Saturday, March 31, 2012

More photos

Top Mann and Amir who is one of our long time literacy ladies, middle Susma who we sponsored on our last night in Pokhara and her family and bottom literacy ladies and some of their children.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Eye Check Up

When we held our dental camp in Simpani we also were lucky enough to have eye doctor Craig Reaverly with us and he spent the day doing eye check ups for the children and adults.  He had glasses with him so was able to provide glasses for those that needed them.  This was popular and soon he had a line up of people wanting to be seen.  One little girl, Ashimitia who is an NEF student, had very poor eyesight and glasses had to be ordered for her which he provided.  Later in Chimkhola he provided this same service to the villagers.  We are grateful to him for this.  We have now had a few dental camps, a medical camp held last year and an eye camp.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Sponsor for Sachin

I am very happy to say that Sachin, featured below, has a sponsor so that now he will be able to go to school starting in a couple of weeks.  His sponsor is also giving some extra money for food.  I know that this little boy will be delighted to be like other kids and go off to school.  Thank you so much to this kind sponsor.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Back to Kathmandu

We leave Pokhara today for Kathmandu.  It has been a rush to get everything done, every child seen, all letters picked up, literacy ladies matched etc.  I have been trying to change my flight and stay for an extra week but no luck with that, all seats booked. 
The literacy ladies are a delight but it takes a long time to sort them all out and match them.  It took a total of 6 hours.  I was sick for one day so Mann had to take over that job for that day.  The hardest job was that I had only had one private school sponsor for Pokhara and we narrowed it down to 7 little girls and then down to 3 and then to 2.  Finally last night I made a decision at 7 pm.  It was a tough choice but when I walked into the family's little room I knew I had made the right choice.  They were all smiling ear to ear and the room was so poor and small for the 6 family members but it had such a warm feeling.  We already sponsor the eldest girl, Parbati, and she has been asking me to help the family for a couple of years now.  The little sister, Susma, is 6 years old and usually I always have to tell the children to smile for their photo but not her she was just so happy.  It felt really good to be able to give more help to this family.  Sometimes the choices are very hard and I do not often have the chance to look over my shoulder and say or feel that  I did a good job but last night was one of those rare moments when I truly felt good and that I made the right choice without any doubt.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Sachin who cannot afford to go to school

Sachin and his little sister so happy with new shirts that I gave them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Sad Life

Today I felt sad.  I visit many poor homes and I am used to it and enjoy sitting with the families but this morning I was asked by Mann's sister, Gita to visit a home just behind Gita's little shop.  I walked into a cinder block room, the only furniture in the room was a wooden bed on which I sat down.  A few blocks made a rough cooking surface and there was a kerosene stove.  I young woman walked in with two children in tow, one 3 and one 7.  They crouched on the floor and I asked questions about their ages, her martial status etc.  Her husband left her three years ago for another woman who he has since left and has disappeared to India, she has not heard from him since.  She is 27 years old, thin and quite lovely.  The dwelling in which they live belongs to the block factory and they allow her to work 4 hours a day to cover her rent.  She works in the fields to make money for food and when there is no work begs from the neighbours.  Gita who is very poor herself helps her at these times.  She cannot afford to send her son even to government school, he went a long time ago for 3 months.  I asked her if she had any food but she became embarrassed so Mann looked in the plastic containers and there was maybe enough rice for two days and a spoonful of lentils.  We took her to the shop and bought her some rice, lentils, eggs and biscuits and soap for her washing.  She looked at the whole flat of eggs in disbelief and said these will feed my children for a whole month.  She is shy and quietly thanked me by placing her hands in namaste and bowing and I watched her walk away with her eggs.  My heart sank when I thought of her existance and I felt numb.
I left but could not get her out of my mind.  I could not imagine what her life is like never knowing where the food for her children is coming from and she cannot even send her son to school.  He is the one who will look after her in later life.  She cannot return to her parents as a woman who has lost her husband has lost her honour in this culture.  So she has no one to turn to or to comfort her.
I know I say all the time we only want to sponsor girls but then I see a case like this one and how can I say no.  I do not have a sponsor for her child but hopefully one will come along. 
I forgot my camera battery this morning but am going back there now to take photos. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kristi and Dental Camp Photos

Newly decorated room donated by NEF.  Just a few children present as an exam was going on.

Newly painted building, NEF provided funds for the paint and improvements here.

This lady was not able to be treated due to low B/P although she badly needed an extraction

Old school building now being demolished for safety reasons after a wall fell down with children in the room.  This is where they hope to build new rooms to accomodate more children so they do not have to walk miles to another school.  This school caters to younger children

Tooth extraction, brave little boy

Children holding up their toothbrushes after being seen by the dentist

Dental Camp in Kristi Village

Yesterday we held the dental camp in the village of Kristi.  This sits uptop a mountain very close to Pokhara and the view is incredible.  The only problem was the road, it was the dustiest road I have ever been on and by the time we arrived we were covered in a thick coat of dust.  The road was all hairpin bends with sheer drops to the sides and the taxi driver was amazing with his driving skills.  At one point a dump truck dropped a load of rocks in the middle of the road so we had no way by so the taxi driver got out and started moving the rocks by hand.  We decided this was going to take a very long time and got out and walked but soon along came the taxi.  He deserved a big tip!
We first went to the school where NEF had donated some money last fall.  The old school was at the point of falling down and has since done so with some children in it but fortunately none were hurt.  They had three new rooms and my husband, Bob, suggested that they be divided temporarily till more rooms could be built.  They were just bare cement.  I was delighted to see them now brightly painted and one big room carpeted for the little children, low tables in a square with writing white board surfaces for the children to write on and the teacher sits in the middle.  It was very remarkable.  They had gone to Pumdi Bhumdi to get the idea and this is now our model school.  Kristi now hopes to be in that area.  I was very pleased with the management here.  One room they are going to divide during the holiday next week.  I would like to continue work here but have no money to spare now.  They need to build some more rooms one at a time and have the building stone but need money for cement etc.  So if anyone would like to donate to this project it would be greatly appreciated, big or small all add up and help a lot of children. 
We then went to the dental camp, there was myself, Mann and Dev Raj from Annurpurna Rotary.  We were welcomed and there were some speeches and during the morning the dentists saw many old people and mothers and in the afternoon when school was finished the children were seen.  Nearly 400 in all.  They have to come to Pokhara for the treatment other than extractions which were done on the spot.  One elderly lady badly needed an extraction but her blood pressure was too low for it to be safely done.  I watched while one little boy had a tooth pulled and he never made a sound or shed a tear and it was done with no freezing.  We have now done two of these dental camps and already 200 people have finished treatment.  Many thanks to Duncan Noontime Rotary and Sunrise Rotary in Merritt, B.C. Canada for raising the funds to make these possible.  You have helped a lot people to better dental health and in turn better health generally.
Before we left I wanted to visit the little coffee farm we went to last fall.  I tried out the extractor which extracts the bean from the fruit and they showed me the different phases the coffee goes through all by hand, no fancy machines here.  We also tried the coffee made three different ways.  The coffee is like no other. 
Now I am going to publish this and try and put the photos on separately in case I lose this whole thing.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pumbi Bhumdi & sponsor meets new Child

Yesterday we went to Pumbi Bhumdi with Carol and Keith and friends Judy and Anuska.  As usual we received a wonderful welcome.  We were delighted with the success of the school.  The classrooms are decorated with many posters and pictures, the children are all smart and clean, the whole place is a delight.  The library that NEF provided last year is the best library of the 25 schools in the district.  It also now has 4 computers, printer and copier provided by the Qatar Wooden Spooners.  The attendance has risen from 52 last year to 87 this year and the won the district spelling contest of all 25 schools.  The children are allowed to use the library at anytime even on holidays as the teacher is willing to be there for them.  This school is a great success.  They gave a delicious lunch at the computer teacher's home and enjoyed the view over Pokhara and the Annurpurnas. 
We then went to Simpani so Carol & Keith could visit the children that they sponsor.  We also visited the new library at the High Mount school that was provided by the Qatar donors, the Leather family.
Judy wished to sponsor a child so we took her to visit a little girl that we had visited twice this week.  She has lost both parents and was being cared for by a grandmother in the village but the grandmother said she could not longer care for her and brought her to live with an uncle and aunt in Simpani.  She was very sad when I first met her but was all smiles yesterday especially when she met her sponsor and was given some gifts.  It must be hard for the child coming from a mountain village and now being photographed and getting all this attention but I am sure she will remember it for ever.  She certainly was all smiles when we left.
Nursery Class

Today we have another dental camp in the village of Christie.  I am looking forward to seeing the school where we have also done some work.  The weather is now extremely hot so it makes the days tiring. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gunjara Success

The roof that has to be replaced

Gunjara Children

Today we are very happy as we took our friends Carol and Keith from Qatar to Gunjara and they thought it was a great project for them.  This means that the school will get the new roof that it so badly needs and also some desks for now.  Later will come cement to patch the walls and paint etc.  This is my fourth trip to Gunjara and finally we could give them good news.  We made it a low key visit as we did not want them going to a lot of trouble like they did two weeks ago when we took the Rotary there.  Carol and Keith and their two friends from England loved village and were so touched by the children.  They said it was the perfect project from them and so badly needed by the village.  Now the children will be able to go to school when rains.  The work will begin next week.  It was a hot day and it takes all day to go and and come back but it was so worth it and I am so very grateful that they saw the need that I did now a year ago.  I also thank Dilly and BabaRam from Annurpurna Rotary for coming with us, it was BabaRam's third trip with me and so we are all really overjoyed with Carol and Keith's decision.  So many thanks to them. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Photos of Gauda Muni

Joe in the Kindergarten room

Mann & Kamal stand with the sign in memory of their brother Nani

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gauda Muni

I am trying this for the second time. Computer and internet problems are a nightmare here.
We visited Gauda Muni school on the second day in Chmkhola. It is a half an hour walk up from Chimkhola. The school is a feeder school for Chmkhola and only has four classes of younger children. We first went to this school two years ago and it was in very poor condition. One of the Rotary members decided he would like to help this school and paid for renovations such as new cement flooring, desks, books, carpet for the youngest children's room, a drinking water supply etc. Mann's brother died shortly after our first visit to the school and he was with us at the time. So the donor made it a memorial to Nani. Nani loved and worked with children so it is a very fitting memorial. There was a very touching ceremoney there and those of us that knew him got up and talked about him. The school is looking so much better and with brightly coloured walls for the nursery class and new paintng on the outside, it really looked bright and cheery. A plaque dedicating the project to Nani was on the wall. For the family this is a sense of closure and also an ongoing tribute to their son and brother. The donor will continue to fund the school for a few more years and we really thank him for his generosity. The children and villagers were so grateful and happy, they made many flower malas for us and fed us a nice meal. It was touching and so sincere.
Hopefully I can successfully add some photos here later when the electric is on.

Friday, March 16, 2012

More photos

Village children

The hike up to Chimkhola

Poor village family

The Band

The plate dance.
Some more photos while I am having some luck publishing.

Chimkhola Village

I am atempting to write this for the third time tonight.  For some reason it just will not publish.  The electric is on now so hopefully that helps.

The time in Chimkhola is special as it always is.  I stayed at Mann's Grandfather's house which is at the top of the village.  Sitting on the floor by the fire and seeing all the visitors that come and go, friends and neighbours it seems to be a steady stream.  I particularly enjoy the buffalo mild that many bring for me. 
Grandfather is the oldest member of the village at 90 years.  He sits by the fire and when it is bedtime he justs tips over and lays down on his straw mat.  The first night we arrived there was a big celebration and he came down and watched the dancing and to see all the visitors.  Getting back up to the top took a lot of effort on his part and helpers.  Bindu runs the home where I stay and she is a delight. 
The next day there was the generator opening and then the ceremony for the closing of the project.  We cut the ribbon and unveiled the sign.  The band led the way and then there were many speeches.  The plate dance was performed which always amazes me as the ladies perform many moves and never drop a plate.  Quite a skill.  We also toured the school and I gave all the medical supplies that I had brought to Lalmaya explaining them all with the help of Margaret, from Merritt, who is a nurse. The next day we hiked to Gauda Muni School which has been renovated in memory of Mann's brother Nani.  More on that tomorrow as this might not publish so must do it in two halves.


Village children with Lucky.  Lucky followed us from the begining of the trek to Chimkhola and walked with us for nine hours.  We named him Lucky.  He would not cross the suspension bridge into the village so Jerry carried him across.  He now lives in Chimkhola at Mann's grandfather's house.

Duncan Noontime, Duncan Daybreak and Annurpurna Rotary members

Chimkhola village

Sign for the Generator Project

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Here is the Rabika photo with her sponsor on the ipad behind described below. Other photo is children holding a sign saying books and part of the roof donated by a family in Duncan. top is Joe with his sponsored child Suman, a real bond was formed here.

Dental Camp

First I am having serious computer problems and one of the photos that was supposed to be below did not come out so will try again tomorrow.
It was a very successful dental camp today and we saw 250 women and children.  220 of those need treatment.  Also Craig checked 50 people's eyes and gave out a lot of eye glasses.  So it was a full day as we also visited the dental hospital.  The dental camp was held at the school.  Nearly all of NEF children here in Simpani were seen.
Tomorrow we leave to go   to Beni and the following day we hike up to Chimkhola so I will post some more photos here tomorrow if I can and then I will be away from computers for six days. 
Yesterday we visited the village of Gunjara which is a very poor and low caste village.  It was a wonderful day and the villagers went all out for us, making us a big lunch of Nepali food.  Dag fit in very well eating Nepali style with his hands.  NEF spent $500 on the roof last fall and now have another donation of $300 toward the roof.  We need about another $1000 to finish the roof and buy some more desks.  They are waiting for the wood they have cut for the roof support to cure and will start replacing it when school gets out in a couple of weeks.
Now this shop is closing and I have not eaten yet so will close and hopefully can add some photos later.

Friday, March 9, 2012



Rabika with a photo of her sponsor on a computer held by the sponsor's sister Suzanne.  A very happy meeting.  Middle Suzanne and Shay with their sponsored lady Amir.  Bottom with Rotary members in the village of Gunjara yesterday.  More later.  Dental program starting in 30 mins.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Arrived in Pokhara

There seems to be some problem with this blog and many posts are missing but I will carry on.  We arrived in Pokhara today and we visited the literacy program this evening.  It is always wonderful to see the ladies and they were very excited to meet the Rotary members.  Dag met two of the ladies he sponsors the other two were in the village for the festival of Holy.  Susanne met her lady for the first time and is going to visit her home on saturday, she also met her sister's sponsored child Rabika.  Joe spent time with his child, Suman.  Suman was pleased and asked me later what his sponsor's name was again.  He is only 5 yrs but it was a thrill to meet his sponsor.  It is always emotional for me to see this meetings, I know what it means to the children.  Other children asked where there sponsors were.  I guess every child longs to meet their sponsor.  You, the sponsors, mean so much to the children.  It has been a long journey today and I am very tired so I am going to end here as it is after 10.  I hope this publishes okay as now the electric has gone.  I will try the photos tomorrow.  Good night. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rotary Members Arrived

The Rotary members arrived late last night after a good journey.  We met them this morning for breakfast and then took them to get their trekking permits etc.  The ladies wanted to buy coutas (Nepali dresses) so we took them to old Kathmandu and they had fun in a tiny upstairs shop picking out their coutas.  We then took them to the engineering shop which made the turbine for the Chimkhola village project.  The men really enjoyed this and talk about the specs of the generator and turbine and they saw where the turbine was made.  Tomorrow is Holy Day here and that is the holiday when everyone throws colour around and water which is not my favourite time.  We have rented a mini bus to do a tour of the city and Bhaktapur and hopefully we will not get too covered in colour.  I am very tired tonight so will finish here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sponosrs meet their Student

Top Shay and Susanne with Ranjita and her family.  Middle with the stone quarry family and bottom with Ranjita left and Ramila.  Young women from two different worlds connecting with each other after five years of correspondence and photos.  I was very impressed with Shay and her acceptance of the conditions in Nepal, she shows a maturity beyond her years and a generosity of spirit that is to be admired. Her parents have been good role models for her.

Today sponsors Susanne and her daughter Shay visited their sponsored child, Ranjita.  They have sponsored her for five years and were very excited to meet her and her family.  It was a very good meeting and Ranjita and her sister Ramila were so happy and really enjoyed meeting Shay also because she was young like them. This is the family we bought the tea shop for five years ago after the mother lost her husband in a tragic accident.  We shared a meal with them of eggs and curried potatoes.  Ranjita and her sister Ramila both are in second year college and also work in a department store for $60 per month, 6 days a week 8 hours per day.  They go to college from 6 am till 10 am and then go to work.  Susanne and Shay are going to visit them at their work place tomorrow.  Susanne said it was a dream come true for her to finally come to Nepal and meet Ranjita.  She is amazed at the poverty in Nepal.  They have been traveling in Viet Nam,Cambodia and Thailand and have not seen poverty like here in Nepal.  We also took her to the stone quarry to meet two of my families there.  We sat in one of their homes and again they were shocked at the extemely poor living conditions.  No running water or toilet facilities, they have to use the river.  Susanne and Shay are coming to Pokhara with us and when they return to Kathmandu they will visit with Ranjita again.  Tomorrow they are visiting our office and have a Nepali meal with us. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Just to let everyone know that I am uploading photos of the children to flickr everyday.
Sponsor and her daughter from Cobble Hill, Canada arrived today and tomorrow we are taking her to see her sponsored college student.  More on that tomorrow.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Newly Sponsored Children

This is Aasika Lama sponsored yesterday.  She lives at the stone quarrey where we have quite a few children sponsored.  Below is Sanija Tamang also newly sponsored at the quarrey.  These families live in extremely poor conditions by the river and their parents work at hard labour in the quarrey.  Bottom Dilisha and her family in their room.
The little girl Dilisha was sponsored today.  We went this morning to meet her parents and to see her home.  The family is very poor, the father is a taxi driver and the mother stays home as she has bad health.  They have three daughters.  The Principal of the City Academy school took us to their home which was right next to the school as the Principal lets them stay in a room on the school property.  It was a store room that she converted to one little room and a tiny kitchen.  She lets them stay here free of charge at the moment as their situation financially is so poor.  The family has been banished from visiting their village as they say the mother is a bad omen as she has three daughters and no sons and so she is chased away.  She cries a lot about this.  Her father had to have a kidney operation and it took all they had to pay for the treathment as if not he would have died.  The Principal feels so sorry for her and asked me to help and so we have sponsored Dilisha with a very good American sponsor who has been with us for a number of years.  If we can we will sponsor Bilisha, the seven year old sister, if and when we get a sponsor for her.  The family has lived in this tiny room for 12 years now.  I was very happy to be able to help them and I am so pleased to work with City Academy who helps these children get a future. 
Sometimes it is difficult to update this blog especially with photos as the connection is so poor.  Also my own netbook has broken and is at the shop right now being fixed. 
Update on our little stray dog, the donor named her Maia which means Greek Warrior as she felt the little dog is indeed a warrior.  She is delighted with how her donation was spent.  I think I have found a home for her when she is well in a couple of months. 
Tomorrow we have a sponsor and her daughter arriving from Cobble Hill in Canada to visit her child and also her lady in the literacy.  Her child is now a young woman in 2nd year college.