Sunday, 16 August 2009

My shopping Spree

Well I think I probably have bought enough things as special treats for the children for the time being.

My first visit to Primark was successful. I found a lovely blue t-shirt with red parrot, as in Peter Pan.It costs £2 each. It was a very reasonable purchase x8. The quality is surprisingly good, on par with Bhs and the like. The only anxiety I have is the sizing. The Nepali children are quite petite for their age except one . Its the new girl who is aged 11. I have a horrible feeling that the largest child size might still be a bit too small for her......

I have managed to find miniature talcum powder X8 in M&S. I have bought cocoa butter and talcum powder for Uma as well. My sister is also sending 6 sarongs from M'sia, hopefully in time before my departure on 2/9.

When I was in Vancouver Library, I came upon some big paper clips They are obviously used as bookmarks as well. They have such beautiful animal faces attach to them. Guess what, I now have in my possession giant animal paper clips x8. They are really lovely , of walt disney proportion. I nearly bought one for myself, then promptly chided myself that I am almost a pensioner, too old to have childish things like that. However, I have always maintained that I have had a very deprived childhood in terms of all these ingenious toys and gadgets the present young generation is fortunate enough to experience. All the same, I feel sure the children would love them .

When I first arrived in Kathmandu last year, it was quite intriguing to see the older Nepali women sitting in the doorway, clad in the familiar looking sarong, just like Malaysians do. Ditto yours truly but only in the summer.I then saw Uma wearing one occasionally while lounging at home. We compared notes about it. So I thought it would be a good present for Uma , as well as the women I'll be working with in the orphanage later on.

I am trying hard not to go near any confectionery store now. I just cannot seem to stop buying sweets and choccies when I come across them.I have bought Jelly babies x4 large packs, some maple syrup sweets and honey comb crunch from Canada. Nearer to my departure ,I probably will buy, at Gill's suggestion, a couple of bags of miniature choccies/sweets .They will be better than biscuits, not easily breakable. And no, I won't be taking any digestive biscuits with me for a change. That's only because I have found a shop which sells the stuff. And its the real thing, McVities no less. The grocery shop is just round the corner from where Uma lives.So the umbilical cord to home in Beckenham continues, thank god!

I was up in town the other day in Oxford street.I went into a souvenir shop (as one does). I came upon some souvenirs in the form of very ingenious pencil sharpeners.They come in the form of a red mail box, a red telephone booth , a black cab and the old fashion double decker bus. 8 pencil sharpeners later,I said to myself that enough is enough, no more purchases . At this rate, the luggage allowance will be breached with no room for my personal stuff

Interesting enough, I have not bought anything new to take with me this time.Having experienced Kathmandu the last time,I am going to be very disciplined (famous last words ) in what I will be taking away with me.The only other thing I have yet to buy is a couple of 'tabards?', something one wears over one's clothes while working with children.I need to find a suuplier locally. The one I know in Croydon is no longer open for bussiness unfortunately

I guess this is the sum total of my purchases for the moment, and hopefully thats it !

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The kindness of folks

I was up in Kings Lyn for John's family get-together the other weekend. The Crowe family is well spread out in Norfolk. We have first cousines and once removed, uncles and aunties(now in diminishing numbers), adopted uncles and cousines and so it goes on .The whole thing started with cousines and uncle and auntie from the immediate family numbering a dozen or so . A few years down the road, the twice yearly get-together has now swelled to 22-24 each time with some travelling as far afield as Norhamptonshire and Warickshire and of course London. They were the first lot of sponsors I approached for the Nepal trip last year.

On saturday while we were all busy air kissing one another, one of the aunties came up to me and put an envelop in my hand.She told me that she has been emptying her purse of loose change , pennies and all , regularly into a tea caddy since before xmas. She has now collected £60. She wanted me to have it to put towards the fund for the Nepalee children.She is a pensioner with no other means of income. I was gobsmacked!I have been conscious not to mention the forth coming trip unless someone asks. Its the fact that the wages earned in this part of the world are a lot less than in London. My NHS pension is probably more than some one working fulltime there. Money needs to go much further here in order to make ends meet. So imagine my reaction 'my god, are you sure? are you sure? This is a lot of money. I can't possibly take it .' 'Yes yes yes' she replied 'and I don't even miss it. So you take it and do some good, and buy something for the children when you get there.' It is a rare phenomenon for me to be speechless , and I was....

I just had an email from a Malaysian friend. She supported my effort at the 'Open House'. Her husband and herself have decided to send me another cheque for the children in Nepal because they feel strongly that they want to help a very good cause. I was touched.

I have a dinner date with one of my ex-colleaques tomorrow evening. She said she would like to give me a cheque when she sees me tomorrow.Furthermore, John has promised me a big cheque before I go, just to make the number up you understand

The fund stands at £1138 at present. I have no doubt that the tentative target (£1300 )I have set will be met and possibly more- ever an optimist thats me

So thank you ,one and all for all your generosity and continued support

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Hello Nepal. Its me again !

I find it quite hard to think that it is almost a year ago since I made my first trip to Nepal. And yes, its that time of the year , and I 'll be making my second trip there again soon.

I have been busy doing a bit of travelling here and there, fitting in some fund raising activities at various times for the forthcoming trip. I have been very fortunate in that everyone I have spoken to has been very encouraging of my efforts. This has reflected in the very generous donations I have received to date. A total of £1036 have been collected so far. And I am optimistic that it will reach £1200-£1300 by the time I leave on 2nd September. Considering there is credit crunch going on, I thank everyone for the generosity you have shown

I keep thinking 'what would I do differently the second time round ?' Less clothes and more goodies (they will be regarded as special treats ) for Uma's 8 at the Orphanage where I'll be staying. Uma took in 2 new children recently.We had the additional double bunk beds built last year with some of the sponsors' money. I will post the children's photographs which Uma sent to me recently on the blog.

When I asked Uma what would she like me to take for the children from here, she said 8 t-shirts, varying in size for age 6 to12. I naturally said- oh that will be 6 pinks and 2 blues then. Her email came straight back with ' no, 8 blues' Its very interesting that Uma has always maintained the stance that the children in the orphanage must always wear the same colour,same type / style of outfits, be it tracksuits, jumpers , woollen hats etc regardless. Her reason is that there can then be no comparison, no envy, no competition, no squabbling and showing no favouritism for all the children concerned. I argued with her on one occasion that the individuality of each child (my western value ) is then suppressed. It will become increasingly difficult when they reach teenage. However, I can see the logic in her thinking especially when I look at the children playing well together, in a safe and stable environment. It is all about being relevant in the context of where we are I guess

I am aware of the children having very little in the way of nice smelly toiletries . I have decided to buy them individually among other things, small size talcum powder, and cream for face and hands in winter.In fact I found 8x small pots of Astral cream in Super drugs yesterday at 97 pence each. That was a real bargain.I now need to hunt for the 8 t-shirts. Someone suggested that Primark may be a reasonable place to look.

Well, so much rambling for now. I will attempt to keep blogging from now to keep all the sponsors posted