Filipe, Katarina, Aarti, Mark
Mark reflects on Nepal
Nepal and the Dynamic Heart Project started with a dream 3 years ago, when I was told very clearly that the children were waiting for Dynamic Theatre. I was told in my dream that the children, which I understood also meant the child within every adult, knew about Dynamic Theatre, and again were waiting for us. Now three years on that dream was realised in Kathmandu and Nepal. That dream could not have happened without the support of everyone involved, to which I am truly grateful and give heartfelt thanks for the time, the donations and any help however big or small that you have given for us to be able to share Dynamic Theatre with the children in Nepal. You were with us every step of the way.
Aarti and Katarina thank you for having faith in the vision of the work, even though at times tested by the cockroaches scampering across your bedroom floor in the middle of the night. And Filipe, I think little did we know the full potential of what we created back in 2003 when Dynamic Theatre first came into being. Looking back I believe it is the love in our hearts that enables us to be the dutiful and respectful guardians of Dynamic Theatre. This journey of the heart alongside Dynamic Theatre and the Dynamic Heart Project would not have been possible if we did not share the same vision of making a difference in the world, thank you for sharing the journey and for believing in the dream, long may it continue.
As time got closer for us to go to Nepal I wondered how the work would be, how the children would be, I had heard so many stories of the children, not only as orphans and child labour but also as children caught up in the recent civil war used as gun runners and put on the front line. How would they be and how would they react to Dynamic Theatre?
When we first landed and entered into Kathmandu I was a bit overwhelmed by all that it was, all the dust, the pollution and lots and lots of people everywhere. When we stopped in traffic I noticed all eyes were in our direction, and the children smiled and shouted "hello" and when we answered back they ran off laughing. I later found out that westerners are known as the "hello people" as very often it's all they say and it's quite a game for children to share with their friends that they said hello to a "hello person".
When we met the children from Ghar Sita Mutu it was like meeting friends, the warmth and the smiles really made Ghar Sita Mutu live up to it's name of being a house with a heart. As we got to know the children more and they us I got to understand what it means to be with an open heart, these children whom have lived through events none of us would care to experience in a lifetime show nothing but kindness and a desire to help each other. Of course at times the scars can be seen but for the children the light of their souls shines far brighter.
We travelled out of Kathmandu to work in another home for 3 days, we were again greeted by smiling faces, laughter and singing. The gift of these children is their desire to make their world a better place, I think most of us agreed that a lot of western children could learn so much from the children of Nepal. They do not care if their trainers are Nike or Addidas, they are just appreciative of having something to wear on their feet. It soon became clear to us all that it was the children who were the true teachers, we had just fallen asleep somewhere along the way. On occasion I was unable to say anything as I was overcome with emotion as to the depth of feeling and openness the children showed towards us. Many times I heard the children saying how they wouldn't forget us and how grateful and how much they appreciated the time we had spent with them, for them that small amount of time was precious and worth far more than any X-box or Playstation, for me there wasn't enough time, I was just pleased we were able to give what we were able.
Of course we did not expect to change their lives in 2 weeks but my hope is that somehow we made a difference, maybe we didn't change their lives but they certainly changed mine. It's said that home is where the heart is, so be sure that you will always find home in Nepal.
To all the children we met in Nepal - thank you, it was truly an honour and a gift to meet and share with you. I look forward to seeing you again soon.
To all who donated, in whatever way, time or money, thank you. I hope you enjoy the following photos of Dynamic Heart Nepal.