Students painted sponsors names on each balloon.

Pictured above is a mural to thank those who helped TIEs with Teachers raise $3,500 on to repair the earthquake damage at our partner school in Nepal, Bhassara Secondary School. The mural was designed by a Nepali monk and painted on one of the repaired walls at the school by the 7th graders.

I love the symbolism in this mural, but at first, I didn’t appreciate it.

earthquake damage

I had initially suggested that the sky be a bright blue – something pretty and pleasant for our donors to look at in pictures – rather than the dark grays and browns that you now see. But I was missing the point. April 25th, 2015, was a dark day in Nepal, which is represented in the mural by the sky’s colors. I think it’s difficult for many of us who heard about the events on the news to truly understand the horrors that took place there. Walking through some of the Kathmandu Valley streets during TIEs’ recent visit, I’d swear we were in a war-torn country.



IMG_1826But the mural symbolizes more than just the darkness of that day. The temple that you see painted in the foreground is Swayambhunath, a cultural heritage site that wasn’t destroyed by the earthquake. The mural depicts this temple shining bright and adorned in beautifully-colored prayer flags, representing the beauty and resilience of Nepal in the face of that dark day.


field tripI experienced this beauty and resilience firsthand during TIEs’ recent visit to Bhassara School. Everywhere I looked, the students were highly engaged in learning and extra-curricular activities. I can’t imagine a safer, more positive environment for students to return to in the aftermath of such a disaster. In a town where many displaced families are living in tents, and makeshifts beams have been set up to keep the buildings for keeling over, this school shines as a safe-haven for students and a beacon of the country’s strength.



IMG_1968In addition, each balloon in this mural features the name of donors to the fundraiser. The bright colors of these balloons represent that each of these donors is a glimmer of positivity and kindness after the darkness of that day.


TIEs and the Bhassara community would like to thank everyone who donated to our recent earthquake fundraiser. I’d like to end this post with a popular slogan I saw on many Nepalis wearing on t-shirts:

“We will rise again”.

If Bhassara School is any indication, I most certainly believe this is true.


TIEs with Teachers is a project to bring American and Nepali educators to exchange teaching methods. Read about our plans for our 2016 exchange program.


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