Joty Sohi (Nepal)

Prior to her fellowship, Joty earned a BA from the Rutgers University and an MA from City University London. Joty interned at the British Red Cross where she educated London’s youth on International Humanitarian issues. Joty has also worked at local and State level organizations developing and executing programs for individuals with special needs. After the fellowship, she wrote: "It has opened my eyes to what it's like to work abroad for a smaller Non-profit. The best experience for me was to see through an actual project and get it done." Contact: jsohi@advocacynet.org



A Not So Futile Tongue

13 Jul

http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/20150608_172854-300×227.jpg, http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/20150608_170707-300×210.jpg, http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/20150608_172852-300×185.jpg

As we made our way down the final hill, that when I could
spot our destination Inchangu. It was a sight hard to miss. An open flat field
with about hundred or so tents, separated into two zones by a few houses that
were still left standing.  I was
told about 90 families were displaced in Inchangu during the earthquake. The
CONCERN team was heading there to check up on the temporary fun shelter they
had built as well as to hand out some more relief.

Making my way up to the tent, I saw a few dozen heads
peaking out from underneath the yellow tarp. The temporary fun shelter was put
into place so that the children living in the area had a safe place to come
after school and spend their evenings learning, and playing games.

It was nice to be out in the field and witness first hand
the direct care offered by CONCERN. We spent a few hours with the kids, talking
to their teacher, their parents, and handing out relief.

Towards the end I took a seat outside the tent, wanting just
a minute to observe. As the children began to pack up for the day, a group of
boys parked themselves beside me. I sat there in silence while they talked and
laughed and slowly one by one began to head towards their temporary homes. Then
there was only one boy left. Every so often I would catch him sneaking glances
my way. I figured I might as well take the first step and initiate a
conversation. 

 “Namaste. What’s your name?” I asked in Hindi

“Aryan”

“Where do you live?”

“Well my house is gone because of the vukampa (earthquake),
but now I live over there in the blue tent.” He pointed over to his left.

“Wow your Hindi is really good, where did you learn it
from?”

“From T.V. Where did you learn from?”

“From watching LOTS of Bollywood films.”

This made him crack the tinniest of smiles that might have
possibly gone unnoticed if I had blinked.

Who would’ve thought spending countless hours watching Bollywood
movies would payoff. I had discovered Hindi to be a pretty futile language. I
found myself repeatedly wishing India had taken the same route as China. With
its strong market economy, Mandarin is considered a valuable skill to have.
Hindi on the other hand seemed very much useless, considering how the English language
has exploded onto India. So much so that India is the prime destination for
outsourcing many telemarketing jobs from the west. Oh how great it would’ve
been to find a simple job as a translator, with a six-figure salary. Sadly that
was not in the cards for a Hindi speaking girl.

Yet it all didn’t seem so bad in this very moment. This
simple interaction could have easily manifested into something completely
different if I had needed a translator. But here I was able to listen and hold
a conversation with this young boy. Being able to gain a bit of insight into
his life, it was truly something to be grateful for.

“How many of you live in there?” I asked

“6 of us. Me, my mom, dad, sister, grandma and uncle”

“Oh wow that’s a big family”

“Yeah, a lot of our stuff is gone, but it’s ok because buwa
(father) said we’re going to make a new house, that will have all new things
inside.”

“With a brand new bed and hopefully lots of new toys!”

“Yeah…” he said as his gazed moved back to his temporary
home.

After a few more minutes of chatting about his school, favorite
T.V show, and his very mischievous sister, we began to bid our farewells. I
made sure to remind him to share some of the cookies given to him with his
younger sister. He smiled a great big smile and said he would. As I watched him
walk away, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the positivity these kids
seemed to breathe into there own lives. 

[content-builder]{“id”:1,”version”:”1.0.4″,”nextId”:6,”block”:”root”,”layout”:”12″,”childs”:[{“id”:”2″,”block”:”rte”},{“id”:”4″,”block”:”gallery”,”itemWidth”:211,”itemHeight”:159,”items”:[{“source”:”~wp-uploads\/2015\/07\/20150608_172854-300×227.jpg”,”store”:{“source”:”~upload\/4-thumb-d5c692862bee09b14e556798ffce5d08.jpg”,”width”:211,”height”:159,”mime”:”image\/jpeg”,”size”:31264},”large”:{“source”:”~upload\/4-large-d5c692862bee09b14e556798ffce5d08.jpg”,”width”:300,”height”:227,”mime”:”image\/jpeg”,”size”:47205}},{“source”:”~wp-uploads\/2015\/07\/20150608_170707-300×210.jpg”,”store”:{“source”:”~upload\/4-thumb-a73047c3b41ee3148be03682a8905cf7.jpg”,”width”:211,”height”:159,”mime”:”image\/jpeg”,”size”:34612},”large”:{“source”:”~upload\/4-large-a73047c3b41ee3148be03682a8905cf7.jpg”,”width”:300,”height”:210,”mime”:”image\/jpeg”,”size”:53854}},{“source”:”~wp-uploads\/2015\/07\/20150608_172852-300×185.jpg”,”store”:{“source”:”~upload\/4-thumb-4f7a71ccae446da96e7173fdb10e4d6c.jpg”,”width”:211,”height”:159,”mime”:”image\/jpeg”,”size”:33114},”large”:{“source”:”~upload\/4-large-4f7a71ccae446da96e7173fdb10e4d6c.jpg”,”width”:300,”height”:185,”mime”:”image\/jpeg”,”size”:46305}}]},{“id”:”5″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”

As we made our way down the final hill, that when I could\nspot our destination Inchangu. It was a sight hard to miss. An open flat field\nwith about hundred or so tents, separated into two zones by a few houses that\nwere still left standing.  I was\ntold about 90 families were displaced in Inchangu during the earthquake. The\nCONCERN team was heading there to check up on the temporary fun shelter they\nhad built as well as to hand out some more relief.<\/span><\/p>

Making my way up to the tent, I saw a few dozen heads\npeaking out from underneath the yellow tarp. The temporary fun shelter was put\ninto place so that the children living in the area had a safe place to come\nafter school and spend their evenings learning, and playing games. <\/span><\/p>

It was nice to be out in the field and witness first hand\nthe direct care offered by CONCERN. We spent a few hours with the kids, talking\nto their teacher, their parents, and handing out relief. <\/span><\/p>

Towards the end I took a seat outside the tent, wanting just\na minute to observe. As the children began to pack up for the day, a group of\nboys parked themselves beside me. I sat there in silence while they talked and\nlaughed and slowly one by one began to head towards their temporary homes. Then\nthere was only one boy left. Every so often I would catch him sneaking glances\nmy way. I figured I might as well take the first step and initiate a\nconversation.  <\/span><\/p>

 \u201cNamaste. What\u2019s your name?\u201d I asked in Hindi<\/span><\/span><\/p>

\u201cAryan\u201d<\/span><\/p>

\u201cWhere do you live?\u201d<\/span><\/p>

\u201cWell my house is gone because of the vukampa (earthquake),\nbut now I live over there in the blue tent.\u201d He pointed over to his left. <\/span><\/p>

\u201cWow your Hindi is really good, where did you learn it\nfrom?\u201d<\/span><\/p>

\u201cFrom T.V. Where did you learn from?\u201d<\/span><\/p>

\u201cFrom watching LOTS of Bollywood films.\u201d <\/span><\/p>

This made him crack the tinniest of smiles that might have\npossibly gone unnoticed if I had blinked. <\/span><\/p>

Who would\u2019ve thought spending countless hours watching Bollywood\nmovies would payoff. I had discovered Hindi to be a pretty futile language. I\nfound myself repeatedly wishing India had taken the same route as China. With\nits strong market economy, Mandarin is considered a valuable skill to have.\nHindi on the other hand seemed very much useless, considering how the English language\nhas exploded onto India. So much so that India is the prime destination for\noutsourcing many telemarketing jobs from the west. Oh how great it would\u2019ve\nbeen to find a simple job as a translator, with a six-figure salary. Sadly that\nwas not in the cards for a Hindi speaking girl. <\/span><\/p>

Yet it all didn\u2019t seem so bad in this very moment. This\nsimple interaction could have easily manifested into something completely\ndifferent if I had needed a translator. But here I was able to listen and hold\na conversation with this young boy. Being able to gain a bit of insight into\nhis life, it was truly something to be grateful for. <\/span><\/p>

\u201cHow many of you live in there?\u201d I asked <\/span><\/p>

\u201c6 of us. Me, my mom, dad, sister, grandma and uncle\u201d<\/span><\/p>

\u201cOh wow that\u2019s a big family\u201d<\/span><\/p>

\u201cYeah, a lot of our stuff is gone, but it\u2019s ok because buwa\n(father) said we\u2019re going to make a new house, that will have all new things\ninside.\u201d<\/span><\/p>

\u201cWith a brand new bed and hopefully lots of new toys!\u201d <\/span><\/p>

\u201cYeah\u2026\u201d he said as his gazed moved back to his temporary\nhome. <\/span><\/p>

\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n<\/p>

After a few more minutes of chatting about his school, favorite\nT.V show, and his very mischievous sister, we began to bid our farewells. I\nmade sure to remind him to share some of the cookies given to him with his\nyounger sister. He smiled a great big smile and said he would. As I watched him\nwalk away, I couldn\u2019t help but be captivated by the positivity these kids\nseemed to breathe into there own lives. <\/span><\/p>\n”,”class”:””}]}[/content-builder]

Posted By Joty Sohi (Nepal)

Posted Jul 13th, 2015

1 Comment

  • Sarah Reichenbach

    July 26, 2015

     

    I love the idea of a fun tent! That’s so important and I think often overlooked in aid work. Even just a simple tent can do so much for helping kids feel some sense of normalcy. Keep up the good work Joty!

Enter your Comment

Submit

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

 

Fellows

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003