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.




  1. A job very well done my dear! Much Love, Robin

  2. What a blessing to be a part of!! I pray you are home safe!! Bina (aka Sabine Galvan :) )

  3. This is so truly beautiful!! So much happiness in 1 little space.

    Well done indeed, you have achieved something magnificent.

    Thank you hugely for sharing your journey too, it has been brilliant to watch. Such a star!

  4. you should be checking this kinds of works. I appreciate what you did but you have to look after hows it going and running or not or condition may be a year later. because I know this place really nice may be more that other because I am from there.

  5. He Heather, the library looks amazing!!! I hope it will bring the children new ways to enjoy reading and a lot of imagination.
    Love Saskia Scheij (the dutch girl who was teaching in the other library, we met in jun 2009)

  6. Thank you Anonymous for your comments...
    I will do my best to support the library and keep it running well...
    but I am also requesting, and did publicly state that this library belongs to all...and together we will have to maintain. I cannot do it thank you for your help in making it a great place to be as well. Together we can make a difference!