Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Our two Visually Impaired Children

Satritra and Sushant who are both doing so well. Sushant also won awards for running and long jump as well as doing well academically. Sabritra is in her first year of college and her marks are around 70. She had no cassette player so I bought one for her from money her sponsor sent. This will make things much easier for her. Above Sandesh who is home from the hospital now and doing well. Bad cut to his head but he will retrun to school in ten days. I took some sticker and word find books to him which were given to me by some trekkers and he really liked them. He is a very smart little boy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lucky Sandesh

Sandesh is one of our new children just sponsored last week. He had not been to school for one year as his mother is too poor to send him. Her husband left her 3 years ago and she has another 3 year child. Sandesh is a bright 10 year old who very much wanted to go to school. Unfortunately two days ago he was hit by a motorcycle after getting off the school bus. The driver took him to hosptial by taxi and we went as soon as we heard about him. We spent a few hours at the hospital while he underwent treatment for a bad head injury. Fortunately he was okay and suffered no internal damage but required many stitches in his head which took an hour to stitch and we sat listening to this child's screams. The mother came by bus to the hospital as she could not afford a taxi. He is still in the hospital but should be discharged today. The ward he is in is horrible, filthy windows with one broken and about ten beds tightly fitted in this room and people of all ages and conditions. One of our Nepali friends has been spending the night at the hospital with him as there is no one to watch them at night or get medicine for them if needed. We are just thankful that he is okay. Life is tough enough for this family without such bad luck.
the heat continues as does all the shortages. I am looking forward to returning home next week to all the luxuries we take for granted.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lady in the Tiny Room

Some of you may remember the story of the lady in the tiny room. I wrote about her a couple of years ago. Today was Mother's Day here in Nepal and her son, Dev Raj, phoned me and invited me to visit. They live in the slums of old Kathmandu and the temperature these days is 40 degrees and today I really needed a day off but I could not disappoint them so took the bus into the city again. I was pleased that I made the effort as she had bananas and prawn chips and a gift for me. She was so happy that I came. I am putting this picture on here so you can see the size of her room, it is no more than three feet wide, very dark and up very steep, dark stairs. It must be so difficult for them to live in these conditions especially as Dev Raj is now 12 and sleeps in this bed with his mother. She earns only about 40 rupees per day selling clothes on the street but bought me this gift and food. Ke Garne as they say here "What to Do" It is her pleasure and way of saying thanks.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Garage Sale coming soon

I want to remind all local sponsors about our garage sale on May 30th. If you have anything to donate we would really appreciate it. Now that we are a registered charity in Nepal we incur administration expenses. As you know I do not take these out of sponsor or donor's monies. So we have to raise these by fundraisers such as garage sales. We have the expense of a small office, salaries, motorbike expenses, internet, auditor etc. We try to keep expenses to a minimum by taking buses whenever possible and not taxis, the salaries are low and our rent for the apartment and office only $70 per month but we do have to operate. We have to keep the charity running for the sake of all the women and children. So any help you can give by way of donated items or help with our sales is very much appreciated.
I have just 11 days left here now and these days are full and busy. I am still seeing families but all registrations are finished now. The weather is so hot, 40 degrees today, so it is very tiring.
Till next time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Children in Hattiban today, to the left little Alina
Tamang, group of three is Alina, sister Bishnu and Sadhana. Above all our children in Hattiban, 12 of them. We registered them all today. These children live in very poor conditions but it is always a pleasure to visit them all here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Women in the literacy program. Yesterday they showed their thanks by each giving me flowers. It was a very memorable occasions. So much thanks for so little. A treasured moment.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Great Moment for NEF

This morning I went to Simpani to see all the women in the Literacy Program. They were all in the classroom with the teacher who gave out their notebooks, pencils etc. Their faces were so happy, excited and full of expectancy. As I watched them all I got a lump in my throat. I wanted to freeze that hour in a time frame, never to be forgotton. For nearly all of them it was the first time they had ever sat in a classroom. One lady said she would not always be able to get there on time as she was a labourer. Mann asked me what to do about that but I said that was no problem, her face was so full of eagerness that it seemed a small matter if she could not get there on time. We now have 22 women enrolled in this program. The teacher is a very nice young lady who made out a register with all their names. I shook all their hands and wished them luck and told them they would all get a certificate if they completed six months. Then they will have the option to continue. This is a great program for women, just giving them this chance to read, write and learn simple math I think is one of the best things we have done here. Their lives are so hard that this is a bright light for them.
Tomorrow all the Simpani families are coming to the school to say goodbye to me. It will be very hard to say goodbye to these wonderful women and their families.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Back in Pokhara

Just arrived back in Pokhara. It takes most of the day to get here by bus. Leaving at 7am from Kathmandu and arriving here at 3pm. Good thing is that I have just had my first shower in three weeks and did it feel good!! We have more work to do here registering our government school children and starting the women's literacy program. Will be here 3 or 4 days.
It has been very hard choosing children to sponsor this trip as there are just so many requests. They are all poor so it is difficult. A mother came to our office yesterday who had 3 children she was unable to register in school. She worked seven days per week at a private boarding school, cooking, cleaning etc. from 7 am to 6 pm for $50 per month. Her husband left her 6 years ago and now she has to pay more than half her salary for a room. It does not leave her much for food let alone school costs. She could not hide her emotion. We visited another little boy who had no father and lived in a very poor room with his mother and little brother and did not go to school. I wonder what it really feels like to be in such a situation.
The weather is extremely warm so walking around Kathmandu in the heat, dust and pollution has been quite a chore and sometimes I wonder why we are sponsoring children so far away from our office but then I get to the home and the children are waiting and I forget the difficulties.
I have been taking Nepali language classes everyday, some days at 6am and finally I am getting better. I can now actually talk to people in proper sentences. I have more language classes here in Pokhara. It has been worth the effort. Mann and Sima talk to me in Nepali at home which really helps.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

School Registrations

We have seen a lot of the children's results and most are very good. We have two who have been first in their class. Registrations take a long time. At the two private schools today I always have to have a visit and food. Every day we are gone all day at school, buying uniforms shoes etc. Hopefully we will be finished by the end of the week at which time I have to return to Pokhara to get the woman's literacy program started.
On this trip my understanding of the woman's situation In Nepal has been greatly increased. I have had a young woman open up her heart to me and she has told me what it really feels like to have no rights. I feel honoured that she has shared such deep feelings with me. On a later blog I will outline a woman's life here in Nepal. I have also seen so many women's tears on this trip. Just two days ago a woman came to me with her sick two month old baby. The baby had not passed urine since theday beforeand she did not look well. The woman had asked the neighbours for money to go to a hospital but no one had any. She told us her husband had another woman and he only came home occasionally and gave her little money. We gave her a 1000 rupees, $16, to take her baby for medical care. She then cried.
So I feel I wanted to help women whenever possible. Another principal here in Kathmandu would like to run a literacy program for women and she is offering me a very low price to do this. So I am going to see her again next week to see if we can do this.
Till next time.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I am in Thamel today which is the tourist area of Kathmandu. It is very busy and the weather is very warm. I came in to register a child in school but when I got there they told me I was too early and to come back later. This is why things take so long here as the school is down in old Kathmandu so now I have to go back again. Anyway lunch here was good, a real brown cheese sandwich. Nepalis do not eat cheese so for me it becomes a real treat. We only eat Dhal Bhat and tarKari at the apartment. that is rice, lentils and vegetables.
the electric situation has improved a bit and now we have it on for about 8 hours per day. When the light comes on we get quite excited. Some of those hours are in the middle of the night which is not much use.
We have been visiting children but have been held up with registrations because of problems with the social Welfare Council wanting more and more information before we could start taking money from the bank account. Mann has worked long hard hours on all the paperwork. So now we will be able to start registering but it will be very full weeks now till I come home. I admire his patience as I think mine would have run out a long time ago but they make me realise that it would be futile to get angry here.
I have matched all new sponsors except for two. I am holding off on those till I go back to Pokhara in a couple of weeks. Most of the new children are little girls. I realize more and more how hard life is for women here. My Nepali women friends here tell me what a woman's life is like and how dominating their husbands are. They have to ask for permission to go anywhere even to visit a friend. So once married they are prisoners to their husbands and families. this is how they explained it to me. they also have no money of their own.
till next time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Literacy women Excited

The school principal called from Pokhara today and he said the women cannot wait to start school and keep asking when they are going to start. They do not want to wait. They are due to start in two weeks when school resumes. That made me smile. Their enthusiam makes this project so worthwhile.
We visited a lot of children yesterday including Pradip who was the boy we nearly lost 3 years ago to the street and drugs. He is now starting class 9 and seems to be very happy. He says he plans to go to college when he finishes school. I am very proud of him. His brother who we did sponsor a few years ago dropped out of school and tried menial jobs and left home. Now he has come back and is in school again. We have not sponsored him since. But he looked eagar but do not feel I can really take a chance on him again. Teenage boys seem to be a challenge. I guess that is the same every where and would be worse in a country like this.
We now have sponsors in Qatar in the middle east. Have to catch the bus home now so till next time.