Monday, 6 October 2014


It is certainly a good idea to come here to recharge the batteries before the long flight back.The hotel is an oasis of calm. This is my second visit here. It looks as good as I recalled in 2009

The contrasts with Kathmandu could not be more stark. Traffic here is Spartan There is a rural feel to the place. It is situated beside a lake and closely surrounded by the different mountain ranges.Even the shops are more varied in the goods they sell.The belief and practice  that  first successful transaction of the day will influence  the bussiness day  is very much alive and kicking.Shops are being opened for bussiness from 7am onwards.Even taxi fares are relatively cheaper.There is more character to the place. It is not just a tourist haunt.Maybe its to do with an abundance of young people , backpackers from all over the world, milling around with the locals.

It is interesting to see the far reaches of the buoyant Chinese economy here too . In order to help the numerous Chinese tourists feel at home, many Nepali shop keepers, who are  at the high end of their bussiness, are speaking Mandarin. Majority of the shops, especially the restaurants, have mandarin written placards extolling their unique cuisines, inviting customers to call.Old habits die hard. The Chinese do drive a hard bargain, always looking for that added value in every transaction.   I suppose I have lost that edge, having lived in UK for so many years.It was said to me  a long time ago  that one must never forget to allow a little profit for the locals to make a living.That message has remained with me wherever I travelled. However I get carried away sometimes and the locals then loses out.

Two more days and I will be leaving the land of mountains. We have achieved much, but there are so much more that we can do, given the resources.For me it is harder each year because I have got to know the individuals better.Its easier to say no to someone who  I am less familiar with than some one I know well, fully appreciating the hardship and suffering they are going through....But what is  the answer ?  How can I be fair to everyone?  I agonised over this daily, still looking for an answer .......

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Festivals

Uma 's children are home for a month. It is interesting that the length of the school holidays varies according to whether one is in a state school or a private ( English speaking ) school. In Neel Barahi's case, the state school is only closed for 15 days.  The pupils are given tons of homework to keep them occupied during the break.And the pattern is the same the whole world over- the children will rush around and get all the home work done in the first week, then they will spend the rest of the time playing and read their story books. Thats what I did when I was in school all those years ago. Nothing changes, it would seem. :)

The last few days have been one  big round of socialising and feasting. I was eating so much meat that I ended up having only 2 meals on some days .The water buffalo meat is very popular, but very spicy .The  Nepali chicken is the better option, tasty but not too hot..Some of the children are not used to eating so much rich food and meat day after day. They have ended up with indigestion and upset stomach . Well, the main days of Dashain  is now  over. Tihar (or Dewali- festival of Light ) will be upon us in a few days' time.

I have been privileged to be staying with Uma during the festival  this year. I think I have caused her quite a headache in terms of the schools' and home visits we wanted to do . Thankfully they were all resolved  without too much changes to her busy schedules. It was such a pleasure to be treated as part of the family . I received daily  "puja " (blessings with a tikka on my forhead ) from Uma, along with the children each morning. We then had the specially prepared sweet pastry for breakfast  afterwards.Yum yum.. I have always enjoyed that. Yes, they are deep fried and sweet. They are probably  not healthy to eat, but hey ,once or twice a year  is not going to hurt.

One of the first things the children asked for is a work top mini oven. A few cakes later, Rasmila, the eldest girl is becoming proficient in this.It is baffling that the staples we take for granted like raisins  and all the cake making and decorating stuff  are just not available here.I can see the list for next year growing. I showed Uma how to bake Mcann's chips in the oven rather than deep frying them. They are very pleased with the knowledge because it  means a healthier option.

We started with a simple sponge. We have baked the cakes 3 times. I would have liked to do a light fruit cake, but raisins and other dry fruit are not available here. Another time, another year. Rasmila will just have to content herself to be  the expert in sponge cake for now.It is humbling  to see how appreciative the youngsters are for everything I do with them.

There are only  a few more days left before I return to UK.What happened to September? Time waits  for no man, it would seem...

Friday, 3 October 2014

Do you know.............

A humorous take on the local   practices:

-It is vital to check on the times of shed loading ( power cut ) before going to the hairdresser's. I did not. I ended up with a  (freezing ) cold hair wash, and having to walk home with wet hair, looking like a drowned rat.

-Privacy is an alien concept when you are having beauty treatment.. I had manicure and pedicure the other day. 4 people atttended  to me for the 4 limbs. I became a contortionist. I positioned myself , finely balanced with both arms outstretched  to each side , and  the 2 legs spread eagled in opposite direction. It was a precarious operation to say the least. Even the boss came in to watch and talk with staff ........A high staff  ratio of five to one. Impressive by all accounts

-It is perfectly acceptable to jump queue in any social situation. Even if it means physically elbowing your way through. No one bats an eye lid, I noticed. Having being at the receiving end several times, I  have started to elbow my way into queues as well. It certainly feels right to do . When in Rome........ :)

-I have always wondered why the dogs are so docile and sleepy during all hours of the day. They would sleep in the open drain, and middle of the road, on the road side, anywhere and everywhere. After 6 years, I have come to the conclusion that its to do with  being on a vegetarian diet. May be we can reduce the aggression in dogs in the developed world...........

-There are ad hoc and never ending road building programs going on all the time. It becomes urgent when any visiting VIPs declare their plans of staying in a 5 star hotel. Invariably the access road  to the hotel will be built and tarmacked before their arrival in record time. And the road built will only extend as far as the eyes can see. That usually means the end of that particular road. Frustrating for the local residents around the area...they have to put up with the mayhem of disruption with no benefit.

-During the festival period, it is forbidden to do any washing on the most auspicious day. It is the belief that one will remove all the good fortune coming the family's way. Interestingly, the Chinese is forbidden to sweep /clean the floor on first day of the new year for similar reasons.I almost committed the cardinal sin yesterday. With a handful of dirty laundry, I was on my way down to do my last lot of washing, before returning home.. Uma asked what I was doing with the bundle....I had to come back hastily and put it off for another day. :)

An interesting  way to observe life in general  in Kathmandu.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Mrs Ratna

Mrs Ratna has a disabled son aged 11 years .She has been  running the Om Disabled home for 11 disabled youngsters since the birth of her son. In Nepal, parents who are unfortunate enough to have given birth to disabled babies have no hesitation to abandon them. This is because there is no social services nor support to help the families. It is more so in the lower economic group that these youngsters will never be productive ( working and be  independent ) in their life time. They will always be a burden on the family .So for Mrs Ratna to do what she has been doing, it takes a very special lady.An admirable act of self sacrifice.

 As a result, disabled infants were often found abandoned in public places, as well as on the door steps of  disabled homes.  Some were brought to Mrs Ratna by the police, while others were found on her door steps. Admittedly some  parents did come and asked for their children to be taken in. And the parents were never seen again.  It is a fact that some of the abandoned children have no known birth details . Certainly none has a confirmed diagnosis of the disability they acquire at birth.

It is against this background that Uma was approached several times over the last few years, asking whether KIKN could help in any way  to support the disabled home. I was taken to visit the homes several times. I have always been careful to manage their expectation. Things changed this summer, and the KIKN trustees felt we could start in a small way by offering to pay for the food to begin with.

In the mean time KIKN has applied to another charity to explore the feasibility of  supporting the provision of  some therapeutic input for these forgotten children. It was agreed that while I am here in Kathmandu, I will make an assessment of whats required, and to contact the charity with my findings on my return to UK.

Uma and I have been to the disabled  home several times since. There is no doubt that these children will benefit greatly from the therapies we have planned  if the resources are made available. However, there is a big question mark over Mrs Ratna's ability to hold things together. I have had reports from the volunteers placed in the homes about her defensiveness about  many aspects of the children's physical and emotional care.

Uma and I talked about this  in great length. I am weary to commit KIKN to any project which may fail. It is more so when we are asking for financial help from another charity. I agonised over this , unsure of our next steps. Do we just abandon the idea of helping the children or what ? In the end, we decided that we will meet the issue head on. Mrs Ratna was invited to come to Uma's house. It was fortuitous because the 50 kilos of potatoes and groceries ( paid for by KIKN ) she asked for are ready for  collection .

Mrs Ratna is a young woman  in her mid thirties. A friendly woman who smiles readily.. She understands some English. Uma and I discussed the points I wanted to make. We agreed on the strategy to draw her out. The meeting went well. And I gained a better understanding of the stress she is under. She accepted that sometimes she can be  short fused with the volunteers working in the home..We looked at ways of  helping her from the volunteers' point of view. We gave examples of how we can work together, by not being defensive whenever a query was raised. Openness and trust  is vital if  KIKN  were to continue   to raise funds to help her in the coming years. As we were talking, I could see her visibly relieved and nodding her head to things Uma was saying to her. We raised the few concerns ( observed by the volunteers) with her. And she was able to talk to us rationally and openly, which Uma said its a 'first' from her.

By the time Mrs Ratna left, I feel better and clearer about the whole situation . I am prepared to give her benefit of our doubts,and trust that we can work together to help these forgotten children. So, Future For Kids, here we come !

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Tale of A Family

Each year Uma and I visits the Magar family during my time here. KIKN sponsors the 2 children, Krisna who is 11 and Rochana who is 13.. Up until KIKN's sponsorsnip, they were just languishing in a very average state school.. From the time the sponsorship started, mother was able to move them to an English speaking  / private school . Their progress in the new school  have been remarkable. Rochana has been promoted twice. She is now a confident girl who told me she is going to become a doctor. We can now converse in English comfortably. Even her brother Krisna is really coming on in his studies. And he wants to be a policeman These 2 children symbolises what KIKN is all about- making a difference to the lives of the children we are helping.

This is against a most dreadful, and yet common social background many of  the women face  every day in Nepal. Both parents are illiterate, originally from the rural countryside. Mother Aneeta, was match made by her grandmother when she was 18. Coming from a poor family has meant that no dowry was possible. Culturally, the woman will be despised by her in-laws and husband. They then feel they have the right to abuse and ill-treat the poor woman.Until she was married, she was  not aware that her husband has a first wife, a fact that was known to her grandmother ! So imagine her shock and horror when her husband was going from one home to another. He is an unskilled labourer.He is  more often out of work than in. So he gets drunk through frustration and beats Aneeta up..Aneeta leaves home at 6 each morning, knocking on doors to do washing , cleaning and any household chores  going. She does not return home much before 8pm each day. I see her at Uma's because she does all  the bulky washing at the orphanage- all the bed linens and towels and the children's uniform.  A very lovely woman, working herself to the bone also the bread winner for the family.

To my horror, she has told Uma that the family has moved for the second time in as many years. Apparently the first wife has now .moved in to live with them- all in one room no bigger than 10x12ft. It is a fact that most  families who migrated from the rural areas to Kathmandu can afford to rent one room only regardless of the size of the family. The family lives, cooks, eats and sleeps in the one rented room, with shared sanitation and washing  facilities drawn from a well with many householders in a block of  dwellings.I have visited many such homes over the years, but it still shocks me nevertheless.It is something that never fails to remind me the reason I am here every year.... to help to give the female children we sponsor the self esteem to enable them to stand up to domestic violence and be financially independent in a very male dominated society. This was the message given to me when I went to see the Nepali Ambassador to UK in London as well as the British Ambassador in Kathmandu in 2011

This recent arrangement is obviously a retrograde step for Aneeta and the children.. There is nothing they can do about it. The first wife does not work. The only stable income is Aneeta's. This has caused. endless violent arguments witnessed by the children. It would appeared that Rochana has asked Uma's sister (who employ her mother part time) that if she really studies hard, would Lai See didi  take her away from all these screaming madness around her because she can no longer concentrate .......and yet her school result are very good indeed !

We visited this afternoon. 2 adults and 2 children are sleeping in a standard size double bed sideways. Interestingly, the first wife is left sleeping on the floor.. Maybe its summary justice.Aneeta appears thinner each year I see her. She is now skin and bones like a skeleton. We took some sweets and fruit for the children .because its festival time..I said to Rochana that she must encourage her mother to eat. She must take care of her mother.Imagine me having to say this to a child in UK under the same circumstances.......

Women have a raw deal in Nepal. And this is a very common tale.............

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Time With the Children

Today is the first day of the Festival. It is at this time of the year when the children have meat in their diet.It is always the first , 8th and 9th day of the festival. The children are all naturally excited.We had a tasty chicken dish with our lunch.. We also had sweet pastry which were freshly prepared as part of  breakfast. They were yummy.Roll on, the 8th and 9th day of festival!

I did ask Uma what shall I buy as treats for the children. We settled on 2 kilos of apples, 2 big hands of bananas and a kilo of oranges. Suzan came with me to help carrying them home. It is always a dilemna whether to buy or not to buy. With around 10 people around at  all times,  I do find it quite difficult not to share any food I buy with the children.Uma shares the same sentiment. Therefore she does not eat fruit because she cannot afford to buy the quantity she needs for every one. And she loves fruit. This is a real issue for growing families like Uma's.I have to say I missed my fruit desperately.With such a large amount needed every time, I could not mamage without the help from the children.

I am  treated as part of the family durjng my stay here every year. With each passing year,  the children have become more open and sociable. They ask me about their sponsors, what they look like, what they do, do they have pets etc etc They have endless questions each time they see me. Sometimes they pull faces when I gave a description of a sponsor.I guess they must have vivid imaginations of what their sponsors would look like. And they  obviously do not match their mental images in their heads.And they always giggle, as teenagers do at the slightest things.Its just funny watchimg them laugh and giggle, a happy bunch.

The only guilty secret I have is my personal supply of chocolate hidden in my suitcase.With so many of us, even a big bar will only give each one no more than 2/3 squares.So I usually decline  in order to give them more of a share. Then I will have a couple of squares when I am in my room. A bar usually lasts me  more than a week, not bad going...I have one more bar to go..

With  Janet arriving soon, I will have a fresh supply again. ;) ;)

Monday, 22 September 2014


It was such a relief when Kamala came with her mother to inform us that the results from all the tests that were done have come back negative, including the one for TB. Apart for one course of  antbiotics, the hospital prescribed a very strong dose of multi-vitamins for  Kamala. Mum was told that the child is very weak, constitutionally.She needs building up.

Mindful of the fact that this 11 year old has to take care of her brother amd father during the day, she is  probably working herself to the bone, doing washing and cleaning the house. Mother leaves the home @7.30 in the morning, and does not get home till 9pm. She cooks a pot of lentil curry and rice for the children and husband for their meals each day. Husband works erratically. He is often not in work than he is. Kamala may be 11 years old, she looks like a 7 year old. She is under nourished and hungry a lot of the time. She is very small for her age. It is  upsetting to just look at her. At least she gave us a smile today.

Mum said she is eating better. She has stopped being sick.Through Uma, I stressed to mum that Kamala is still very weak. It is very important that she finishes all the medication the doctor gave her. I pressed some rupees into her hand for her to buy a further supply of multivits for Kamala to ensure she gets stronger in herself. Mum was reluctant to begin with, then she accepted it after Uma said something to her in NepalI.

Life is so tough here for many of the children. It is this sense of helplessness that creeps in from time to time when I do question whether KIKN is doing any good? Whats the point of instilling in a child aspirations for a better life when they cannot even afford to eat a proper/balanced meal each day?  I wish I have the answers.....

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Our Outing Today

Its been a few years since Uma agreed for me to take the children out for a meal . It has always been either KFC or  Pizza take away  most of the time. So it was a big occasion today to see the children all dressed up in their trendy gears to have lunch in a proper restaurant.. We had a photo shoot of all the children before we left for the restaurant.. Wonderful images!

 The heaven opened as we walked down the road to catch 2 taxis for 10 of us. Uma is excellent at bargaining. She always drills down to the last possible rupee. I would admit that she is far superior in her bartering  than I am. When she is in full flow, one must not get in her way by asking stupid and obvious questions. I did that a few times in the past, I soon regretted the move.The look she gave me was like ' what do you think I am doing , stupid? ' Being a big woman, which is rare in the Nepali race, I think she brow beats the taxi drivers into submission.  We often had a laugh about it afterwards.I have a mental picture of her  in a cartoon - A tall big woman with one hand on her hip, swinging her hand bag at any taxi driver who refuses to lower the fare. It is a hilarious sight   :)

For the past few days, the access road had somewhat recovered because the sun has been out. We were all relieved that the wet season is over.Apart from the craters in the road, we could start walking to the local shops again. Unfortunately, the heavy rain and thunderstorm returned with a vengeance! For 24 hours, the tropical down pour did not stop. We are now back to square one. It is really frustrating to say the least.

Uma did a quick bartering today because the children were getting wet. Adults have umbrellas, but children don't, and thats the way it is.In any case, Uma would not entertain the idea of having 10 umbrellas in the house. Theres' normally 2/3  and thats enough for her.We went through flooded roads because the drains could not cope with the volume in such a short space of time. It was quite an adventure.We were getting wet as well even though we were in the car!

It was all worth it when we enjoyed our lunch. It was the hottest meal I have for a long time. At one stage I had to give one of my chicken pieces to Rajesh because it was so hot, chilly hot. My mouth was on fire. And yet when I looked around, everyone was hell bent on enjoying the food. They admitted that  it was hot but carried on anyway. I blew my nose and wiped my brows-used to be a sign of a good curry to me, but not today! I  was sweating profusely from the unbearable heat. Uma thought it was funny, and laughed her head off.. To think , I was footing the bill as well.... Oh well......

Uma and the children

It is the examination time of the year.The children are swotting hard . They are inspired to do better than their usual best. Since my arrival, I have had opportunities to talk to the children, particularly the 5 older ones about their aspirations in life. It is only natural that at their age- 14/15years of age that they do change their minds about what they hope to become.

Take Suzan who scores over 80s for his Maths and Science exams . He comes second in class, and wants to be a mechanical or aeronautical engineer. We talked about his school reports. I have a sense that he is quite contend with his marks.However, he is an extraordinarily  bright boy and I think he sits in his comfort zone.I tried to explain to him that he is capable of doing even better if he wants to. Aiming for over 90s should be his target if he wants to pursue his dream. Interesting enough, 2 days later, he came and showed me the algebra exercises he has been practicing. He said he will score over 90 marks for this coming exam. I was speechless!

Two of the older children are very interested in the BBC website. It was the day after Scotland voted no in the referendum. I tried to give them as balanced a view to the background as I possibly could..They really enjoyed reading the news articles on the website.I am encouraging them to surf the net, looking for information about the world, instead of playing computer games and watching tv in most of their leisure time.

It is amazing how receptive these younsters are.In my limited exposure with youngsters, they tend to poo poo any ideas an older person suggests.It is very refreshing to see how  these youngsters are so hungry for information, guidance and encouragement. I feel very privileged  to be looked on as someone who can provide that.

I watched with fascination as Uma prepared the children the night before their exam. Every one brought their pencil boxes to be inspected. She ensured that there are 2 pencils, a pen, an eraser, a ruler and a  pencil sharpener in  everyone's pencil box right up to Rajesh , the 15 year old.. Some had to be replaced because they were broken.Panjum still has one which I bought from UK almost 3 years ago, albeit  is looking rather tatty and scruffy through constant handling..It would appear that the locally made  ones do not last very well. I must remember to go to WHSmith's in January  for the post Xmas sales to buy the stationary.

As I watched the children filing out of the room to go to bed, I remember some one said to me when I was leaving my primary education,
" Good, Better , Best, never let it rest,
Let your good be better,
And let your better be best."
And thats what I said to Suzan.....

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Back to Basics

It never fails to surprise me, regardless of the number of times I have stayed here, that I have always found drawing water from the well  such hard  work. Everyone  without exception, the children included, do her own personal washing, Pramila who is the youngest, was taught 'the how' when she came here at the age of 4+ year.

The orphanage runs like clock work.The washer woman comes once a week
 to do the bed linen and towels. Now that the girls are growing up, they do their own ironing as well.The only problem is, the children goes through Irons like nobody's bussiness.Uma had to replace the  Iron twice in a year.I feel they are not using it properly, need to find out

Drawing water from the well is to do with techniques.Hand to hand coordination is key.I always have this fear when I am pulling up the bucket of water that I might topple into the well.Totally irrational I know.Sometimes the rope that is secured to the handle slid to one side, rather staying in the middle of the bucket, I would end up with the bucket on its side with hardly any water in it. Then I have to start again, flipping the bucket down hoping it will land squarely on the water surface, then slowly sinking  as the bucket starts filling up with water.Then yippee! success!

I have learnt to ask the experts- the children when they are around to draw the water out for me. It always looks  so easy when they've do it.Yet I struggle every time!

This morning  while I was struggling with the well, Kamala's ( the child who might have TB ) mum arrived. Though  we cannot communicate, she smiled and wanted to take over my washing for me. I shook my head, and she kept  on.I supposed she wanted to say thank you for our help.In the end, I let her draw the water for me. And she was contend to watch me while we waited for Uma to return.

An update
Kamala was taken to Teku Hospital ( where I did my volunteering in my first year  ) . The hospital is doing investigations  on the child.They need to go back again on Friday .I told the mother to keep the child home from class here and the school until the hospital finds out the reason for her high fever.More money was given to mum for Friday appointment. There is always the fear that the money will be spent on the next meal rather than what is intended.

A real dilemna..........

Day of Contrasts

This morning I met up with one of our children . I met the  mother for the first time. She looked no older than a child herself.Part of the reason KIKN sponsor her is that the family lives in abject poverty.The husband has been ill with TB. It is said that he is much better on medication.

Knowing the family background, Uma asked her sister to employ her as a helper in the home.The family appears to be managing. During my meeting with mum and child this morning, mum said the child has been running a high fever for a few weeks. She has started to be sick, unable to tolerate food with her high fever for the past week.

May be I am over reacting, the alarm bells started ringing in my head.With the family living sleeping, cooking and eating in the one room at all times, coupled with poor nutrition , the risk of both mother and child contracting TB must be very high. The mother said she has been to pharmacy to buy some medication for the  child. Uma and I advised mum to take child to see  a doctor, a children's doctor and the TB  hospital for tests.I gave her some money to enable her to do that.

Hopefully she will do as she  promised. I am seriously concerned about the public health angle. Maybe we need to stop her coming to the English class at the Orphanage until she is better. There are over 20 children, including Uma's here who might be exposed to the risk of TB.Uma agreed with my thinking. We are waiting to hear from her before deciding on the next step.

We then paid a scheduled visit to Jana Sudhar school
We were both met by the pupils lining the street with flowers.It was a very humbling experience, totally unexpected.I was presented with  flowers from individual children, right down to the infant classes.I was speechless. They just wanted to show their gratitude for all the support KIKN has given them- a furnished library, breakfast club for 100 children, 2 computers and desks ,class room furniture, exercise books etc

We came away humbled and overwhelmed.What a day!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The rain

Normally September is the beginning of the dry season in Kathmandu.It follows the end of its raining season towards the end of August. Thats the reason I have always travelled in September to Nepal.What with climatic change etc, the wet and dry season have become confused.The wet season appears to be hanging on, thus causing havoc to the place.

This happened once before when I came to Nepal a little earlier. The unseasonal deluge caused flooding underground , so much so that it overwhelmed the nests of vermins like mice, cockcroaches,  as well as rats. The children were having a lot of fun killing  the rats etc. And I was almost hysterical . There were many dead bodies of  giant rats littering the road- the locals' way of disposing rubbish.A pretty horrific experience for me at that time.I recalled that  no matter which direction I chose to walk , I could not avoid coming across the upsetting sight.

I suppose this time it is only mud for me to tackle. I ought not complain really.So I thought. Generally nothing stops me doing things I want to do most of the time.  I decided to venture out this morning- my first walk since I arrived here3 days ago. It has been drizzling the whole morning , nothing major happened.So I went out prepared with an umbrella ,above ankle trousers  and flip flops with good grip on their soles.The distance was no further than 500 metres. I was thankful that the normally busy road was very quiet , and was depleted of people and traffic for a change! I thought I was right to venture and enjoy my long overdue exercise.

What followed was a night mare balancing act, trying not to slide down onto the mud.By the time I realised that the reason the road is so unusually quiet,  I was stuck between a large crater in the middle of the road and a slimy watery path. I stopped, panicked, did not know which spot I sh ould pick to put my next step forward.I was cursing myself for being so stupid, thinking I could tackle whatever....In the end I stepped on the slimy path. I swayed underfoot. Maybe doing Pilates exercise has paid dividends, I stayed upright till I reached the firm mud.

To cut a long story short, I had to go into one of the local shops I frequent (where I purchase my annual supply of pashiminas) and asked for a ride back on a motor bike. That was an adventure in itself. I thought only my feet and flip flops were covered in  mud.When I got back, it was pointed out by the children that the  back of my trousers were caked in mud.

Everyone had a good laugh. And that ended my first outing. Pray the rain to go away tomorrow to allow the ground to dry.... 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Our Children

I spent my second day here lazing around, talking with the children and catching up on their news. Uma and I spent sometime evaluating the various projects KIKN is involved in.We have started to map out the visits we are going to do, and anticipating a shopping list wherever we go. :) :) Afterall, Uma said I am now being regarded as the 'money  man ', or rather woman by all the schools and organisations we are involve in. Scary thought,  I wish it was true, especially  in real life. Sigh........

In preparation for our sponsored children entering higher education in the  future, Uma and I have started to work out the possible scenarios.. We have worked out the projected cost for x number of children etc, recognising the ones who are likely to fall by the wayside.It certainly was an interesting exercise to say the least.

Uma knows a couple of therapists who might be suitable for the disabled home. We also explored the musical angle as part of stimulation/education for the children. Uma's impression is that all the children are 'mentally challenged' to a larger or lesser
degree. I need to confirm this  for myself. If that is the case, they are in greater need than I originally thought.We discussed the possible combinations of different therapy input from our stand point. We need to talk to the therapists  who are the experts, bearing in mind the possible financial constraints.

Heres to another day, a satisfying one.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Here I come again Kathmandu !

It is amazing how the time flies. Here I am in Kathmandu again,for the 7th time . This time there are 29 sponsored children, and not 8 as in my first visit in 2008. In addition, KIKN is also supporting 2 schools, an orphange and a disabled children's home

Reflecting on the progress we have made, and the changes that had taken place since , we have come a long way, at the same time, we still have a long way to go. I take pride in the fact fhat KIKN is achieving the goals it sets out to do with a lot of help and support from all our friends/ donors/sponsors. Without them , KIKN will not have been able to do all the things that we have done and needs to do in the future.

One of the big challenges facing KIKN is resourcing the number of children through higher education ( university ) each year in the  coming years. Uma and I need to map out carefully the possible scenario with resource implications  while I am here.

I have seen most of our sponsored children  since I arrived. How they have grown! ! Two of UMa' children are now taller than I am, sigh....I know it does not take much for that to happen, being a shortie that I am  :=)

I have been given my old room back, which will make my month long stay here very comfortable. There is the unseasonal thunder storms at the moment. This has caused the main road to Uma'place water logged and very muddy. The large craters on the road do not help. It is impossible to walk on the road at the moment.I do hope the dry season will start soon to enable me to do the normal things as in previous Septembers.

Having had our planning meeting today, work starts tomorrow with or without rain.