Saturday, June 27, 2009

~Saturday... Leaving Sunday~

I am busy finishing up last minute things, such as printing out address labels for post cards, printing the book plates for those who have donated and sent messages to the kids. (And by the way I still need messages from some of you who have donated but not sent one yet...You can still send it while I'm there, but I may have to handwrite the message rather than print...don't know if they have a printer in Bandipur!)

I have to run and pick up last minute items such as shampoo, conditioner, some things from REI (sporting goods store), I need to mail a box to Ivy (my friend who is traveling around the world...she needs gum and other stuff), and finish packing up the last minute items from my apartment. 

My suitcases are overflowing and I need to go through again and repack...I wanted to bring several more laptops, but after much advise and research on the internet, I will wait to carry the other laptops in December... I do not want to get busted in customs!!!!  :(
You all will have to come and do a prison bust!  :) Next lifetime movie...NOT!!!!

I'm excited~ I am meeting some friends and my kids for dinner tonight at our favorite Thai Restaurant...Looking so forward to being in their loving kind company~

I feel good and ready to go~ I am open to new experiences and know that as much as I prepare for teaching the teachers and the students, I will need to adapt to a variety of different situations that I will not even know until they occur.... so I am going very prepared and very open to adjusting to whatever needs to be done!  :D

It's kind of fun!!!!

I love BEING in the moment and EXPERIENCING life in this way~


Friday, June 26, 2009


Friends G. & R. with Thamel street orphan at the pharmacy~ "Trekkers Medicine Concern"

I have already come to the conclusion that I will have a third bag on this trip~and it will cost "extra", which I am fine with... It's just now...I still have to be very  selective because even with three bags it does not seem to be enough space to carry everything I am wishing to bring with me for everything I am to do. I haven't even packed "MY STUFF"!!!   LOL~

I'm trying to think about what 8 weeks looks like as far as what I will need personally... I'm not always the best at figuring such things out. I do know I will make a few trips back to Kathmandu throughout my trip, so if there are items I need I will be able to get most of them in KTM.

My doctor gave me only one dose of Cepro (antibiotics) and I am praying I do not have to even use that...and if I do that I won't need any more than that~ I can probably buy those in KTM too...they have pharmacies in the shopping areas, but I am not sure about buying drugs there... I get nervous about putting things in my body! 
Let's pray for good health, hygienic food, and all around well being~ :D

Packing and repacking today!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I have been blessed and amazed by the generosity that has been shown by so many people! My family and friends from around the world have rallied to support with donations of money for scholarships, books, and supplies for the children schools. What has amazed me is the depth of compassion and caring that goes into the giving~ it warms my heart and gives me courage and strength to go forward. 

Thank you all~ for the donations on all levels, for the caring and support, and for your spirit of loving kindness and the support for helping others find comfort and gain freedom through education and mentoring. I look forward to being the messenger with all of you beside, behind, and inside my heart... you are all with me...and I thank you!!!!  :D


with so much Love...


~Life in Nepal~

Beautiful but does create challenges for transportation and movement around the country, especially during the rainy season.

Hidden from the rest of the world, Nepal is a landlocked country enclosed within the rugged Himalayan Mountains. The dramatic landscape creates significant obstacles to health care and education, including limited or delayed dissemination of information. Literacy rates are significantly lower in rural areas; those who live in remote mountain villages are often a day’s walk from health and education services. Formal schooling in Nepal is constrained by economic and cultural factors such as a bias against educating girls and a need for children to work at home or in the fields. The culture is rich and very different from our Western world.

This Frontline video shows "regular" life of a little girl from Nepal who has received a scholarship from  John Wood's organization. I like this video because it shows a little of what daily life is like for the members from the lowest caste. The children I will be working with are mostly from the lower castes.

These girls are from the Tharu tribe. 
 This video Daughters for Sale  explains how the trafficking of girls happens in Nepal among the poorer castes. Many of our scholarship girls are from the Tharu tribes. It is clear to see why the girls and families are so thankful for the scholarships they receive.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

~Things to do~

I have a tremendously long list to check off before I leave! Everyone has been so kind and helpful, and this has made my work lighter to be sure. :D

I find when I make a list by days, then I am able to accomplish things more effectively. (I got that list thing from my Mom...she's a list writer!)

I have a few more items to buy, such as a new umbrella... it rains so much and so hard during the summer that a sturdy umbrella is very important! I don't really know how they do it, but some women in Nepal keep a poncho like thing somewhere on them, and when it begins to rain, they just take it out and put it on and seem perfectly fine.  :)  Then when it stops, they put it away...
I like this about many of the people I've met in Nepal, they just take everything in stride...and keep on moving.

~umbrella, protein bars, business cards, mail packages, passport picture for the visa, video cards, finish quotes on bookplates, handouts for the training, finalize EL schedule and resources, finish article for J. to publish.... a few more things...that's enough for now!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

~About Nepal~

Where is Nepal?


A Little General Information About Nepal: 

A landlocked country the size of Arkansas, lying between India and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, Nepal contains Mount Everest (29,035 ft; 8,850 m), the tallest mountain in the world. Along its southern border, Nepal has a strip of level land that is partly forested, partly cultivated. North of that is the slope of the main section of the Himalayan range, including Everest and many other peaks higher than 8,000 m.

Jane & Heather going on safari! 

There are also jungles in Nepal...where you can ride on the back of elephants and hear and see tigers and rhinos! :D

so fun!!!!


In Nov. 1990, King Birendra promulgated a new constitution and introduced a multiparty parliamentary democracy in Nepal. Under pressure amid massive pro-democracy protests in April 2006, King Gyanendra gave up direct rule and reinstated Parliament, which then quickly moved to diminish the his powers. In December 2007, Parliament voted to abolish the monarchy and become a federal democratic republic. The transition to a republic was completed in May 2008, when the Constituent Assembly voted to dissolve the monarchy.


The first civilizations in Nepal, which flourished around the 6th century B.C. , were confined to the fertile Kathmandu Valley where the present-day capital of the same name is located. It was in this region that Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born c. 563 B.C.Gautama achieved enlightenment as Buddha and spawned Buddhist belief.

The Caste System Today

The castes system is divided into four main castes ~ Brahmins, Chetris, Basya, and Sudra groups. 

Within each of these groups are different levels as well. The caste system is still intact today but the rules are not as rigid as they were in the past. Because of western education, contact with foreigners, media, and modern communications, people are progressive in many aspects. In 1962, a law was passed making it illegal to discriminate against the untouchable castes. In practice however, discrimination still continues today.

In the past, when Brahmins and Chetris came in contact with Sudras, they used to bathe. Now, some people just sprinkle water on their body and some do not even care at all. Today, Brahmins have land, work in the field and are involved in government service. Some Baisya and Sudra caste people are teachers, high officials, and successful politicians. Previously, Brahmins were not subject to the death penalty and were instead given the same status as cows in the Hindu religion. But now, all castes are equally treated by the law. Education is free and open to all castes. Discrimination is only done socially.


Nepali rulers' early patronage of Buddhism largely gave way to Hinduism, reflecting the increased influence of India, around the 12th century. Though the successive dynasties of the Gopalas, the Kiratis, and the Licchavis expanded their rule, it was not until the reign of the Malla kings from 1200–1769 that Nepal assumed the approximate dimensions of the modern state.

The kingdom of Nepal was unified in 1768 by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who had fled India following the Moghul conquests of the subcontinent. Under Shah and his successors Nepal's borders expanded as far west as Kashmir and as far east as Sikkim (now part of India). A commercial treaty was signed with Britain in 1792 and again in 1816 after more than a year of hostilities with the British East India Company.


Nepal has a typical monsoonal, two-season year. The dry season runs from October to May and there's the wet (monsoon) season from June to September. Autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) bring almost perfect weather and are definitely the best times to come to Nepal.

(I am terrified of leeches...this is one of my main worries about traveling in the summer here...)

Mid-June to September, when the monsoon finally arrives, is the least popular time to visit Nepal. Although it doesn't rain all day it usually rains every day, and the trails and roads are muddy and plagued by leeches; the Himalaya disappear behind rain clouds; most rivers are too high to raft; and landslides often hold up transport. The latter part of the monsoon (August and September) is a time of festivals, which will certainly enliven a visit to Kathmandu, and this is also the best time to visit neighbouring Tibet.

Women harvesting rice.

General Information

Prime Minister: Pushpa Kamal Dahal (2008)

President: Ram Baran Yadav (2008)

Prime Minister: Madhav Kumar Nepal (2009)

Land area: 52,819 sq mi (136,801 sq km); total area: 54,363 sq mi (140,800 sq km)

Population (2009 est.): 28,563,377 (growth rate: 1.2%); birth rate: 23.1/1000; infant mortality rate: 47.4/1000; life expectancy: 65.4; density per sq km: 206

Capital and largest city (2003 est.):Kathmandu, 1,203,100 (metro. area), 729,000 (city proper)

Other large cities: Biratnagar, 174,600; Lalitpur, 169,100

Monetary unit: Nepalese rupee  $1.00 = 70 rp

Monday, June 22, 2009

~Summer Mission~

A few teachers from Bandipur!

There are several goals for the summer trip that I hope to accomplish successfully.

These include:
  • Mentoring and Teaching English with our Scholarship Recipients
  • Teaching English to Others in the Village (Women and other Children)
  • Conducting a 12 Day Teachers' Training for Local Teachers (About 20 from k-12)
  • Opening the Library/Resource Center for the Madhav Ghimire Foundation
  • Learning Nepali (I will be taking language classes each morning!) :D
  • Raise Awareness & Funds for Scholarships

I am looking forward to being immersed in the language and culture. We have had a variety of volunteers who have taught and mentored in different villages with great care and success. It seems in order to build relationships and most effective practices, volunteers who can stay for at least a few weeks have good success. I am looking forward to continuing the successful work that has been done before me!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Beginning of the Journey~

Teaching an English class in Class 5. 

Add Image

Bindyia holding her letter that she wrote to a student at Corey School.

Inspired by the summer trip to Nepal 2008 so graciously provided by a fellowship from Fund For Teachers, I saw the intense need  for improved education training, facilities, and exposure to literature. I felt inspired to find ways to help and requested the help of a local Nepali businessman, Digumber Piya. He helped arrange the summer volunteer mission. 

Truly, we must BE the change we wish to see in the Gandhi says...and truly, each person does make a difference...big or small...all matter~



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Preparing for the Journey~

Deciding on how to communicate with friends and family was a bit of a quest because I was not sure about the best way to go about this process. After asking many people, I kept being lead back to here! So... I am excited to start a blog on my trip to Nepal for the summer of 2009.

I am leaving in one week and one day on June 28, 2009. I have many things to wrap up in order to board in peace. So far, I have experienced a tremendous amount of love and caring and support in my endeavors. 

So! Post one... with many to follow!

and away we go!