The plan looked perfect on the email, the night before: the creasion team was to assemble at HQ by 6:30 a.m., but of course, things played out quite differently the next day.
Although we did manage to gather everyone together in time to reach the village according to our best case scenario following our worst case situation, everything felt rushed and disorganized.
We let the situation sink in and worked through that patch as the harmony returned and the team began to tick to its beat.
An hour gone, we’d set up the tables, set up the food, cleaned up our stations, and cleaned up our shoes. Now came the hardest part: engaging with the members from Rotaray Club of Manjushree. But me and the rest of the team that’d come from the office today could relax and sit back for a while, for here, Aanand Dai would shield us from questions and inquiries- he knew best.
Another hour gone, our wait was finally over. The President of Rotary International was finally there. But there was tension in everyone’s face. Our chief guests had arrived, but from a completely different entrance than the one we expected. After a fair bit of running and shifting, and some time spent regaining our composure, the program was finally underway.
As Aanand Dai and Bhushita Didi mingled with our guests, I rushed to the make-shift kitchen with a few volunteers from Rotract to make last-minute checks on our preparations. We were prepared.
We began setting up the table around the meeting hall (also makeshift) as the Rotarians flowed in to get a bite of what our program. We watched from aside as the minutes ticked by and the program reached the end of what had been a mentally draining 4 hours. The fact that the sun was right above our heads in a day that promised of being gloomy didn’t work well with the thick layers of clothes we had tied ourselves to. Sweat dripping off our foreheads, we gave a sigh of relief as we took part in the final photograph taken before Aanand Dai and co. left with the guests from Rotary for a presentation.
We wrapped things up back in the village, helping clean things up as our stomachs cried “no more.” But we were rewarded for sush-ing our bellies as we were served one of the best plates of Daal-Bhaat-Achaar I’d tasted in a very long-long time. As we stood in the sun to ease up our muscles after a tense 15 minute period of gorging down on the food, we met two of the most cheerful little people in Burunchuli- Sani and Dolma.
With them, Lopsang Dai, Sushmita Didi and I played Inti-Mintu London ma and sang the most popular song in Burunchuli- “Simple Simple Kanchi ko” we got a glimpse of how friendly the people there were and got exactly why Burunchuli was always called the perfect pilot project. We didn’t want to, but we had to leave in a while though. The kids asked to be taken back to the office with us but of course we couldn’t risk being jailed for it. So we said our goodbyes and our “until next time”s to Burunchuli and its lovely people and head off home.