Saturday, 6 October 2012


The time has come for me to say goodbye. Another year's work have been accomplished with a lot of help and support from firstly, Uma and secondly the trustees. It is fair to say none of which would be possible without Uma .So thank you Uma , for everything and looking after me well during my stay here.

My stay here have been comfortable, hard though it is at  times. I guess with each passing year, I am noticing little tell tale signs that I  need to slow down. I am learning to pace myself more, but still achieving the goals we have set ourselves .

It is important however, to  acknowledge the support and the contributions from everyone in UK and Malaysia.. The generosity and sustained support given to the charity have been astounding. The kids in Kathmandu are very lucky indeed to have you on board, folks

With that I bid  farewell to the land of the mountains, till we meet again.

Namaste, Kathmandu !

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Children..

 It is amazing how the time flies. It does not seem like three and a half weeks ago since  my arrival in Kathmandu. Once again the time has come for me to say good bye..I do it with a heavier heart than in the previous years.

For the first time, Uma's older children, namely Rajesh, Rasmila ,Sangmu and Urmila are so grown up that we were able to  have very sensible conversations . We talked about their future, what their aspirations are, and the frustration of being  teenagers living in an orphanage while going to a normal school. The peer pressure they experienced in terms of informal wear outside of school uniforms etc.Their candid views brought laughter to us all at times when we were approaching difficult areas of parental expectations and  generation gaps.

Most of them are at an age when they want to know what is like living in a different country.They are interested in the world around them, looking at the world map from the  globe. I shared with  them some of my holiday photographs via the portable hard drive. Interestingly they were  all  very impressed by Canada. They want to visit the places I have been to.They are going to work extra hard ,so they told me.And for some of them, their  determination is reflected in the letters to their sponsors.

Through our casual chats ,I tried to instill in them  the value of self belief. That everything is possible if they believe in it and want it bad enough.And that they  will achieve their goals if they are prepared to work hard and overcome the obstacles no matter what.The additional handicap they face is  wondering where they come from. Most of them have no visits from any parent or siblings, others received just an annual visit from a parent sometimes. Over the years, I have noticed  that  parental visits have tended to stir things up for the children . Sometimes they became withdrawn and quiet following the visits. Then Uma would have her  work cut out to get things back to normal.This is especially so with the older children.

There are a combination of factors which made my stay in Kathmandu this year more significant than most. I thought I'll never say this. Kathmandu is beginning to feel like my third home away from home.I do feel very comfortable here.  Uma and I have developed an even closer  understanding  between us. We realised that we have very similar values and outlook, even though we live very different lives , one in the east, and one in the west. Having said that, we don't always agree on everything. The important thing is we listen to each others' views and respect the difficult decisions we have to make sometimes.

With Janet and Imogen been here, it has helped the charity in furthering the good work we are doing here, both in the orphanage and the school.I know I will feel less lonely in trying to make decisions on projects we hope to undertake in the coming months. Last but not least the children growing up and developing into such fine youngsters.The ability to have an almost adult  conversation with them have been a real pleasure. That goes for other children as well as Uma's.

It is interesting that the attendance at the morning language class have been excellent so far. Uma puts it down to the fact that I am here. They want to impress me.The acid test will be in the coming months if they can maintain the attendance record. No matter what, when we have the Open day each year, we renew our acquaintances with the mums. They know that we are  trying to help their children to achieve a better life in the future.And they are grateful for the opportunities the charity has given them. And that's good enough for me .