Monday, March 29, 2010


Sorry these photos never align up properly. Anyway photos of women's new sewing shop with Khimaya and Daumaya and the teacher. Giving out shoes and bags to the children. Giving out books to women's literacy and a photo of one of our new literacy ladies at the quarrey. These ladies work extremly hard breaking rocks all day. Children getting hats and dolls. Rita getting teeth cleaning instruction.

New Literacy Program

Yesterday our new Literacy Program started with 25 women. This is special for me because when I first visited Nepal in 2001 I was shocked to see women breaking rocks into stones by hand for a living. Now we have a school room for women in a stone quarrey. It was a great feeling to hand them their first school books. Now they have an opportunity to better themselves at least by becoming literate. It is a small room that we rented but it will be sufficient. A lot of the women have babies that they will bring with them. Unfortunately we can only take 25 although there were more women who wanted to join. This program was made possible by a donation from a sponsor's mother's estate and we truly thank them for this.
Our sewing shop also opened yesterday and they are already making school uniforms. It was a rushed day to get everything done before leaving but Mann will return in three weeks to check on everything and Prem will be monitoring daily. Hopefully some photos here tomorrow, electric about to go out today.
I said goodbye to all our literacy ladies and all the children. We also gave out shoes, bags, clothes and gifts. It is always sad to say goodbye but all the children and women are progressing so well and that is so good to see.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

One more day left in Pokhara

This morning I took Sunita, Rita and Rheka, Sunita and Rheka both sponsored children, on the lake for a boat ride. This was enjoyed by all and after for soft drinks. Sunita is now more relaxed and not staring a everything quite so much. Sh seems very happy. Yesterday I took her and Rita to the dentist. Dag, a rotarian was paying to get 7 of Rita's teeth fixed and she needed two root canals done. Sunita needed two extractions of milk teeth that had never come out and some filling. She had one tooth extracted yesterday, the dentist asked me to pick which one. The dental surgery was like out of the 1920's and there is no freezing done. Sunita's was so good. So many new things and a dentist visit as well all in not much more than 48 hours. Mann said to leave it for one year till she was used to everything. People here just do not understand about dental health.
Sewing shop opened today and tomorrow they are going to start making school uniforms. I did hand out clothes, gifts, school bags to children yesterday. All the NEF children were brought to the school which made it easier. Tomorrow we are getting shoes etc. Also tomorrow new women's literacy program is starting.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A lot of you will remember this child, her name is Sunita and I put her photo up here a couple years ago. She is on the website and on our brochures. She is a mountain child who I visited two years ago. She lived high in the mountains north of Chimkhola. I wanted to help her when I first met her but was unable to at that time. On this trip to Chimkhola we made the day trek further north to see her and her family again. This time we asked her parents if they would allow her to come to Pokhara to live with Mann's parents and attend private school. The parents were very happy they said to have one child educated. Sunita wanted to come with us that very day but she was in the middle of finishing her school year in the village school. Last night she arrived here and I visited her today. She had had an 11 hour walk down and then a three hour bus ride on a very bumpy road and had experienced travel sickness as she had never been on a bus before. She looked happy today although it is a huge change for her. She had never seen a television before and was quite enthralled with it. Rita from the village brought her and she told us that Sunita had said to her parents when she left "I am going to study in Pokhara so please do not bother me". She is 12 years old. Tonight we had dinner with Carol and Keith and a friend of thiers and he immediately wanted to sponsor her and is going to meet her in the morning.
Somehow I feel that Sunita will be successful, she seems a tough little girl especially as she has never left her home before. If we had left her there she would have been married off in two or three years and an old woman by age 40.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Photos here of Carol and keith sorting all the clothes at our office, Carol and Keith with one of their sponsored girls, Nirmala, top left newly sponsored Anjali and her mother outside their home, Prem our newest member and stone quarrey families with clothes we handed out.
Six new children matched today, all very poor.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back In Pokhara

Arrived back here yesterday. We brought four bags of clothes to give out and three boxes of books which are a donation to a remote village school.
We left Jagat in charge of Bagawati who is in the hospital with the foot problem. Last night he said she was doing well but it is too early to tell if she will lose her foot or not.
I met Carol and her husband Keith here and we all had dinner together last night. These are the donors from Qatar. Today we are taking them to see their sponsored children in Simpani and to show them the science lab that was donated by their Rugby friends last October. They also have a donation for a new project possibly a school library. Mann and I are also going to buy sewing machines this morning.
We have a new staff member here in Pokhara. His name is Prem and I have known him for a year. He is my language teacher and also a school teacher. He is very happy to help us here and to be a member of the NEF family. I am delighted to have him join us. I will put his photo up here shortly.
Must go and have some breakfast.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Donor from Qatar arrives

Yesterday I met Carol and husband Keith from Doha in Qatar. They and their friends sponsor several children and their Wooden Spooner Rugby Club provided the Science equipment to the Simpani school. It was such a pleasure to meet them. They brought with them 180 kgs of clothing, quite amazing. They came to our office and we took them to see the children they sponsor near hear. One is Pinky and they use her name for their fund, "The Pinky Fund". They were so happy to meet her in person. We also visited another very poor family and Santi who they sponsor also. Santi and her mother and father are terribly poor and live in a tin shack, her father does blacksmith work and her mother, who is blind, pumps the bellows. They live in absolute poverty making about $1 per day.
Sima had told me that the Santi's mother had a bad foot. When I looked at it I was horrified. There was a gaping hole in her foot, raw flesh with flies crawling in it. It was severly infected but because they have no money they could not go to a hospital. Mann and I took her to a private hospital where I felt she could get the best care. We stood in the emergency room for three hours and finally saw a sugeon who told me that the bone was also infected and that amputation may be required. I went with her to the treatment room where I held her while they cleaned and cut away the dead flesh. The poor woman was in agony and all I could do was hold her close and try to comfort her. When the doctor was finished he asked me look at what he had done and it did look a lot better. Today she has had surgery to cut away more and hopefully save the foot. This morning the doctor told me that if it does not start to heal in a few days then they will have to take off her foot. This poor blind woman has not a friend in the world, her husband last night when Mann went to get him was drunk. When we told him this morning the prognosis he cried. All so hopeless. They have the little girl Santi who is five.
Sometimes like last night I find the poverty overwhelming, there is never any end to it. How lucky we are. Stand in an emergency room here for three hours and you will never again complain about our medical system. We are the luckiest people in the world. Each stage of treatment has to be paid for and I watched as accident victims are asked for money. Otherwise treatment does not continue. Our bill for Santi's mother will be large but I could not let that even enter my mind as I just wanted this desperately poor woman to have the best treatment I could get for her.
Well enough for today. Tomorrow we head to Pokhara again to take many clothes and books and to to show Carol her projects at the schools there.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Literacy program offers much more

Talking with my literacy ladies I was happy to find out that they are getting much more than education from their classes. They told me that they have all made many new friends and really enjoy the social networking they get from their school friends. They said that they were isolated before but now they all have each other. This probably keeps a lot of them coming to class also which is so good. When I thought about it a woman's day here is totally consumed by work, looking after her family, cooking and working and the type of work they do leaves no time for conversation.
Our new literacy program starts next week in a place called Hamza. We are just waiting on desks to be made. We rented a room located in a stone quarrey by a river. This is a very poor area. All the women work in the quarrey and they are all young, one only 19 but with no education. They approached us for this program so it should be successful. They will go to class at 6 pm after their work day and after they have cooked the food.
Tomorrow we go back to Kathmandu for three days to visit a donor from Qatar and then we will come back here on Monday. We will have a very busy week here then matching children, getting the sewing program up and running and the new literacy program.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Mish mash of photos here. This one on the left is near Chimkhola on our way down. At the top Kirsten and Rita. Rita's teeth are in bad condition and Dag and Kirsten are paying to have her teeth fixed. 7 bad teeth to be fixed including 2 root canals and she is only 18. Dancers at the Chimkhola school ceremony. Other photos of the ceremony. Joe with some villagers. The trail to Chimkhola. A newly sponsored child in Simpani. The new sewing shop being measured for shelves. Our first two sewing ladies, Daumayer and Khimayer showing their happiness with the new shop. Hopefully to be up and running in one week.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pokhara and Simpani

Sorry that I have not had time to add more photos here but hopefully tomorrow as it now 10 pm. There is so much happening that there is so much to tell. The village experience was a great one for everyone and now the Rotary have gone their separate ways some to India and Dag and Kyrsten left for home today. Tonight there was just Joe and me left and Joe leaves tomorrow to go trekking. I have enjoyed sharing with them the memorable experience of Chimkhola and they have all said how special it was for them.
We are starting our sewing project in Simpani. We have rented a 9 x 10 store space and the carpenter is already working on shelving, table and chairs. Tomorrow Mann and I are going to buy more sewing machines. Daumaya and Khimaya, the two ladies who we have already trained are just so happy and because they are in the literacy program and can say in English "we are so happy, so happy" and they kept saying that. We hope to have it up and running in one week. They will then be able to make our school uniforms for this year. We are going to hire a teacher for a few months to help them out. They will also train other women and girls to sew. We are very excited about this program.
New Literacy Program. Yesterday we went further up the river from Simpani where we have been requested to start a new program. These women work at the river gathering stones and breaking them into gravel. We rented a small room here and today ordered desks from the carpenter. As soon as they are done we will start hopefully next week. This room can only hold 20 women so have to limit our numbers here.
Yesterday we also looked at some new children. It was the poorest area we have worked in. The families we visited lived in abject poverty, it was very sad. One lady had been hit on a motorcycle by a bus and really could move around without extreme pain. She did not have proper medical care when it happened and her back and leg were badly damaged. They lived in a bamboo shelter covered with rags. Another family lived in a mud hut which stank of manure. 13 people lived in this tiny dwelling and not one child had ever finished school. So we really could not help here except with a donation of clothes. Another family, a single mother, had lost her six year old son last year because she could not afford medical treatment. We are going to sponsor her daughter.
Some of you will remember the green-eyed little girl who is our poster child. She is on the website and on our brochure. While in Chimkhola Joe, Dag, myself, Mann and Jagat made the six hour trek further north to visit her. Her parents were getting married that day (they had not married and now their eldes daughter could not marry till they did). They made us so welcome and poured a spoonful of milk down each of our throats as part of the ceremoney, then gave us a lovely meal. We handed out eye-glasses to the elders of the group donated by Keith Grey and also Emu oil donated by Dr. Code. Sunita is now 12 and just as lovely as her photo taken two years ago. I felt so emotional seeing her again. Joe and Dag also felt she was a very special child. We asked her parents if they would let her come to Pokhara to go to private school and live with Aama, Mann's mother. They agreed. They are all related somehow. They were happy they said to have at least one child well educated. As for Sunita she could not hold back her smiles and wanted to come with us that very day. She will come in ten days time.
Photos tomorrow I promise. It is difficult with load shedding, hours without electric, to be able to do this.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Back from Chimkhola

Well we are back and it was a successful and amazing trip. The villagers made us so welcome and it was three days of celebration. They could not have done more to make us welcome. The children at the school danced and sang which we all enjoyed. Six or Seven Pokhara Rotary members also came. It was funny to see people like Keith Grey and Joe Simpson doing Nepali dancing with the villagers, something I never thought I would see happen. Dr Bill Code was a big hit and once the word got around that there was a doctor in the village he was kept busy seeing patients. They were shown around the village, saw the poor little medical clinic, the school, the mill for grinding wheat etc. I think it was a huge event for the village with much hope for the future.
I have to run as I have just returned and now have to go to dinner with a Pokhara Rotary Past President.
Hopefully tomorrow I will have time to tell you more news and add some photos.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Incredible Rotary Evening

Last night's Rotary Ceremony and dinner was a wonderful, memorable evening. The Pokhara Rotarians made us feel so welcome and special and they certainly had made a huge effort to make this a great evening. We were given embroidered Rotary tee shirts with our names on them, flowers and their club brochure and Joe, Dag and I received their club flag. I felt very honoured by this. I did not know that I would have to give a speech but managed it quite well off the cuff. It must be because I can talk about NEF endlessly. We all so enjoyed talking to our hosts and there was so much food and some drink!
This morning we head off to Beni to begin our trek to Chimkhola tomorrow. We have so many people coming now that one of our schools has offered their bus. Today is a holiday for International Women's Day. Mann mother and father are coming which is great news. Aama has not visited her village in three years. I have assured her we will go slow and help her up there.
I will not be able to update here till we come back at the end of the week.
Things are going very well for this project and NEF. I fee very satisfied with that.


Some pictures for you. Joe Simpson with his wife Penny's sponsored lady Kamala, in the principal's office where we received keta scarfs, children in the classroom, a little girl who we are giving a new sponsor to, she has no parents, Joe, me and Kamala with Penny's letter, we had tea here today with several of the ladies, Denise and her newly sponsored lady. This lady has some psychological problem, I saw her a year ago and she was in a very bad condition and I was so surprised to see her in the literacy program looking so much better. When I asked her how she was she said her husband was beating her. Denise picked her to sponsor even though she had sponsored two other women. Dag and Kirsten with one of their women, they sponsored four women last night including our oldest student who is 75 year old. Thank you to them all for sponsoring 9 women last night. Melinda also sponsors four women but I do not have her photo as it is on Joe's camera. I am relying him to take a lot of photos for me.
Today Joe and I and Mann spent all morning in Simpani visiting children and the schools. We saw the new science lab that the Doha soccer club donated last Fall. A Pokhara Rotary member was with us who is a Professor and we discussed a new library for the Gov. school. Joe met his new sponsored child a little boy in nursery class named Sunil, we also sponsor his sister Sumitra and his mother is in the literacy program. Joe so enjoyed seeing all the children in their classrooms. Mann and I he said are like one person as we work together so well. Mann seems to be thinking ahead of me all the time and guards my purse, money, and bags otherwise I would lose something everyday. We then went to see a College of Science and Technology where the Rotary Professor was the Director. It was very interesting.
In just over an hour we are going to a ceremoney the Pokhara Rotary Club are putting on for us and then a special dinner.
my days are very full. Tomorrow we go to Beni to make the trek to Chimkhola on Tuesday. I will try and update this again tomorrow morning as we do not leave till after lunch but Mann and I are going to work in Simpani tomorrow to check out a new literacy project.
Till then

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rotary Arrived

Members of the Duncan Daybreak and Duncan Rotary Clubs arrived late Thursday night and have enjoyed touring Katmandu. Dr. Keith Grey and I went to the Animal Treatment Centre and Keith enjoyed watching surgeries here while I groomed some dogs. We then met the founder and ate lunch with her. It was a very pleasant day and a change for me. The Founder was a lady I immediately connected with and Keith said we were very alike. Just different charities. I feel I made a new friend here. They were very happy with the supplies Keith brought.
Today we made the long journey to Pokhara. After tea I took some of them to meet my Literacy Ladies. We all enjoyed this so much. The people with me sponsored 9 ladies while we were there and they all had their photos taken together. It was quite emotional and Denise said it was bitter sweet because she said they have such a difficult life here and it is a privilege to be able to help. My original class can speak some English now and were so proud to ask me how I was in English. They were just so happy and grateful to us. After we watched from outside as one studet stood up and read in the front of the class. To me it is just remarkable and I think it is our shining star.
Tomorrow Mann and I are going to see the science lab we did last fall at the government school and Joe, Daybreak Rotary President, is coming with us as he is meeting his newly sponsored child. We also want to check out a location for our new literacy program further up the river.
Tomorrow evening we are being hosted by the Pokhara Rotary Club.
It has been a full on week with never a spare minute but all the Rotary members are really enjoying the trip. We have one 16 year old with us and he is just loving Nepal.
This is different for me having to lead a group like this but Mann is a real assest in this.
More tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Arrived in Nepal

I have been here for 3 days now and have been busy doing banking, changing money and making arrangements for the Rotary members who are coming tomorrow. The journey was long and tiring and I have had no time to rest since being here. There is so much to discuss with Mann and Jagat after not being here for a few months and we talk for many hours.
We visited some children this morning and gave out gifts and letters from sponsors. Also visited the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre to make arrangements for Keith Grey, a vet from Duncan who is one of the Rotarians coming, to visit with a vet there. It is a wonderful little place that helps street dogs with mange and various complaints. They also spay street dogs and they say that in the five years of operating they have stopped 50,000 puppies from being born. Mann and I wandered along looking in the cages at the females who were to be spayed tomorrow. Most had puppies in tow. Then we looked at a couple of dogs who had been hit by cars, a dog with mange and a regular dog there who drags its back around as it has lost use of its legs but manages quite nicely. The vets said they will be happy to see Keith and are hoping that their founder is also there that day. It is a very relaxed atmosphere and we were able to wander around freely. Keith is bringing supplies with him for the centre. I think if I had not been helping poor women and children I would have liked to have founded a charity like this one. But one charity is enough in a lifetime I think.
Although it has only been four months since I was here I still find the poverty striking when I first start visiting homes. The first place we went to is the home of my granddaughter Ali's family. They were wearing clothes I gave to them some years ago even though they were worn and way too small. I gave out a bag full of clothes and promised to be back with more. We also bought some groceries for two families. I always give clothes and they make them last for years. How different from us. Thank goodness we have loads of clothes and shoes this time.
I will get some photos up as soon as possible but electric is in short supply.