Patient Toya

      If you live in Nangi, Nepal, you live a two day hike up a mountain from the nearest town. That town is a six hour bus ride from the nearest big city. And so, for those living in Nangi who dreamed of having real English lessons with English speakers, there first had to be internet (thanks to Mahabir Pun), then computers (thanks to many supporters and young men willing to carry them up the mountain on their backs) and then there had to be understanding of how to use those computers (thanks to endless hours of trial and error). Then those patient people in Nangi had to miraculously find teachers from thousands of miles and time zones away who were not asleep when the children were in school. In short, when a very small group of teachers from around the world began to tutor students and teachers in Nangi, it represented endless patience and even more good humor. But the result has been very sweet.  Coordinating English lessons for students in Nangi with teachers from far-off countries is the work of Toya. Below is a brief biography of his work in Nangi and then excerpts from his letters—which give just a barest hint of how wondrously the internet is connecting our world.


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Photo courtesy HEF

SUCCESS!

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Skype screen shot from live English lesson with students in Nangi.

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TOYARAM teaches sports, accounting and economics. He is from Kaphaldanda Village which is a four hour walk from Nangi. He studied Commerce at Prithivi Narayan Multiple Campus in Pokhara which is an affiliated campus of Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. He teaches sports to grades 6 through 8, and accounting and economics to grade 9. Toya, as he is fondly known, shares the lower level living space of the volunteer house with other teachers who live far away. He can often be found shooting hoops with students, telling funny stories and sharing dinner with volunteers.

     When asked what goals he has for his students he responds, “That they become good persons in society, then they help society; that they could become independent.” 

     Letters from Toya as he worked tirelessly for 4 months to actually build and upgrade the internet structure and then set up Skype English classes for his teachers and students:

Letter 1:  Hello, Namaste. I am Toya, one of the teachers of this school. We all are happy to hear that you are planning to teach English to us. I want to know, how many days will you teach in a week? How long will you teach? How long time does it take for a one class? I ask because we have to manage everything according your time.

Letter 2 (several weeks later):  Thank you very much. We tried to contact through Skype but at that time we had some internet problems. We are still trying to make the internet good. Let’s see what will happen in the coming days. Your ideas are also very good. We are happy about your ideas. I think everything will possible, but sometimes we have still internet problems. We will continue to try with our best effort to connect with you. This Tuesday we have public holiday. Everybody will go home. We are sorry for that. I will try to do according to your fruitful ideas.       

Letter 3 (several weeks later): Thank you very much. We are ready to call you according to your time but sometime we have some internet problems otherwise we always want to be close to all of you who are playing appreciable, fruitful and vital roles to improve our English. Thank you for everything.

Letter 4 (several weeks later): Thank you very much for what you have been doing for us. You are looking for best way for our English lessons. I am also trying to find the best ways. The internet is getting stronger! Let’s try again using Skype. My effort is always looking for the best way. We are very excited about the classes.  Thank you.

                                                                                                     —Toya                                                                                                        

[Biography reprinted with permission. To read more, please go to the Himanchal Educational Foundation website.]

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com