Bigger than Ourselves

Greetings Earthlings!

If you think you heard a clap of thunder, you are not entirely wrong. High amplitude sound waves do wiggle through the air(all the way to Rabi Dai’s office) when we L-O-L. Ok wait–that’s lame. Let’s try this again.

Hi there!

Let’s start by telling you who we are. This is Kayo. Now it’s Anisha. And I’m here too(Sahara btw). I’m Pratistha and I’m Niraj. Wait what? Guys just stop! Let me handle this. Google Docs can be such a pain sometimes.

Here it goes.

We are the sleepily-arriving, tea-chugging, email-checking, report-writing, keyboard-pounding, XO-fixing, charger-taping, puzzle-solving, book-hunting-and-scanning, then-editing, now-uploading, hard-at-working, philosophy-phishing, pun-intending, joke-making, wildly-laughing, tummy-growling (guys! lunch?), human-be-ing, lunch-gobbling, second-help-ing, survey-checking, while-burping(eww Kayo), field-visiting, wiki-updating, fund-hunting, E-Paath recording, NEXO-testing, NEXS-installing, tea-sipping, cable-crimping, router-flashing, Linux-not/liking, blog-writing, work-loving OLE Nepal Interns.

Book scanning, Puzzle solving, XO fixing, Tea sipping

We are five young interns who have come from different places, for different reasons and for different lengths of time (Kayo’s the big time senior intern). We come from colleges in New England and homes in Tinkune, for a month, for six, for a year. We are individuals who have for the first time, been taken seriously as our ideas have been encouraged, while our report-writing and book-scanning skills have seen vast improvements.

It was the XOs that needed fixing, the E-Paaths that needed reviewing, the audio that needed recording, the google docs that needed translating, the reports that needed editing, the programs that needed brainstorming and the surveys that needed correcting that really brought us all together. The attachment that we then felt towards one another was what grew out of the meaningful conversations and overwhelming laugh-out-loud moments. During our field visits, we were seeing and learning new things together. Living with one another for days on end helped us see each other beyond the work that we did and the opinions that we held. We got in touch with one another’s idiosyncrasies and emotional disposition; we got to know each other in person. Even when we later see one another in the office, we burst out laughing because the familiar faces summarize the wonderful moments shared and the discoveries made.

Aman and Sahara establishing a school network in Dadeldhura

Yes, our experiences here have truly been out of this world. We come from different fields of interest and each of us at some point, experienced things that we would have never had the opportunity to otherwise. Some of us who were intimidated by the tech-savvy ended up fixing XOs and crimping CAT5e cables. Others who had hardly been outside the city had the chance to travel from Solukhumbu and Mustang to the likes of Doti and Dadeldhura; to see the realities of our country, step out of of our comfortable bubbles and remind ourselves what is easy to forget: that the rest of Nepal is a long way from Kathmandu.

We are most inspired by the people at OLE Nepal who are among the rare few that walk the walk. Some of them have a quiet brilliance that shines in their work. Some have kind words and wise ways that help make the best decisions. Some have the child-like sense of humor and wonder that we are often afraid we will lose when we grow up.

It is precisely this collective sense of wonder in everyone that works wonders. People generously open up their minds to one another, sharing ideas big, small and wondrous. Everybody talks to everybody else. Conversations are effortless. We find ourselves talking to adults without weighing our words or filtering our thoughts, an opportunity we seldom got before. When we share ideas that sound ridiculous or impossible even to ourselves, the people listening to us kindly crop out what is too far fetched and ground the rest with their own imaginations into something really doable. With yet more sharing, cropping and imagining and then sharing, ideas become. It is like the office is a child’s mind, with conversations like thoughts inside the same head.

Kayo and Pratistha fooling around in Solukhumbu

The people at OLE Nepal have shown us that regardless of whether we become mathematicians or teachers or movie stars (Niraj?), we can all come together to create something innovative and wonderful, just as the people at OLE Nepal have come together from completely different fields of expertise to do spectacular work and share a common goal. These people are genuinely interested in what they are doing. They are as good mentors as they are people. In ways small and big, from the frequent pat on the back to the thoughtful words of advice, they invite us to walk with them.

Guys! What? I think this is coming together alright. Maybe Google Docs isn’t too bad after all?

For OLE Nepal, interns come and interns go. Over the years, it has seen many like us. But for us interns, there is only one OLE Nepal. We will always look back at our days here with a smile, grateful for having been part of this family. When we do finally leave, we are not really leaving, we are just becoming like distant cousins who don’t see each other very often, but will always be related. We will form a larger network–in other words, an extended family– of OLE Nepal, spreading the word and carrying with us a cause that we will believe in wherever we will go. Our experiences here have given us a better sense of direction. The rare chance to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves is truly an opportunity of a lifetime.

We are five young interns who over our time here at OLE Nepal, have taken many little steps closer to a future that we will someday be responsible for, a future that we hope to become. We are five young interns who have taken one giant step closer to helping build a future that is beyond ours.

Niraj, Pratistha, Anisha, Sahara, Kayo

OLE Nepal Interns:

  • Kayomars Bilimoria Puri
  • Sahara Pradhan
  • Pratistha Bhattarai
  • Anisha Shrestha
  • Niraj Paudel
  • Aman Maharjan (On leave from inception through materialization)

4 Responses

  1. Tony Anderson August 17, 2012 / 5:34 pm

    It looks like you did most of the important tasks of an intern. I hope you didn’t miss the Roadhouse. I hope you did miss the lecture on the difference between a direct and crossover patch cable. I am sure that Typing Turtle still needs to be adapted to the Devanagari, but it is wise to leave something for the next team.

    Thanks for your important contribution.


  2. Avash August 18, 2012 / 9:32 am

    Reminds me of my days as an intern in OLE Nepal. 🙂

    “For OLE Nepal, interns come and interns go. Over the years, it has seen many like us. But for us interns, there is only one OLE Nepal. We will always look back at our days here with a smile, grateful for having been part of this family.”

    Wondeful and Great lines there!

    “Linux-not/liking” o_O


  3. Rabi August 24, 2012 / 5:22 pm

    We are all grateful to have such wonderful interns at OLE Nepal. Not only do you guys do amazing work that belie your age and experience, but you infuse youth and vigor around here. We cherish each and every one of you, and hope that you will continue to contribute towards improving basic education in Nepal.

  4. Gaurav October 15, 2012 / 9:14 am

    Hadn’t checked the blog in a while. It’s great to read what you guys have been up to. Its great to know that everyones book scanning skill has grown manifolds!!! Keep up the great work and one more thing the future you build is definitely not beyond yours you will be part of it (because I certainly hope to be part of Nepal where everyone has access to quality education).
    P.S. I also like the addition of internal conversations always felt the blog was way too formal.

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