The elderly woman in this photo is Toya Kumari Thapa. 78 years old, child bride, mother of five children, widow, earthquake victim, and now student. @jolards
and I just spent 8 days in her family home as we represented @thisworldexists
and put some finishing touches on their Women's Learning Centre in Palu Bari. Completing the school was extremely rewarding, but living with this wonderful family even more so.
Amma (mother), as she is known by the family and us, has had a tough life of poverty and loss. Married at 13 years of age, she never received an education. She lost her eldest son and husband, both military men, many years ago - and still cries when shown photos. She's a sensitive, emotional, vulnerable woman; but also incredibly wise and powerful. She is the matriarch of the family and local community, and she still works hard toiling day and night to keep the family fed and happy. Around here, she's the boss. Now she's learning how to read, her main motivation being to read the sanskrit religious texts she reverently adores by their family temple.
One moment that will live in my memory forever is when @jolards
and I were departing the village, and Amma clung to Jo with all her strength, crying her eyes out. She wouldn't let go. The people here were so grateful just to have us in their home. They truly value family, community, hospitality, faith, and love. By sheer force of luck many have been dealt an extremely short straw in life, and yet are some of the most inspiring people I've ever met.
Endless thanks to the Thapa family and women's community of Palu Bari village for hosting us - enjoy your new school!! 📸 Photo by @ryangraymedia
#nepal #thisworldexists #twenepal