It’s a long winter in France, and a long one too in Himachal, with heavy snow falls in Kullu valley this year. As expected, the attendance by children decreased due to transportation difficulties and cold temperatures, but less than previous years, which is a good sign I would say. The Handimachal Unit was closed for more than one week after Christmas, some of our staff members took a few additional days off for training or for their families.
A new OT volunteer, Karen Stelter, was brave enough to arrive in Kullu on a freezing cold morning, early February, in order to offer her expertise to our team, for two months. I hope we will get her first impressions and some pictures very soon.
Under such latitudes, spring should arrive sooner than in Europe, with its share of relief and new expectations. Expectations from the families of children who now rely on us for their future, expectations from us to find the path of sustainability for the Handimachal programme.
I feel lucky to be able to come back once again to Kullu and Manali for a short stay, and witness the beauty of Kullu valley in spring, with the apple trees in full blossom under the snowy peaks. Assessment of progress made by our team and of difficulties met, discussions and planning for the future – this will be my agenda in Kullu as we are completing our fourth year of operation.
Two new volunteers will accompany me in the night bus arriving from Delhi on 23 March early morning: Romain Smagghe, occupational therapist, and Chloé Cornier, adapted-sports teacher, both from France, who will strengthen our team for three full months.
So let’s see what we will achieve in 2013 for Handimachal and for disabled children of Kullu valley: it’s all in our hands!
27 Feburary 2013