or even just sitting down and using chalk to draw on the floor, it was so lovely
to be able to interact with all of them and discover a side of life we are not exposed to in our
everyday life. These kids showed us how much fun you can have and how happy you can be
while meeting new people. It was a great two weeks and I hope to be able to do something
like this again, and for the people of the years to come to enjoy this experience as much as
we all did, to make something great out of the experience. »
Charlotte

« It has now been over a month since I returned from Nepal. Time has flown by
so fast and I can still remember every detail from the trip. I miss everything
about our time in Kathmandu.
The hotel, the food, the activities but most importantly, spending time with the
orphans. I was definitely scared before we went. I am not the best around
children and the language barrier would probably make it even harder for me.
Despite all that, it was an absolute pleasure to spend time with these children. They were all
so unique and enthusiastic to see us, it really felt like having the younger siblings I never had.
From the first day, I saw the joy on the faces of the thirty or so kids there, they were
definitely very happy to see us and that showed.
I loved every single day at the orphanage. From building legos, to cooking momos to
going shoe shopping with the children, every activity brought me back to my younger
years and really touched me on a personal level. I of course felt sadness from these children
who were unlucky enough to have lost their parents, I am privileged and I know that, but the
fact I was able to bring a little joy in their lives in the weeks we spent with them really fills me
with satisfaction. I am overall extremely thankful to the teachers and the Swiss Organisation
Sagarmatha for enabling me to live such a great human adventure that definitely changed
my vision of the world and, I hope, made me a better person. »

Emmanuel

« Le voyage au Népal est une expérience que je n’oublierai


jamais et a formé un des plus beau chapitre de ma vie. On a
tant fait! Visiter Kathmandu, passer du temps avec les
enfants de Sagarmatha, de Punarbal, et bien plus! Ce
voyage a été rempli d’aventures, de surprises et de
découvertes. Cette aventure de 2 semaines, m’a ouvert
l’esprit, m’a fait découvrir de nouvelles personnes, de
nouvelles cultures, de nouvelles histoires. Ces enfants m’ont
tant appris. On est si imparfait, on fait tant d’erreurs. Mais on apprend. Mais on comprend. Et
on accepte cette vérité. Découvrir. Trouver. Explorer. Visiter. Chercher. Rencontrer. Ces
verbes décrivent des moments de pur bonheur durant ce voyage. »
Gabrielle

« On the second day we went to SASS to go meet the


kids, which still puts a smile on my face just thinking
about the moment. Each kid greeted us with a ‘namaste’
and we were given a traditional scarf for good luck.
Every single kid had a smile and was so kind and open
to play with us.
Just in these two weeks I learnt that happiness
comes from so much more than what we know. This also motivates me to do more to
help these kids to see there smiles and make their life a little easier step by step. »
Katarina

« The Nepal humanitarian trip is one I didn’t expect to influence me


as much as it has. It's a trip I still think about everyday, and has
made me realize how different life is in Nepal compared to
Switzerland.
One aspect that particularly affected my view of this trip was meeting
one of the girls at the orphanage, Sabita. Though everybody has made
us feel so welcome to SASS, Sabita is the girl I know I will remember for
the rest of my life.
Sabita is 15 years old, and has lived in Nepal all her life. She has never
left the country and radiates so much positivity with whoever she is with. To me, she is so
strong and committed as living alongside more or less 45 children everyday is not something
I would consider easy. When I spent the night at the orphanage, I had the chance to see
what everyday life is like there. Sabita offered us her bed for the night because she wanted
us to feel as most at home as she could. Before leaving for bed, I showed Sabita my
drawings in my notebook, and asked me to draw her. I spent most of the night drawing her.
In the morning, she was in charge of making all the beds in the dorm, helping in the kitchen,
and then later, studying. She will remain an inspiration to me, and close to my heart. »
Kate

« Bien que nous ayons anticipé notre arrivée au Népal depuis de


nombreux mois, l’arrivée à Katmandu fut un choc. Des couleurs vives
qui ornent les rues, aux bruits incessants des voitures qui parcourent la
ville (en grande partie sur des routes sans goudron), cet endroit est aussi
magique qu’il est différent de la Suisse. Une énergie électrique semble y
abriter alors qu’une épaisse couverture de poussière recouvre le ciel. Cette
ville est simplement superbe, mais malheureusement les cicatrices du
tremblement de terre de 2015 n’ont pas encore entièrement disparu. Néanmoins, la
population reste optimiste et chaleureuse malgré les pertes qu’elle a subies, ce qui fut une
vrai source d’inspiration durant mon témoignage.
Bien que cette ville unique en son genre soit inoubliable, ce sont les personnes du centre
SASS qui m’ont sans aucun doute fait la plus grande impression. Tous étaient
incroyablement gentils et émouvants. Ils m’ont certainement apporté plus que tout ce
que j’aurais pu leur apporter. La valise était plus légère au retour mais mon cœur restera

touché à jamais par leur positivité et leur incroyable perspective sur la vie. Ils nous ont
accueillis à bras ouverts et ont tout fait pour que nous puissions au mieux découvrir leur
culture. Nous avons tous gagné une deuxième famille à travers SASS et je me sens
privilégiée d’avoir pu travailler avec une si belle organisation.
Bien que le voyage fût par moments difficile, je ne le changerais pas pour autant. Les
obstacles surmontés et les expériences vécues m’ont rendue plus résiliente en tant
que personne et j’espère simplement que j’ai pu être utile à ce centre. Un grand merci à
la famille Sherpa et à tous ceux qui ont contribué à faire de cette expérience une opportunité
si spéciale pour nous tous. »
Lara

« We don’t realise how lucky we are until we meet somebody


worse off than we are.' Many people say this, most of the time
when I hear people say this it has to do with money and/or the
chances money provides. On this trip however I discovered
that many people compared to these children are
unlucky, not because they were poorer than them, or
anything to do with wealth, but because they were
unhappy.

The kids we met smiled, laughed and played - they were kids in all sense of the word - and
they are lucky. They are lucky because they know what happiness, innocence and childhood
is. I felt privileged not only because I got to contribute to the environment that helped them
develop and strengthen this happiness, but also and more importantly because I got meet
them, talk to them and learn from them. They taught me more about happiness and I will be
forever changed by this, just like how I will forever remember them and what beautiful people
they are and will be. »
Lauren

« Ce voyage au Népal m’a donné l’occasion d'apprendre


plusieurs chose ; il m’a ouvert les yeux. D’abord, nous avons
une chance incroyable de vivre ici et d’avoir une bonne
éducation. J’ai aussi pris conscience que toutes les petites
choses que nous pouvons faire ici peuvent faire une
énorme différence pour les personnes qui ont besoin
d’aide. J'ai aussi appris qu'il ne faut pas juger d’après les
apparences. On pourrait croire que les gens au Népal sont tous malheureux, mais ce n’est
pas nécessairement vrai. J'espère que ce que nous avons fait aura un impact dans la vie de
ces enfants et qu'ils pourront avoir un futur bien meilleur que si personne ne les avait
accueillis. »
Matteo

« Le voyage au Népal est sûrement le voyage plus


incroyable que j’ai fait à ce jour et je suis certaine de ne
jamais oublier. Ce voyage m’a non seulement permis de
découvrir un pays fascinant et sa riche culture, mais m’a
aussi donné l’opportunité de faire connaissance avec des
enfants les plus adorables au monde, les enfants du centre
Sagarmatha (SASS). Il n’y avait pas un moment ennuyeux
lorsque nous étions avec eux : on jouait, on riait, on courait
les uns après les autres. Lorsque je jouais avec eux, je me
sentais redevenir enfant. Ce qui m’a marquée et émue le
plus, c’est leur joie et l’énergie contagieuse qu’ils ont
tous, malgré le peu qu’ils ont et ce qu'ils ont perdu.
Cette joie de vivre est ce qui me manque le plus.
Le respect et l’admiration que j’ai pour tous ceux qui contribuent à fournir à ces enfants un
environnement heureux et un avenir prometteur est incommensurable.
J’aimerais remercier chaleureusement tous les professeurs et accompagnants qui nous ont
entouré pendant ce voyage merveilleux. J’encourage fortement tous les élèves à s’inscrire
pour un prochain voyage : c’est une expérience fantastique que je garderai dans mon cœur
pendant longtemps. »
Margot

« Le Népal, tout comme ses habitants, est un pays


de contrastes: situé stratégiquement dans un
croisement de cultures, il absorbe différentes
croyances et créé une entité nouvelle à part entière.
Sa richesse en matière de traditions m'a frappée dès
mon arrivée à l'aéroport: les couleurs assaillent la
vue, les odeurs s'immiscent dans les narines et la
poussière se dépose sur chaque parcelle de notre
corps. Pourtant, malgré le contraste provoqué
entre l'environnement (trop) calme de la Suisse et le chaos du Népal, on se sent
immédiatement à l'aise et accueilli dans cette culture complètement différente.
Rencontrer des enfants et des adolescents ayant environ notre âge mais vivant des
quotidiens diamétralement opposés au mien a été une expérience que je vais chérir
pour le restant de ma vie. En effet, nous sommes, en tant qu'élèves d'une école
internationale, sensibilisés dès notre plus petite enfance aux causes telles que la pauvreté.
Malheureusement, peu d'entre nous avons la chance de réellement voir de nos propres yeux
ces situations tragiques. Avoir la possibilité de rencontrer, d'interagir et de nouer des liens
d'amitié avec ces personnes a renforcé mes convictions: mon métier devra impérativement
oeuvrer à améliorer leurs vies. J'espère pouvoir revenir l'année prochaine ! »
Marta

« The Nepal trip was a wonderful experience which I will never forget. The
trips to SASS were particularly striking moments for me. Our numerous visits
to this center were all different but each experience was incredibly
memorable. Being able to spend time in this home and observe how

tirelessly the people in charge would work to give the children everything they would ever
need, was inspirational.
When we visited SASS, we brought suitcases filled with supplies and materials that
we had collected from Geneva, which we sorted out and distributed amongst the children.
We also organised various activities throughout the day such as games, chalk drawing,
puzzles, card games and board games. Meeting these children was definitely the highlight of
the trip. They treated each other like one giant family and welcomed us so genuinely. I
was really struck by how strong, resilient and caring they all are. »

Meera
« Ce voyage au Népal a été une des meilleures expériences de ma vie - et
probablement même la meilleure. Je suis vraiment content de tout ce
que nous avons fait pour aider le centre Sagarmatha et d'avoir vu les
sourires heureux des enfants. Ils étaient tous pleins d'énergie, joyeux et
toujours contents de nous voir. J'espère un jour retourner au Népal et aider
les personnes qui en ont le plus besoin. J’ai vraiment aimé faire partie de ce
projet. » Niccolo

« Dès notre arrivée au Népal, je savais que ce voyage


allait être une expérience complètement inoubliable. Le
voyage de l’aéroport jusqu’à l’hôtel m’a particulièrement
marqué, car il a effacé toutes préconceptions que j’ai pu
avoir avant le voyage.
Le dépaysement était intense, nous étions exposés
à la pollution et à la poussière ont été des problèmes
bien plus importants que ce à quoi nous nous attendions. Cependant, nous avons vite
appris que le Népal est un pays de contrastes. D’un côté, la pollution et la poussière
contaminent la vie de tous les jours, mais de l’autre côté, la richesse culturelle est
incalculable et l’amabilité des gens surprenante. J’ai personnellement été impressionné par
la gentillesse et l’hospitalité des Népalais, et les saveurs de leur nourriture si délicieuse.
L’aspect humanitaire du voyage était enrichissant, mais la combinaison de l’aspect
humanitaire avec la découverte de la capitale à talents cachés que sont Katmandou et les
montagnes de Shivapuri ont fait de ce voyage une expérience à ne pas refuser ! Ce voyage
restera dans ma mémoire pendant longtemps, Il s’agit d’une expérience incroyable dans un
pays énigmatique, dont le futur, à mon avis, est prometteur. »
Roland

« From 21st of March till 4th of April, I participated in


a trip to Nepal. I opened my eyes completely to
what life is like outside my bubble. Each person
who participated in the trip had to have a certain
amount of donation they raised. I did this by
organizing a fashion show on 17th of March, I used
the money I raised from selling tickets. We took off on
28th of March, Wednesday. We first flew to Abu
Dhabi for 7 hours and then from Abu Dhabi to
Kathmandu airport. It was a long flight but my friends made it bearable. We got to

Kathmandu and the first thing we saw were monkeys around our house. Next day we went
to the Swiss embassy to witness a presentation on reconstruction projects following the
2015 earthquake in Nepal.

Then we went to visit SASS, a home where we met wonderful children whom we will never
forget. We went there almost every day. The kids were unbelievably adorable and
affectionate which made us want to spend even more time with them. Also on 17th of
March, we had brought suitcases to school to fill them up with toys and clothes we had
bought for the children. When we gave these clothes to the children the smile on their faces
was incredible.
We also went to many places like Bhaktapur, Punarbal home, Shivapuri... In one of the days,
we learned how to make momos, which are dumplings. It was helpful to learn such a skill
considering now I have an idea of their culture. One of the days I learned how to dance
Nepalese dances and taught them what I learned from the fashion show. Then we went to
buy shoes for the little children in the orphanage. The look on their faces was
mesmerizing as if how we feel about a desert at the end of the day. We each had to
hold the hand of one of the children.

Then we bought paint from their local stores in order to paint the classroom that the
children work in. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip as we made a
difference. Now they will be more enthusiastic about working on their education and they
will look at a nicer wall than what it used to be. In my opinion, this trip developed my
perspective in every single way. It helped me improve my skills in cooking, painting, running
around and even no. It helped me show my affection to each one of them.

Making them smile had an enormous effect on how I feel about the world. This trip has
been helpful in every single way bringing out a new side of me I never knew I had. »

Tara

« It has been a month since we got back from Nepal but I can still
remember the warmth, food and the culture. This has been one of my
favourite experiences I have ever done for numerous reasons. First I
got to visit and see a new country and explore a new culture I have
never seen before from the food, traditions and their overall
environment.

One of my favourite parts of the trip was when we went to visit SASS. I
was happily surprised when seeing all the kids, who without having much,
were still having the biggest smiles I have ever seen on humans. Their smiles
were radiating and had created a cheerful, ecstatic atmosphere and just pure
happiness that is like no other.

I am so thankful I got the opportunity to be part of this trip and got to be with this
team as we were all supportive of each other, worked together and had fun exploring
a new part of the world and got to spend time with people and children who are from
there and were so kind. Thank you for everyone who helped built this trip into what is
was. »
Alicia G.