News from Nepal, Sept 2011

It’s been a while since I posted a blog so not sure where to start.  So many things happen all the time it is hard to catch up.

I stopped in the UK on my way to Nepal to visit my family and travelled  to Scotland with my partner Mike to his gigs in Lanark and Market Harborough, and  to Perth and Henley on Thames.  Lots of fun.

Had an offer of help from Julie Craddock who works in the International Education Dept. of Cambridge University.  Last week she mailed us some books care of the British Council here, and we look forward to receiving them.  She is also contacting Microsoft on our behalf.  Fingers crossed they will donate some computers for our use.  Badly needed here. I met with  some GSM supporters in England. and also shopped like crazy for merchandise for my antique shop as I have to buy for the Christmas season – then shipped the stuff to New York. Great new things will be on the shelves in November.

I have not felt really well since I arrived in Nepal and it turns out my blood pressure is pretty high.  Have been working on alternate therapies (most of them really foul tasting) to try to lower it and tomorrow will see a cardiologist – something I cannot afford to do in New York!

Spent hours deleting files from my overworked and over full computer  in order to upload more photos and was rewarded with a neck pain that won’t go away.  Now I don’t want to go near it. Apart from that everything is fine here.

It was Teej – the women’s festival – the week I arrived, and we had a small dance party with the women from the training program.  Women fast all day, and then sing and dance in honour of their husbands, whilst praying for their good health.

Happy to say that all the children are fine and as energetic as ever.  Most of them are doing fairly well in school but math seems to be the subject they all fail.

We were lucky to have Monica Witt – a math and science teacher from Friends Academy in New York, volunteer here with her husband Abe,  for three weeks this summer.  Monica worked non- stop with the children at home and also went to school with them each day to observe and help the teachers.  She was not impressed with the teaching methods.   Abe worked with the children on carpentry and computer and all enjoyed their visit – especially Monica’s storytelling talents.

It is still the monsoon  season which is very dramatic but also really hot which doesn’t help my energy level.  Roads (if you can call them that- are muddy and slippery, making walking a chore rather than fun.   I have loads to do apart from spending time with the children – thinking of ways to raise money for next year.  I must plan for our tenth anniversary celebration in December – hope to get a date set at Theatre for the New City soon, and hoping others will organize fund raising parties of their own to support us.

We are also working on  setting up a new program – a wellness centre for women offering complementry therapies from  both local and visiting volunteers.  We will kick this program off with a health camp which we have scheduled in two weeks time.  Desperately needed here.  Almost one million women suffer from prolasped uterus alone! A problem that is very uncomfortable, easily prevented,  rarely discussed and easily treated. Rajina, our manager, has had great success helping Laxmi Sapkota recover from many years of  illness and depression  – am posting a photo of her dancing at teej.

The women in our training program are busy making items which will be for sale in November – we have a few new puppet designs, lovely scarves and pretty necklaces.  We are also making a few Christmas stockings this year.

Today is Indra Chatra – yet another festival and the children are home from school again. This is the day when the Kumari, The Living Goddess is allowed out of her house and carried around the town in a chariot.  Her feet are never supposed to touch the ground.

I met a young Nepali girl on the plane, her name is Jotsna and she is in college in the U.S.  She offered to volunteer and started to help tutor the chidren last week.  She grew up in an orphanage here in Kathmandu. I was very impressed with her determination to get an education abroad.

Feeling more positive about my health – had an ekg/ultrasound/chest x rays and blood tests today.  I go back to the hospital at five to speak to a cardiologist.  Ultra sound showed all organs OK.  Blood pressure today still high. Hope I don’t have to go on meds, but will follow the advice of the doc.   Got all the tests done for about $60, and thanks to GSM’s Dr. Bibek, I was whisked through all of them like a VIP. Also got a 50% discount when they found out I have been working in Nepal for 12 years. This was the first hospital I have been to that was really clean with no blood on the walls or beds!

Celebrated my birthday this week with a fun dance party at our house.  We have started a new program called ANgels with a Heart .  We hope to find Angels who will commit to raising $1000 for GSM next year. We will provide slide show/brochures and items to sell.

Who will be the first Angel? It would help us tremendously.

That’s it for now folks.  Thanks for your interest and PLEASE – help spread the word about Ghar SIta Mutu if you can.

Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

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