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Author: Sachet Manandhar

The Cup Story

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It isn’t that easy not having a face. I mean, all the other cups do. And although I’m supposed to be tall because well, I’m a giraffe. No! I mean I have a giraffe! I’m really not that tall. My diameter isn’t that impressive either.

I remember my first day, here. With all the nervousness running down my throat, I was really afraid of this “new house” that I was going to be a part of. Most of the cups had faces on them, with similar colors, similar little scattered tools and the exact same letters on them. Although I was nearly as white as they were, I just couldn’t blend in. I thought I was too childish, too loud, too colorful, too foreign to be there. Also, I wasn’t from the same background as they were. I didn’t have all those tools drawn on me. Trust me, I felt like I didn’t belong there with all the other mugs.

As people came in the kitchen, I noticed how the features of the people aligned with the faces in the cups. THEY WERE THEIR CUPS! But surprisingly they rarely drank from their respective cups. They’d just choose any cup, they’d choose every cup. And guess what? Just the day I came in, people appreciated how I was different and unique and well, cute too. AND I GOT DRUNK FROM TOO. Woah, I sound drunk. I mean they drank from me.

The best thing about this place is you don’t necessarily have to belong to that “background” to be a part of it. You don’t have to have tools engraved on you. You don’t have to be the same shade. And people will make and share and clean and place you back where you were. Here, you can always be different and add value. Besides, I’ve been used so many times, I think I have stains, that are similar to theirs.

– Yaman Thapa

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Exhibit and Summit for Transformation

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Every place has its own unique feature which represents its core values and/or cultures. It provides a way of identifying itself to the foreign world. Having spent a little more than a week amidst the distinctive art scene in Yogyakarta, it was clear why the city was a common hub for artists, makers, designers across the world. The streets filled with distinct sculptures and walls painted with colorful graffiti, the city provides a vibrant exuberance among the people.

     
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Engage and Learn

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11701123_880592845362047_7708574511089035548_nThe children enjoyed playing with the vehicle models they had built themselves. The bright faces of the students reflected their confidence with the subject matter. With enthusiasm and excitement, the room was bursting with energy. But it didn’t start out the same way. Just an hour earlier, these same children had been staring at the string and pencil, figuring out how the combination worked in making circles. The freedom for exploration and the absence of instructions meant most of them had to work through a number of failures. Some get it right the first time while others take their time in making things work. This is a normal energy flow sequence during an experiential class at schools.

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Dhading Diaries : Challenges of training in Dhading

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When the aftershock struck midway through the training session, I could see uncertain faces sitting around in the room. Located on the second floor, the training hall had a single door for entry and exit and the walls had multiple cracks. Nervous but resolute, the participants decided to continue with the session we were facilitating. The determination shown by the teachers to continue was praiseworthy. However, the 5-hour session, initially planned to be 7 hours long, had not started with the same zeal.

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Project Zero

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I still have memories of tearing out and collecting blank pages from my old notebooks after every year of school.  My mom would teach me and my brother to bind them using thread and needle. They did not particularly look good but were pretty handy for rough work. I wonder why we were hesitant to use them for class. Was it because it looked bad? Or maybe it was the fear of teachers’ scolding for not using a proper notebook?

Varieties

Varieties

The chain of thoughts ran through my mind as Dipeshwor and Ajay started the mock session for our new class. They named it “Project Zero: Book Binding”- a rather intricate name for a simple class. The idea is to collect resources around you and make a notebook. It has been planned as a warm up class before the actual session takes full flow.9 of us participated in the mock class. We were separated into groups of three and were given different kinds of notebooks to observe. We first listed out their features within our groups. The whole class then discussed some of their unique features and specialities. Nhasala pointed out the use of a button as a locking system in the Nepali paper notebook, while Samana liked the dotted tear marks on each page in the spiral notebook. A lot of interesting features came out in the discussion session.

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