Saturday, April 9, 2016

I journeyed all day from Kathmandu to Chitwan by bus.  Due to working on the 'highway' a two lane road through mountain passes the trip took 7 plus hours.  Along the way I saw damage done by the earthquake to homes and buildings and places where the highway was being repaired from the landslides that closed it for quite a while.  What I also saw was people working everywhere.  The Nepali are an industrious people.  If they have a motor it will soon be pulling a cart and carrying either people or goods. If they have a few feet of space in a building it becomes a store selling water and soda and other snacks.   In a couple of months the weather will resort to monsoons and life must be quite a bit harder with constant rains during the hottest times. In Chitwan I am staying at the Jungle Safari Lodge.  This is a beautiful place with lovely grounds and the rooms are very modern.  When I arrived they were experiencing load sharing.  This country due to the fact this is a dry time of year has a shortage of electricity. The rivers are drier causing less hydroelectric power and promises by the government to work on extending the power grid go unfulfilled every year.  Last year they had 14 hours a day of power outage.
Tomorrow I meet with administrators from two schools that we work with followed by our partners Nourish Nepal. We are seeking ways to make our education initiatives more successful.  This give me a chance to hear what their biggest problems are and I am proposing we work towards creating a Learning Center to help teach the teachers more effective ways to reach the student.  That is all for now.

Friday, April 8, 2016

www.globalactioncoalition.orgI promised to take you with me so our first stop is the village of Kavre.  I have been staying with the founders of Yogdan Foundation, former members of the Tampa community who have returned to Kathmandu.  They had purchased land on the top of a hill in the village of Kavre north of Kathmandu to have a get away place. When the earthquake happened they headed up to there to find that nobody had come to help and most of the houses around 240 families were destroyed.  Luckily they had no fatalities.  Talking with the mothers of the village who had seen their world turned upside down was quite sobering.  They lived perched on their hill top village homeless and experiencing constant tremors wondering at any moment if there would be more destruction.  Punam and Atulya new at once that there would be no help from the government and they contacted everyone they knew to build temporary housing so that they would have shelter from the elements.  Global Action Coalition and the Tampa Bay Nepalese community responded.  The simple housing might not be much to us but as you can see they have taken great care to make them homes.  Our next step is to build houses for the most neediest.  Another project Punam started was to use the community center for a small sewing factory for the local girls.  There are 5 machines and in one of the photos the young manager of this enterprise is showing off a new product.  One of the inhabitants was this 100 year old woman.  The small path up to her home is daunting but she is nimble and a loving person. Our visit was a big hit for the children too.  I also met an Austrian man who had build a retreat center on a piece of land.  He would love to have help in rebuilding the bathrooms in the village school.  There is so much to do here, but I believe we can help them.  Enjoy the photos and forgive me if they are not perfectly aligned.  Rob
Young mother 
4 people live inside this shelter
a grouping of shelters
The Manager of the new enterprise

Can you imagine she is 100 years old

what a smile

Another family

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Friends of the World
On Tuesday I head to Nepal for my 3rd visit. I hope you will follow this blog as I travel to earthquake devastated villages and also visit projects we are working on in the country. Every time I go I find my heart moved in so many various ways.  Whether it is the welcome and hospitality of the people, many who have so little yet are so generous or seeing how people survive day to day eking out their existence.  I will try to take you along with me so you can feel the pulse of life in this far away land that even the name of Nepal and Kathmandu evokes exotic memories.