Like a Roman candle lighting up the night sky, the Diwali festival of lights overshadowed everything here this week. Coming and going in a flash we were surrounded with some amazing love and blessings by some beautiful supporters from around the globe.

The Shipway boys playing with sparklers.

Kamal lighting a sky lantern.

Up, up and away!

In addition to well wishers from our local community who brought sweets, snacks and treats for our children, we also received gifts from those who were a little further away: Anirban, a student from Mumbai, gave chocolates for everyone. Ekta from Delhi paid for us to have a very special meal. Rishika took advantage of and ordered 19 different parcels of pencils, school bags, stationary kits and more. To top it all off VIP Bags has offered to provide us with 50 new school bags for our children! We feel very blessed and loved!

Enjoying chocolates from Anirban, a student in Mumbai.

A special Diwali dinner courtesy of Ekta.

Rice, vegetable curry, roti, lentils, salad, Sprite and sweets!!!

Shane definitely loved his sweets.

The Small Girls were the first to finish.

Best friends enjoying their meal together.

The nursery kids’ table.

The special Diwali meal was cooked by Anoke Lal, the caretaker of our Tanakpur property. Anoke has been working for the mission for the last 30 years but does not get much of a chance to interact with us. At the end of the night he came to the office to specifically ask if he could come and cook more often as he had enjoyed the children and staff’s company so much. This sounded like a great idea to us, as his food was fantastic!

Anoke Lal preparing the evenings meal.

Fried beans ready to be added to the curry mix.

The Festival of Lights is most famous for its fireworks…many of the stores in our local market put aside their usual wares to stock their shelves with rockets, sparklers, fountains, poppers, snakes and every kind of explosive novelty. Our older boys took advantage of this opportunity and stocked up themselves on smoke bombs and crackers. For the rest of the week sudden BANGS shook the mission as the boys sought to scare unsuspecting targets.

Fireworks out in the market.

Gordon setting off a firecracker outside the Small Girls Hostel.

That’s a heck of a BANG!