Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jenny much Improved

Went to the children's home this morning and found Jenny, the dog, much improved and walking around the garden looking bright and perky.  That made me feel better but both Mann and I were very tired today.  We visited Aunty Dickie today, one of our favorite ladies and we have sponsored two of her nieces over the years.  She always makes us momos when we visit and her home is very inviting.  She keeps it bright and spotless.  Today we both fell asleep there for sometime but she did not seem to mind, I have known her a long time and she always treats me so well.
Finally we managed to get ourselves mobile again and we went to visit Chring who we have sponsored for many years.  His home is tiny and extremely poor.  He lost his brother a few years ago with a brain abscess.  Some of you may remember.  NEF paid for his surgery but he died a few days later.  The story is further back on this blog..  He died because of an untreated ear infection.  Both his brothers did not finish school but we are holding out hope for Chring who is just starting class seven. He is always smiling and loves it when I give him a piece of clothing.
We stopped by the Kathmandu Guest House on our way home to see Jeff and he introduced us to a mountaineer friend who had climbed Everest five times and is hoping to summit it twice this May.  Then we saw Jitesh who was sponsored through NEF right through college.  He now works at the Guest House on the cooking staff and is taking a cooking course on his off hours paid for by his sponsor.  He is one of our successes.
Chring in a shirt donated from Qatar
Jitesh at work
 Jenny with Mann's mother who she loves

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Dog Story

It seems every year there is a dog story to be told.  After all children and animals are the most vulnerable in society and especially in Nepal.
A year ago we adopted a dog from the KAT (Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre) for Mann's brother's children home as they were looking for a dog.  Jenny is a lovely lab cross so gentle that she was perfect.  She had been found near death on the street with her puppies all of which died.  Someone was trying to sell her.  At KAT they nursed her back to health over many months.  The staff and volunteers all loved her.  She was and is a special dog.
Kamal phoned me yesterday to say she was not well but he had taken her to a vet at a cattle place who basically did nothing.  Jeff was treating teeth at the home today so when I saw the dog this morning I realized she was very sick.  She had a huge hot spot which was red and oozing all around her neck, she was clearly very sick.  I panicked a bit as it was Saturday which is a holiday in Nepal.  After some phone calls we found a vet, got a taxi and after the driver took one look a the dog he drove like a crazy man, honking at everyone to get out of the way and we arrived at a tiny vet clinic.. The vet assured me several times that Jenny would be okay, he was a kind man.  For an hour that poor dog suffered so much pain as he tried to cut the hair away with a bare razor blade, in the end he had to resort to scissors.  When I asked if he had a clipper and surgical blade he said no.  I told him I would bring him one and then he asked if it would be easy to use.  I told him yes and the dog would have much less pain.  She had a lot of infection and he administered drugs intravenously and by injection.   After the treatment he put her on the floor and she wagged her tail as if to say thanks.  Dogs are amazing creatures.  We took her home and I carried her upstairs to Sarjon's room on the top floor.  He is 14.  Sarjon seems to be her best friend and the one to care for her and give her the meds she needs. Sarjon also has been rejected by his family after both his parents remarried.  I left her sleeping next to his bed.  It will take ten days for her to heal.
Life is so raw here.  I have watched Jeff remove teeth in primitive conditions and some are difficult to remove, one lady today taking 55 minutes to remove a tooth with Jeff on his knees bending over her.  But the children and adults are so stoic and brave they rarely ever squirm or complain.  It is a whole different world from that which we live in  and touches the heart in a way that we who experience it are never the same.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I have a sponsor who will pay half of Yomaya's sponsorship so now I need another kind someone who will match it.  Cost $175.  Please see below.

Yomaya needs a Sponsor

Yomaya age 7 yrs
Yomaya lives with her parents and two sisters in Simpani.  Her parents moved here three months ago from their village so their daughters could get an education.  Both parents work as labourers at the river from 7 to 7 earning a few dollars per day.  Yomaya looks after her two younger sisters.  When I went to see their room she had the key clutched in her hand and opened the door for us.  The home is
extremely poor.  I had sponsors for her two sisters but not her and I could see her disappointment so went back this morning and had her hold a sign that said thank you NEF just so she would feel good but I really need a real sponsor for her.   I have photos of her home and family if anyone is interested.
Cost is $350 per year.
Pabritra writing to her sponsor with her feet and below holding a bowl while she eats
Pabritra has no arm on one side and a short flipper on the other.  She is amazing that she can write, eat etc with her feet.  She is only 5 but could write in English and Nepali.  I tried writing with my feet  but it was just scribble and I certainly could not get my feet up to my mouth to eat.  Pabritra has a sponsor in Singapore.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A 78 year old man who loved having his photo taken and wants a copy which I will get to him , below a village child who we saw and then she went to do her chores.  She had an injury to her face.

More as I can only add two at a time

Children waiting in line 

Photos from Dental Camp

Opening Ceremony and child waiting for treatment

Dental Camp at

Yesterday we drove by bus to this beautiful village high up and on the Royal trek route so named because this is the route that Prince Charles trekked many years ago.  The views are stunning.  The people were so grateful and happy that we came.  105 patients were seen mostly children.  We had three dentists attending, Dr. Kamal, Dr. Pranov and Dr. Jeff.  It all went very well.  We gave out the last of the clothes that I brought to Pokhara and had enough for all the children.  One embarrassing moment when the Teighnath, a Rotary member who was handing me the clothes, held up a pair of my  lacy underwear that had got in the bag by mistake.  Of course there happened to be only men in the room!  We had another laugh when a man who really wanted to be seen had no teeth at all and dentures we have not seen anywhere.  Dr Kamal checked a lot of adults for blood pressure incl. us.

I also checked the school again as I was here two years ago and they are hoping for some help.  This is another school that the government gave money to for some new rooms but not enough to complete them.

Today is the festival of color so I am going to go for a run early and hope I do not get covered in red color.
Later I am going to a new area to start a new women's literacy program.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Daumaya and her daughters

This is the lady who has cancer and has been away from her children for three months having treatment.  she left again this morning for the five hour bus ride back to the hospital.  We gave her some money for some more treatment but not really enough.  She has borrowed $300 which is finished now and has still has a lot more chemo to have and each injection costs $40.  This woman is penniless and says that she is only having treatment for the sake of her daughters otherwise she would not bother.  She asked the doctor her prognosis and he did not tell her.  When I leave Mann will travel to the hospital to speak to the doctor.  I have had a donation for the rent and food for the children but all I was able to give her was $100 to go back with plus a new phone so she could contact us.  It would a relief for her and us if we could get some donations for her treatment.  Daumaya is a lovely lady who has these four children who she has to leave alone for months at a time and she has absolutely no money and no husband.  I cannot imagine what this would feel like.  One daughter needed a tooth extracted however before her mother returned she was too scared to let Jeff to it.  On Saturday her mother took her to the clinic and Jeff was able to do the needed extraction because her mother gave her the confidence/support she needed.  That says it all, children need their mother.  I have known and loved Daumaya for years.  So please if you can help her even with a small donation please let me know by way of email.  Even those pennies you may have tucked away would help as we do not mind rolling them, every little would help.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Daumaya Back at Home

Daumaya,who is the mother of the four little girls who have been on their own, is back home though only for a week.  She is a very sick lady.  We had to help her sit up and she is very swollen everywhere and yet she managed a five hour bus journey so she could see her children.  She is in the middle of chemotherapy.  She lost her phone sometime ago so that is why we could not contact her and why she did not contact her daughters.  We have now bought her a new one.  She borrowed money for her treatment. I hugged her and she cried and I assured her that her family would be taken care go of by way of food and rent.  Such a sad situation.
More tomorrow.  My days have been very busy so am tired tonight.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

P.B. Photos cont.

Newly Sponsored Dipika on her brother's shoulders and above Salina

Pumbi Bhumdi Photos

With children at the School and bottom NEF sponsored children

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Phumdi Bhumdi

Yesterday we went to Phumdi Bumdi and it was a very busy but wonderful day.  Jeff saw all the children's teeth and some adults in the afternoon.  I helped in the morning and Carol in the afternoon as I had to visit the homes of seven new children.  I thought this was going to be an easy task but it took well over two hours of trekking around a steep village, climbing over many stone walls and like all Nepali mountain villages it is always up and more up.  The sun was hot and of course I forgot to take water with me.  But the beauty of this village is amazing, breath taking really and on reaching one very poor child's home I said to myself this has a million dollar view which it did but the family lives on $1.50 per day.  What wonderful children they all were.  One little girl, her name was Goma, her father fell down a cliff last year and has since been paralyzed from the waist down.  From donations of the villagers he received medical treatment and rehab and a wheel chair was donated from the US but he could go nowhere as he lived high up on a ledge and so laid on the bed all day.  The mother works in the fields for a little money.
By the time I returned to the school the dentistry was finished and after taking more photos of the children and with the Annurpurna Rotary Club and giving out some clothes we left to return to Pokhara.  The dental camps are made possible by Duncan Rotary in conjunction with Annurpurna Rotary and of course Dr. Jeff Phillips.  I must not forget to thank the village women for a very delicious  lunch of organic food grown in the village.  Carol and Keith thoroughly enjoyed their visit and donated money to the school for a Montessori program.  This money was donated from them and their friends in Qatar.
This school is a government school but very progressive because of excellent management.  The children are all speaking some English now and although the school only goes to class 5 now they are adding class 6 next year and hope to add a class each year till they have the full 10 classes.  These are all very poor and low caste children so it is perfect for NEF support.  Photos tomorrow hopefully!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Jeff letting a child try his rental bike on our ride

My running and cycling route, pretty amazing

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Carol and Keith Visit

Carol and Keith arrived yesterday and we took them to Simpani to visit their children, Nirmala, Tika, Susmita and their friends children Susma, Sangita and Niruta.  The skies opened and it poured with rain, the taxi windows all fogged up  and Keith was trying to wipe them so the driver could see.  Sangita had moved and we could not find her so we will have to check at the school.  We ended up sitting on somebody's porch while Mann searched for her in the downpour and we enjoyed their hospitality.  It was a rushed visit to all the children and then we drove through the traffic jam caused by the huge line up for petrol.  It is the same every day.  The taxi driver told us he lines up at 1 am till 5 am then sleeps till 11 am when he starts   work till he lines up again at night.  How lucky are we?
Then we picked up Jeff and went to Prem's birthday.  Prem has been my language teacher for years and a dear friend.  Prem also now runs a children's education charity which he says was inspired by NEF.  One paragliding company donates part of every flight to him.  The founder of the paragliding company was from Seattle so Jeff made friends with him
Today we go to the village of Gunjara for a dental camp and to check Carol and Keith's school project.
The little girl in the photo below is Susma with a photo card from her sponsor.

Carol and Keith

Carol and Keith two of their sponsored girls and their brother

Saturday, March 16, 2013


High Mount Students yesterday

Yesterday Mann and Jeff went to the region of Lumjun to con duct a remote dental camp with the dental team.  Jeff said they treated about 300 people and he said it was a great experience.  I went to Simpani to visit children.  I saw a lot of the children there and also gave out some clothes along with sponsor letters.  A lot of the children have grown into young men and women and they all looked so good.  A funny thing happened in that the bench I was sitting on in the classroom collapsed and I ended up on the floor.  My camera flew out of my hand and ended up on the stone floor.  My camera is my most important tool here.  Fortunately it was okay other than a chip.  I am sure the kids a thought it was hilarious.
Our little family where the mother is missing seem to be doing well.  We have now bought them food and cooking gas and will pay the rent before we leave.  Maya the 13 year old is doing a good job of looking after the family and they seem happy enough.  I will see them most days while here but I think the best decision is to support them in their home.
Today Carol and Keith arrive from Qatar and wish to visit all their children later in the afternoon.  tomorrow we go to the village of Gunjara to see our school project and do a dental camp.
It is very hard to add photos because the connection is so slow.  The weather is very warm and quite humid.  So now it is early morning and time for a run.

Friday, March 15, 2013


This blog is a bit crazy it has downloaded one photo twice and it will not delete.  Other photos is of the view from the Pagoda and Jeff wearing local athletic club shirt from Bainbridge Island.

Peace Pagoda

15 yr  old boy working before school

A hike up to the Peace Pagoda

This morning we got up at 5 am, had breakfast and hiked up to the Peace Pagoda.  It was very beautiful.  Jeff loved it and the weather was perfect.  Now Jeff and Mann are going to a remote village to do a dental camp and I am staying to visit children in Simpani and Hamja.  They will be back tomorrow night.
Carol and Keith from Qatar have also arrived In Kathmandu and today are visiting their sponsored children there with Jagat and Sima.  Sunday they arrive here in Pokhara and we have a busy program with them.  They sponsors lots of children and do school projects with NEF here.
Yesterday Jeff did a lot of dental exams on NEF children in Simpani.  A lot of them have to go to the dental clinic for further treatment which will be paid for with Rotary money.
now I am off to visit more children.  more later.


Ayush Sai in his class centre

Above Deepa and another girl hold their instruments waiting for dental treatment.  And above them Rabika

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Photos Below

For some reason it will not let me add the captions so have to do it separately.

Jeff working with the children with Mann as an assistant.  Children in donated red shirts from Qatar.
Rita, one our literacy ladies with sponsor letter and photos

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


We arrived in Pokhara two days ago.  The bus trip w 7 hours but was good in that there were no delays.  Between us with bags of clothes and Jeff with dental equipment we had tons of luggage.  As soon as we arrived we were busy meeting with dental managers and Kristi school management people.  Yesterday Jeff went to visit the dental clinic and Mann and I went to a ceremony at the Kristi school.  I am very happy with the school.  The building is finished physically but needs windows, doors, paint and desks.  I gave a donation of $500 from NEF to buy some desks.  This money was from donations from two different schools, one a school in Banff and another from a basketball school team in Abbotsford.  Thank to them and I hope to have photos of the desks before I leave.
It was very hot weather wise up there on that mountain.  They presented me with a shawl and a picture of the Annurpurna range, very nice of them.  The best gift though was that they told me that because NEF had started the work on the school it had given inspiration to the villagers and they then believed it could be done.  Many of them had donated what they could to help.  100 rupees, 500 rupees it has all helped.  There is still a long way to go but it is slowly coming together.  Then they will have a school they can be proud of and that is close for children especially the little ones.

Later in the day we went to Simpani and we visited the BK family where four little girls have been living alone for two months with no contact from their mother while she has chemotherapy in the south of Nepal.  They only had enough rice for one more meal and nothing else.  So after we had visited and Jeff had checked teeth we went and bought lots of food for them.  The shop keeper had been kind and given them rice on credit.  He also took the food to their home on a motorbike.  One of the girls had not been to school for two weeks and we talked to her about what education meant to her future life.  She was going to school today.  The eldest child, Maya, has been holding the family together as best she can.  She is 13 and the youngest is 6 and the other two in between.  Jeff was totally shocked at such conditions.  We have word that the mother may return at the end of the week. I truly hope so.

This morning I am trying to catch up on emails etc but my iPad is nearly out of power so may have to wait to later to post photos.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

More Photos

Prabau, Parmila, Pradip and mother and neighbors all listen to Jeff talking about tooth care.
Jeff checking Prabau's teeth who he sponsors

Jeff, the Dentist, Arrives

Jeff arrived last night from Seattle.  So today we took him to meet his two sponsored children.  He also wanted to start checking teeth which was no problem.  Everyone wants their teeth checked.  It was a long day for him as he must have been tired after such a long journey.  He checked a lot of teeth and we ran out of clean instruments so we boiled them on our stove in the kitchen.  Then he went to Sima's children home and checked teeth there.  Mann held the light and I wrote down the treatment needed and took photos.
Jeff with sponsored child Jesika and her sister
Tomorrow we leave for Pokhara early in the morning.  Jeff is very excited about this venture and the dental camps.  A few years ago he ran the Everest Marathon but he has never been to Pokhara or seen  old Kathmandu so it is all a new experience for him.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Rakesh and Sunita

Rakesh with his new puppy
Sunita in first year university

Visiting Children

After two strike days which meant we could not drive anywhere, we were able to get out.  It was a public holiday for International Women's Day which meant children were not at school.  It turned out that some schools were closed and some were not.  We went to the stone quarrey and visited all our children there and also saw some other families, 15 children in all.  I am happy to say all we're doing well.  A couple, Sarita and Milan, have been with NEF since 2006 and are now quite grown up.
Rakesh, who is 11, has also been with us that long.  He recently lost his sponsors but I had a new one for him.  His sisters have both graduated from college now and both have jobs, they were also educated through NEF.
We visited Sunita who is in her first year of a BA program.  She is majoring in English and Journalism.  She has been with us since 2005.  She also has a part time job in a mobile phone repair shop.
Today, now Saturday, we visited 4 more children who have been with us since the beginning also.  3 were boys who were either starting class nine or ten.  One family had moved to a terrible room because the last building they were in was pulled down.  It was tiny and was made of tin and seven family members live here.  When I remarked to Mann about the conditions one of the daughters understood what I was saying and said "we manage".   I told her they were very tough and not like us in the west who need luxury accommodation.  One of the elder daughters in the family was sponsored through NEF right through college and she now has a job in a beauty salon.  We still sponsor two boys here Anjan and Gaptem in classes 8 and 10.  I told them we were very proud of them.
Milan and Sarita

Could not post here yesterday as no electric.  Lots of challenges.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Re photos

I am trying to send out the children's photos to sponsors the day I take them so that I do not have a backlog when I get home.  It is proving to be difficult with slow Internet connections.  Please let me know when you receive them  and how many so I know.  I have had to resend a lot.  Plus if you have changed your email address recently please let me know.
It is another strike day today but hopefully can visit local children.

Chalnakhel School

Children at new desks at Chalnakhel School

New railing at Chalnakhel school provided by Duncan Rotary Clubs

Problems in Nepal

The situation here in Nepal is not good.  Apparently there have been numerous strikes when the whole country comes to a standstill in last few months.  Today is a strike and probably tomorrow.  We cannot work as no vehicles are allowed on the roads, schools are closed etc.  Petrol is in short supply, Mann had to line up for two hours yesterday and was only allowed to buy 4 liters.  The Internet connection here is hit and miss and very weak so sometimes takes hours to download photos etc.  Saw one child early this morning and that was Pinky who is near here.  She had moved out into the fields so her father could try and make a living growing some vegetables.  No one out there for Pinky to play with but her father had bought two puppies which we cuddled, me and Pinky while Mann looked at the vegetables.  She had named one Tiger and one Puppy.  The father said they would protect against people stealing veggies.  I think it will be hard for them to make a living on the amount of land they were renting.  It sure is a tough life here.  I will try and put some photos up as I can.  Pinky's sponsor is coming next week which she is looking forward to.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Yesterday we went to the village of Hattiban to visit children and we saw 13 out of 17 so will return later to see the rest.  As usual it was sunny and warm and we sat outside with the children while they had pop and cookies and we had tea.  We were able to take a lot of exercise books that were donated from Qatar.  The children were all doing well and I read letters to the children that had them.  One little girl received some large photos of her sponsor's sailing trip to the Carribean and I am sure she had never seen anything like that.  I will put up some photos later as that always takes a long time.

I also visited the Chalnakhel school where the Duncan Rotary recently paid to have railings around the balcony and stairs and completion of classrooms.  The bulk of the work is done but some window grills have to be finished and clen up work.  I will return before I leave to see it completed.

Managed an hour's run at 5:30 am so I hope that means I am back in routine.  It is busy here at that hour and it is an obstacle course of people, bicycles, traffic and dogs and of course the many large pot holes.
Photos later.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Here is the photo of Samjhana with the photo her sponsor sent of holding her photo at the top of Kilamanjaro.  I love it.  This sort of thing makes my day especially when she has little else in her life.

First days in Nepal

I arrived in Nepal two days ago after a two day journey via Korea.  the ride from the airport seemed chaotic and although I was only here a few months ago it seems as though I have been plunged into a different world which Of course I have.  The taxi had very little petrol and we had to stop a couple of times to see if we could get some but there is a shortage and the pumps were dry.  We did make it to the apartment on what he had, thank goodness as I was very tired.  We have a new office and apartment which is very nice and an improvement over the last one and there is a garden to sit in.  It will be warmer in the winter for Mann and he his family as it has a sunny exposure which will add warmth.  The house owners are very lovely people and run a school themselves and help poor children.  They told me that they want us to be like family.  They are very enlightened and educated and do not believe in the caste system which means that Mann and Sima will encounter no discrimination here which I am very happy about.  So it is a good move for us.

Yesterday I did paperwork and sorted clothes, gifts and letters and sat in the garden in the sun.  Today  we started visiting children.  I had a lovely visit with my granddaughter's family and visited Samjhana.  She is sponsored by the airline pilot whose photo I have posted here before of him in the cockpit holding Samjhana's photo.  This time he sent her a photo of him at the top of Kilamanjaro holding her photo.  She was very happy with that.  I will try and post it here but I am having problems as the connection is so very slow so if things are a bit messed up please understand.  For Samjhana this is a really bright light in her dismal life as her mother does nothing, she is always in bed when I go and Samjhana has to do all the cooking and work.  If she did not have a sponsor she would have been out of school long ago.  The family of 6 lives in a tiny room which is very gloomy but up on the wall is the photo of the pilot holding Samjhana's photo.  He also sends her postcards from the places he flies to around the world.  You can only imagine how special that makes her feel.

Photos first day

Bipana college student
Liza, Mann's daughter eating momos