Thursday, March 01, 2007

What's Next?

I'm in Bangkok now waiting for check-in.

Reading everyone's comments and e-mails, I was feeling pretty good about everything with Sam's House, but here's why that celebration is short-lived...

We were planning to admit four sisters to Sam's House. They were on our list, recommended to us by Kopila Nepal, a social service organization. Today Dinesh called them to talk about scheduling the process and paperwork. Our contact there told him the father of the four girls, who because of illness cannot work, took the sisters to India. Which, in other words, means they've been sold or contracted or trafficked. In any event, they won't be coming to Sam's House or any other place where they can be properly cared for and educated.

And I guess this is why any celebration seems a bit premature. This is just the beginning and there's so much more we can do.

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Dinesh will continue processing children until he reaches 15 and that's where we'll stay for the year. Next year we'll increase to 20 and five more the year after that.

Now that we have a three year buffer in terms of operating revenue, we are turning our focus to land. As I've written in this space before, land is quite expensive in Pokhara, in fact, it's the prime investment in Nepal. You have to travel some distance outside Pokhara to find land that's available for sale at a reasonable price.

In addition to his house duties, Dinesh will begin scouting for possible land. He'll be looking in areas called Archalbot and Lamachaur. Both these areas feature stretches of land that are mostly flat, which can also be a challenge to find.

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