Monday, March 28, 2011

Foot balls and break time

I am actually a bit late in adding these pictures. When we first arrived at the school we had noticed that the children were kicking around a plank and using it as a football. Some children were using an old frayed string as a skipping rope. We realized that the school had no balls, bats or items that the children can use for group activities during break time. After discussing it with Nicole we decided that she would go halves with us on purchasing two balls and a pump for the school. We negotiated a price of 1500 rupees for all three items. (For those who do not know it is about 71 rupees to $1.00.) On our return at a later date I was so excited to see that the teacher had taken the children outside and they were playing a game together as a group. As children we so often take even just these basic items as a given, and we always had something to play with. Here they used whichever items were available and still they had so much fun, laughing and smiling even if it was only just a plank. During our visits to this school not once did I ever hear any child complain, or ask anything from us. They only wanted to give us their smiles and love. How much can they teach us and here we are thinking we are the teachers.
I am thinking of adding more items to the collection like maybe a cricket bat, basket ball and some skipping ropes. If anybody would like to assist us so that we can make this possible, please do send me an email to We have also set up a paypal address for donations using the same email address. We only need to do small little things like this and it can change an entire day for these children. On the last visit to the school it was with so much joy that we entered the classroom and saw the children using the coloring pencils and crayons. With your gifts you have added the color to their day, as we had hoped too. Would it be possible to add some more fun to their play time?  

Monday, March 21, 2011

News paper article and Appreciation letter.

This is a copy of a newspaper article that was posted in the The Rising Nepal on February 27, a Nepali newspaper. I do hope that we can raise enough awareness to assist this school in the future.
We received a letter from the school which I wanted to share with everybody. Thank you to all that contributed to make this all possible. With special mention to our cash donors Prilosec OTC, the Zumba dance club in Houston, The Nepal Association of Houston, Biju and Mr and Mrs K.Smith. Also thank you for the school supply donations from our neighbours and friends at Nottingham Forest townhouses, the Nepal Association of Houston members, the Swank and Haugen family, Mr Kem Clark from the Wikki Stix Co, Kori as well as our friends. Also thank you to Oliver, Nicole and Bhesh Raj for all their assistance in Kathmandu.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Oh Kathmandu, Oh Kathmandu

We arrived today back in the city after an 8 hour trip from Pokhara. Despite a few hairsplitting moments, the entire bus and passengers arrived safely. Sitting here writing this blog so many thoughts go through my mind. This journey from the beginning has had so many ups and downs, some days more than others, but it always seems to bounce back up again. Questions I have had, issues that needed solving, prayers that has been answered, and amazing stories, plus sore feet from all the walking. As you read on my previous post, my big question has been how to keep in contact with the school? I had thought the volunteers would be the answer, but I also knew they would move on and then I would not know what to do from there. I had hoped that somehow we would meet a contact here in Kathmandu, somebody that shared the same commitment as we do and had the time available. During this visit it has been one of my biggest questions, as nobody had the time to commit. But quietly in the background there was somebody that was working just as hard as us during our arrangements with the school. One of the staff members at the place where we are staying was always ready to sort the supplies, take us shopping for buying the supplies, taking messages, carrying packages and ready to give advice when we needed it. Bhesh Raj told us of how he was helping one of the children at the school in his village with school supplies. He said he was planning on doing it for the entire classroom and it would cost him 6000 rupees, if he saved and did not spend his money. I knew we needed somebody that could meet with the volunteers, introduce them to the school, and coordinate our messages. I had spoken to Greg today on the bus about asking Bhesh Raj if he would be willing to help us with the program. And before we could suggest it to him today, he made the suggestion. We are so very happy to have him helping us. We would need to arrange to get him a laptop. We know of somebody that will be coming here in April and we have an old laptop we can give him.  The only thing is that it needs a new hard drive that we think might cost around $100.00 to fix. If anybody has an old laptop to donate that we could give to him instead of having him fix this one please do let me know.
We will start working on the program tomorrow with ideas and then we will have a meeting with the school to discuss it with them. At this point the water as well as the school building project is still an uncertainty. I believe things will become clearer as time moves on.
Bhesh Raj

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One day at a time

We have taken quite a few steps during this trip.
 We arrived in Pokhara a few days ago, after long local bus journeys, going through Devghat, Tansen, Butwal and then Pokhara. The roads were hair raising, on the edge of world it seemed sometimes. Thought I would share a moment that had me thinking today. We had gone for a hike to one of the smaller villages a couple of hours away. On our way back we noticed a young man with gloves and a big refuse bag on the edge of the lake. There were two young Nepali boys in a crouched position, talking to him. They asked lots of questions and looked very curious. They asked him what he was doing and he told them that Pokhara was such a beautiful place. He said that he was picking up the waste and cleaning up the area. They told him it is such a big task and he said, “All it takes is doing it one day at a time.” He smiled and continued chatting with them and cleaning up as he walked along.  
It had me thinking all the way back home. Here was one man doing it one day at a time. A big impossible task it may seem to all of us. How can we make a difference in the world? Can we make the stand, to look at nothing as impossible? We walked by all the dirt and waste every day, looking at it and shaking our heads. Thinking how sad the beautiful area looked. And here it only took one man to make a change. We never know how our actions can make an impact. For how long will we be the ones just looking at the needs of the world, thinking somebody should fix it or do something about it? Or will we be that one young man/woman that will put on a pair of gloves, grab a bag and say, “One day at a time.” Can we help revive a school, or will we belooking at it from the side thinking it is too impossible for one of us to make a change. That it is too much work or we do not have the time. We only have to do something small and look where it can expand too. This would go for anything in your life that has been your dream. The image of that solitary young man picking up papers by himself will be with me for some time to come.