Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shopping Trip, Nepal

Above are some of the items we sell.

I'm off to Nepal March 1st to look for new items for our business,

Hopefully, I will also be able to visit a village school while I am there. Several people have asked me if they could directly contribute to a school in Nepal. This is the opportunity, I am going over myself and will be handing a contribution directly to the school for operating costs. I would also like to take some books with me:

Picture books of how things work. If they can't read it, they should be able to figure out what's going on by the diagrams and drawings.

'Popular mechanics,' very practical books on construction.
Health and Biology books
Junior and Senior level Math: Algebra, Trig, Calculus, Geometry
Art Books

We want the kids to see what students are learning in different parts of the world. So if you have a text that's not too old and in good condition, send it along.
Of course, cash is easy to carry and they can purchase many interesting books right in Kathmandu if you would rather do that.

If you are interested in contributing, contact me at


*I'll take a camera this time and bring you back some photos.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Under Siege in a Strange Land

In ordinary times, a trip to the gas station was not remarkable, but now, I looked carefully around me for parked cars with passengers, potential enemies, lying in wait. Was it my imagination, or were the streets quieter than usual? I couldn't put off getting gas any longer or I would run dry. No one was at the pumps, so I took advantage of the empty space and strategically pulled around to the back side of a pump so that the pump would be between me and a possible sniper. I only filled the tank half full and I retrieved my credit card quickly. I was successful, no shots fired. I speed off toward the daycare to retrieve my 4 year old.

They had just instituted a new system at our daycare. Parents would no longer park their cars and walk in to retrieve their children. Now, we waited in a line of cars. When our car reached the door a teacher would identify us and send our child out. Only one child would be allowed to leave. If someone was going to shoot children at school, as the Sniper had already done, it would be only one child at a time.

During the years that we lived in the DC there was an average of about 250 murders a year in that city. But this was something different.  Looking at a map of where the shootings happened, they were all around us, North, South, East and West of our home.  There seemed to be no pattern, no motive, just someone with a gun lying in wait at a gas station, a bus stop, a Home Depot, a school… For the first time in my life, I could imagine what a city under siege might be like.

When it was all over, my neighbor said that he had seen him. He had come face to face with John Allen Muhammad. After murdering, he showered at our YMCA, our Y, where we took our children!

People always ask me if I am afraid to travel by myself. The answer is no. For the most part I have always felt safer while traveling abroad than I do in the United States. There are certainly countries that I do not choose to travel to, but keep in mind that the average murder rate in the United States is 5.4 murders per 100,000 people, as compared to 1.84 murders per 100,000 people in Nepal where I travel most often. The United States is indeed a strange land having 90 guns for every 100 citizens. This makes the USA the most heavily armed society in the world. -Information gathered from Wikipedia.