Archive for the ‘Misc & Logistics’ Category

David on his NGO work in Nepal

October 26, 2008

David posted here about his work with NGO World Education Nepal.

World Education provides alternative education for child labourers or those in danger of becoming child labourers. David visited a carpet factory, a brick factory, saw transportation workers in action, visited “entertainment” workers (sex trade workers), porters (carrying 25 kg of rock all day), stone cutters and others. They were aged about 9-16 years old. And each one of them works harder in a day than I do in a week. They earn about 50 cents per day, maybe a dollar.

The pictures’ usage rights belong to World Education, but those that are around us may get a glimpse of some of them if they ask nicely.

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Nepali Stories

October 16, 2008

My friends here work with up to a dozen kids, but there are about 9 super-regular kids, the ones who went with us on the mountain trek.

The smallest boy, G, is not the youngest. G is 8, but he wears hand-me-downs from a 5 year old. He is probably small because until last year he had a lot of rotting teeth. It hurt him to eat so his nutrition was poor. My friends were able to take all the kids to the dentist this past year, and G had several rotten teeth pulled. Now it no longer hurts him to eat and he eats so much more. He is a cutie.

Many of the kids are small. A is a cute and sweet girl who looks about 8 or 9 until she smiles and you see she has all her adult teeth. She is actually 12. Heather is not really sure if nutrition or genes play a bigger role in the kids’ sizes-probably both. A is beautiful and has a tender smile and is good natured with a light child-like laugh. When A started coming to tutoring she was painfully shy and reserved, but now she is much better. She was one of the kids that wrestled and pillow-fought with David in Nagarkot, and watching her you would never have thought that se had had a problem with shyness.

There are two boys who are very handsome and cute and are brothers, Sj and Sv. They are 9 and 13, almost 14. Heather told me that years ago their dad went overseas to find work and send money home and they never heard from him again (this is pretty common here). Their mom said the Nepali equivalent of “to hell with that” and went through the gruelling process of learning to drive, which took 6 months-she had never even learned to ride a bike. But sadly she has to leave at 4:30 am and doesn’t get home until 9:30 pm every day, so the boys don’t have a parent around much. The mom loves them so much, but cannot take more time unless she risks losing her job. Heather has an idea to buy the mom her own vehicle (a three wheel mini-bus, estimated at $8k US) which would help her a lot. She could come home by 6 pm probably and not have to worry about job security because the vehicle (a small 3 wheeled bus) would be hers. And she could stop walking up to 2 hours to get to the garage to pick up the vehicle, she could store it near her home. And she could take one day off a week. Women are not allowed to be taxi drivers in Nepal!

There is another girl, Sg, 12, who was neglected until she was 6 and now has some problems. After many talks with doctors back home, they think she has something called attachment disorder, which doctors still are not sure how to treat. She doesn’t respond to being punished (she doesn’t change her behavior next time) and she lies all the time, but she can be well behaved sometimes. She looks like a nice girl and it seems so sad to me that she has this condition because of something beyond her control. The parent that raised her until age 6 suffers from a serious mental illness, so Sg wasn’t bathed or hugged to taught anything or taken to school.

But when I see the kids together they are happy and healthy and they are learning and that makes me happy. I love getting updates from Heather in my inbox.

October 5

October 5, 2008

Today we went to the city of Bhaktapur. It is so quiet there compared to Kathmandu! Pictures are coming. For other people’s flickr photos of Bhaktapur, click here. Really, they are so much better than mine!

I saw a goat in the back of a hatckback today, too! A small hatchback! That’s just how life is here.

We are happy and well. Good health and good spirits all around.

October 4

October 4, 2008

I had a couple of paragraphs about today but my computer ate them. And it always stinks to do a do-over. So, in summary, today included a post-breakkie trip to our fav cafe, I walked around the stupa on the inside of the wall, and those pictures are not ready yet. Rosane and I lunched and hung out with Heather, Maika and the kids (8 of the kids). And we all had dinner at our fav cafe again, but this time on the rooftop patio. The stupa is swarmed because it’s kinda the Nepali version of Christmas Eve, so everyone was out shopping for the holiday. Stupa pics whenever I can get them re-sized. Having a great time still!

Delhi Bomb Sept 27th

September 30, 2008

David couldn’t come into the Delhi airport to get me because of security in the wake of this. Good thing he was by a window.

Witness Raj Singh Daswal said he saw two men on a motorcycle drop a black plastic bag that was picked up by a boy.

“He ran after the men telling them ‘uncle, uncle you dropped something’,” Daswal told Reuters. “Immediately after, there was a huge explosion. The boy’s head was blown off.”

Wrenching.

Weather

September 30, 2008
Tuesday September 30 to Saturday October 4

Tuesday September 30 to Saturday October 4

September 28

September 29, 2008

We arrived in Kathmandu around 3:00 PM. Our friend Maika met us at the airport, but we were late so he waited 2 hours. Maika rode his bike to the airport because there was a Bandth that day that prohibited driving. A Bandth (bund) is a forced strike that one of the political groups will impose on the city. Lucky for us there were some taxi drivers who still operated during the Bandth, even though they charged double.

David, Rosane and I settled into the guest house.It is quite a luxurious house with marble, several balconies, crown moulding and custom woodwork. It is a peaceful house. David said it feels like coming home and it does. Bob and Sonam, who run the guest house, and Caleb, their 5-year old son, greeted us warmly.

The three of us walked about 15 minutes in the rain to find a place for dinner (it is the very tail end of monsoon). We had a good meal at a restaurant that used to be called Cafe de New Orleans, and still has some New Orleans charm in the decor with iron tables and candles, etc.

We all went to bed early and slept; I am the only one still jet-lagged because David and Rosane were both in India for 2 weeks already, but I am ok. Sleepy sometimes but ok.