Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Library Project

Shree Nawabijayee Mahendra Secondary School is a recently constructed school in the Rasuwa District of Nepal.  These students are in desperate need of reading materials.  As of March 2010, the school had acquired only one small bag of books.  Your contribution is going directly to the building and stocking of a library for this school.  Not only will 320 students be able to use this library, but the library will also be made available to the 1500 inhabitants of the  nearby villages.  Please consider making a donation.

Budget Details in US Dollars:
Cement 30 bags, cost $400
Sand 180 bags, cost $430
Skilled builders, 50 people, cost $290
2 doors and 6 windows, cost $500
Furniture, cost $500
Concrete, cost $40
The community will provide volunteer labor to assist in the construction of this building.
Once the building is complete our goal is purchase 500 books through
Room to Read valued at $500.
We would also like to deliver 2  laptop computers valued at approximately $350 each.
Total Goal - $3360
The Joy Foundation
Total contributions including PayPal are currently: $1499.64
To see who has donated and learn more about this project, click below:
A World of Good, Inc is not a non-profit organization.  This donation is not tax deductible.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Library Project, Update

This weekend Plymouth UCC in Shaker Heights, OH will be helping to collect donations for the Library Project.
I have to be out of town, so my son, Josh, will be encouraging everyone to donate as an alternative giving idea for the holidays.

Thank You, for your support!  Read more about the project below.  I have been updating your donations.  Yes, you can send your donation directly to the Joy Foundation in Nepal.  Just let them know that you want to help with the Library Project in the Rasuwa District.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Library Project!

Kids in the Rasuwa District in need of Books!
I received the most wonderful birthday present today.  The Joy Foundation sent the translation for our Library project in Nepal.  The project has been approved!  Hooray!

Now I'm going to need a lot of help.  Please spread the word.  The first part of the project will be building the library, the second part will be filling it with books.

I have thought of 2 ways I would like to raise money for this project.

1. Direct donations;  If you are moved to help with this project, please send a check to:
A World of Good, Inc.
3120 Chadbourne, Rd.
Shaker Heights, OH 44120
All of your donation will go to this project and you can even choose what you would like to pay for.  (Sorry, I still do not have my tax exempt status so there is no tax write-off.)

2. Nepal Tour; travel to Nepal, at your own risk, with me as your guide.  You will pay your own travel expenses and donate one laptop computer to the library.  You may deliver it yourself if you would like to hike up there with me.  Contact me and we can tailor a trip for you:  Jennifer Gerard email: aworldofgood@gmail.

Below are the particulars of our project.

Applicant:  Shree Hawabijayee Mahendra Secondary School, Valaydada, Rasuwa.
Chairperson: Shree Keshar Bahadur Bulan
Contact Person: Balaram Dhakal (The school principal)
The Request:  Though this school is quite close to the capital of Nepal, it was started only recently in BS 2019 or 1963 according to the Gregorian calendar, due to the poor economy of the community.  It began as only a primary school and then added a lower secondary school very recently.  The physical structure of the school is very poor and there is a lack of basic educational materials so there is a need to start a library to help the students with their studies.
Location of Project: Shree Hawabijayee Mahendra Secondary School, Lahare Pauwa-6, Valaydada, Rasuwa, Nepal.
Beneficiaries: 320 students from 250 households of the community and the library will be available to 1500 inhabitants of the area.
How the project will be maintained: After completion of this project, the school committee will appoint a librarian to open the library and allow community people to use it every day except public holidays.  Any repairs and maintenance will be taken care of by the school committee.
Budget Details in US Dollars:
Cement 30 bags, cost $400
Sand 180 bags, cost $430
Skilled builders, 50 people, cost $290
2 doors and 6 windows, cost $500
Furniture, cost $500
Concrete, cost $40  (Thank you for your gift, Richard Gerard)
The community will provide volunteer labor to assist in the construction of this building.
Once the building is complete our goal is purchase 500 books through Room to Read valued at $500.
We would also like to deliver 2  laptop computers valued at approximately $350 each.
Total Goal - $3360
If we collect more than we need we will be able to buy even more books.  A donation of any amount will be gratefully accepted.  Thank you for all of your help!

Together may we bring peace to the world through education.

Contributions received from:
Richard Gerard- $100
Nancy Rowe-$35
Anonymous Donors-$304.50 (Customers at Shows)
Elaine Maki- World Atlas, 3 volume Websters Dictionary
Eileen Black-$30
The Mac Gregors-$35
Jan McGee -$20
Nancy Atkinson -$100
Plymouth Church Members -$75
M. Koutroumanis -$20
Eileen Mudgett - $100
The Love Family - $25
The Martin-Rouse Family - $75
Marja and William Blom - $50
Dr. Sherry Meinberg - $100
J. Wanstrath - $10
J. Sisson - $10
L. Chatain - $20
Morgan - $20
Benjamin D. - $10
Dawn Doup - $20
The Neary's - $100
The Divakarla Family - $25
SiS Jewelry - $9
S. Scaparotti - $20
Marc P. - $10
Janis Z. - $1.14
Pamela and Gerald B. - $100
Scarlet Fire - $75

Current total: $1499.64

Please tell me if you do not want your name listed and I will write anonymous.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Color in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Red Ivy in the Forest
I heard on public radio the other morning that only about 3% of the Earth experiences Fall Color.  I looked on line and found that indeed only 7% of the land on earth is in the temperate zone and this is the only zone in which we are able to experience the changing colors of the Autumn leaves.  Deciduous plants that lose their leaves in the cold season of the year, and then grow them back in the warm season, cover about 3% of the earth.  For all of my friends in the tropical regions, in the desserts and above the tree line, I have taken pictures of the deciduous trees of Shaker Heights, Ohio, as a taste of Autumn in the midwestern U.S.  This beautiful explosion of color will only last about 2 weeks.  The leaves will eventually turn brown and blow off of the trees.  We will rake the leaves into large piles that our children like to jump and play in.  Every week during this time a big truck with a large vacuum will come and suck up all the leaves and take them away. The trees are dark and naked all winter long, but in the spring most of the trees will grow fresh bright green leaves again.
Leaves on the Water
Lower Shaker Lake, Autumn
Deciduous Forest
The Red Carpet
Pink and Green Leaves
Ornamental Shrubs and Trees
Yellow, Red and Green Leaves
Yellow and Red Leaves
Woodbury Elementary School, Autumn
Orange Leaves
Orange and Red Leaves
Red, Yellow, Pink and Orange Leaves
Pinkish Orange Ivy
Red, Yellow and Green Ivy

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Good News!

From the left: Me, Mrs Neupane, Belief, Mr. Neupane, JR Neupane, Tania. Atit was up in the mountains teaching.
For the past six months I have been writing about a two week trip that I took to Nepal in March 2010.  Above you can see us on our last night out before we left Kathmandu for home.  The strike in the Terai lasted only one day.  Unfortunately, I did not get to tie up loose ends with my suppliers before I left.  I have become very flexible about the details of my orders because there are so many unforeseen situations. I had to make apologies by email to the people who were waiting for me to return. They live in this unpredictable environment, so I think they understood my dilemma.  I have established ways to make pick-ups and payments even in my absence.

Recently, I heard from the young men whom we were helping to go to school in Nepal.  Belief was able to get a scholarship to attend school in Finland and Atit earned entry to a business school in Nepal.  Congratulations Belief and Atit!  We are so proud of you.

The village school has submitted two proposals to the Joy Foundation and I am hoping that after the Autumn Hindu festivals they will have more concrete information for me.  The plans for the library are going forward.  It is very good news!  When I have a list of their needs for the library, I will be letting everyone know and asking you and all of your friends for help.

Thank you all for accompanying me on my journey to Nepal.

Smile, you are here and this is now. Here, in this moment, your journey begins anew!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Elephant Breeding Center, Nepal

Incredibly cute!

They have the longest gestation period of any land animal, 22 months.

 Their caretakers make little nutritious food packets for the elephants which are useful treats during training.

Treated well, they can live into their 70's.

At about 5 years of age, they are separated from their mothers and their training begins.

Some of the young were not chained because they rarely wander far from their mothers.

It is difficult to watch the training process because you can see that the elephants are struck squarely on their heads with a fat stick if they misbehave.

The elephants are strong enough to drag a three ton tree, so it is important that the trainers have control over the elephants at all times.  Sometimes the elephants will unexpectedly lose their minds and become completely unmanageable.  After the elephant breeding center, we walked 2 miles into town to see if there was a cybercafe so that we could let people know that we might have some difficulties returning during the strike.  Halfway to town we saw roughly 20 people standing in the street keeping their eyes on a large elephant from a distance.  We continued to walk confidently toward the crowd and the elephant.  Fortunately, one man stopped us.  "The elephant is mad.  He has already killed two men.  We are waiting for the mahout to come and get him."  We thanked the man and quickly retreated.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Strike in the Terai

The strike only affected travel between Kathmandu and the Terai.  No vehicles could travel the road without threat of violence.  If I hadn't planned my trip so tightly, I would have been just fine with another day in the jungle.  I had so many things left unfinished in Kathmandu.  I was also very worried about the hassle of rescheduling my flights and about my husband having to arrange more child care in my absence.

But, there was nothing I could do.  So, we just made the best of our extra day.

In the morning, Smiley offered us an extra walk in the jungle to see if we could find rhino.
He sent a young man ahead of us to make sure the path was safe.  There is no telling what could be watching us from behind that tall grass.
He climbed trees, trying to find rhino for us.
We saw some men fishing.

They hadn't seen any rhino.

We waded across the river.  I apparently committed a faux pas by wearing my shoes around my neck.  Causing the locals to laugh.  Criminals are made to wear shoes around their neck as a public chastisement in Nepal .

We ran into a buffalo herder.

He hadn't seen any rhinos since yesterday.

But it was another beautiful walk.

Past interesting fields.
 I had to give up on the rhino photo this trip.  Perhaps next time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Night Life in the Jungle

After a long day of hunting rhino and not finding any...

we stopped to relax at Sunset Beach...

and borrowed money from our escort so that we could split a beer.  I didn't take money into the jungle again after my former fiasco, Honesty and Poverty.

Dinner was buffet style with loads of yummy vegetables similar to Indian style cooking.

They were still working on the Maruni Sanctuary Lodge.  I can imagine a roaring fire here in the winter.  It will be spectacular.

They have a cultural program after dinner.  These Tharu boys are dancing traditional dances.  Again, I have the ghostly orbs floating through my photos, but not every photo.

It is inappropriate for the village girls to be out after dark so they are unable to participate in these dances.  However, they do have a dance that is traditionally preformed by a boy wearing a dress.

The boys are really expert at twirling their sticks.  Remember that we were on our jungle walk with two men carrying sticks.  I believe that they would have been quite capable of frightening off many wild creatures with the sticks, but I am still glad that we didn't run into an old hungry tiger.  On one of my visits we walked past a place where a woman had been eaten only two weeks before.  She was walking on a well used path through the jungle, alone.

After our lovely day in the jungle we received some very distressing news.  It was the very thing that I fear the most when I travel to Nepal.  A strike was called in the Terrai for the following day.  Strikes can be violent, but not always.  My biggest concern was that I had only one more day to finish all of my business in Kathmandu.  I had made promises to finalize orders and pay several craftspeople.  They day after that, we were supposed to leave Nepal.  If the strike continued, we would miss our flights home.  This was the very reason that I skipped my trip to Nepal several years in a row.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Great Elephant Flip-Flop Rescue!

In January, when I normally go to Nepal, it is relatively cold and there are few tourists in Nepal.  This means that down in the jungle my guests and I are treated to private elephant rides, boat rides, and jungle walks.  In March it was a vastly different experience.  Tourists were all around us and a herd of elephants followed us into the jungle.

Loading up with tourists and preparing to depart.

I did spend some time worrying about how tightly the crate was cinched.

The mahout steers with his feet.

Some of the elephants were very nervous about crossing the river.  They were up to their shoulders in water, with five people on their backs.
We lurched forward and backward when the elephant slipped on the mud as it climbed out of the river and up the opposite bank into the jungle.

We looked all over for the rhino.

Do you think the rhino might have heard us and moved out of our way?

A man sharing the elephant with us lost his flip-flop shoe. 

The mahout behind us was able to direct his elephant to find the man's flip-flop in the muddy stream and return it to him.  You can see it in his hand.  Everyone was astounded.  The flip-flop was covered in mud and sloshing around in muddy water.

We did see a lot of deer.

It is amazing that on an elephant you can come right up on a deer even though you could never do that walking.

If you have a little extra time and money, you can arrange to camp over night in this building in the jungle.

Thank you for the excellent ride.  Here are some bananas.  Maybe we will catch up with the rhinos next time.