Friday, March 31, 2017

How Not to Ask for Money When Money is Desperately Needed

It’s the hardest thing to do for me, ask for money. Even when someone stays at the guest house I try to give as much value as possible. Some of these travelers have such a small budget they even skip meals-in Nepal! If you can’t afford to eat in Nepal or India you probably need a better plan for traveling. I really admire them for going after all the adventure they can get before settling down.

I budget about $200 a month for our agency and to help our village from my own funds. That covers administration expenses and it’s a real pleasure to help. We also provide a free room for volunteers, which is an annual expense of a few thousand more in ‘in-kind’ donations. We also have a dedicated room for our agency that the kids enjoy as a library/reading room and classroom. Our volunteers just pay for food if they can. Last week we had a couple who only ordered one dinner. We gave them half price so both could eat.
When we get clothing we separate the lighter clothing for the women here and send the heavy items to the mountains. 

It kept coming up, how to get enough money to do more than just run the NGO monthly costs. I want to do more. There is the hilltop at the temple with several trees having exposed roots. It’s just a matter of time before it landslides, so it has to be fixed ASAP. The sad thing is it would only cost a few hundred dollars to make it look lovely and be secure. Yes, I’m sure it will come out of one of my ‘oh so deep pockets.’
Our lovely guests leave money, warm clothing and even used laptop computers. Even people who have never been to Nepal help us with our computer issues from home. We have a friend who is encouraging our women’s group and that project is finally just about ready to launch. We are so grateful.
We have 4 women who are looking forward to working in our women's workshop. 

Our new plan: We’ve recently joined an affiliate website that is providing us with a platform to teach the local, young people while generating some funding. It’s so simple to use. Even though it is a busy website, once you get the layout it’s pretty easy to navigate. The tutorials and chat features are quite beneficial. I hope many of our former volunteers and our supporters will sign up to give this website a try. I think it will prove to be an excellent source of travel money for you and will help our agency, as well.

I know a lot of these internet marketing sites are scams, but this site doesn’t have products, so they can’t get you for more than the monthly membership and there’s no long-term contract. A person could even continue the free account until they see how it would work for them or keep it forever free. During the intro offer they can upload their own websites that they learn to make. 

Here's what you get before you ever need to pay:
·        Free Sign-up
·        Get 2 free websites with free hosting
·        Access basic online training; learn to create your own websites, get them SEO ready and create content.

·        Help and encouragement via community discussions and community support.

I offer it here for anyone to try. I think we get $1 when someone signs up for a free account. Get started free and get the help you need by clicking on our link:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Cottage Industry in is Alive and Well in Nepal

Life in Changunarayan Village goes on much as it did in centuries gone by. Women carry water and wash their clothes and even bathe at the community tap.

When there is a problem, like India closing the road to Nepal for fuel and medicine, people in the villages often take it in stride. Life is harder, but life here in the village looks pretty much the same as on normal days. Random bird and goat sounds can be heard in the distance and people are out and about as early as 5 am.

People wonder about the artists and craftsmen who make such amazing art as the Tibetan style thangka paintings. Many of these painting take months to complete, which allows many craftsmen to stay in the villages to work from home. After more than a month the artist will hand carry his work to the Kathmandu Valley, hand delivering it to the retail outlet and collecting his pay. This is the way it is at our school, too. 

Changunarayan’s Sunapati thangka painting school has over 20 students living and studying here, but after they complete their studies they will have the option of returning to the village and earn a good living.

There is a felt workshop and a hand carved mask workshop here in the village and one can often see carpet and pashmina being woven in small workshops along the road on the way to our village.

Women knitting hats and gloves are common sights. Pre-school children play nearby as the mothers chat as they knit. The little bit they earn enriches the family and often helps to pay school fees for the older children.

Suddenly, you’ll notice the women are not knitting and the small factories may even close for a few days. The women can be found out in the field planting or harvesting. The fields come alive as families work together to get the farm work finished. The tiny plots of land are sometimes the size of a room.

Particularly after a natural disaster, people wonder how to help. Purchasing from these factories or cottage industry workers is an important way to help Nepal. If you just send money the social worker and many other people will take some of the money, which is fine because getting money flowing is a big part of healing an economy, but not much will end up going for supplies and labor for the project. Even in the West, this is a problem. I remember reading that the Red Cross only released 5 million dollars after collecting almost a billion after Haiti’s earthquake.

Whether you are looking for a special Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or another celebration, Nepali art remains one of the best values on the planet for uniqueness, quality, and price.

You can find some lovely, custom pieces at our lovely, affiliate website

Our Offer: If you have an idea of something you'd like that is not offered on our partner site, just give us an idea of the medium and price you want to pay. We can shop for you and get a great local price. We'll add our expense of our shopper and up to 25% for our agency. However, we cap the 25% at $75. So if something cost wholesale $300 our profit would be around $75, or $375 total. If something cost $400 you would only pay $75 commission and expenses plus shipping. 

Shipping rates can be quite expensive if your item is brass, but here is an idea of the shipping costs. 1/2 kilo will cost $35 max. plus about $5 for each 1/2 kg of additional weight for 5 day UPS/DHL or about half that if you want slower time. In this case, we would use the Nepal government parcel service. It would be insured, but slower and about half the price of UPS.

We will send you several pictures of items we find and if you approve we'll go back and get the one you like, wrap it and ship it. But you will always have a chance to see what we've found for you before we ship it, or before you even have to pay. It's all 100% guaranteed to be what you want or just send it back and we'll eat the shipping cost. We have Paypal and a merchant account, so if we have anything but 100% satisfaction Paypal or our merchant bank will make sure we do have your needs in mind. We've been doing thangka and mask shipping with our partner website for 4 years and have never had a complaint. All the banking is through me, so we always take care of our customers' needs in a timely fashion.
This will give you about 50% discount over market value while creating a job in Nepal and exporting Nepali handicrafts. Just drop us a line at


My eBook is available now at (Promotion code for discount: GR5X4BCHX2  If you are planning a trip to Nepal you'll enjoy it. It will save you time as well as money, but more importantly, it will help you to have a better time in Nepal. Many people wonder things like if they can eat the street food like in Thailand or Vietnam. 

Here's my spoiler alert: Do not eat the street food in Nepal, nor should you eat at any buffet in Nepal. The eBook addresses such things as this and what to do if you become ill, etc. Whether or not you get my book, please read this short, free eBook. It will help you get your time here off to a great start. If there is a problem with the download or code please let me know at 


If you'd like to connect on social media with me here's   how: 

Twitter: @FrugalTravelsNe or @NGOChangu @StarViewChangu