Next October Global Action Coalition with Reverend Temple Hayes will be bringing about 20 people to Nepal. This is a great time of year to travel there and we are planning an incredible trip. Our guide working with me will be Rupendra Karmacharya. Rupendra has been a partner with Global Action since the beginning. He has dedicated himself to helping the people of his country and is the most amazing human being. He has studied the Chepong people of the Chitwan mountains and written his thesis on this. His other studies was archaeology and he has worked at the site of the birth of Buddha in Lumbini. I have traveled several times into the mountains with Rupen and I consider myself lucky to have him as a partner and a friend.
Academy at the Lakes in Land O Lakes, Florida has again shown their love and support of the children in Nepal. Last year they gave money to Shree Ganesh Secondary School in Kavre. The school was severely damaged by the earthquake of 2015 and when asked the Academy students responded by raising $2,000 to rebuild the bathroom. Working with the Yogdan Foundation and a local Swiss man who matched the donation we were able to make this dream come true. I was able to speak with the students this November and show them photos of the school with the children thanking them and a small plaque that was given to them.
I also spoke with the students about the ongoing commitment they have made to Surkhandi Elementary School and the school. The students from Surkhandi who have graduated are now attending the middle school in Chandibahang and planning on attending the high school there. This year they donated $1,922 to the programs that include lunches and school supplies. In the past they paid for sweaters. We at Global Action Coalition as well as the staff and students at these schools are so appreciative of the generosity of the Academy at the Lakes.
I went to Nepal, and I saw things I’ve never seen before. I saw a monkey riding shotgun on a motorcycle; I saw a man’s home that was a blanket and a stick, and that was it. I saw a rhino get mad and yell at us when we woke him up from his nap in the mud. I rode on an elephant for three hours in grass that was so tall that all I could see was the elephant’s ears. I got to serve dinner to people at the ashram, and I got to eat food with my hands and not get yelled at. I talked with lots and lots of people but no one spoke English, so I talked with my face and my hands and my eyes. I have been to Nepal and I have done and seen a lot of things.
Douda is a small village near Djibouti City. When I visited last time I felt moved to help them. They live a simple life there, with small agricultural plots and creating crafts to get by. Elana and I went there our second day and it was a wonderful experience: we brought soccer balls donated by the Rowdies and both Elana and I took turns kicking the ball around with the delighted children. After our meeting and their sweet presentation we talked about their needs. They described their needs for a schooling structure as well as a way to make their craft creation process more efficient. We decided to give them one of the shelters for a school room and suggested a microloan program to purchase sewing machines for their craft making. One lady painted Elana’s hands and wrists with henna in a time honored tradition which was a bonding experience between Elana and the village. You will see video of that and the welcoming ceremony, playing soccer and finally the erection of the blue med shelter by Djibouti Army members and US Navy Sea Bees. The Sea Bees, who were serving at Camp Lemonier helped us immensely by bringing a bulldozer to the site to level the ground and training the Djiboutian Army to construct the new schooling shelter there.