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 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


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.