I had the great fortune of being in Tokyo when Jenuka and Krishna, two of the lovely girls from Ama Ghar, were in town for a dance performance. As a journalist on assignment, most of my days in Japan are spent hustling from interview to interview late into the night — it was such a treat to take a few hours off on a Saturday to see these girls that I had grown to love and respect tremendously during my stay at Ama Ghar earlier this year.
The girls were on a strict rehearsal schedule when I got to the performance hall in the outskirts of Tokyo. I spotted Jenuka first, sitting in the audience in a pretty red Nepali dress and a fancy hairpiece. She flashed me a huge smile and I hugged her back gently — didn’t want to screw up her flawless makeup. The interpreter asked her if she knew me, and she said, “Yes. Lisa.” The interpreter, a lovely Nepali man who had come with them from Kathmandu, summoned Krishna from backstage and snuck the two girls out of the hall for an extended bathroom break.
We got to chat a bit — I introduced them to my parents, asked them about their trip to Tokyo, and took a little video of them saying hi to Bonnie:
Krishna was the headliner for the event. She’s wearing a blue dress, which she told me represents a different ethnic group. She was excited about moving to the new house upon her return to Nepal, and thought my dad looked like a Nepali.
Spending time with kids, especially the amazing children of Ama Ghar, is such a profound healing experience. Just those 15 minutes with them outside the performance hall filled me with a sense of peace and nostalgia for Nepal that stuck with me for the rest of my stay in Tokyo.