Saturday, November 30, 2013

Home From Nepal

We arrived home from Nepal two days ago.  It was a very enjoyable time although it was difficult to get around because of the election and the ongoing strikes.  From the day we arrived there was a continuous strike for ten days.  We did manage to use motorbikes but it was risky being on the road.  One night we had to wait while a bomb was detonated by the police and there were some attacks on micro buses with bombs.  On election day there were no motorized vehicles allowed on the streets.  I went for my usual run up along the lakeshore in Pokhara which is always a beautiful run in the early morning but on election day it was amazing as there was no traffic.  Not likely to happen again so I enjoyed every minute.  The strike made taxis extremely expensive so we were restricted to where we went and so it was harder to see the children although we did visit a lot.
Trevor and Marnie Watkin and their two children visited for five days and we managed to get them up to Kristi School although it was an expensive trip up to the village again because of the transportation cost.  Trevor and Marnie had helped fundraise for this school building along with their friends the Pollocks.  They were delighted to see it almost finished and donated the money to have the school painted and for some more desks.  This school has come so far since we first saw it three years ago.  Then it was literally falling down and now they have a solid new building.  The finishing touches still need to be done and they need teaching supplies, books etc but at least they have a sound structure.  They expressed a lot of gratitude and said we had also given them inspiration and the villagers then had all helped in whatever way they could.  This school committee is very progressive.  Thank you to the Watkins and Pollocks for making this happen.
We were also very happy with the Chalnakhel school which I wrote about in the last post.  The money has now been donated for the desks needed by the class 1 room.  Many more desks are needed for this school though.
The election in Nepal although disruptive was needed and the result very encouraging.  The Congress Party and the UML Party will merge together and have a majority and hopefully draft the constitution.
The Nepali people are very happy and there were many celebrations in the streets.  Hopefully and finally may they have some stability in their Government and a better way forward.
Bob and I both enjoyed our time in Nepal. it was more relaxed than in the spring and we enjoyed some time sitting in the sun and in the company of Mann and his family.  I will return in three months time.
The Watkins, Jagat, Mann, Susan with the Watkins sponsored family

Kristi School

Class 10 student, Ambika, working at her job preparing vegetables before school

Student at Chalnakhel School

Men up a tree picking a small sour fruit used for making pickles, very dangerous and in bare feet

Prem, Mann & Sima's little son

Chalnakhel School new railing provided by Duncan Daybreak Rotary

Visually impaired student, Sabitri, with her phone and new talking watch both provided by her sponsor

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


On Monday we visited Hattiban which is always such a pleasure.  It is a typical Nepali village and is always bathed in sunshine.  We meet all the children at Rajendra's house, he works for us here.  We always buy the children drinks and biscuits and it is a treat for them.  Most of these children have been sponsored for years and now have grown so tall I hardly recognize them as they are young men and women but all still at school.  We have some new little ones too.  The boys are more successful here as it is away from the city and its temptations.
Photos of the group, a couple were sick, Mehek, a letter being read to Mehek's mother, a gift of pomelos from  a child's father, children through the window.

Chalnakhel School

Yesterday we went to visit Chalnakhel School.  Duncan Daybreak Rotary paid for work to be done here earlier in the year by making new railings on the balcony and stairs, some new desks and upgrade to the nursery class with carpeting, painting and a table.  They had a little ceremony for us which was lovely and the children had made us many, many homemade flower malas, so beautiful.  The Principal told us the children had been excited for two days.  This is a very poor school in a Nepali village with many poor children.  It is the class one room that has no desk as posted below in previous post.  The school still needs lots of work in the way of painting, more desks, staff room furniture and desperately needs some teaching aids.  They are really trying and have managed to get a compound wall built with funds from the village community.  We have two little girls sponsored here Mehek and Radhika.  The school now goes to class 8 and next year class 9.  I think they will have a good future if the get the help they need.  They are also teaching the children about recycling and picking up litter as can be seen on the wall painting.  This is very necessary in Nepal.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


What started out as a warm and memorable welcome to Chalnakhel Hattiban School by the students yesterday ended up on a sad note when we saw that the class one students had no desks and had to work on the cold cement floor.  We are hoping that there is someone or a group of people who would like to make a real difference in 19 children's lives by donating the funds to buy six desks, each desk holds four children.  Cheaper wooden desks cost $37 each for a total of $222.00 or better iron and wood desks are $76 each for a total of $456.  The more expensive desks, of course, last longer.
Either one is going to make a difference in their school lives, not only for these children but also those that follow on.  Photos of the classroom and Ridhika an NEF sponsored child in the class.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Women's Literacy

Yesterday we attended a graduation ceremony for the Women's Literacy Program.  They had completed six months training in basic reading, writing and arithmetic.  They each received a certificate.  This program is funded through NEF and administered by Annurpurna Rotary.  Individual sponsors each sponsor a woman for a six month period and longer if they wish to continue.    All these ladies wished to continue for a further six months.   This is a very worthwhile program as none of these ladies have had any previous education.   They had all made lots of flower malas to hang around our necks and we had tea and biscuits with them following the ceremony.  I am very happy with this program as 27 women have now received some basic education.  I told them that they were very important role models for their children and that some education would open up a whole new perspective for them.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Children from Pumbi Bumdi Visit

Yesterday four children, Ayusha, Nikisha, Apshara and Ankita, came to visit at our hotel.  I needed to take photos of them for their sponsors.  They are sponsored by John and Jane of Pro-Partnership, Qatar.
All are very poor children from the village.  They were very excited to come into Pokhara and were very fascinated with the para gliders.  During midday there are several hundred of them and the sky is filled with coloured wings floating above the lake.  We bought them some lunch and they also enjoyed my iPad.  I put their photos on there so they could look at them.  Pumbi Bumdi village school, Shree Bhagawati Primary, is a government school but the best I have seen and these children all speak some English quite well.  I did not have time to visit the school this time owing to the strike.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Here are the Photos to go with Previous Post

Photos of Manu Pun and his mother, Rabika, one of our sponsored children, book donated to Koskeri school science lab, Daumaya who has been sick with cancer looking well now, High Mount students.

Visiting Simpani

Today finally things were back to normal, no strike or holiday and taxis were back to their regular prices.  We went to Simpani and visited with about 40 children at High Mount school.  They were all doing very well.  They all seem to grow so much between my visits that it is hard to recognize some.
There was only one problem and that was with a little boy named Manu.  They are so poor that they do not have enough money for food so he has been going to the temple and stealing the offerings, rupees and bits of rice so they can eat.  His mother has very deformed hands due to being burned and they are not usable so she cannot work and has no husband.  The grandmother does some spinning to pay the rent.  Manu is very likeable and has a happy personality and is regular at school everyday.

Susma who we sponsored last year as she has no parents and had come from the village to stay with a relative, had jumped two classes from UKG to class 2 in one year and was still getting 98 percent.  She is eight and had had very little schooling in the village.
It was good to see so many of the children.  We also paid a visit to the government school and donated a science book to the science lab there

Today everyone was very excited about the election results and it was the main topic of conversation.
The Congress party are well in the lead although final results will not be known for a few days due to the remoteness of the country.  I hope the result will bring peace to the country and an end to the ongoing strikes.  What everyone wants most is a constitution and hopefully they will get it.
I do not seem to be able to post photos tonight so will try again in the morning.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Visiting Children Yesterday

Here are some photos of visits to children yesterday in Pokhara.  Sanchu, his mother and sister with Sarjina and friends in their little room.  Little sisters Yolanda, Sushila and Urmila with their mother and baby brother.  Mann reading a letter from Merritt Rotary Club to their sponsored child Hemat.  Daumaya and Maya.  I was showing her a photo album containing photos of the children over the years that the sponsor had sent.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Kristi School

Yesterday we visited the Kristi School and took Marnie and Trevor Watkins there as they have helped with fundraising for the rebuilding of this village school.  It was a special visit and everyone was impressed with the effort of the school committee with the impressive job they had done with limited funds to rebuild the school.  We gave out uniforms from a school in the Cowichan Valley that has closed and the uniforms donated to NEF.  We also gave out toothpaste donated from Warmland Dentistry in Duncan.  The Watkins donated money for the painting of the school and for some desks. We were lucky to make it up to the village as the roads are dangerous as there is a nationwide strike and even tourists vehicles have been attacked.  We started work at this school three years ago when the old school was literally falling down and actually one classroom did collapse with children in it but fortunately no one was hurt.  Lori and Jay Pollock of Duncan also helped by having a fundraiser in Duncan for the school and also visited last year.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Here are the other two photos that belong to the previous post.  Jenny with Rahoul and the lunch with Doma.  It is very difficult to post photos on this iPad.

Busy Day

The Watkins took Doma, their sponsored child, and her Aunty and sister out for lunch today.  It was a two hour lunch and they enjoyed drawing pictures together and getting to know each other better.  At the end though it was time to say goodbye which they were sad about.
First thing this morning some students came to visit at the office.  Pradip, and his sister Parmila and then Deepesh and his sister Deepa and their mother.  They had travelled for two and a half hours to see us.  Pradip I have written about often on this blog as he is one of our biggest success stories.  We helped him get off the streets years ago where he was taking drugs.  He has gone on to finishing his class ten successfully and now is in his second year of college.  He goes to college from 6am to 11am and then works in a warehouse till 7pm six days a week and two hours on Saturdays.  He earns $50 per month for that.  I asked him if he was going to go to university as i know his sponsor would pay for him but he said as much as he would like to he has too many problems at home and must work.  He is the eldest son and they are so poor that he has to provide for the family as his father does not come home often and provides nothing.  I am very proud of him as he has come so far and is such a admirable young man.
We next visited the children's home,SBCH, where I have some sponsored children.  Santi, who lost her mother last year and her father this last April is living here now.  She has been through so much but today was looking healthy and happy, a big improvement in a few months.  Also we saw Jenny, the dog who was so sick in the spring and who I took to vets for treatment a couple times.  I really thought she was not going to make but thanks to two boys, Sargon and Rahoul, who followed all instructions and gave the medicines daily she recovered and was looking good today.  When we got there Rahoul was bathing her.
Photos of Pradip, Santi, Jenny and lunch with Doma

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lots of Strikes due to Upcoming Election

Our travel is quite hampered due to limited transportation due to strikes.  We are managing to see some children and to take our sponsors around but we have to be home before dark as their is a lot of unrest at night.  The election is on Tuesday and hopefully after that things will be back to normal.

We visited Smitri and Abiseka this morning who are close to the office and gave out some clothes to Sujan and his family.  It was nice to sit in the sun and watch Mann's little girl Liza take her brother Prem for a ride, he had just had a bath.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sponsors Visit Their Child

Last night the Watkins family arrived in Nepal and today we took them to visit their sponsored child, Doma.  Doma lives with her Aunty Dickie and it is always a delight to visit there.  Doma is from the Everest region and she comes from a very large family.  The father has died and the mother is sick and unable to care for all her children.  It was a very good visit today and Aunty Dickie had cooked us rice pudding and curried vegetables.  She is a delightful lady.  Doma's sister Yanji was also sponsored through NEF for some years but now has graduated and next week is leaving to work in Malaysia.  The Watkins are going to take Doma, Yangi and Aunty Dickie out to lunch on Saturday.

Yesterday we were visiting Pradip, Prabu and Partima.  Pradip's sponsor had sent photos of the family that I had sent him over the years, he had had them laminated as well.  He also had made a collage of them that they can hang on the wall.  They were just delighted with them.  These families cannot afford photography so this is a really neat idea.  It was also interesting to how the children had grown over the years.  Photos of the Watkins and Doma, Yanji and Auny Dickie, Nanu another sponsored child and Pradip with the photos.  Nanu is wearing a sweater that was donated from a school that closed down on Vancouver Island.  They donated many boxes of these uniforms for the children in Nepal.
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