Mom For A Day

December 7, 2011

in Nepal, Philanthropy

Maya fleece and me by Tara _2

Maya and me. Photo credit: Tara Bider

As the newest member of our trek group, Maya enjoyed quite a bit of attention, but it was still me who was momma. Whether it meant bathroom breaks, food, buying a toothbrush, or putting on warmer clothes (my fleece worn as a dress), I was suddenly the mother of a 4-year-old (and still the guide for 14 adults). I had my hands full, but it was well worth it. (My trekking group was also very supportive thankfully!)

Maya was amazingly fearless. She shed not a tear of goodbye, played easily with all her new American friends, and eventually slept curled up beside me. I slept very little, however. With the worry of a new mother, I lay watching this child breathe and rest next to me and held her in my arms as she woke a little confused at 5am for our flight.

Maya & me plane by Barbara G

First plane ride! photo credit: Barbara Gessaman



Flight? Oh, very exciting indeed! Maya had never been on a plane before. Even better though, was her giddiness at the vehicles and people on the ground in Kathmandu. She kept pointing at everything, “Look, a car! Look, a truck! Look! Look!” When our bus to the terminal started moving, she was surprised and began clapping her hands in delight at the carnival ride we were on. She had never before seen a real car or been on a moving vehicle. There are no roads near Lukla.

Mayaonthebus by Katie

Maya claps in delight as the bus starts moving! photo credit: Katie Hoar


By the time we were in the van weaving through traffic on the way to the hotel, she had quieted down considerably. I asked if everything was okay. She said her stomach hurt and then promptly threw up all over my lap. Awesome. So much for the fun of moving vehicles. So much for the beauty of motherhood.

When Bhesh from the orphanage came to pick Maya up, she was understandably reluctant. I took her out to the garden, played for a bit, then pretend to answer my mobile. He soon lured her away from my leg to check out the geese. I hung around so that when she looked back she could see me, until finally she seemed absorbed and I headed back into the lobby. When they finally came inside together an hour later, they were fast friends.

I told Maya it was time to go to her new home. She agreed, and off she went as fearlessly as she had come, carrying her few possessions as Bhesh guided her along.


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