|A view of the Himalayas|
It's fitting that I would post a blog on the last day of my time here in my little village. Tomorrow, I’m booked for a bus ride back to Kathmandu and some days after that, a flight home to
|Mike and Max's Class|
Once again, I blew the WELNepal budget. But I do have great reasons for doing so! It is money (that I don’t have) well spent. For example, the women from “Mike and Max’s Class,” followed me from village to village, asking for and then demanding a literacy class. I decided to give them the class, because, even though we reached our literacy class limit, I knew that the women from Mike and Max’s Class would be a great one. Besides, I was afraid that they would wait outside my lodge door if I didn’t give in.
This year, we are trying to extend our target area to more remote places. Raj, our coordinator, and I visited an area called Madi, where we were met by a group of very committed women who have asked for both literacy classes and organic farming training.
We have also been asked to help women acquire sewing machines and teach them how to use them. And we would love to dig for some precious water in an area where we know the women could use wells for both private and commercial use year round.
But our first priority is to open a vegetable shop, owned and operated by those women whose groups grow organic vegetables. The women’s groups are super at growing vegetables but have a little difficulty selling them. We feel that selling their produce through a shop would give the women and our project the best chance for success. We have begun this process with a meeting with the women whose groups are most interested in being part of the shop. That would be ALL of the women involved in our project. I’ve included a photo of the women at the meeting where discussions became somewhat intense. But it is truly wonderful for me to see a group of women hashing out details on a project that will be operated by them. Two or three years ago, the only skills the women had mastered were cooking and making more hungry Nepali babies.
In summary, with all the projects we wish to start next year and all of those groups of women whose education we could not start this year due to a lack of funding, we only need to raise about a billion dollars this coming year to really do a proper job in 2014.
But this year we did a great job with all the financial support, big and small, from our supporters back in
As to why I was a little remiss in my blogging this year, my only excuse is that my blog guru Ashley and her friends Anton and Kim were here visiting. Kim waited in vain on the tarmac in Kathmandu for a flight around
that never took off (mist often grounds flights in ), Anton had a million
questions about WELNepal’s work that I was more than happy to answer, and
Ashley spent most of her time cuddling little street puppies. Diana, one of Tribe MayaFire’s belly
dancers, spent time visiting those women’s groups who are being supported
by all of our best ever belly dancers and their generous supporters. It seemed
to me that Diana was a little more emotional than blasé about ALL the women
that have benefited from her group’s help. Nepal
|Barry Flatman and Harimaya|
WELNepal’s long-time friend and our benefit’s master of ceremonies, Barry Flatman, spent considerable time here charming and videotaping everyone in his path. I've included a photo of Barry with him actually in front of a camera videotaping an interview with one of our alpha women. By the way, WELNepal’s coordinator, Harimaya Bhandari, is sitting beside him.
Now WELNepal’s new friend Anh is here helping young and old with their English and also learning how warm and friendly and kind Nepali people are.
It has been a pleasure for me to host all my visitors. My only hope is that I can do more of that. Which leads to ask once more: when are you coming?