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.