Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Furniture

The Hattiban school new furniture. Middle photo before and photo on right with the new tables and benches. The cupboard they put there for me to take the photo as they were going to attach both of them to the wall so the children would not pull them over.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Two days ago we went to Hattiban and visited the children and the school. Hattiban is always delightful to visit although it took two and a half hours to get there. First got on the wrong bus and then were held up by a truck that had flipped over on the road. I knew we had to get there as Rajindra had taken the day off work to meet us there and the school had arranged for the new school furniture to be delivered while we were there. I was very pleased with the new tables, benches and cupboards. They were all wood and very well made. The staff and children were all very happy with them and it certainly improved the two classes where they were put, nursery and kindergarten. Bob has offered to pay for the same two classes to be painted and for a rug for the children to have their nap on. This school is so very poor and no foreigners ever visit this village as it is not on a trekking route. I feel our donation here was very worthwhile. Hopefully in the future we can do more. I wanted to put photos up of this but today it does not seem possible again. Maybe tomorrow.
The heat is extreme here and it is exhausting. Today we visited Krishna with his new vegetable trolley. He had just picked it up and so I took photos but with no vegetables. he is going to start using it tomorrow after he has painted it.
Other news is that we have started another tea shop for a lady named Durga. She is a widow with two children. She has an American sponsor who helped her financially with this. We found an exisiting shop for her to buy and she has been busy painting and improving it and although she has only had it for just over a week is doing quite well. I am going to see it again on Monday.
Before this she sanded furniture six days a week so this is a good change for her.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back in Kathmandu

Arrived back here yesterday and it seems even hotter, more humid I think. I was working this morning getting school uniforms etc. Tomorrow we go to Hattiban to register children there and to see the new tables, chairs and cupboards that we had made for the school. I will also visit all children here.
We are in the last week here and would like to add at this point that donation money has been put to good use in the following ways: As mentioned above the furniture for the Hattiban school, repaired 20 desks and bought books for the Chimkhola village school, bought a sewing machine for Sanu Lama for her sewing course, paid for Sushant to go to the blind school and paid for all his supplies like his bed roll etc. paid for extra tutoring for children needing extra help, put money toward the vegetable trolley for Krishna to help him in his business and bought material for the sewing course at the SBCH orphanage. I think that these causes were all very worth while. I will have photos of the school furniture very shortly.
I still have work to do so the last days will be busy. There is always so many last minute things.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Goodbye to Pokhara

Tomorrow we head back on the bus to Kathmandu. It has been a memorable time here but very hot with all days at 40 to 41 c. The picinic was enjoyed by everyone and I think strenghened our ties even more. I will never forget how hard everyone worked to make it a success. That electrical cable they ran for half a mile just so we could have some music.

I have said my goodbyes there now which is always sad. I have set up a committee of the parents with Mr. Jalari has chairman. He is really happy with his new position. I left him some money to pay for tea and biscuits for the meetings and to pay for phone calls to Mann if he needs anything. I think it is good for them to monitor themselves like this.

Hopefully I have emailed all new sponsors if I have missed anyone please email me. I do not have any contact information for Blaise and Maggie and Alan. Hopefully you are reading this and will contact me or if anyone knows these people please let them know I am trying to get in contact with them.

This photo was taken yesterday morning of all the Simpani children. We forgot to take it at the picnic.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


The picnic yesterday was a huge success, we all had a great day. There were about 50 in all, more than we had calculated but that usually happens. Nani and Mohan, two Nepali friends, did all the shopping and arranging for pots and music etc. We did some shopping with them but they did much running around on their own. We rented the school bus and driver for $40 for the day and driver also worked all day helping with the cooking. It is amazing to see how everyone pitches in with the work. The women cut and prepared all the vegetables while the men tended the fires and stirred the huge pots of food. It took about 4 hours to prepare the food. In the meantime we played games with the children and drank tea and had cookies. The guys had insisted on music and the electric cable had to be run from a nearby village but everyone really enjoyed the dancing. It was very hot but it did not seem to deter anyone from playing and dancing. The pots were all washed in the river before being returned. We all piled onto the bus about 3:30 and got home about 4pm. It certainly was a very memorable event.
This morning I was back down there again to give out clothes and taken photos and then say our goodbyes.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Well we are back in Pokhara. It is extremely hot here and does not cool down even at night. Today we arranged for the food for the picnic. They are going to cook the food there so we needed to get wood and pots etc. I also matched three new children today in Simpani. I love working in this area and it is very compact with all the families living close together unlike the situation we have in Kathmandu. We have about 40 coming to the picnic and we have hired the school bus. Tomorrow we will buy all the food. Fortunately I have two Nepali guys doing everything for me.
The Moaists have a majority so far in the poll results. It will still mean a coalition government and how this will all pan out is anyones guess.
I will let you know how the picnic goes and will put some photos up of it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy New Year from Nepal

It is New Year's Day in here in Nepal. They have a two day holiday to celebrate it. So with the election last Thursday it will have been a six day shut down. I have not been able to do too much except go around visiting with the clothes that Bob brought with him.
It looks like the Moaists will be the winners in the election and what that will mean to the future of this country is anyone's guess. After a 10 year insurgency the people wanted change but I think that the majority of the population do not understand what comunism can bring.
Tomorrow we are going to visit the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre again as Chemainus Animal Hospital sent supplies with Bob to donate to them. I am looking forward to showing Bob this great project.
So not much news because of the holiday. On Wednesday we are going to Pokhara where on Saturday we will have a picnic for all the children there.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Another Sick child

Some of you will remember Dev Raj and his mother from last year, she is the lady who lives in the tiny room. The room is only a few inches wider than a single bed and about 12 feet long . Dev Raj has been in the hospital. We were given this message and the hospital name so Kamal and I went to visit. We had no idea what room and there is no system to find out so we wandered from room to room looking for him. We were just about to give up when he came running after us. He has had pneumonia and still has lower lung consolidation. He was discharged about 3 days ago so I then visited him at home. They live in the slums of old Kathmandu and I know the place well but to attempt the stairs in the pitch black is quite a challenge. I made it up the three flights and was about to leave when the mother came up the stairs. Dev Raj was locked inside sleeping. He is getting better slowly. He has done well in school this year and his mother made tea while we talked. They were robbed a couple of months ago, losing a little cash and some belongings. Hard to imagine really as I looked around I wondered who would want to steal anything here and from this poor little woman. Now she is scared. Dev Raj is learning English and made a good attempt with me. The tiny room looked smaller than ever. I always find that memory enlarges things. It is hard to get by each other in there and requires some juggling. I wanted to buy some fruit for them so we walked to a vendor. He chose grapes and I bought a kilo and noticed that the mother asked for them in two bags. I did not think much about it and then I paid and she smiling handed me one of the bags. I took it as I knew that was her pleasure. I walked away thinking what a positive gesture that had been. They are so poor but still they wanted to share with me the fruit I was buying for them. Often I am so moved by these people, by their simple gestures and by their natural generosity. I do not mean material things but the little things they do, their hugs and smiles, their endless cups of tea and very much by their patience. Sometimes they wait for me for hours and always greet me with a smile. They never say, “Oh we did not think you were coming” or other such comments like we would .Sometimes I get quite emotional and it is hard to explain the feeling that wells up inside me. The poverty I am well used to but the people never cease to amaze me.
Today I met a friend who runs a charity here for women in distress and she told me anytime I have a woman who is destitute to refer them and they will take her and train her in a trade. I was interested in this and I am going to visit their centre as soon as this election holiday and New Year is over.
My husband, Bob comes tomorrow evening. There is a complete curfew on all traffic from 12 midnight today until 12 midnight tomorrow so I am hoping that a government bus will be available. Apparently the election results will not be known for 10 days to 2 weeks. That is a good thing as it buys me sometime in case the outcome is not popular.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Election time in Nepal

Thursday the 10th is election day here. It is the first democratic election here in Nepal although by our standards it is not truly democratic. The Maoist leader has said he will not accept the results if his party does not win. There have been candidates killed and beaten up, there is much intimidation and rallies are crashed by opposing parties. There is now a five day holiday leading up to the election and on election day no traffic will be allowed on the roads. There is a large police presence on the streets now. Who knows what will happen. I am sure there will be violence but it all depends on the results. If the Maoists do poorly they have threatened even more strikes and upheaval than before. Only time will tell. After the election it is New Year here so actually government offices and schools are now closed for 10 days. This is just the time I need to be working the most with registrations etc but I can do nothing now other than family visits.
Government presence has been lacking badly, it is like there is no goverment at all. With so many problems especially the rising prices and shortages of rice and other food there should be some action but nothing. All commodities are still in very short supply. Hopefully the election will be successful in that it will be peaceful and the country can get back to business.
I have now left the orphanage as the donor's employee has arrived so I am at the Kathmandu Guest House. I really miss everyone as it is my second home. I also miss my 6am yoga class which I enjoyed every morning. Saying goodbye is always hard. I now can spend a few days catching up with computer work.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Day to Visit all the Children

Yesterday the four of us, Kamal, Jagat, Mann and I, hired a taxi for the whole day and visited every child in Kathmandu. It took 11 hours. A few we missed as everyone knew the location of those families but in all we must have visited 98 per cent. We updated all information at the same time. We only accepted tea at two places and stopped 45 minutes for lunch. It was a great day, and we laughed a lot. Everyone got on so well together that I felt at the end of the day that I was so lucky to have such a great team working for me here. In the afternoon the skies went black and there was a big storm so we got wet running up alleys and stairs and we wrote in the dark or by a single candlelight. I left my glasses under someone’s bed, don’t ask me how they got there, so had to back track over that. All the children that had received their exam marks had done well and when we reassessed all of them we were satisfied that all deserved to be sponsored and we added a couple of new ones as well. Rajindra , who also works with us, we did not include as he runs the Hattiban area and does not work for us in Kathmandu. During the whole day no one complained about being hungry or tired or needing a break. The taxi driver was amazing and only wanted 2000 rupees ($32.00). I paid him 3000 instead and he deserved every rupee. Also every family had waited in for many hours for us as we could not give them an exact time.
When we got home we had electric so spent the evening dancing with the children. It was a great end to a wonderful day.
Photo Kamal, Mann & Jagat having a break for refreshment.