Scuola steineriana in Nepal, Estate 2008

Notiziario Estate 2008
Children of Nepal Tashi Waldorf School and Teacher Training
Monsoon season has begun, bringing much desired rain to the long-dusty streets and dry fields of the Kathmandu valley. Nepal became a republic on May 28, after constituent assembly elections were held in April. Since our Winter 2007 newsletter, many important events have taken place at Tashi Waldorf School. The third term of the school year ended on January 9th. The occasion was marked with performances by the primary classes and a puppet show, “The Honest Woodcutter”, by the kindergarten teachers, based on a Nepalese folk tale. Losar, the Tibetan festival marking the new year, was celebrated on February 5th, the first day of Bumjur Dawa on the Tibetan calendar. The Fire Pig Year has ended and the Year of the Earth Rat has begun. The primary class students made khapse, sweet and crunchy fried bis¬cuits traditionally eaten at this time. The Lhap So ceremony was performed to drive away evil spirits and negative energy. Shiva Ratri, the Hindu festival celebrating Lord Shiva’s annual reawakening and the thawing of the rivers at winter’s end, was also observed. The children danced, sung and baked potatoes around a bonfire in the playground. In mid-March, Class 3 made their annual visit to Chobhar Gorge, the mythic birthplace of the Kathmandu valley. They visited temples and caves in the area, had a picnic lunch and sketched the scenic natural surroundings. On March 20th, a day before the start of Holi, which celebrates the onset of spring, the students and teachers gathered in the playground. Donning butterfly masks they had cut and painted, the children made a color¬ful moving ring around the Holi Fairy. Together they danced and sang “Come Bright Butterfly”, “Ranga Ranga Mi¬lai” (Mix the Colors), and “Holi Aiyo” (Holi has arrived). Earlier, the Holi Fairy had visited each classroom to give tika (a vermillion blessing) to each child. The eighth school year concluded on March 28th, with musical and dramatic performances from every class. Class 3 performed an action- packed drama adapted from a tale in the Ramayana: “Ram’s Fourteen Years of Exile.” Right: Hari, as the demon king Ravana, abducts Sushma, play¬ing Ram’s beloved wife Sita. Kripa’s nursery group did a circle dance and sang “I Have Made a Pretty Nest” and others. Class 2 students enacted the story Henny Penny, or Saani Kukhuri (“little hen.”) The upper-kindergarten children presented a puppet show, Asal Saati (“Good Friends.”) Class 1’s play, Sun ko Haas, told the story of The Golden Goose. The kindergartens performed songs and dances, including “Mother Earth”, “Raise Your Hands”, and “King Winter is Now in the Land.” During the April holiday, the Class 3 graduates took a ‘Bridge Course’, taught by Nima Sherpa. The course was designed to ease the transition into mainstream curriculum schools. Tashi Waldorf School’s ninth year of operation began on April 28th, with 124 children enrolled. There are currently 14 children in Kripa’s nursery group, 15 in Kamala’s kindergarten, 22 in Durga’s kindergarten, 21 in Chandra’s kindergarten, 22 in Aruna’s class 1, 20 in Nirmala’s class 2, 8 in Lobsang’s class 3, and 2 in Dolma’s special needs group. New staff members have joined our community: Ms. Ganga Khanal began as a kindergarten assistant last November, and Mr. Bharat Nepali began as a part-time music teacher this May. Shishir (cl 3), leads Suman (cl 1), to his new teacher, Ms. Aruna Rai. The music curriculum now includes lessons on the Sarangi, a Himalayan instrument that resembles a fiddle. Sarangi translates to “100 colors”, indicating its stylistic adaptability and tonal flexibility. Class 3 are practicing the 8 notes: Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni, and Sa. Class 2 visited Namo Buddha on May 23rd. This temple is located near Dhulikhel, a hill town on the eastern rim of the Kathmandu val¬ley. Pilgrims light candles and raise prayer flags at this site to commem¬orate Lord Buddha’s great compas¬sion for all creatures. Buddha Jayanti was celebrated in mid-May. Butter lamps were lit and the Sanskrit prayer “Bhuddam Saravam Ghachami” was recited. 2008 marks the 2,571st birth anniversary of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who became Bud¬dha Shakyamuni. The festival also cel¬ebrates Lord Buddha’s enlightenment and passing, which the students learn about during storytelling sessions. Teacher Training Sue Simpson, eurythmist and former Waldorf school principal, visited TWS this past December for a school quality assessment and teacher-training. Sue gave workshops on eurythmy and morning circle activities. She also met with trustees, management committee members, and parents to discuss eurythmy, child development and its relationship to a Waldorf curriculum, the structure of a Waldorf School and how to better ease the transi¬tion between a Waldorf school and a mainstream school. Sponsorship at Tashi Waldorf School A very hearty THANK YOU to our child and land sponsor community, and a big welcome to our newest members! We now have 92 sponsors. All of us at TWS are extremely grateful for your continued support. For those sponsors whose children ended their enrollment after the conclusion of the 2007-08 school year we deeply appreciate your patience and understanding. We are trying hard to retain more students each year, and are still striving to add classes 4 and 5, so that the TWS primary school can be complete. We have found that parents are sometimes reluctant to continue their children’s enrollment when the school doesn’t yet cater to chil¬dren who have graduated class 3. TWS hopes to add class 4 in spring 2009, and class 5 the following year. Child sponsors should have received an annual progress report for their child or children in June or July. If the report hasn’t arrived by August please let us know so we can resend it. As of this month there are 47 children, most of them new students, who need sponsors. Land sponsors are always needed so that TWS can successfully purchase the land it currently rents. Please contact us if you wish to sponsor a child or become a land sponsor. The TWS faculty and staff would like to thank the many kind visitors who have helped keep the school stocked with Steiner educational materials, such as watercolor paint, colored beeswax, and block crayons, which are not available in Nepal. We also give thanks to our many generous donors and volunteers who have helped us keep the school operating for nine wonderful years, and we hope many more to come! With our gratitude and warm wishes, Rachel Amtzis, Fundraiser
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