Thursday, May 11, 2017

Have It Your Way


Our little agency, Kay Garnay for Nepal, literally means, "What to do for Nepal" in the Nepali language. Not that we've done so much, but it's the way we do it that really makes it enjoyable for me. With just me, my assistant and our Nepali board it's a lot more 'elbow grease' than contributions. As the cover picture shows, we took warm clothing to a local senior citizen center/nursing home in Bhaktapur. It made us all so happy whether we were giving or receiving.

If you are looking for a worthy cause to support in Nepal, the nursing home we went to is doing a wonderful job with the old folks. They have 33 patients and 29 employees. They also have a birthing center in the same location. 

This hospital was started due to the death of a young boy. This is his parents way of letting the loss have some positive meaning. For more information or to make a donation please visit the website: http://smf.org.np 


We wrote a letter with our agency letterhead to request extra space/weight for our guests, Jolanda and Hank from Netherlands. They had sent 2 huge boxes through the post office and one normal size box, plus they took extra bags with them on the flight to Nepal.  There were so many jackets and shoes we were able to distribute them to the local nursing home and two settlements of displaced Nepali and Indian families.

Warm clothing from Jolanda and Hank, Netherlands
Our next stop was a tent city at the river. This is where the poorest people live. This area has an international INGO that helps the people some. This is a Christian agency, which we do not support. Although Christianity is an established religion, and we don't wish them ill will, we do not support conversion of the local people. They actually have a religion that has been here for thousands of years prior to Christianity, so we see it as a matter of preference rather than need to change.

One way well intended tourists can get into trouble is by conversion. Religion has a deep and profound effect on any society, so making changes through Christian conversion programs can have a distructive influence dividing families, villages and castes. After a brief introduction at the agency's facility we distributed Jolanda and Hanks gifts ourselves.

This day we all got to play 'Santa Claus' to some of society's forgotten. We've done this so many times and it never gets old. There were only tents on one side of the river and make-shift dwellings on the other. The people on the tent side of the river discouraged us from giving to the 'rich' people on the other side. It was smelly and really filthy there at this camp, but passing out these jackets was a pleasure and joy.




When we have guests who bring clothing or books we always do our best to do as they wish with the items. We've taken books to our rec. center in Bhaktapur that our volunteers made and passed money onto those in need as our donors ask. You do not need to stay with us at the Star View Guest House; we are happy to help anyone to help Nepal.

We've gotten packages from New Zealand, UK, Spain, Polland and other countries of books, school supplies and gently used, warm clothing. We are always happy to pay the Nepali charges and other costs associated with picking up the packages. The man at the post office is starting to recognise us and he's been very kind as to assessing the tarrif. But because the taxi costs $30-35 and around $10 per box, we ask that our donors keep that in mind in deciding whether or not to send things.

School supplies from Polland
 Our amature radio friends from Polland recently sent us a couple boxes of school supplies, really lovely and mostly things that have a higher quality than what we can find here. Another from this group, Kaz, left us an amature radio compete with antenae.


One lovely volunteer, Anna, left us some lumbar supports for the villagers who have to do difficult labor in construction and farming. Here are a few of them getting the supports. If you wonder what to bring to a family you will be doing a home-stay with in a remote village, I suggest bringing a lumbar support if you know the size of the woman ($5 each), a knee support ($2 each) or a bag of lentils($2-3 per kg.). But be sure to check to make sure which would be most appropriate for the host family. If you get a scarf be sure to bring one for the mother-in-law, as well as the hostess ($5-10 each).










Another project we have that was inspired by volunteers is our library/play room. We've made play dough, tutored the children and given them a safe place to learn, play and study.


We got some new chess and Ludo sets and they really play well.
We play 'raison math' with the kids so they can truly understand addition and subtraction. This game has the built in reward of getting to eat the raisons in the subtraction round. 


If you are coming to Nepal and want to do something to enrich your time while you are here we'd love to have you come and do what's in your heart to help some really lovely people. 

Our latest need/offer: We are in need of gently used laptops and notebook computers. If you could bring us a laptop we will be happy to provide you a room in exchange, up to $50 per laptop in room rate exchange. Contact us at FrugalTravelsNepal@gmail.com