After a ten hour bus ride back to Kathmandu and another night at KMG, we said good-bye to Roddy, Michele, Sandra and Karin. The rest of us were driven to go to Shiva Puri Heights Cottages and were warmly welcomed. We spent four nights in comfortable beds and beautiyul rooms and enjoyed yoga in the morning, massages after our service hours, lively conversation and delicious food.
Hans, a group member, commented that we all worked well together in Dadagaun Village because we already knew each other from the trek. I think he is right because we really got a lot accomplished. Razu, who was interviewed by Mozella in 2011 (the first person to register for a TOYL trip) spent several hours talking to Hans and Ingrid (Inter-American Development Bank professionals) about how he could support his village better. Since we met Razu in 2011, he has finished college and has a degree in Business. Lots of new ideas were generated for the village.
Barbara and Carol, who have been taking a program on how to teach English as a second language in Berkeley California, enjoyed teaching several classes since learning English is an educational priority for the school. Kip, discovered a classroom of teen aged boys and girls sitting in classrooms without a teacher so he took the opportunity to teach geography in the context of describing many of the countries where he has traveled for work. His wife Nikki, a retired preschool teacher jumped right into the preschool classes and noted, “All children are the same!”.
Hans, Ingrid and Carol also spent time in the computer lab. They showed X some new educational and training apps she can use and how to discern well researched educational material from fake news and less reliable sites. Elizabeth and Dave set up a time for the children to draw and played with them. An idea that emerged was to make cards from their drawings that could be sold to benefit the school, orphanage and women’s group. Elizabeth says her friends really want to help and she is willing to work on this project.
Neeru (my friend and facilitator and I met with the women’s group of mothers who have been meeting regularly and going to the near by temple for education. Thanks to Razu, they have a small bank account and are interested in starting a micro business. In the past they made raksi (a kind of home brewed whiskey) to sell. Now, they’d like to make other things. After three meetings with them, Neeru helped them come up with some ideas. She was encouraged by how motivated they are and agreed to take the leaders of the group to the market in town to begin selling mats they already know how to make to sell. Another idea they seemed interested in was to build small greenhouses out of bamboo and plastic to grow tomatoes and greens in winter. Neeru knows expiates the owners of bed and breakfasts who would love to buy the produce. They seem to understand that if they save some of the money they make and reinvest the rest to make more products, they will be able grow a business. Hans commented, “We all worked so well together, probably because we knew each other from trekking.” In addition to the ideas we contributed, we gave nearly 63 service hours. Fun was had by all!
Thanks to the generosity of past group members and the10% of the trip costs donated to anti-human trafficking groups, the Dadagaun Village School (dadagaunvillageschool.com ) and friends who have bought jewelry who have given their enthusiasm and support for the last seven years, TOYL will:
Fund Himalayan High Notes, the music program for the third year, thanks to Jim Forman
Five laptops cleaned and configured for Nepal, thanks Barry and Audrey Suskind and the people who donated them
Two sewing machines (allowing survivors of human trafficking to start micro businesses)
40 LED solar powered lights (one will light an entire room) donated by the Basa Village Foundation
A follow-up 1- day workshop to Shakti Samuha Staff (group rescuing women and children)
60 blue polo shirts to be worn for school uniforms, thanks to Hope Lockridge
Cash donations to Dadagaun Village School and the anti-human trafficking groups totaled $3,200
Seventy sanitary products Carol and her friend made in the USA to continue the sewing project we started last year be IMG_2680