You may remember that I was presented to an assembly of students at the mountain school that had 400 students and no library. Searching for something to say in my impromptu speech, I made a promise of a letter exchange between my son's school in Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA and their school, Shree Nava Vijayee Mahendra Secondary School in Nepal. This is without having any real plan in place or any advance discussion with the teachers in the US.
When I returned to the states from Nepal, in March 2010, I was surprised to learn that the writing teachers in my son's school were asking parents to come in and talk about their passions. It was perfect timing! Two weeks after I returned, I gave a Power Point presentation about education in Nepal called 'Monkey Bites and Crocodiles.' I asked my 6th grade audience to write a letter about a day in their life and mailed the letters to the students in Nepal.
Yes, I did tell stories about monkey bites and crocodiles with photos. I'll show you these in later posts.
The return letters were slow in coming because, once again, political problems closed the school for weeks. Also, the English teacher in Nepal had to wait until he had the time to take a 5 hour bus ride to Kathmandu to mail the return letters. But they are here!
Archana Neupane gave me her permission to publish her letter. It is very well written and also very typical of most of the letters we received.
|You should be able to read this if you click on it.|
My son's English teacher will continue the letter exchange in the Fall.
Why the exchange? Our kids in the US need the awareness of other cultures as much as the kids in Nepal. Most of the students in our neighborhood have a very limited understanding of poverty in developing nations. The Shaker Heights sixth graders' thinking was so stimulated by the presentation that I had to limit their questions in the end.
If you would like me to come talk to your school or community group, let me know. If I'm traveling close to you, I'll come with the Power Point and a pile of Nepali art objects.