Sunday, September 20, 2009


As I share my pictures and experiences with friends and family I am reminded over and over again of special moments in Nepal.  I miss the simple pleasures of living in Nepal...sometimes the smallest things in life are those we appreciate the most. It feels that way to me. Here are few things I miss and I love about Nepal and the people I met through the summer.

As I walked through the village each day I saw children "playing"... these sweet girls are preparing food for their babies...small girls "dress up" so they are beautiful like their mothers and aunties.
I adore the flowers and plants in Nepal~ such a variety and amazing colors~ everywhere you look you can find natural beauty and amazing views surround you...whether near or far....

This picture shows the dining area at Gaun Gahr Hotel in Bandipur.  The hotel is rustic, but BEAUTIFUL beyond... a Newari family home originally it has been renovated back to it's original beauty. I learned much of my Nepali here through dialogues with the staff... and the food was incredible! Rabindra is an excellent chef ~ "ek dom meto chaa" ~

"Birdie drinks" ~ Nepali people all "birdie drink" so they can all use the same water containers without worry of sharing germs!  I am still working on this skill~  :)

I appreciate the challenges of everyday life when I am in Nepal and realize it is not really the "things" in life that make us rich or poor, but more so...the love and connection we have with others... (photo is of typical stove inside a Nepali home).

I miss the moon in Nepal~

I adore our scholarship girls~ they are all so wonderful! It was a great experience to get to know them more personally. I was amazed by their desire to learn each thing I shared with them. It was nice when they became more relaxed with me and I really got to experience each of their personalities in the group and separately. I cannot wait to see them again to continue to see them grow and develop. They are beautiful young women...  :)  so fun!

I love the Nepali women's dress~ they are so elegant as they work hard and carry the burdens in their lives. These ladies would walk through the village each day going about their business. Umbrellas are used for the rain and the sun, and often both sun and rain are experienced within one hour's time in the summer! I have a great respect for Nepali women~ I found them to be strong, kind, compassionate, and patient. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Himalayan Times ~

Shortly before the Library opened the Himalayan Times  in Kathmandu asked a question in the paper about which is better...the internet or a library! I simply had to submit a 200 word response...
and I just found it on the internet just tonight!
Mine is on top!!!
Exciting to bump into this because I did not know if they printed it or not!


that's the link....

Here's what I wrote:

Internet Vs Libraries: Let’s enjoy the best of both

Internet Vs Libraries: Let’s enjoy the best of both

2009-08-29 1:37 PM

Print This News

Although it is true that modern technology offers those seeking information certain benefits, there is no comparing the use of the Internet and the experience of visiting a good library. A library is a gift to all because libraries offer individuals the opportunity to explore and experience the very essence of the authors’ efforts, wisdom, and knowledge through the ages. We quite literally hear the voices and capture the essence of writers through time. The library is a reverent place that offers each individual, the opportunity to learn and understand if they so choose. Knowledge in the library is free to all. The Internet offers many of the same benefits, so we are truly blessed with both at our disposal.

With great appreciation, devotion, and passion for libraries, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to open The Children’s Library in Bandipur, Nepal on Monday, August 31, 2009 at 4:15pm. With the gracious help of Digumber Piya, and many donors, the library will be a place where children, teachers, and community members can visit and have the best of both worlds — a library with books and the Internet as well!

— Heather Guay, 
California, USA/
Bandipur, Nepal

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pheri Bhetula~ "See you later!"

Pheri bhetaunla~ "I hope we meet again"

Leaving Bandipur was difficult... I had become such good friends with so many of the village residents and the hotel staff. We had, after all, spent a great deal of time together and worked on a variety of projects together. We had many laughs and shared many details of our lives~ so hard to say "goodbye".

I spent most of the night packing my suitcases and figuring out what I needed to take back to the states with me and what I could leave in Nepal for the staff. I was up past midnight trying to make sure I would have enough room in my bags to carry back a few items for my loved ones as well. I had brought so much with me when I arrived and now through the teachers' training, the English classes, and opening the library I had "unloaded" most of it! I was down to one duffle bag, a suit-case, my backpack, and my purse....not bad...for an American!  :)

The Gaun Ghar Hotel staff gave me a Nepali goodbye and showered me with tikas, flowers, yogurt, and gifts...they thanked me for everything and gave me blessings for safe was so lovely and beautiful. How I had come to really love and admire these people. Several friends from the village also came to the hotel to say farewell...Bimila, Biju, and Asutosh~ Dabika (a little girl I met during my first visit to Nepal) stopped by the hotel early to give me a beautiful flower and wish me safe travels...she told me "I love you." :) so sweet.

The teachers from Dil School came out of one of the homes to give me flowers and wish me farewell...very sweet...the library is directly behind me at the end of the bazaar...

As I walked down the bazaar many of the residents and merchants I had come to know came out of their homes and business to say goodbye. It was sweet...I have never received so many beautiful flowers and gifts and such was really amazing...I felt so humbled, blessed and thankful. It was a beautiful way to end my stay in Bandipur~ sweet, sweet memories.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Children's Library~ Bandipur, Nepal 2009 "A Library is a Gift to All~"

"A Library is a Gift to All~"

The making of The Children's Library has been a long and wonderful journey~ The opening day was rushed, and I was doubtful of having everything complete even at the noon hour on Monday. Rain was threatening and still I had not even placed the books in the library as the workers were still finishing their final touches. I had hoped to have several days to place the 450 books, educational games, stuffed animals and decorations in the library...but as it stood I had only several hours. Thanks to help of several of my lady friends and young college students in the village, and the hotel staff I managed to get everything in the library and set up so it "looked" like a library!!!! I was simply astounded at how gorgeous the library looked...simply wonderful...beyond my wildest dreams and expectations!

The opening of the library was very grand! I had been inviting all of my "friends" and people I knew in the village and Digumber and I visited the different schools in Bandipur and invited the teachers and let them know when it would be. At the opening there were over 150 people and they all gathered around the library area to celebrate! Mahendra and his wife (the owner of the building) also came from Chitwan to speak and celebrate the opening of the library.

I was the " honored guest" (which is a big deal and means I speak first and the longest~ and women are not usually the honored pressure!) I gave a not so long speech and tried to speak in a way that everyone would understand me... I simply wanted them to know that the library is a "gift to all" and that "ALL PEOPLE" are welcome in the library...I wished that they would use the library in any way that enhances them and that the hopes from me and all of the donors was that the library would help to enhance literacy and improve the quality of life for all people. I told them that it had been an honor to work with them and that I had come to find many of them my friends...and how thankful I was for that...I thanked Digumber for all of his tremendous energy and hard work... without him the library would have never happened, I thanked each person who helped make the library come into was a beautiful day...

Several other speakers spoke about the library... Mahendra, Bikram Sir (my Nepali teacher), a local politician, and Digumber spoke last by summarizing the entire journey and speaking about his family roots and dreams for the village of Bandipur, and how everyone must work together to hlep improve education and help children. It seems the making of the library is a sort of catalyst for growth...and that is just as it should be...the sharing of inspiration, knowledge, and spirit...inspires people to DREAM..... if we can share that, in whichever way we are given to share it, then we have accomplished a great deal....

The library has been "open" for two days....each day the library has been literally PACKED... over 60 children are there reading all the books...adults of all ages have visited and are thrilled to explore the many different books. I felt so blessed when two grown sons of a local hotel owner came into the library and browsed a picture book on Nepal... they told me they saw and learned new things about Nepal they had not known before...... truly... a library can make a difference.... at any age.

After polling the children I found about 1/2 are from the local private school and 1/2 from the local public school. The children are so careful with the books and they are truly, truly enjoying the beautiful space to relax and explore books and learn. The children are also playing with the learning games and are choosing the games that require reading and writing in English! They LOVE TO WORK HARD! Our librarian, Biju, is a beautiful and wonderful lady, (she was one of my students from the women's group) and I feel thankful she took the job. She is perfect for the job and it affords her many benefits, win/win situation.

I feel so very thankful and blessed beyond.

I am leaving tomorrow.... I am ready to go "home".
I miss my friends and my family so very much... I will say though, I am going to miss my "new home" and my new friends~ I feel I now have two homes...and that makes me very rich indeed.