Monday, January 28, 2019

Best Bhaktapur Activity-Mountain Biking


It took an ungodly amount of time to get it going, but we finally have our mountain bikes at the main entrance of Bhaktapur available for renting. The weather in the Kathmandu Valley is lovely throughout the winter. I'm actually sitting up on my rooftop without a jacket. It's been cold for a few days, but it's mild compared to most places in Europe or N. America.

Each bike comes with a helmet, spare inner tube and tools for repairing a flat. Although not brand new, our bicycles are in excellent shape and 21 gears. When you come to Bhaktapur just go to the main entrance and tell one of the trekking guides to help you rent some bikes. If you need a guide there are several who love doing bike tours.




How much will they cost? 1,000 NRs. per day (or any part of a day), plus 1,000 NRs. for your guide's bike if you would like to hire a guide. A guide will help you to see the more interesting things along the way and keep you safe. They will generally need at least 1,000 NRs. plus expenses per day.

One of the advantages of doing a bike ride with a local guide is that he will have excellent stamina in case you are planning a trek outside the Kathmandu Valley. If you find him helpful and enjoy his company you will be able to get a good price for a guide for a trek.

There are many excellent biking trails in and around Bhaktapur. With a couple of mobile apps you will have many options for destinations. I recently read a blog post that made several suggestions for moblile apps for bikers. 

What is your money for the bike rental going to be used for? All our profit from this project will be to help the local farmers to transition to organic farming. If you plan to come to Nepal and would like to work in organic farming we can place you with a local family or host you at Star View Guest House.


If you've been to Nepal please give us your thoughts in the comments.
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This blog post is supplemental to our video channel. If you enjoyed this post, you'll enjoy our videos. We explore one topic at a time with the intent to help you to have the best time in Nepal.
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We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Krishna Janmasthami in Changunarayan, Nepal

Some festivals in Nepal aren't as 'tourist-friendly' as others. Here's one you will surely enjoy if you come around the end of August or the first part of September. Be sure to check the Nepali calendar before you book your flight.


Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Small Women's Initiative with Big Plans


The Kay Garnay for Nepal registered NGO in Nepal is a grassroots  agency to help the people of Nepal. As you probably know, depending on the economic index,Nepal is the second poorest country in Asia, just ahead of North Korea. It's our desire to enrich and empower our members, the people of our village and Nepal. Check out our website to see our work.

Our first priority is to get the start-up funded and and our gifts made. Each of our trainees are specializing in just one stlye. We have their bios and pictures up on our page. Donors can look at our hats being modeled by our knitters, each proudly wearing their own handiwork. We are asking for donations of just $30 (plus $15 shipping/handling) and will be sending hat/glove sets as 'thank you' gifts. Our donors will be able to select the style and colors they want. Here's our youtube video demonstrating our backpack you can have sent with your donation for an additional $15, about 50% its retail value in Europe. https://youtu.be/6mnc1EXivo8

How our money is to be disbursed:
Approximately 1/3  to 1/2 of the proceeds are used for expenses. After a small portion for each woman to save a little bit we will help 7 of these women and any who enter into our program in the future with such a need, with assistance in rebuilding their earthquake-damaged homes. Then the rest of the money will be used for our village projects.

There was a kind tourist who came to Changunarayan and made so many connections we all felt like he belonged here. He noticed a young man, a cook at a nearby guesthouse, who had lost his home during the earthquakes of 2015 and was still living in an earthquake shelter. The man had a wife and baby and the baby had been in the hospital several times due to diarehea and dehydration from the living conditions. The young man was such a hard worker and easy to get along with that our volunteer inspired others in the village to help this family with a home. Altogether, we collected 3,000 euro and the family has a safer place to raise their baby.




As time goes on, we hope to have an additional little bit for our own hardship fund to be used by members for micro-loans and hardship gifts.

We are also working on getting connections with high-end boutiques whereby we can provide non-sweatshop, above average paying jobs in Nepal and exceptional values for our western partners and donors.

Our vision for Changunarayan Village:
We hope first to help people rebuild after the earthquakes and then do projects for village beautification. We hope to help farmers transition from low-end produce to fruit trees and other higher yield crops.

Additionally, we hope to help women with female issues, such as prolapsed uterus and fibroid cysts. There is a high number of women with such issues that could be taken care of for well under $500. This is often a low priority in the family, as they would need to borrow on their land, therefore, most women suffer in silence. We hope to sponsor women's health seminars and similar such programs.

It's been the long-term goal of Kay Garnay for Nepal to encourage and help farmers to transition to organic, higher yield crops through projects such as a tool lending project, village recycling project, natural outdoor lighting, etc. Give us just 2 years and come to Changunarayan in 2020. It will be the highlight of your time in Nepal. Ultimately, we hope to make Changunarayan a 'Butterfly Village' worthy of a visit from every tourist coming to Nepal.
By the way, if you save $50 a month from this month, you will have enough money for an amazing trip to Nepal in 2020. If you need a part-time job to help you pay for the trip please let us know.


One of our long term goals is to promte and support Nepal's manufacturing industry. The idea is to change the society's dialogue. Presently, Nepal has a  large import fee/tariff on imported items, but the people think the western goods like Sony and Panasonic are better, even when they cost 30% more than products manufactured or assembled in Nepal like CG and Wega. We, at Star View Guest House are commited to buying only Nepali mad products and will be using the logo here to make stickers for buses, etc.







Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Getting ready to Launch our Women's Initiative Project


Our coordinator, Patricia, has arrived from Austrailia and has begun exploring the situation here in the Kathmandu Valley. Sunday we went to Bhaktapur to see the products and workmanship of what Nepal produces. I learned a few things along the way and we had a great shopping day.
Wool yarn store in Kathmandu

Although we've started the workshop for hats and gloves, the women are not ready to produce anything to sell or give as gifts just yet. We are at the point now where we need to select various styles and colors and get the women to pick one style to specialize in. We had a little meeting with the ladies and we discussed a tentitive pay schedule. We came up with a schedule that will allow the women to earn enough to enjoy life a bit.

Many work initiatives pay either a low salary or a small commission; we will provide both. Work initiatives, in our opinion, should not just provide a starvation wage. We also provide a nutricious lunch and an afternoon snack and tea. They only need to work from 10 am to 4 pm.

The women have chosen to sit on the floor, but we have cushions and the are comfortable.

Patricia also plans to make natural fiber shopping bags to export and even brought some patterns.  Nepal has some interesting fabrics and patterns, so it will be an pleasing mix of culture with Westernized variations on traditional themes.

A practice set of hat and glove-not high quality wool. 
This is the third week for our women's group and rather than having the normal attrition that we've had in the past, the group has actually accepted a new member. We provide them with a pleasent setting and all the supplies they need and they have responded quite favorably. Ranjana, the group leader/teacher, is a lovely young woman who's taken advantage of as much training as she could throughout her life and does her best. One of the problems with elevating Nepal is that many INGOs/nonprofits come with money and provide a month of sewing, knitting or looming training, leave the sewing machine/loom for the young woman and leave them without enough skills to find their way. One woman we provided emergency funds for after the earthquake had a sewing machine in her room with no way to use it for an income.




Thursday Patricia went to Kathmandu with Sujit to explore pashmina possibilities. She had a wonderful idea. We plan to use local women in other initiatives to start with. This will assure better quality, as we do not plan to deal in inferior products. We will use only the highest quality materials and inspect the products well.

I hope you follow along with us. We'll be putting the crowdfunder together as soon as we get a few more details worked out. Being as we are a very small NGO in a very small country our marketing strategy is to provide an awesome value for a donation, tax deductible if you are in the US.



 We'll have official news soon, so please stay tuned.

Sujit with Hari's taxi.
For all of you who've been asking how to help (other than sending a donation) please retweet and share our appeals often and if you do give a donation please post a picture of the hat/gloves and give a sincere reveiw of your gifts.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Money, Money-Everyone's Needing Money. Do You?

Our agency, Kay Garnay for Nepal is looking for high school students who want to earn money for traveling. If you have good connections to high schools or would like to establish some, we have a great part-time job for you.  

 

Our offer:

Introduce high schools in your town to our line of  school spirit hat and glove sets in school colors. The school will become your account and you will get commission for each set they order. You do not have to close the sale, just introduce us to the band/orchestra teacher/cheerleading team captain, etc. We can pay you upon delivery or we can save it in the bank in Nepal for you at 9% interest. When you are ready to come to Nepal we can buy the ticket and have the rest for you to spend while you are here. If there isn't enough for airfare we can send your money to you via Paypal. You can use your own money for the balance or keep the money.  

If you choose to go to Nepal we will act as host for you. We'll pick you up from the airport and provide accommodations at no charge if you'd like to volunteer with us. We can arrange for your trekking and will act as your point of contact throughout your stay in Nepal.

If your plans change and you are unable to come to Nepal you will get the entire amount refunded along with the interest paid via Paypal. 

 

Requirements:

Must be a self-starter.

Must be able to work alone or have a partner working with you. 

We will send you some business cards, sales materials and a sample set. We suggest two people team up together for this project and we are happy to hire two for each town or city.  

About the products:

We make custom, handcrafted, knitted hats and gloves in school or club colors. These are the highest quality of wool with micro-fiber lining in an assortment of styles.

Why are we offering this? Kay Garnay is a 3 year old NGO registered in Nepal. I am a retired American widow and founded the agency after the devastating earthquakes of 2015. You can learn about our work in other blog posts and about me at https://frugaltravelsnepal.blogspot.com/ where I've been blogging for 7 years about Nepal.

We have started our women's group and are eager to begin making woolen hat and glove sets for our customers. People wonder how to help the needy in less developed countries. I believe the best thing you can do for any struggling people, whether it be or , is to provide a job. That's how we plan to help the women of our little Newar village in the beautiful Kathmandu Valley.

 

Here's something you can do to earn a bit or maybe pass on to someone. Ya know how high school football teams are all about school spirit? We're puttting a project together whereby young people who want to travel can go to the school and see if they want to do a fundraiser. We'll send the hat/glove sets in the school colors the school initials. We should have about 5-6 styles to choose from. If a person wants to get a school to do this we can give them $1 per set that the school orders. I'd expect a school should do at least 200 sets. It would only take a few phone calls and a meeting and then a bit of PR, yes? They will be high-quality wool with microfiber lining.  Total cost is only $60 with the school splitting the shipping cost and keeping 1/2 the retail price. I would love to have some students do this and get money for traveling.

Here's a blog post about the project, as well as some background information about Kay Garnay for Nepal, registered NGO: https://kaygarnayfornepal.--handcraft.html

 


 


Friday, June 29, 2018

Our Pre-launch Women's Handcraft Initiative


Our coordinator, Patricia, has arrived from Austrailia a few days ago and has begun exploring the situation here in the Kathmandu Valley. Sunday we went to Bhaktapur to see the products and workmanship of what Nepal produces. I learned a few things along the way and we had a great shopping day.
Wool yarn store in Kathmandu

Although we've started the workshop for hats and gloves, the women are not ready to produce anything to sell or give as gifts just yet. We are at the point now where we need to select various styles and colors and get the women to pick one style to specialize in. We had a little meeting with the ladies and we discussed a tentitive pay schedule. We came up with a schedule that will allow the women to earn enough to enjoy life a bit. It will be a good living wage; after all, that's the point of our projects.

Many work initiatives pay either a low salary or a small commission; we will provide both. Work initiatives, in our opinion, should not just provide a starvation wage. We also provide a nutricious lunch and an afternoon snack and tea. They only need to work from 10 am to 4 pm.

The women have chosen to sit on the floor, but we have cushions and the are comfortable.

Patricia also plans to make natural fiber shopping bags to export and even brought some patterns.  Nepal has some interesting fabrics and patterns, so it will be an pleasing mix of culture with Westernized variations on traditional themes.

A practice set of hat and glove-not high quality wool. 
This is the third week for our women's group and rather than having the normal attrition that we've had in the past, the group has actually accepted a new member. We provide them with a pleasent setting and all the supplies they need and they have responded quite favorably. Ranjana, the group leader/teacher, is a lovely young woman who's taken advantage of as much training as she could throughout her life and does her best. One of the problems with elevating Nepal is that many INGOs/nonprofits come with money and provide a month of sewing, knitting or looming training, leave the sewing machine/loom for the young woman and leave them without enough skills to find their way. One woman we provided emergency funds for after the earthquake had a sewing machine in her room with no way to use it for an income.




Thursday Patricia went to Kathmandu with Sujit to explore pashmina possibilities. She had a wonderful idea. We plan to use local women in other initiatives to start with. This will assure better quality, as we do not plan to deal in inferior products. We will use only the highest quality materials and inspect the products well.

I hope you follow along with us. We'll be putting the crowdfunder together as soon as we get a few more details worked out. Being as we are a very small NGO in a very small country our marketing strategy is to provide an awesome value for a donation, tax deductible if you are in the US.



 We'll have official news soon, so please stay tuned.

Sujit with Hari's taxi.





For all of you who've been asking how to help (other than sending a donation) please retweet and share our appeals often and if you do give a donation please post a picture of the hat/gloves and give a sincere reveiw of your gifts.






Follow along with us

Twitter: @FrugalTravelsNe
               @KayGarnay4Nepal
               @StarViewChangu
Facebook: 
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
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Websites:    http://KayGarnay.org
                   http://WhatAboutNepal.org
                   http://FrugalTravelsNepal.Blogspot.com
          http://StarViewNepal.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Possibilities for our woolen hat women's project


We started our women's knitting group last last week and they enthusiastically knitted their way to the bottom of the knitting basket. Sujit, the teacher and I will go to Kathmandu to purchase more wool and other supplies today.

The women made several different styles to practice with, but here are a few they found online that they like. Out of the ones below which hats do you like the best? Can you please tell us the top 5 you'd like to see offered? Please put your choices in the comments.

Do you know of any other designs of hats or other knitted items that would be of high interest for consumers? Please let us know what you'd like to see offered.

We are also planning to start a project as a joint fundraiser for high schools to make a line of football team spirit hats and glove sets.

 #1

 #2
#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15

#16

#17

#18

#19
#20

#21

#22

#23
Thanks so much for your help.

Follow along with us:

Twitter:   @FrugalTravelsNe
               @KayGarnay4Nepal
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