Thursday, December 29, 2011

Words from a child.

The school term has come to an end and it is so hard for me to think I can most probably only see the children again in a years time. Each and every one has a special place in my heart and I am blessed to have had this time with them. As I left today one of the boys came running to me and handed me a picture they had made in the classroom. In one of the corners they wrote "I love you my friend" and then it said, "May you be happy always." These words from a child so young has such meaning. Is it not what we all want in our lives, to be happy always. And to hear a child write those words is a moment I will not forget easily. This month at the school has taught me so much. This school is such a special place, it creeps into our heart and makes you realise how happy children are, no matter what the circumstances are that they are in. They loved drawing and painting, and could not get enough. It was so hard for me to end each day to say the lesson is over. I think back at their runny noses, paint all over their fingers and beautiful smiles as they look for confirmation that I think their work is "ramro cha". "May you be happy always." What does those words mean to you. To many it is having the dream house, the nice car and a loving family. To others it means making it through each day, living each day with a smile, even if the school walls are bare and their is no color anywhere. Each and every one of us are looking for that eternal happiness in our lives. Some chase it forever, others just give up. What is happiness to you? Happiness is inside each of us, and we can only always be happy once we find that in our hearts to love ourselves and the find the joy in each and every moment. As I am lying here, my body aching, my stomach not too well, hot water feels like a distant memory, and I probably have been wearing these same clothes for quite a few days now. But I look back at the day  as I am truly blessed to learn these lessons from the children.
I am so excited to tell you that today we had shopped for the first color paint for the school. It took some convincing to change their minds that pink is not a color for the library. Color is coming to school and for me it is such a huge moment. Thinking back it was one of my biggest dreams, to color in the lives of the children at the school. And to see it all happening, makes all the hard work, tears and time worth it all. I am still shocked at all that we have accomplished and know that anything can be possible, no matter the odds.
Room before we finished painting.

Color color is here. New reading room in progress. Thank you Biju for  helping me choose the color at the painter.
And even better news is we might be able to have some light in the library, when there is power. We are discussing getting cables put in. The school asked if we could pay for the materials, they would be able to pay for the labor. This will be the first light in a classroom when it happens. I have to smile as I look around my room which looks more like a storage area than a room. I have library books stacked everywhere, school supplies I am trying to sort out and much needed art supplies all over. Thank you to you all for the donations of supplies and books. I am still trying to sort my way through it all.
Thank you to all for the donations!
"May you be happy always my friend."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Freezing fingers and warm smiles

As I lie here, trying to keep myself warm, typing with freezing fingers, my mind has to think how blessed we are in our warm homes and every day comforts. We forget that there are so many people that are out there not having a place to lie down. At the moment he power has been cut more and there is maybe about four hours power at a time, twice a day. Showers are ice cold and there is no chance of any heat, I pretty much feel as if I am lying outside in the cold. But there is no other place I would rather be in this world and I will not change this for any amount of warm heat you can offer. How often do you go outside of your comfort zone, and do the things that you think you could not do. How I enjoy the taste of just a glass of boiled water, waiting for some power so I can make myself one, with my new bought strange looking kettle.
I went to the school today to do some art with the children as the are finished with their exams. Yesterday they asked when they could draw again. But with it only being me, I was only able to do 2 classes today. The classrooms were like ice boxes as there is no windows and the cold air just moves through there. The children kept on rubbing their hands together so they could paint and draw, so their fingers would not get stiff. We did some stencil drawings and some paint work. I feel so blessed to see their warm smiles even though they are so cold. I know each day more than ever that this is what I want to do with my life, how it will be possible I still do not know. To see even the most energetic and loud child become so quiet as he concentrates on keeping inside the lines. Seeing how children blossom as you put up their pictures in a grey bare classroom. Every time I took out a new stencil all I heard was oohs and ahhhs, Each marker they asked me what color it was as some colors were unknown to them. They loved the stickers as we ended up making cards. It takes such simple things to experience the beauty and innocence of a child, moments that are taken for granted in other parts of the world.

 
We have today started putting in the windows in the library/science lab. The work is progressing and I believe we should be finished with the renovations in a couple of days. We are shopping for furniture and science equipment and I cannot wait for it all to be a reality, as for so long it has been a vision in my mind. Thank you to all for all your support to bring color, reading and science back into a warm safe classroom. I pray this is he beginning of making each classroom as warm and safe as this one.
And Yeah...the lights just went on, time for a cup of hot water. Keep warm everybody. x
Thank you Shiou-Ling and the children for helping me sort out all the book donations on the rooftop.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Do you listen to your dreams?

A bit late in posting this, but here goes my story. 
I had this dream the morning I had to leave for Nepal.  This dream has left me with some wonderment as to the meaning and I thought it would be something I would like to share with you.
I was in a jail cell, not sure where or even the reason why I was there.  I was in tears and I remember that it was a kind of out of body experience, me watching myself.  I was crying so uncontrollably and I could feel the pain as it was so real. I asked somebody, not sure who it was, the reason why I could not get bail to be released from jail. I noticed everybody else leaving and I was still there. I was informed that apparently, the one side of my brain was bigger than the other half. They told me the only way I would be released on bail was if I agreed to undergo a procedure. When they explained this procedure the vision I had was one that was done in the old psychiatric wards to make people calm and vegetable like, drilling in the side of their brain. I remembered thinking of how these people looked after the operation, with no personality left, just a shell of a person. They then told me the only way I will ever get back my freedom was if I agreed to this procedure, otherwise I would spend the rest of my life in jail. I saw myself crying as I made the choice to not have the operation, agreeing to give up my freedom forever so that I will not become this vegetable person. At that point my dear friend Janice came to sit on the edge of the jail bed. She said to me that I had known this was going to happen, and that I predicted it.  And I remember thinking to myself, what is she meaning as I never made any prediction about me spending my life in a jail cell. And I knew I can never leave this place, because of the choice of not allowing this procedure.

A very strange dream for those of you that have ever tried to remember your dreams. But it made a very big impression on me. And I know it can be interpreted in so many different ways, depending on the emotion of the day. But I was just wondering what you would have done, would you want to be in a real prison, but still remain who you are or a prisoner in your own mind where you can never escape from. Is this not how we live our lives, making choices based on what others are doing? Do you love who you are enough so that you would not want to change yourself at any cost, even if it means sacrificing certain things in live. Because with every choice made that is against the grain, does come certain sacrifices and it is never easy. But I do believe that I am at that point in my personal growth where I am learning to love myself enough that I can stand for what I believe in, no matter what the cost. I am willing to rather be free in my thinking, than to live as a prisoner of my own thinking, ruled by my fears.  Can you make that choice, are you willing to do whatever it takes to be who you are, to live your dreams. About the prediction that my friend said I made, the only one I ever made was as noted at the top of the blog “The story about a school and how it changed our lives.” And for that prediction I am grateful every day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Plans change, and better ones are made.

After having a meeting with the school and because of the small budget we have, it has been decided that a better option would be to renovate one of the classrooms. We will utilize this room as a library and a science lab for the school. Both of these are very much needed and this is the only way that we will be able to provide it to the school. The children in the existing classroom will be moved to the new section of the school, which hopefully we can finish later in the year. We will be replacing the science and biology equipment, which is pretty much non existant at this point at the school, which makes teacing science and biology impossible.
Pictures of classroom we will be renovating
The new science lab/ library will be completely plastered which will include the roof, walls and floor (only touching up for floor). Because there is hardly any natural light in the calssroom and no electricity, we will break out some of the wall and add two big windows. We will close up the gap between the wall and ceiling by the entrance wall with another small long window and add a door to the classroom. Unforunately labour and materials are expensive and in total this work will cost us Rs 120 000. This will not leave us much for the rest that needs to be done. What we will then still need to do is paint the room and have new cabinites made for packing away the sciene and biology equipment, as well as a science lab table and desks for the children. We are working on sponsors for the library book shelving. The current cabinets are in really bad shape, but will have to do if we cannot find any doners for that.

This has been quite a story and a journey to get to this point and I am so excited that we are so close to making this happen. Work should commence within 2 days and I was informed it should take about 7 days to finish. We are still very much looking for any books that you are able to donate to the new libary, English or Nepal books. It will be so much appreciated. We will not be able to supply the furniture at this point and if anybody could assist with a small donation please contact me at watersfromheaven@gmail.com. Any help with be welcomed no matter how small it may seem to you.     

Life is full of surprises and how this one is busy turning out leaves me in wonderment. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Reflections.

I feel as if I am leaping into the unknown, trying to trust blindly where I will be falling. I do know that we have not been able to yet raise enough money for the library. For the time period we had which was roughly 3 weeks to raise these funds, I feel that everybody pulled through and I am so extremely thankful. We have approximately half of the money, and that will be excluding the racks and the inside extras. I will be meeting some contractors next week and take it from there. I will keep everybody updated as to what is happening. For those who have ordered t-shirts, I will let you know once it is all made. I was informed it should take around 2 weeks to have it done.
I wanted to thank everybody so much for being there and supporting all our efforts. I can assure you I will try my utmost to make it all happen. I don’t give up easily and it really is now in the hands of the universe as to what will happen. This year for those who have been walking this road with me, knows the blessings we have received, but also the obstacles we have been facing. But we have overcome them, and this is another hill we can climb together. Where to from here, I have no idea? I believe anything is possible, but I also know that what will be will be. Trusting in the universe is a big word, and we can only do our best. In the end none of this is for us, but planting a seed and making it grow to give opportunities to children and their children. Then all of these mountains can be moved. Never lose focus on the reason and the motivation, which can be hard as I have fallen many times myself. Live by example, speak what you mean, and believe in yourself! Miracles can happen. See you soon on the other side of the world.    

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Library funds and building contractors needed: wishlists.

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. (Anatole France)
At this point I have been informed by the contractors that we had at the school that unfortunately they did not have any time to work on a small project at this time. I desperately need a contractor that is willing to work on this small project during December and January month. It has been a dream for a long time for the school to have a library set up for the children and we are so close to having it become a reality. This is really a work of love and if anybody in Kathmandu has any contacts they can refer me to. As you can see from the picture there is not too much work left. The school is about 10 minutes walk from Thamel, next to Raktakali temple.

We have been working on raising funds and we are half way there. If anybody would like to make a small contribution to the fund or purchase one of our t-shirts (picture below) for $20.00 or for 800 Rupees to our friends in Kathmandu. Please email me at watersfromheaven@gmail.com. Our Paypal address is watersfromheaven@gmail.com. I have complete faith that this is possible and we can provide the children with a place where they can read, get lost in the stories of others and expand their minds. None of this is possible without the help of each of you. I am so thankful for this journey and whatever happens is how it should be. Please do know that none of the donations is used to cover our expenses. I will be leaving soon, and we do not have much time left to get everything into place. I wanted to say thank you to everybody that has been there for me during this year and given me your support, love and encouragement. I am very thankful for all that has happened up till now.  
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book donations: what is the plan.

After speaking to a few of you and from the emails I was receiving it seems that everybody is still very keen on collecting books. I wanted to let everybody know that we will proceed with the collection. At this point I do not know yet if the books can go to Bhakta Vidyashram as it will depend on whether or not we can raise the funds to complete the new building. I should be receiving a quote within the next week hopefully and will update you on that. If for some reason the building cannot be completed this coming year, I can assure you that we will look at other schools and find a school that is in need of books for the children. This will be a very big book donation and I am so thankful to everybody that has made the effort to carry books over the ocean and those of you that has collected it in Kathmandu. We are looking for basic children’s books in Nepali or English. Also any type of dictionaries, or science magazines, world maps or educational posters. If anybody is travelling and have space for a few books please do bring it with. We have a drop off point in Thamel. We are also still very much in need of art and school supplies for the trip in January and for the art classes we plan to have around the valley in December. If there do any volunteers wanting to do some art classes please email me and we can all set a date to get together and work on an idea. Thank you again to all for making this possible. Any suggestions is welcome.
Do email me at watersfromheaven@gmail.com 
View our slideshow http://changents.com/watersfromheaven

Please join us on our Facebook page. Hope to see you there!  https:/www.facebook.com/WatersFromHeaven 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Picture updates on the building






Thank you Akrum for sending me the updates on the school pictures. As you can see the building has halted and there is not too much work needed to complete the structures. I received a number of $4000.00. But if anybody knows a building contractor if they would be willing to go to the school and supply us with a complete estimate of what it would cost to finish this. At this point this is in an incomplete state and not a safe environment for the children. I have no experience in building work, but I truly believe that somebody can help. The school will have to apply the next fiscal year to see if the government can provide them with more funds, but there is no guarantee. This is not a safe environment for the children or the teachers to be in, and we cannot just turn away when things are so close to happening. Please join us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/226172887417708/
If anybody reading this has any ideas of how we can move forward do email me. At this point it will just stand like this if we dont assist them. And this new structure will just corrode like the rest of the school building. I truly believe that there is an answer out there and it is not impossible to provide a safe environment for the children. The money needed for this project is not impossible to raise. I was thinking to sell our new T-shirts with the logos for $20.00 each. If we sell 400 we will have enough money. I am up for the task are you?
"Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it." - Buddha

Friday, November 4, 2011

Counting my blessings

What an amazingly crazy and emotional week this has been. I had wanted to write this story so that maybe any of you that are going through the same thing can know that we all are there sometimes. I am still a bit stunned at the amount of plans and situations that I felt came crashing down around me. And I was even more stunned at how one event can lead to another to change a serious of events. I know this does not make much sense, but I don’t really want to go into too many details. But my choice was my reaction to it all, I allowed myself to fall into such despair. But we all are human and sometimes we need to fall so that we can stand up stronger and appreciate it all even more so.
  
But I want to take this time also to thank each and every one of you that had written and phoned me. I do remember and treasure your words. Many of you I have not even met, but I feel so blessed to have you on this journey with me. Thank you all for being there.

Unfortunately I had overlooked what was beautiful and chose to cloud my mind. As you might know by now I am working with an amazing organization called COMMITTED to take art to the rural areas. They are a dedicated team that works so hard and are always there to arrange things, and give advice. I really feel so blessed to be working with all of you. Mr. Hada had sent me the program that he and the schools have been working on. I have added so that you can see all the work they are putting into making this a memorable trip for us as well as the children. Just add another 2 days extra as we will only be arriving back in Kathmandu January 17. After glancing over the program something caught my eye again and really struck a cord. Something that I have known since the beginning, but sometimes we need things to remind us again of our blessings. I realized how many meals the community will be partly sponsoring for us. And I realized how blessed we are, to be welcomed by the village into their schools. These communities are very poor as many of you know. And here they are sharing their food with us, sharing their hot tea, and giving from their heart. It made such a big impact on me at that moment that I was thinking, how can I allow other situations to cloud the most beautiful experience we are going to have. To those of you joining us, I am so very much looking forward to meeting you and those that cannot make it, hopefully our roads will cross soon. Please don’t let small things become big things and make you not see the most beautiful gift of all. People’s hearts.   
If anybody would like to make a small donation to this project as all funds will be used towards purchasing art supplies for the children, your help would be very much appreciated.
Program Schedule (8th January 2012-17th January, 2012)
8 January (Sunday):
7:00 a.m.                               Leave Kathmandu from Jorpati
11:00                                     Lunch at Melamchi Bazaar1
3:00 p.m.                               Arrive Thangpalkot
3:15                                        Introductions and Nepali Chiya (Tea)2
4:00                                        School Tour
4:30                                        Freshen/Rest
7:00                                        Dinner3 (Local Dal Bhaat Tarkari)
9 January (Monday)
8:00 a.m.                               Breakfast4
10:30                                     Art Class
12:30 p.m.                             Lunch5 (Local Dal Bhaat Tarkari)
1:30                                       Art Class
4:00                                       Day Wrap Up
5:00                                       Village Tour        
7:00                                       Dinner3 (Local Dal Bhaat Tarkari)
10 January (Tuesday)
8:00 a.m.                               Breakfast4
          Fresh Homemade Doughnuts, Omlette, Bread, Jam, Nepali Chiya
10:30                                     Art Class
12:30 p.m.                             Lunch5 (Local Dal Bhaat Tarkari)
1:30                                       Art Class
4:00                                        Day Wrap Up (Tea and Snacks)7
5:00                                        Village Tour        
7:00                                        Dinner3 (Local Dal Bhaat Tarkari)                                                                                                                                                  
11 January (Wednesday)
7:00 a.m.                                Breakfast4
8:30                                        Head to Kumbheswori Primary School, Gunshakot Village                     
9:30                                        Kumbheswori School Tour
10:00                                      Art Class
12:00                                      Lunch6
1:00                                        Art Class
4:00                                        Day Wrap Up (Tea and Snacks)7
5:00                                        Head Back to Base
7:00                                        Dinner3 (Local Dal Bhaat Tarkari)
12 January (Thursday)
7:00 a.m.                               Breakfast4
8:30                                       Head to Taltuleswori Primary School, Thangpalkot Village                    
9:30                                       Taltuleswori School Tour
10:00                                     Art Class
12:00 p.m.                             Lunch8
1:00                                       Art Class
4:00                                       Program Wrap Up (Tea and Snacks) 7  
5:00                                       Head Back to Base
7:00                                       Dinner 3 (Local Dal Bhaat Tarkari)                                            
13 January (Friday)
7:30 a.m.                               Breakfast4
8:30                                       Bhotang Village Hike         
12:30 p.m.                             Arrive Bhotang
1:00                                       Lunch 9 (at Bishal Tamang’s shop}
2:00                                       Local Tour
                                              Nepal prime minister in the early 20th Bhimsen Thapa’s House, it’s called            Haweli, Bhotang village,
                                              We can see Annapurna and Lakpa Gorje Mountains, Hills
5:00                                        Snacks and Tea   
8:00                                        Dinner 10 (at Bishal Tamang’s shop)
14 January (Saturday)
8:00 a.m.                                Breakfast 11
9:00                                        Thangpalkot Hike              
1:30 pm                                  Lunch5 (Local Dal Bhaat Tarkari)
3:00                                        Local Activities
5:00                                        Snacks and Tea 2 
8:00                                        Dinner3 (Local Dal Bhaat Tarkari)
15 January (Sunday)
6:30 a.m.                               Breakfast4
7:30                                       Leave Thangpalkot for Kathmandu
11:00                                     Lunch at Melamchi Bazaar1
3:00 p.m.                               Arrive Kathmandu
1-    Lunch to be borne by individuals
3, 5-  Lunch and Dinner charge per person Rs. 100, of which 50% will be borne by the school and rest by volunteers
4 - Breakfast charge per person xxxx, of which 50% will be borne by the school and rest by volunteers
6 – Lunch at Gunshakot xxxx
2, 7 – Tea & Snacks; Courtesy-Schools
8 - Lunch at Taltuleswori—Cost---yyyyyy
9, 10 Bishal Tamang’s Residence Cost ZZZZZ
11 – Breakfast at Bishal Tamang’s; Cost TTTTT

Art on the Road trip Jan 8-17 2012: Volunteer needed






We are planning to take art and crafts to the rural areas of Nepal in January month joining hands with COMMITED http://www.cminepal.org/ a Non-Profit based in Kathmandu. We will be visiting the Thangpalkot and Gunshakot Villages of Sindhupalchowk District. This is a road trip intended to expose art to the rural underprivileged children of Nepal. The plan is that we will leave on the 8th of January and return January 17th.The school has arranged accommodation close to their premises; you will just need to bring a sleep mat/mattress and sleeping bag. They have been so amazing and offered to subsidize our meals by 50%. COMMITTED has agreed that they will assist us with the bus fees. I can guarantee that this will be an amazing adventure for those of you that would like to experience the culture and spend some time with the children. You can also look at this link and see the projects COMMITTED are planning for this school. Please give them your support. http://www.razoo.com/story/Cmi .  
We will be visiting 3 schools which are approximately 20 minutes walk from each other. These schools are in the Sindhupalchowk District, and we will reach it by local bus. We will be organizing art and craft classes for the children. Our only request is that volunteers work on a few ideas for art and craft projects for the children and collect supplies for the art classes. No experience needed, but you have a love for children and have fun with colors. Please write me at watersfromheaven@gmail.com and I can provide you with the program details. If you scroll down the page you will see a video that COMMITTED has made on the projects they have started in that area. It will give you an idea of where we will be travelling.  Join us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/226172887417708/   

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Life’s Curve balls

Things change so quickly and then it is not so quickly as it has always been. Life just reveals itself to you when you need to know. I am pretty much on the last legs of having to wrap things up, and so I had thought. Life can make you smile and cry pretty much in the same moment. As you all know we have been working on setting things up for the library since April and have been collecting books and shelving. I received some news  which kind of made me stand still and wonder. The government had allocated a certain amount of money for the school to continue with the building of the library and extra class rooms, but as things went the money ran out before the structure had been completed. My thought was as understood the building would be done by the end of the year and we would hand over the books and cabinets/shelving and then start with plastering, as they had no funds for that. The plastering cost would not be that much and I was pretty sure we would be able to manage that for them. But I received word that they would need another $4000 to complete the classrooms and the library. So now I am very much at the “What now?” moment. Unfortunately there is no space left for placing the cabinets in the only two rooms that have doors on them. The universe always has a better plan than what we can think of or plans might have to go a different way than what we think. So curve balls can happen, when you least expect it, but then this is Kathmandu. For any of you that have ever tried to set anything up from abroad, you will know what I mean. So at this point I really have to regroup my thoughts and see what the alternatives are. Do I donate the books to another school or is there another answer to this question? What would you do in this situation? I just need to pick myself up and clear the cob webs. There is always an answer; sometimes it just takes some time for us to see it. 

But on another note, with the help of Manish we will be replacing all the biology and science equipment. I am also working on taking art to Bandipur. The date and details I will post soon as I know what is happening. I am working on some ideas with a friend to do a soap bubble blowing day on my birthday and a small event on Christmas day for the children in Kathmandu. Hopefully we can collect some funds to distribute wool hats and gloves as it is very cold and many of the children have no access to anything warm. And we will also be taking art to the rural areas when we leave on the trip January 8-18 with volunteers and COMMITTED. We are still very much collecting art and school supplies that we will use during the art projects as well as distribute amongst the children at the school.  If anybody has any ideas on doing a small event or an art project with children do contact me at watersfromheaven@gmail.com.   

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our logo is here!

I am so excited that we have a logo! My dear friend Shivendra has been working on ideas for the last couple of months. I am so proud as this logo represents what WatersFromHeaven is all about. Children, color, dreams and fun. It has been worth waiting and not rushing it. Thank you so much Shivendra for capturing it all. Love you lots.
I am thinking of having some T-shirts printed in Nepal. If anybody would like to order one please email me at watersfromheaven@gmail.com. join us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/226172887417708/   

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things can change for the children!

Alice had just returned from her trip to Nepal and had visited the school. I am so thankful as she was able to carry 50 books in her luggage! Thank you so much Alice. She will also be joining us on the art on the road trip and we will meet up with her in January. This is one of the classroom pictures that she had taken on her visit. As you can see the conditions are very much deteriorating at the school. The classrooms are very dark and cold. When I think back on my first visit to the school in February, I told my husband I have no idea how we will be able to complete such a huge task. It seemed so impossible when looking at the conditions. But I know that with the help of people like Alice, we can change this world for the children, make it safe for them. Where school can be fun and learning becomes a priority again. Thank you to everybody that has sent me emails over these last months. Please help us make the impossible become possible! If anybody is able to make a small donation it will make such a huge difference. Do email me at watersfromheaven@gmail.com or join us on facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/226172887417708/
View our slideshow http://changents.com/watersfromheaven

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Is there anything we can do to save the school! Bhakta Vidyashram.



Thank you Beatrice for sending me the pictures. Thank you for volunteering and spending time with the children and sharing your love. When looking at these pictures I know that the situation there is getting worse.What will happen if nothing is done? The children are going to school in these conditions every day, it is moldy, cold and there is no protection from the elements. But the most beautiful of it all is they always give a smile and never lose their desire to have fun and learn. This school is located about 10 minutes walk just outside of Thamel. Many have walked by and never realized it is a school.     

Monday, October 3, 2011

Science and Biology is coming back to school!

I am so excited at the prospect of science and biology coming back into the classrooms. As most of you have read on my previous blog entries, the school is in dire need of science and biology equipment. They have no equipment to do any science experiments, posters to teach children biology or astronomy or even models of the human body that is not falling apart. As you can see from the pictures, this is the state of their current equipment. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for a teacher to teach and how difficult it is for the children to learn if they cannot visualize anything. But I have some really great news! Manish has been working very hard to raise funds, and when he arrives in December will be working on purchasing these items and finding the best price. I am so excited to be a part of this and so thankful to Manish for his hard work. I can only think how this will change the classrooms and I believe it will create a new interest in these subjects. I was hoping that somebody reading this blog might have contacts with suppliers in Kathmandu or even donors that have access to the science and biology equipment. I have a list of equipment that I can supply. We are still very much in need of funds and would appreciate any small contribution. If anybody is willing to maybe have a small fundraising event or might have any ideas please write me. All and any assistance will be so much appreciated. Thank you to all for contributing to changing the future of the children. Please join us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/226172887417708/





Sunday, October 2, 2011

And so the story changes....

After my first visit to the school I had written that it was a school where time stood still, a forgotten place. Now the story is changing and it will become a school where the children have not been forgotten, where there is hope and dreams are alive. The only thing that has never changed was as I had stated in the heading of the blog is, “The story of a school and how it changed our lives.” I do know that each and every one of you/us that have been involved thus far has been touched by these beautiful children in some way. None of us can walk away from their smiles, their positive attitude and their willingness to learn even though they have the odds stacked against them, without a memory that will last a long time. I look at the children and they are the ones that inspire us to want to change the way we view the world and our lives. To give back in a small way.
But we are still working all the way towards getting a library set up for the children. It is their dream and not an impossible one to make a reality. We are desperately looking for children’s books; it can be Nepali or English. There is no preference, and used is perfect. If anybody is in the position to bring a few books in their baggage or if you can collect books amongst your friends in Kathmandu, please let me know. We have a drop off point in Thamel. We are also in need planks so that we can build these cabinets and shelves, or if you have any cabinets in your home which you would like to donate it will be so much appreciated. Please email me at watersfromheaven@gmail.com. View our slideshow http://changents.com/watersfromheaven

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A big thank you to the volunteers from all at Bhakta Vidyashram.

Beatrice and Anjali  in the classroom.

I want to say a big thank you to all the volunteers that have worked at Bhakta Vidyashram the last couple of weeks. You truly did make a difference and brightened up the lives of the children. Thank you for sharing your love and your time!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Comfort zones? What are they?

During this journey much of what I have been writing about has been about doing what you love, living every moment to count and not to be trapped inside your own world. The art on the road trip is one of those moments for those who have taken the plunge to join us. During the course of finding volunteers for the trip, I have been amazed at how many people are not prepared to leave their comforts behind to experience something they have dreamed about. I had requests for free flight trips, all expensive holidays, warmer weather, beds, showers and everything that this trip is not about. This is for us to experience every moment, not to be distracted by internet, phones, TV, and all the other things in life that ties us down 9-5 every day. I am so excited that three wonderful girls and a dear friend is joining me and my husband. They have expressed their willingness to brave the cold nights, leave their hot showers behind, sleep on the floor, use a squat toilet outside and give up their privacy to sleep all in one room for 10 days. Nothing of these things matter, when you see the smiles the children will give us in return.  Why do we so cling to what we know, fearing that we might not adapt to the unknown. And having the longing to experience life, but holding on to your fears. I too did that for many years of my life, but my husband and I have a dream and a wish to bring hope, creativity, color and imagination to children. I pray and believe that with this trip many of you will see and experience the joy as we will. It has been very difficult for people to understand the reasoning and it has been an even more difficult journey to gain support. But we are still here and have not given up, and for the first time I can see how things are happening. We are still very much working on the new library as well as the donation of science and biology equipment to the school in Kathmandu.


Just a story I wanted to share about how our thoughts can be heard. For those of you that have been reading the blog have read that we often go out for an 8 mile walk here in the park. The other day coming back my feet was really tired and hurting and I was thinking maybe I should get a pair of insoles as the shoes are still in great shape. But with our budget being so tight it was a tossup between a good pair of insoles which I know is $50.00 or a new pair of hiking shoes which I will need for Nepal. And behold, two days later I receive an email that I had been the lucky winner of a pair of Dr Scholl’s inners. A competition I entered weeks ago. I just needed to go to that machine that measures your feet to see which type I would need. When these gifts are given to me, I realize that my prayers, dreams, thoughts and wishes are listened too. Sometimes how we receive it is not as we had thought we would, and if the universe listens to something that we might think is so unimportant how we can doubt that our prayers are not heard. Even though I feel like giving up so many times, I am awakened again and given new hope and faith.
The school we will be visiting.
I came across this poem by accident this morning and it so rang true as to what I have experienced and wanted to share it with you. I pray that your faith will be restored and you can follow your dreams.

MY COMFORT ZONE
By Author Unknown
I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn't fail.
The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.
I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much.
I said I didn't care for things like commission checks and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.
I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.
If you're in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile; success is there for you!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A big welcome to our new volunteers arriving soon.

I just wanted to extend a big welcome and a bigger thank you to Beatrice, Antonia and Anjali that will both be starting at Bhakta Vidayashram School around September 10. We are very excited and happy to have them visit the school and sharing their time and love for one month. Also thank you to Faye, Matt, Alice and Aoife that will be joining them for a few days during their stay in Kathmandu. If there are any volunteers that would like to join and teach English at the school, please email me at watersfromheaven@gmail.com. We do not charge any fees to any of our volunteers. The school is within walking distance of Thamel, in the heart of the city, making it convenient and close to everything.
 join us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/226172887417708/
Or view our slideshow  http://changents.com/watersfromheaven

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A question of time??

I have to ask you this question. Is everything black and white to you or do you believe in the spaces in between? Do you live by what others say is the truth or do you question life and live by your own truth, no matter how crazy it might seem to others? Or do you dream of living your truth and are caught up in a bubble where you feel there is no turning back?

My mind is always questioning, trying to find my own answers and finding my own truth. But I do feel that sometimes we get caught up in life and others truths, not seeing beyond and forgetting about the in-betweens. Time is one of those things that make us run, struggle and something we cannot turn back. It only goes forward. But sometimes time is on your side and other times you never even see it coming. When I was younger I started questioning the concept of time. What makes us hate and love it so? Is it something with a mind of its own? For me time started having a personality, a wisdom, a life. Is it a healer, as time heals all pain it is said by everyone? Have you ever looked at the clock and counted how long one minute is? Turn your head away and look at how it speeds up. I used to believe time plays tricks, it can speed itself up when you are not looking and sometimes make a day turn into 2, or cut it in half. Time is so important and we forgot to live in the now, forget about using each minute that time gives us to live what we believe in. Once that minute is over it is gone forever. But where does it go, to the spaces in between I ask? How long is five minutes for a child sitting in a corner? How long is five minutes for you? A blink of an eye for us. So what is time, how long is one minute, and who is right? That is where imagination comes in. That is what WatersFromHeaven is all about. To let children use their imagination, find their own truths and see that there can be spaces in between, where there are other choices to live by.
So that brings me back full circle to how much time we have left until this trip. Three and a half months. It is going by so quickly and sometimes so slow.  Up until this point I have not been able to collect any cash donations for the art program. So I have to ask when I look at time, should I feel concerned or do I keep my faith that it will all work out. The one thing I do know is that it will be as it should. I do stand with a foot in each emotion, like skipping back and forth, human nature I guess. Part of the donations will be used to purchase 600 sheets of craft paper amongst other things. None of the funds donated will be used towards our own expenses and we are not asking volunteers for any fees. I am sure most of you have been asked so many times for donations, and for me it is has not been easy to become humble and ask for your help. But it is a journey, and I have to learn and grow from this experience. COMMITTED is a nonprofit with whom we are collaborating on this art project. This is the link that you could use if you are able to make any donations to the program. $5.00 is able to stretch very far in Nepal and your assistance would make such a difference. 

 Your donation will be tax deductible, please email me at watersfromheaven@gmail.com after you donate and send me the details. Thank you so much in advance!