Boston, 2012

– Abhinav  Karki, 7th Dec 2012.

“I am Marissa, four years old, and when I grow up I want to be a firefighter and a mommy.  Well, maybe I want to be more mommy than a fire fighter…”


As part of our quest to convey Fly beyond Dreams (FbD) message wherever possible, I carved out an afternoon to spend in a classroom filled with american children in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. I was greeted with many cute faces sitting on the floor waiting for my presentation today about airplanes.  Seeing all their tiny little eyes in the classroom anxiously fixed on me was making me a little nervous though.  It was time to begin, and nothing is more calming to me than a quick interaction, so I decided to begin with a question and asked, “Good morning, kids.  I would like to get to know you.  Please tell me your name, age and what your dreams are.  What do you want to become when you grow up?”.

As soon as this question was asked, a dozen tiny hands shot up in the classroom.  Standing out from all cute faces eager to answer was one little girl in particular who seemed more impatient than others in the room.  Seeing this I immediately said “Ok, little lady, you go first”. She stood up, gave a confident smile to the class, and declared with her baby voice, “I am Marissa and I want to be a firefighter and a mommy.  Well, maybe I want to be more mommy than a fire fighter”.  Hearing this from a four year old girl was definitely a cultural surprise for this stranger from Nepal. One, I was surprised with her mommy answer, and two, I could not believe how confident kids were here in the US.

From the beginning, Fly beyond Dreams’ philosophy has been that from the forests of Colombia to the mountains of Nepal, dreams and aspirations are universal and an inherent part of being human.  However, as our project has continued to evolve and we have been active in different parts of the world, we are learning and acknowledging cultural differences.  Just to give an example, during our project in Nepal we asked the same question  to the students: “What do you want to become?”.  Scarcely a hand was raised, the children were generally shy to speak, and they had to be encouraged a lot to answer simple questions.  This was definitely not a problem in Boston. Differences exist in the approach kids have towards learning, and differences exist in their behavior inside the classroom depending on their cultural environment.  Although having individual dreams and aspirations is a universal human trait, learning styles and behavior of students is definitely different across the globe and thus FbD approach also has to be different.

Adapting to the kids’ age group, style of learning and the energy level in the classroom, I chose an interactive and activity-based lesson of 45 minutes in length.  Below is a very short description of how the class was structured:


Having learned the children’s names and aspirations, I started  my introduction with a world map.  I had heard from some of my American friends that general knowledge of geography is very limited in American high schools and thought that teaching about the world map would indeed be helpful.  I thus tried to explain the country and continent I am from (Nepal, Asia), where I now live (Spain, Europe), and where Boston is with respect to the rest of the world (US, North America).

To transit to a more interactive activity, I asked the children to tell me anything they might already know about airplanes and how they fly.


For this part, I explained these topics to the children:

  • What is an airplane?
  • For what is an airplane used?


  • Each child will make a paper airplane and learn about its different parts.
  • As a group, watch the Fly beyond Dreams video shot in Nepal.


Just some 100 years ago, general opinion was held that flight was impossible until the Wright brothers made it happen in 1903.  Today, a man from Nepal can fly to Boston and teach a classroom full of children about airplanes. What is impossible today will be possible tomorrow.

There are and will always be difficulties and differences that demand time and effort.  Maybe not all of your dreams will come true, but that should not stop you from dreaming, and more so, flying beyond your dreams.  As long as Marissa dreams-dreams to do good, dreams to make this world a better place, be it by becoming a life saving firefighter or a good  mommy at home-we should trust nobody that tells us it’s impossible.  We need to try to fly beyond our dreams and work to make them realities.

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