Thursday, February 15, 2007

Test Run

The house staff moved in today. Indreni and Sushma will be living in and Tara will come and go each day. They all arrived shortly after 11am to get familiar with the house and to start cleaning and preparing for children. Possibly some time next week but you never know.

It's always humbling to see the amount of personal effects that Nepalis travel with. I brought two large suitcases for this visit. And while much of that space held items for Sam's House, I was fairly proud of my spartan collection of clothes--three sets, each worn three days in a row and rotated. Sushma, by contrast, showed up with a single bag, a square plastic satchel probably two feet by two feet by one. I don't assume that she brought all her things but this is what she felt she needed for daily living. Indreni brought a similar amount of clothes.

We spent a couple hours cleaning--sweeping the rooms, organizing food in the kitchen and cleaning shelves. I was painting. Then the staff prepared a small meal of snacks. This was Rekha's idea. Standards of food preparation and hygeiene can vary widely from family to family. She wanted to observe them working in the kitchen together, making sure they followed suitably clean procedures.

They made vegetables, churra (beaten rice), and bujhia--all served, of course, with chiyaa. It was all delicious. And from what I could tell, Rekha seemed pleased.

Watching the women buzz around the house I started thinking of you, Sam's House donor. It shouldn't be forgotten that not only are you providing a home for orphaned and abandoned children, but you are also providing employment to three women who desperately need it. Indreni arrived with her mother this afternoon. She said her mom couldn't believe she had gotten a job. Not in a "you are lazy" kind of way, but rather because good jobs are so few and far between. It was sweet. Sushma appeared to have a fresh tika on her forehead, likely given to her by family before her first day of work.

There remains little to be done for the house in terms of physical preparation. Dinesh needs internet access for his office; we need a cable hook-up for the television, and we need to find some fire extinguishers.

So now we'll begin processing children's files. We don't know exactly what to expect in terms of time and process. Some children are here in Pokhara; others in villages near and far. But first the admission committee needs to meet to review the files. One member of this committee is in KTM and we're not sure when he'll arrive back in town.

In any event, we'll probably admit 5 or 6 children until the house mothers become comfortable with the routine and work. Then we'll steadily admit more children until we reach 15, our maximum number for this year.


Yesterday it snowed in Kathmandu for the first time in 62 years! Can you believe that? There was snow visible in the forest tops not too far from here. Told you it was cold.


Carole said...

Sounds like everthing at Sam's House is going smoothly. It looks so beautiful-- you've all done a wonderful job. I would imagine that the ladies that are working there are thrilled with their surroundings.

Hope the snow has stopped. We had a blizzard here, but could at least come in from the cold. Love, M Love, M

John Butler said...

All looks great--it seems to be coming together like the 1980 Browns. I look forward to my interview for the position of handy man. Please remember to list "complete lack of mechanical skill" and "short, volatile temper" among the assets I'll bring to the job. On the other hand, if my brother-in-law Karl Lowe saw all the Danfe on your hands, he'd be very disappointed.

Good luck with the draft! JB

Jells said...

Thanks for the updates. Everything looks great, what a tremendous effort.

You mentioned in an earlier blog that you made a trip to a local store to buy balls and books for the children. Is there a way that we can send "slightly used" toys and sporting good equipment to Sam's House? I'm sure I could round up a nice assortment of toys, balls, etc. that would make the children happy. Let us know.


Irwin and Ruth said...

Wow-we are amazed and happy about all that has been accomplished in these few weeks. What a pleasant setting! Guess its cold all over but here in California! (They PAY for it though!) Good Luck as you see this finalize with children there. We continue to send good thoughts- and our love.

Jen and Chris said...

Hey Everyone,

No time for a blog post today. I'm grading papers instead.

Thanks for the comments. As for all the Danfe on my hands, what you could not appreciate was that my brush had paint only on the tips. I learned that from Karl Lowe.

By the way, I think I saw Dinesh place your application in the circular file. Seems he disliked your inability to catch a hacksaw when thrown to you from the ground to a limb 40 feet in the air.

Jells, I don't know about the used sporting goods. The goods are so inexpensive here, it's sometimes cheaper just to send money. Goods have a way of getting caught up in customs here--especially when the recipient is a foreigner.

Tonight we're having dinner with Ranjit and family. I'll take some pics.