Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The List

The List

13 bunk beds (with 2 bottom drawers built-in)
4 single beds for guest room(s)
1 wardrobe for guest room
2 metal trunks for house mother and house sister
clothes hangers
6 low benches and three desks for study room
4 low dining tables
1 white board
1 bulletin board
1 steel cupboard for stationery and school supplies
1 steel cupboard for medicine
1 set sofa for office
1 padded bench for sitting room
1 playground set—swings and slide
21 single foam mattresses
29 pillows
30 blankets with quilt covers
60 bed sheets
30 bath towels
12 sets of curtains
carpeting for three rooms
20 seating cushions
3 door mats
1 computer
1 printer
1 UPS unit
1 volt guard
1 digital camera
1 plug extension unit
assorted toys and books—no specific
2 large aluminum washing bowls
2 large pressure cookers
2 large cooking pots (dekchi)
2 frying pans
1 momo pot set
2 steel pots with lids
2 large thermoses
2 serving spoons
4 cooking spoons
3 chopping knives
1 stone grinder
8 large plastic containers
spice container set
6 oversized plastic containers for storing rice, dal, etc.
30 steel plates for dal bhaat
30 steel bowls for dal
30 steel soup bowls
36 plastic plates for khaja
30 tea cups
36 plastic juice cups
30 steel cups
36 spoons
1 chulesi (Nepali kitchen knife)
1 khukuri
2 nanglos
1 sieve
2 sets belna chakla (rolling pin and plate)
4 gas cylinders
1 gas stove with two burners
1 TV with DVD player
6 emergency lights
first aid kits
basic medicine—paracetamol, etc
ironing board
4 fire extinguishers
1 Eurogard water filter
1 refrigerator
1 electric grinder
school bags
2 sets of clothes per child
clothes pins
clothes line
hair brushes and picks

Typically when a person moves into a new place, he or she accumulates things over time, starting with necessities and gradually working up to "luxury" items. But when you plan to move 15 children into a home with little start-up time, gathering the necessary items for daily function can be an awesome, awesome task.

What this list (complied by Dinesh and Rekha) cannot convey is the incredible effort to shop for, transport and organize all these items.

Today we shopped for just the kitchen items. We arrived at the store at 1:30p. Prior to this visit, Dinesh and Rekha had spent time pricing various large items for bargaining purposes. At this store, we were fortunate to have a connection—the owner is friends with one of our Nepali trustees, Bharat Malla. Like everywhere, but especially in Nepal, it's all about the connections.

The store was fairly small so I stood outside most of the time, watching the proceedings from the sidewalk, occasionally snapping photos of interesting street vignettes. Dinesh and Rekha, accompanied by a store worker, set about locating and finding prices for each item on the list. Once located, they inquired about the price and responded, as expected, with their opinion about the price being "mahango chha" (expensive) or "sasto chha." Once that was established, the next question became quantity. Because the store was small, it was also in question whether or not the store had 30 of the soup bowls they wanted. The store worker then disappeared into the bowels of the shop, returning with an answer; but sometimes, if an inadequate supply was on hand, he might insist on calling another store to see if they had more.

The store grew crowded as they day went on and the three moved up and down the aisles, checking the list. By 3:30p Rekha had to leave so she could meet Ritesh at home after school. Dinesh got through the final items by 4p. Then he and I went across the street for chili momos (65 NR or 90 cents!) at the Almond Cafe while the store tabulated the final cost.

When we got back, the store had moved everything into a service alley next door. And then it was time for chiyaa, always a cup of tea before the deal is done. So the store owner invited us inside to sit while he made final preparation for the sale, among which was how to transport all these items back to Sam's House. Because of some unrest in the south, Pokhara is nearly out of gasoline, so Dinesh did not bring his truck to the store. (the unrest is preventing gas trucks from India from entering Nepal. No worries. We're safe as kittens.) The owner graciously offered to hire a taxi to bring everything to Sam's House and absorbed the fare in the overall cost. So we piled into the taxi along with all the goods (the two pressure cookers lashed to the roof with the thinnest twine you've ever seen) and drove back to Bagar. Dinesh was extremely pleased with the overall price—tremendous saving within budget and without compromising quality. And it was nearly 5p.

So I hope I've passingly described the effort for this kind of shopping. I should say that I have the easy part of it, going for short strolls and exchanging brief clips of Nepali with friendly street vendors while Dinesh and Rekha wade through the aisles, reviewing each purchase and each price.

I can't say enough about what an impressive job Dinesh and Rekha have done in preparation.


A bit of good news to share… we now have seven house mother/sister candidates to interview on Saturday at Sam's House. We hope to find a few more to round out the pool, but we're certainly in better straits now.

The plan is to do a little more shopping today (Thursday) and organize the house Friday, as it will look when lived in, for the interviews. The curtain installers will also come today.

Once we have hired the house mother/sister, they will spend several days at Namaste House, observing the daily routine. Then Rekha will provide some additional training at Sam's House about expectations for child care, food preparation and scheduling. While this training is underway, the child admissions committee (Dinesh, Rekha, and Shova) will begin processing files for Sam's House children according to criteria we've set.

1 comment:

Carole said...

I can't believe that list. Dinesh and Rekha have cerainly done a thorough job. Glad the applications are coming in for house mother. Keep the good news coming. I love your day to day stories. AML, M