Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Photos Below Are

Ed buying cakes for the children, Samjhana with a photo of her Sponsor standing beside one of airplanes he flies for Air Canada, children Chalnakhel school with photos Ed took of them last fall, students at Chalnakhel school singing the national anthem for Nick to film and Sushant with a Tibetan scarf sent by his sponsor.  The scarf was 50 years old and has been carried from Tibet to India and to Canada and now has come back again.  It was a touching story.

Some of the Children we filmed with Nick

Monday, March 30, 2015


Sabitri, one of our vision impaired students who is in the first year of a Master's program, received a nice surprise today.  A donor, who wishes to remain annoyomous, bought her an iPad Air.  She needed a computer so that she can do all the reading necessary for her course, 21 books she said in the first term.  She has soft wear for the blind loaded on it.  She was very surprised and so grateful for this wonderful gift.  She came into town this morning on the bus and then it poured with rain so we sent her home in a taxi.  The donor felt this was a very good investment as she has such a positive attitude. She is an amazing young lady.  She is a great role model for other blind students.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Sadness of Poverty

I see so much poverty here in Nepal that I get used to it but there is always one person or incidence that gives me a huge reality check and makes me very, very sad.  It happened tonight after a long day visiting a school and children.  I was walking down the road in Thamel to meet Ed and Dave for dinner when a little man came up to me and said "do you remember me" I said yes I do.  I have known him for years, he was a rickshaw driver who was always outside the Kathmandu Guest House.  I always spoke to him and sometimes got him to take me somewhere.  He was the rickshaw driver I knew best.  He was full of life and spoke a little of many languages which he was so proud of.  I left my passport in a currency exchange shop once and he was he that got it returned to me.  The figure that stood before me now was a broken man.  He told me he had fallen on the road eight months ago and broke his arm in two places.  It was now in a sling and his hand was useless.  His family had left him and gone to India.  He had nowhere to live, no income and was a picture of dejection.  He asked if I could help with a little money and I handed him some money.  Then the tears rolled down his cheeks and he hugged me to him.  There is no welfare here, no food banks and no free medical, a city of the dreadfully poor and desperate people. He is no more than about 45 if that but is old and bent.  In the centre of Kathmandu there is no begging anymore the authorities stopped it so where are those people now?   How lucky we are in our world.  There is little I can do for him but give him a few meals, I cannot change his life but the hug of gratitude he gave me me tore at my heart.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Filming with Nick

I did not get to post here yesterday because I left my iPad in a shop and did not get it back until this morning.  Amazingly I did get it back thanks to honest people.  
We have filmed for two days and also tonight did interviews.  I have tried to pick our most successful stories and students to film.  These have included Pradip, now in first year university, the stone quarry families, Ed's family of Pradip, Prabin and Partima, our blind students Sabitri and Sushant and our very first sponsored family the Ale Magars.  We also went to the Mahalaxmi Nakhipot school where the Rotary project is taking place.  New toilets are in progress and roof repair and a new nursery class are planned.  The children were all excited to take part.
Nick interviewed Ed, Dave, Mann and myself and we all got a bit tongue tied but as it will all be edited we need not worry.  I am post some photos of the filming.  Photos are Pradip being interviewed, everyone was so impressed with this successful young man bottom, top Sandip holding a photo of them with me seven years ago, Sandip went from the street to entering college this year, Rakesh reading his sponsor's letter with Mann, Mrs. Lama at the stone quarry holding her grandchild, the students at Nakhipot school, the father of Ed's student playing his Nepali national instrument and singing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nick Arrived Last Night

Nick and his wife Elly arrived last night and we are meeting with them this morning at 8 am.  Nick is making a film of NEF and we start today.  This has been planned for two years and is exciting.  Those children and families to be involved are very excited.  Four sponsors will be here and will be filmed with their families, Ed from Audtralia, Dave from New Zealand and Carol and Keith from Qatar.  I will report here on the progress of the filming.  This film will be a gift from Nick to NEF, he is here on his own time and money so we are truly grateful to him.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sanitary Kits for Girls and Women

A quilting group back home in Duncan made 17 sanitary kits for us to distribute in Nepal.  They contain washable pads, holders, face cloth and soap.  I was just going to give to teenage girls but mothers really wanted them also so could not say no.  We did not have enough to distribute at schools, other than one class 8 class which just had three girls so I gave them to our sponsored girls in their homes.
They were really happy with them.  The ladies did an excellent job making them, many thanks.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Literacy Program

Visited the Women's Literacy program yesterday.  We are a bit down in numbers but some were not there as it was not their class time.  One lady was at the cancer hospital and her friend, also a literacy lady, had accompanied her.  They are still enjoying the program.  One lady had opened a little business, a small shop, as she was now able to read and write and do some math.  They gave Ed and I a nice bag each that were made locally and had tea and samosas for us.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

School for the Deaf

Yesterday we visited the school for the deaf.  We took Paros and his mother with us.  We were very impressed with school and the staff.  This is the only school for the deaf that goes all the way to class 12 in Nepal.  We went into class 11 and the students were happy to see us.  Ed looked at their notebooks and was very impressed with their writing.  We looked at the nursery class were Paros would be starting and all the children seemed very happy.  The children were like at other schools in that they wanted to touch me and say hello in their own way of signing.  The school was so quiet.  Paros can start in five weeks at the start of the new year.  His mother has to go to her district to get paperwork first and to have Paros checked at the hospital there, he has to be
certified deaf.  She was worried about this as she does not read or write.  Mann has a. Friend there who can help her.  
The good thing is by NEF sponsoring Paros to go there the government will match and so two,children get the opportunity.  It is wonderful that Paros gets this opportunity and starts at the beginning in
nursery class.   Also he will now be with children like him and will lean to,speak with them.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Grandmother and Mina

This grandmother we have known for years, she was in our literacy program for years and was always my husband Bob's favourite grandmother.  She is the same age as me.  Now she looks thinner, she was hit by a motorcycle last year and has not been quite the same since.  Her granddaughter, Mina, we have sponsored for years and she is now in college.  Another of our successes. 
Also Ganga and her mother and brother.  They live right at the river in a tiny dwelling.  They are a lovely family.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dave with Mankumari and Family

Dave, from New Zealand, is enjoying time with his sponsored child, Mankumari, and her family.  The mother, Daumaya, is the lady who has had cancer.  Dave brought them into Lakeside for a meal and ice cream.  He also took Daumaya to the hospital for a check up and she has to go back next week for more tests.  She is looking well though.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Glasses

This is a very smart student that Ed noticed was having difficulty reading the blackboard.  Yesterday he took him to the hospital to have his eyes checked and then to buy glasses.  The student picked out these purple pink coloured ones.  Ed tried to show him others but no these are the ones he wanted.  His father was so grateful offering Ed lunch etc.  when we took this photo we were given a warm glass of Buffalo milk each.  But these are much nicer than the ones this little girl is wearing in class yesterday.
The glasses are for distance but there was no way he was going to take these off.  The doctor said he had very weak vision.  Thanks to Ed he will be able to read the blackboard now.

Monday, March 16, 2015

This photo did not publish so trying again

Doing this blog on an iPad is difficult and that is why photos may not be lined up properly or missed such as this one of Ed delivering gifts.  Also a photo of Manu holding photos that Ed took last October, laminated and put hangers on, the children and families loved them.

Visiting Children in Simpani

We have been visiting children in Simpani.  I have been sick for the last two days with sore throat etc so Ed has filled in for me and has done a good job.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be back in action.  I think the terrible journey and mayhem at the airport took its toll.  We have unfortunately lost about three children due to them moving, marriage breakup and family problems.  I know this is disappointing to sponsors and for us too but in very poor countries there is often a lack of stability.  People move to where they can find work or sometimes back to mountain villages.  This is beyond our control and there are no guarantees.  We have a high success rate but nothing is one hundred percent.
I am posting some photos of the children: Yomaya and her mother and baby brother, Ed delivering some gifts and a new little boy who we are going to sponsor.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Now in Pokhara which is pleasant.  The air pollution in Kathmandu was horrible, worst that I remember.
We visited Daumaya and her daughters.  Dave sponsored Mankumari in 2007 and he was anxious to see them.  Daumaya had cancer a couple of years ago, many of you will remember.  She looked well but is losing weight so we are going to arrange for her to go for a check up.  Maya, the eldest, read Sabita's sponsor's letter to her and we were very impressed by Maya's reading skills.  Maya is just going into class 10.  Tomorrow Dave is bring them into Lakeside for dinner and ice cream and then taking them shopping.  Daumaya is selling a few vegetables to earn some money and makes about 60 rupees per day, less than one dollar.  Running shoes in the photo donated by my running club members.  Photo of Mankumari.


I met Krishna at the airport yesterday while we were waiting for Dave to arrive from New Zealand.  His flight was badly delayed owing to Kathmandu airport being closed again.  We sponsored Krishna and his brothers many years ago.  Somewhere back on this blog there are photos of him with a vegetable cart we bought for his veg business.  He went on to work at the Kathmandu Guest House as a bell boy and now has been promoted to the airport pick up and welcoming job.  He works along side Rajendra who works for us in Hattiban.  He told me how he always remembers those times when we sponsored him and visited him.  We sponsored him through college.  I am sure his sponsor will be happy that he is doing well.  He said it is a special memory to him and asked if he could have the photo of him that I put on the blog.  I said I would find it when I go home.  I always knew that Krishna would do well.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


I met Shailendra at the Nakhipot school two days ago.  Although I was concentrating on the girls Shailendra made himself known to me.  He wanted my business card, he was attentive and had a intensity about him that could not be ignored.  He is 15 and finishing class 8.  The teacher told me that he had a very bad home condition as his father was a drunk and wanted him to quit school and do labouring work, he did not want the mother spending any money for her son's education.  Shailendra is extremely bright and a dedicated student.  He asked Mann if we would come to his home and so today w e went.  He and his mother met us on the street and took us to their room.  The mother cleans eight houses every week to make money for the family but there is nothing left over for books etc.  I looked at Shailendra's notebook and was surprised to see such beautiful writing in both English and Nepali.  He wants to finish school and college and go into the army.  He is the eldest and needs to provide for his mother.  He has a younger brother of 12.  I could not say no to this boy, something about him made me want to give him a chance to finish his education.  I am going to pay for his school year from donations.  He had a big smile when I told him and seemed relieved.  Now he can go onto class 9 at another school as Nakhipot only goes to class 8.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Photos of Nakhipot School

Nakhipot School

Yesterday, my first day, we went to the Nakhipot school.  It was very moving, they greeted me with open arms.  They are so happy and grateful for the science room and books that was supplied with a donation from the Dwight International School, Duncan Daybreak Rotary and Port Angeles Rotary. They said the children are so interested now.  I looked at the site for the new toilets.  They planned four new ones with septic tank, with proper pans and tiled.  I thought that may not be enough so they agreed and would like a common urine room (don't ask, it is common here).  Hopefully the work will start today or tomorrow.  The construction man is coming here this morning.  The urine room will cost more but there still may be enough to replace the tin roof over part of the school which is leaking.  This new project is being funded by Merrit Sunrise Rotary, Merrit Noontime Rotary and Duncan Noontime Rotary.
Also I have decided to make a nice nursery/kindergarten room.  It is literally bare bones now.  This I will do from NEF funds.
I talked with the teachers for about an hour and a shocking fact came out about the students.  Most 75% are child labourers from villages in remote areas.  They are so poor the parents send them to work in these rich homes around here as domestic servants from as young as six and seven.  Keeping them in school to class 8 is a challenge as they have no time to study, they see the teachers as their parents and they try to help these kids as much as possible.  It is hard for them to buy uniforms etc.  this was a shock to me and now I know why this shabby school sits in a rich area uncared for.  They did not tell me last year and I did not ask as I have not come across this before.  The science teacher is a warm woman speaking good English.  I told her she has to tell this story to Nick in the film that he is making of NEF later this month. These beautiful, smiling children struggling for an education with almost no hope.  Very sobering on my first day.  The women teachers here are wonderful, though they have added two men, for better or worse (just jokin).  One seemed to be a very caring young man of 23.   These kids need some light in their lives and to know people value them.  They will know that Rotary members from Canada are helping them.  An NEF sponsor known at the school as Mr Ed has just been teaching here for two weeks.  
Today we returned to the school with books bought with donations from two donors.  The children were delighted with them.  I visited some of the classes and talked to the children who were domestics.  They were not treated well.  On girl, aged 18, in class 8 was very unhappy.  She had to work so hard and the teacher said she often had swollen red hands.  I asked her how much money she was paid and she said 3000 rupees per year (38 canadian dollars) plus her room and board.  She was hoping to go onto class 9 but she would have to travel to another school and this may not be possible unless she finds another place to live.  Younger children were paid nothing.  Very sad.
I will post photos separately

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Arrived in Nepal

Namaste everyone:

I am now in Nepal, first day here.  It was the worst journey I have had.  Delayed 12 hours in Malaysia due to the plane crash in Kathmandu causing the airport to be closed for 4 days.  Arrived at 10:30 pm and did not get my luggage till 1 am.  I cannot begin to describe to you the mayhem in the luggage room.  I had no hope of hanging on to my cart and trying get through the throng to lift those heavy bags off the carousel.  The men were standing on the carousels, luggage being thrown everywhere, people sleeping on the floor.  A lady offered to hold my cart so I could go to the toilet which was a filthy mess.  I did finally see one of my bags go by and after sometime a man told he had seen my bags and later found them on the floor for me.  I was very grateful to him.  Mann waited four hours for me to come out.  I have never seen anything like it in my life.  Today I am very tired but started work.  Tomorrow I will start the blog.  The story I will put on here tomorrow is a sad one which I encountered today.  It is about the children who attend the Nakhipot school where we put the science lab last year and this year have a Rotary project for new toilets.

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

On My Way to Nepal

I am on my way to Nepal via Kuala Lumpur.  My flight left Vancouver late so I missed my flight Kuala Lumpur.  I am going to spend four days with my friend Bikram, my yoga teacher from Nepal.  Bikram used to teach yoga some years ago in Thamel and I became friends with him.  He was the best yoga teacher I ever I had.  He made me believe that I could do anything.  I did my first headstand with him.  He was very poor and lived in a tiny room where I remember having dinner with him.  Then he was picked by a high end yoga chain in K.L and he worked for them for a few years.  Now he has his own yoga studio, is married with a son and is doing very well.  I am so looking forward to seeing and doing lots of yoga.  I am the only yoga student from the west that has remained friends with Bikram through the years so this is a big event for both of us.