Tuesday, January 19, 2010

School in the High Himalayas

Above is a school that is under construction in the Langtang, Nepal. This project was undertaken by a group of Italian scientists and tourists/trekkers. You can read about the school and make contributions through their web site at http://www.sundaribaini.org/chisiamoen.htm
If you click on the top photo you should be able to see the school perched on the hillside.

Some of you have read my stories about helping some boys go to school in Kathmandu, 'Dream A World of Good.' The boys were from the village above. When they were young they had no opportunity for an education so their father gave up his status in the village and moved the family to Kathmandu so that the boys would have the possibility of receiving an education.

Below is an excerpt from a recent letter I received from the boys who are now young men.

It rained yesterday. Brr!!! And this morning we are all wrapped up and warm. I am writing this email with a huge pile of blankets around me. Recently there has been much news of deaths in the southern part of Nepal and India because of a cold wave. Homeless people suffer the most and the governments try feeble ineffective ways to counter the problems. Poor people are given wood to burn and clothes to wear but that will not help at all. It is so sad to hear when we are wrapped up and warm inside our home there are people dying because of cold.

Last week I visited my village. I have taken some photographs of the school and we all hope that you will like it. Recently, the school has been developing under the eyes of an Italian volunteer who helped the school build its first toilet and even a new building for higher secondary classes. A few years back the school ran up to grade eight only, but now villagers send their students to grade nine and grade ten too.

It is progress! If possible, I would like to visit the school when I go to Nepal in March and make a contribution to their operating expenses. I would also like to arrange a letter exchange with some of our local school students. But, I will have to wait and see how the plan unfolds. Travel restrictions, strikes, and weather can make it difficult to get to rural areas of Nepal, and someone would have to offer to host me in their home. With only a two week travel plan, I may not be able to get there and back. If I do get there, I'll bring you pictures and stories.

In February, I will be giving a free lecture on 'Life and work in Nepal during difficult times.' I will discuss the effects of 911 on Nepal, the murder of the entire Nepalese Royal family, endless annual strikes, and the Maoist Revolution. The lecture will be held at the Plymouth UCC in Shaker Heights, OH. Sunday February 14th, 9:30 - 10:20 am in room 102.

Peace to you all and prayers for Haiti!


  1. It is good to hear the great news of the school and sad to know there is so much suffering. Best wishes in your efforts to return to Nepal and success in your work.

  2. This is so uplifting to read. Progress comes slowly and we can all find a way to help.

  3. How wonderful for you that you can be so directly involved due to your work. This is very encouraging and I hope you post more pics as work on the school progresses.

    Would love to hear your talk....but Ohio is a bit of a long commute.

  4. butternut what a setting for a school!! what a gift for a school to be there. what a gift for writing the young man has!!! i am so grateful for this uplifting and thoughtful post. steven

  5. Would love to be at the lecture, but alas.. Your posts are like no other. You shrink the world...a good thing!
    Yesterday watched documentary "Earth"..amazing views, flying over the mystical Himalayas..

  6. How devoted a father to give up his status for his children to have the possibility of an education. I admire you so much.

  7. How uplifting and somewhat sad at the same time. There are so many people and so many places that need help. Why is it we live in the land of plenty and there are so many who do without? There absolutely has to be enough in the way of resources to insure everyone's basic survival yet there are millions across the world who die of hunger and cold. It's so very upsetting. And yet your posts offer views of what great things are occurring in other parts of the world. Thank you.

  8. So happy to hear the news on the school, and that the boys are doing well. It sounds like there are problems everywhere. Wish I was close enough to attend your lecture.

  9. Oh so do I. I would love to be there. I also wish I were going with you on the trip to Nepal. I would like to help out if I could. The school improvements are so heartening!

  10. what wonderful stories you share with us all - thank you so much! and of the boys, all my best wishes - we can always look around and find so many others less fortunate - a beautiful story - so sorry i've not been over as much as i would like - just distractions and distractions - you know what i mean, i'm sure!!! but thanks so much for making your way over my way, lady!!!

  11. What a wonderful letter from a very concious intelligent nice young man. Great that he is doing well. Good to see such important progress is going on with great help That will make a change to many young lives.

  12. you have improved the lives of others, lovely. amazing to read this letter. so sad to read of how people suffer. I always feel that there is 'enough' of food shelther and clothing for all on this planet, if only it were a priority.

  13. Hi Tammie,

    I should try harder to explain the wealth and poverty of various places I have lived. You are right, we have a huge global abundance in some places and a desperate poverty in other places. But often those with abundance don't recognize what they have and so they feel as if they have nothing to share. The converse is also true. I have also seen societies that have very little, yet they feel themselves wealthy and they will contribute what little they have to those less fortunate. Wealth or abundance, at least to some extent, seems to be a state of mind.

  14. That is definitely a HIGH school. Wow. Makes me dizzy just to look at the photos.

    What a sweet letter! Those boys, wow.

    Wish I could hear your lecture. I bet it'll be great.

  15. I agree wealth to a large extent is a state of mind.I also think that the quality of education has very little to do with the actual building(construction)of a school meaning a state of the art edifice with all the latest gizmos and teaching resources.I think the quality of the teacher is tantamount to academic success.

    Travelling under a yak milk scented monk's robe is beautifully poetic.I'm sorely tempted
    to use this line in a poem at some stage!