Meeting Maya

April 26, 2012

in Nepal


Maya on the playground

By Day 3, I’m cresting over the jet lag. I sleep through the night and get up at 5:30am to visit Maya, the bright and brave little girl you may have read about last season.

Here’s something to love about Nepal: When I get in the cab, I haven’t eaten because everything is still closed and/or I opted not to get up at 5am for tea. I mention this to the driver and ask him to stop at a tea shop on the way. This seems perfectly reasonable to us both.

We stop at a roadside stall where I buy us a round of tea and a breakfast of chickpeas with onion and cilantro. The chai steams in the cold morning air, and I love that even if you’re in a taxi, there’s always time for tea.


Maya throws her arms around me when she sees me, and I melt. Her open warmth is not only a sign she remembers me over these few months but also that she is adjusting well in her new home.

Maya clings, then walks me around the home. The women who manage the kids coddle and kiss her, and we depart to walk 15 minutes to school with the escort of two 12 year olds. On the way, Maya sings me her English ABC’s….all the way through P.

Maya is attentive in class and a little afraid of the playground chaos, but I generally find that she’s in a good school and doing well. It’s clearly just going to takes months of stability and love to overcome some of the abuse she experienced. I’m excited to see her engaged in class and happy at home!


Maya with her friend Pooja


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