Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sushant starts School

We took Sushant to the eye hospital today and the news is not good. He is legally blind with virtually no vision at all. The doctor was willing to try a cornea transplant but said the rejection in children is very high and the family would have to be very vigilant of medication etc. His mother was unsure. After we took her for tea and explained it all to her she has decided to try it so we have to go back tomorrow and tell the doctor to put Sushant on the waiting list and he will get priority. She siad to definitely put him in the visually impaired school so we went there and showed him and his mother. Kamal and I were there the other day and thought that it would really help him. One girl I spoke to said she had been at the school for ten years and when I asked her if she liked it she said, "If I had not come her I would be blind and now I am only blind in my eyes". She spoke good English and was well educated. They wanted him to start right away and so tomorrow we will buy him his supplies and he will start then. It will cost about $50 per month for him to live and be educated there. Once he knows braille he will be integrated into a regular class with seeing children. He will also be able to take his class 5 exam next month which his regular school was not going to allow him to do. He looked really worried and uncomfortable but when we said goodbye at the bus park he was smiling. The school is run by women and although poor had a very good feeling about it. Although I felt so sad for him I also felt that now he will have a life otherwise he would be in the village and have nothing. He loves to go to school. So it was a bitter sweet day. Even with the transplant he will be visually impaired and it will probably only last from 6 months to 5 years the doctor said.
Photos later.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Today we went to visit the village of Hattiban where we have about ten children sponsored. It is a pretty village but very poor. It turned out to be a sad day as one of our children here, Sushant age 11, has gone blind. He did have some probem with his eyes and wore classes but now he can hardly see at all. He could not see my face even though he was standing in front of me. His eye just looked to either side. He wants so much to go to school but cannot now. His mother has taken him to the eye hospital but they say he needs a transplant and how possible is this here I wonder. Tomorrow we have an appointment at a blind school for children to see if they have space for him as his mother says he wishes to go to a school like that. Last year when I saw him at the school he was so happy and very pleased to be sponsored and now he is so very sad.

We visited the school where we gave supplies last year. They very much need some proper tables for the two youngest classes as the kids are just cramped together on some little benches. We are getting a cost on that and I think I will use some donation money for this as the school is so very poor and I think our money is well spent here.

This keyboard keeps sticking so it is difficult. We also visited one of our children's home, Sanu Maya and bought some groceries from her sponsor. They live and work in a brick yard. Working 12 hours a day to make a 1000 bricks per day and earning $1.50 each.
Photos Mrs. Lama with a pair of Ceevacs donated running shoes. She lives and works at the stone quarrey, Hattiban school and Sanu Lama and part of her family.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Busy Days

I am just rushing to get this out to you beofre the electric goes out. It is very difficult to do this as the electric is out so much so please bear with me.

I have been matching children and visiting children every day. They love the gifts, letters etc. I really enjoy seeing how they are progressing. An American named Bill sent me a lot of lovely clothes which I have been handing out and all those lovely school shoes have been going quickly.

Attaching some photos of our new matches.

Life is certainly hard here, I do not know how people manage with so many shortages. I visited a school this week and they need some windows as there are just bars on the windows and it must be so cold in the winter. We are pricing putting some plastic windows in the two youngest classes.

We have a little boy who has gone deaf in one ear due to an untreated ear infection so we have sent his mother with him to the hospital to see if maybe there is something they can do for him.

We finally got some water at the orphanage which is great. The tanker came late at night.
Saw the dog today that I took to the vet hospital and he is surviving well without the medication as I could not find him till today. They are like the kids and great immunity and survival skills.

This is very rushed but will try to time it better next time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A student named Pradip

Today we visited a family who were one of the first families that I sponsored over three years ago. There are three children Parmila, Pradip and Prabhu. Parmila is 11yrs old and in private school and the other two Pradip 16 and Prabhu 8 attend government school. We have just lost Prabhu’s sponsor and I have replaced him with a private school sponsor so he can attend school with his sister. The family is very poor and the father a drunk who does not treat the family well. The real success in this family is Pradip. Two years ago I found out that he had not been attending school for 8 months, he was not sponsored at that time, only the younger two were. I had always liked him and when we visited at that time he was in a sad state. He had not been living at home for the 8 months and was hanging around on the streets and had needle marks on his arm. I had a new sponsor for him but did not know what to do. I emailed the sponsor and he said he wanted to take a chance on him. Two months later when I retured to visit he was seriously ill with gall bladder disease. His sponsor and NEF funded his surgery and when I visited him in hospital he showed a lot of gratitude and within a few weeks he was attending school. Over the last two years it has been touch and go and we thought a few times that he was going to quit school but the sponsor insisted he wanted to keep supporting him. What a good decision that was. When I visited today I was so surprised when I saw him. He was hardly recognizable. A well groomed young man stood before me, smiling and happy to see me. His sponsor had sent some money for me to treat him so I took him shopping. He went straight to the tailors for a new school uniform which I bought but I told him this was treat money not to pay for a uniform. He then picked out some teenage type clothes and a football and an autograph book and I was honoured to be the first to sign it.
I am so happy with Pradip and thankful to his sponsor. I feel a flush of success. If we had not been there for Pradip he would probably be on the streets and a drug addict. We gave him the hope he needed and even if he does not finish school we have changed his life for the better and saved him from the streets. A photo later when it is possible.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lots of Families visited

Yesterday we visited 6 families, two at the stone quarrey, the tea shop, a new family and two others. At one of the homes I had to tell a 15 year old boy that I had lost his sponsor, this is the second time for him in two years. I saw his face drop. He had been so pleased in october when I brought him a letter from his sponsor and now disappointment. I matched him again with someone I really believe will good, I hope. This is really difficult as I felt for him. He works hard and stands first in his class. There were two others yesterday who are now on their second sponsors. I wish I knew of a way to avoid this. Forthose of you who remember when we lost the little boyDawa with a brain abscess well his older brother is having some difficulties, the family has had a lot of heartache this last year with other deaths and the loss of another child to adoption. When I gave him the gift and photo of his sponsor he was so moved. He stared and stared at her picture and when I asked him to open the gift he became very emotional. This must have meant so much to him at a difficult time. Your letters do mean so much to these kids Iwish you could see their faces when they open them. And theysave them.

On the bright side I had a monetary gift for a very poor family from their sponsors to buy food etc. Wow what joy that brought. the mother was quite beside herself and I found it very moving. It was like she could not believe this was happening to her. At the end of grocery shopping I took her and bought her a new sari and her face just did not stop smiling. I made the man pull them all out and made her choose. She was reluctant saying she wanted me to pick. We finally got the job done with her choice.

This morning was taken up with a dog that was stabbed in the leg. I tried towalk past but could not being a dog lover and to cut a long story short I got a rickshaw and the street man who had the dog and we loaded it in and went to a vet hospital and got it sutured. the dog was bleeding badly and it was a long way to go but it ended okay I hope I will check tomorrow. The caring ofthe street man and driver was overwhelming. It must have been quite a sight the three of us in the rickshaw and bleeding dog. A lovely dog too. I shed some tears over it to think someone had stabbed it in the garbage pile. Such is life in Kathmandu.
Photos are Ranjita and Dinish with their letters.

Until next time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Life in Nepal harder than ever

I am now at the orphanage, settled in and finally am able to unpack all the bags. Yesterday we sqeezed three 70 pound bags in a tiny taxi and followed Jagat and Kamal on the motorbike. The driver told me he works one day and then the next lines up for six hours to get his ration of 10 to 12 litres of petrol. The line ups all along the road were huge for petrol and diesel. So buses are in short supply also with no fuel. There is also no cooking gas, very little kerosene, no water and electric is off 8 hours a day. Life is very hard for the people here. I was just at a gas shop where we sponsor some children and they do not know what they are going to do as there is no work for them. No gas was there not even the cylinders. Food prices have skyrocketed and fuel also. A bag of rice has gone from 600 rupees last year to 880. The people are forever patient and smiling. I wonder how we would react to such hardship in the West. Here at the orphanage there is no water and clothes have to be washed at the river. I just put on some clean clothes as I was still wearing the ones I left home in!! Have to learn to conserve in all areas. Showering will become a distant memory.
I gave out some Barbie dolls this morning at the gas shop and how their faces lit up, it was pure joy. Some people at home did not think Barbies were a good idea well I can tell you they are a bright light in time of hardship. Jagat's litttle boy was playing with one last night that I had given his sister last year. The boys sure like them too. So thanks to all of you who donated them. I just wish you could see the joy they bring and the look of their little faces. I love it.
Till next time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Arrived in Nepal

This is my second day in Kathmandu. Yesterday was a jeg lag day so did nothing but talk with Jagat and Kamal. My journey was good with an enjoyable day in Hong Kong on route.
Today we started working visiting two families. It was successful also as we managed to get one girl back into school after she had quit 3 months ago. Uma will now start back in school in a couple of days as soon as her school uniform is ready. She had lived at the orphanage but is now back in her home and was wanting to return to school. Hopefully we are successful and she continues. My time is limited on this computer. Power is out 8 hours a day now. I hope to be able to download some photos. No luck with the photo will try again later.
Okay it is now a few hours later and I was able to add this photos. Everything is a challenge in Nepal even sending photos.
Photo on left is Santosh. This is the third year we have sent Santosh to school and he has done very well and skipped a grade this year. He is now in class 4. I was surprised today at how grown up he looked and was so well groomed. When I met him 3 years ago he looked very different.
Photo on right is Jagat with Sunita, Sunil and Ganesh, Santosh's brothers and sister. It was early morning and they were having their morning meal before getting ready for school. They are all doing well and walked with them to school, Sunil holding one hand and Sunita the other.
All around a good first day.