Monday, April 25, 2011

Garage Sale

It is that time of year again when we have our annual sale.  This is a fundraiser to help with our NEF expenses in Nepal.  We are looking for donations of items for the sale and these can be dropped at my place in Maple Bay.  We can also pick up.  Please phone me at 250-746-8936. 
This is a very important fundraiser for us as we have not taken admin money out of our sponsor or donor contributions but must pay our expenses in Nepal which include our office rent, salaries, transportation costs, audit and renewing of the charity.  We have to keep the charity running so need your help.  This will be our 6th annual sale and they have always been successful and with your help this one will be also. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pumdi Bhumdi New School Library

Pumdi Bhumdi School Library funded by NEF.  This was excellent use of funds, the cost was $1000.  From an empty cinder block room to what you see in these photos and the books also came from this money.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Phumdi Bumdi

Last October we visited Phumdi Bumdi and its small school.  At the time we were most impressed by the school board member and their vision for the future of the school.  This school's students are 80% Dalit caste (untouchables) the very lowest caste.  They have planted a small coffee plantation on the grounds and already have been promised a market for the beans when they harvest in two years.  With the money they will be able to pay for an English teacher.  The school needed many improvements and NEFdonated a $1000 for a library.  We went back to see how this was progressing when I was there in March.  We had to give the money in two parts so it was not quite finished when we were there.  The carpet was laid with a good underlay and some tables, bookcases and books were there.  Two weeks later they sent some prints to us of the finished room.  We were just amazed at the great job they had done here.  The walls are painted different colours and there are cushions on the floor at low tables for the little children.  I will scan the photos tomorrow and hopefully I can get them up here.  The children are delightful and here are photos of them.

The photo of the library is when it was not complete tomorrow I will post the final photo and prepare to be amazed.  It has turned out to be the best project we have ever done with a school. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011



 Photos:  Top left Parmila and her sister Ramila in new clothes I gave them.  Top right Sunil in the dentist chair.  Next down Alina and Sunita in Hattiban.  Mann (NEF President in Nepal) and wife Sima.  NEF children waiting to see the dentist. Right Rajendra NEF monitor in Hattiban and left Sunil in his new raincoat.  Pink is no problem for boys in Nepal, he was just happy to get this raincoat.  Botton Samjhana and her brothers come to say goodbye.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Successful Mission

Relecting on these past weeks in Nepal I realize how many successes we have had, a few failures and mistakes made along the way from which we have learned.  90% of our children do well and are happy to be able to attend school and look forward to going onto college. 
Our sewing program we have had to make some changes to with a new teacher and a bigger shop and hopefully this will blossom.  We did train about 25 women this last year but we need to move to a bigger shop as the one we had was tiny. 
We have a new staff member in Pokhara and his name is Nar.  He will monitor the sewing program and see to any problems when Mann is not there.  Mann and Nar have been friends for many years so this will be a good combination.
This morning I ran in Kowloon Park and went to the rose garden.  Two months ago when I was last there only a few roses were out but today it was in full flush, roses of every hue and colour and the fragrance was wonderful.  It compared to NEF as in the last two months we achieved so much, every day a new challenge and a mission accomplished and in end so much success just like the rose garden we are in full flush.  Now we have the challenge of raising the funds necessary to keep NEF alive, we have our dedicated staff who must be paid and our office rent etc to be paid.  Every year our charity has to have an audit and be renewed in Nepal which costs money.  I have worked hard every day along with Mann and Jagat but the fundraising is difficult for me as one person.  I need your help.  The gift of helping someone less fortunate then oneself and giving them hope is the greatest gift that you can give yourself as it fills the soul and gives satisfaction like nothing else.  I can garantee that as I experience it everyday.  These are difficult times for everyone but for the poor it is especially bad, they already have a hard time just to survive and give food to their children.  They do not have to worry about puttung petrol in the tank of their new car they have to worry about putting food in the stomachs of their children.
I have never asked for money before but now I have to.  We appreciate any donation. Larger donations can be tax deductible.  Cheques made out to NEF or money orders can be sent to 6718 Beaumont Ave. Duncan, BC, Canada V9L 5X8.
Thank to everyone who supports us.  We have a great little charity that is doing so much for so many please let it continue.
Photos later.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Leaving Nepal

Tonight I am on my way to Hong Kong.  Saying goodbye to my ever extending Nepali family is very sad for me.  These people are incredible, they look after me so well and it really is a second home for me.  I am not allowed to cook as in a Nepali kitchen it is taboo for visitors to cook, it is a matter of honour Mann told me and respect.  So I sit back and enjoy the delicious dhal bhat and tarkari that Sima cooks for me.
This has been an incredible trip with so much work completed.  There have been no days off but much accomplished.  All children have been visited and we have seen all but two children.  We spent a lot of time with our women's literacy, we trekked to Chimkhola and Gauda Muni which was a highlight.  We also visited another village and school which we hope will be a future project.  We visited Phumdi Bumdi and the school there with its new library provided by NEF.  Photos of this later.  We had our dental program treating over 100 children and some mothers, a medical camp where 85 children were checked.  We visited the village of Hattiban 3 times to see the children there.  The last time this morning we registered this all at school, 16 children there now. 
I will continue this tomorrow as my flight is nearly boarding.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Successful Dental Clinic

Mann & Jagat did an amazinging job arranging this dental clinic at the Kantipur Dental Hospital.  The hospital used their bus for transportation but the children were spread all over the city and also 12 children came from Hattiban which is outside the city.  We met the bus on the motorbike and it followed us to the different locations.  The traffic is extremely heavy in Kathmandu but we managed to stay together.  The bus was full and some children came with their mothers on their own and we ended up with nearly 50 children.  All children were checked and some had their teeth cleaned and then there was some classroom instruction on brushing.  The treatment will begin next week.  We are having lunch with the administrator on Sunday to arrange this and to see what the costs will be.  I really thought that this dental program would be too hard to manage in Kathmandu on a large scale such as 50 children but it went very smoothly.  It is a real day out for the children and they came dressed in their best clothes and were very excited on the bus and when they left they were all waving goodbye.  Many I am sure will need a lot of treatment as I toured the large treatment rooms and was shown the condition of their teeth. 
I am really tired.  Riding around this city on a motorbike in the pollution seems to make my eyes burn and I feel done in at the end of the day.  Tomorrow we have more children to meet and have been invited to a friend's Nepali restaurant.  I will also have to think about packing. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another Dentist Clinic

Tomorrow we have another dental clinic for our Kathmandu children.  The Kantipur Dental Hospital is giving us free transportation for the children from different parts of the city.  At the end of this clinic nearly  all of our children will have been treated.
Today was the medical clinic in Pokhara and apparently it was very successful with no serious problems detected.  I will have more info on this and photos later.
More sad news in that a good friend Ram who has helped us in many ways over the years is critically ill in the hospital and we are not sure whether he will survive or not.  He has liver and pancreas problems.  He told me a few weeks ago that he had had Hepatitis A recently and he had lost a lot of weight.  So we are praying that he will recover.
We are very tired after so many weeks of solid work and for Mann and Jagat they still have a lot of school registrations to do next week.  Most school resullts come out this weekend.  I just have three days left and leave late Sunday evening for Hong Kong.  This has been a very full trip and there is much news to tell and hopefully I will get a newsletter out soon after returning home.  Anyway more on the dental clinic etc tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back in Kathmandu

We are now back in Kathmandu for my last week here.  We are still seeing children and giving out clothes.  Also we are just arranging another dental clinic for Friday treating another 40 or 50 children.  This will be the final clinic for this year as all the dental money raised will have then been spent.  The medical clinic in Pokhara is happening tomorrow where 100 children will be screened.  Nar who is a new staff member for NEF, Prem and an Australian named Wayne will be assisting Dr. Clare with this.  She will also send me some photos.  School registrations are well underway. 
Pradip who I wrote about earlier here has passed class 9 and is starting class 10 now.  I said to Jagat this morning that a few years ago we never dreamed that this would ever happen for him.  Also his brother Sandip passed class 7 another miracle for him.  Now we are just starting the task of phoning all children to arrange transportation for the dental clinic. 

Monday, April 4, 2011


Left Sabita B.K very poor child in Simpani.  Jesika, 5 yrs needs a sponsor. Parents cannot afford to send her to school.  Asmita NEF sponsored child in Nakhipot, has no father.  Mann's birthday dinner shared with Dr. Claire from Australia who is conducting our medical clinic this week.  Prashila and Prataksha sponsored children in Hattiban.  Literacy ladies after goodbye ceremony.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Precious Moments

This morning we went to Simpani and visited with some of my women and mothers in Daumaya's home.  For some reason I am more comfortable and relaxed in these women's homes amid the poverty than anywhere else.  I think it must be their karma as although they are very poor they are humble, very grateful and just happy to have us visit.  It is a therapy just to sit and chat there with them and their children.  Then we visited Raj Kumari who is the lady who set herself on fire a few years ago.  She is a changed person today and her home is so neat and clean.  She has now joined the English literacy class.  I have found that when we sponsor in these families it gives them hope and very often changes their lives in that their situations improve, sorting of lifting them up.
The literacy ladies had a thank you ceremony for me at the school at 11 am but first I sat at the back of the class where I always feel the most comfortable and just chatted with them and showed them photos of themselves on my computer and also photos of my mother, who they thought was very beautiful and my dogs.  They adorned me with flowers and keta scarfs and red tika dust and I found myself struggling with my emotions.  I have known these women for a long time now and they are my friends and I hate saying goodbye.  I told them that yes I had given them education but that they had given me something that was much more valuable and that was their love.  When I asked for new women sponsors a couple of months back you responded well and I had 23 new sponsors so was able to keep these programs going.  For the cost of 3 or 4 cups of coffee per month you have given these ladies not only education but friendship and hope.  They know other women care about them across the world.  For the last two days I have received many letters from children and the women and they know your names and wonder what you are like.  Even if they only study for six months they are then able to write and sign their names and such basic things.  It is a great gift.  I can only tell you what their appreciation is like and I wish you could feel it like I do, this morning I felt like the luckiest person in the world, all the flower malas they make by hand, first collecting flowers and threading them on cotton thread takes a long time.  One had knitted me a scarf, another brought me juice and most touching was a woman who put a simple ring on my finger that says LOVE.
That said it all and the ladies laughed and said that now I was engaged, how right they are because I am engaged to all of them and I hope that you are too. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Last Two Days in Pokhara

We were planning to leave for Kathmandu on Saturday but not sure yet if we will get all the work done.  There are not enough hours in the day.  The dentistry is almost finished, still some patients to come back for more treatment.  Quite a few children did not show up so we put the mothers in their place.  The dentist explained to me how important it is for the women to be treated.  In pregnancy here it is taboo for them to brush their teeth something to do with their culture.  So just when it is so important for them to look after their teeth they do not. 
Today I met a doctor in my favourite restaurant which is like my second home, The Laughing Buddha.  Clare is travelling and asked if I knew where she could do some volunteer work.  After giving it some thought I suggested she could do a medical camp, just like the dentist one we have just done, in Simpani.  She thought it was a great idea so we took her to the school and introduced her to the children and mothers.  It is all arranged for next Thursday.  She will use one of the classrooms and will check the children's ear, eyes, heart etc. Unfortunately I will be back in Kathmandu but we have it all arranged for her.  The equipment that she needs the dental hospital will provide for her.  Nar, who is a new NEF staff member will help her.  I am excited about it as she will be able to detect if the children have any problems they need further medical treatment.  She thought today that the children all looked quite healthy. 
Tomorrow my literacy ladies want to say goodbye and I do not like goodbyes but I do want to see them one more time. 
We have had some problems in the last two days which have made it particularly hectic.  The motorbike broke down and they cannot get the part here.  We had just spent $35 having it serviced the day before and now this part needs replacing which is quite expensive.  The schoolroom we use for the ladies literacy at the stone quarrey we lost but Tol Prasad, the school principal at High Mount, found us a new one today.  It is more money but we had no choice.  Our sewing shop and school had to be moved to a bigger space and we also hired a more experienced teacher.  They will start working in the new shop next week making school uniforms.  This also is costing us more money.  I worry about all this but have to move forward.  The ladies who work in the shop love their jobs and have some income from it. 
Anyway time for bed.  Tomorrow is our last day in Pokhara and how I hate to say goodbye.