Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Carter's Visit

Perhaps you've seen in the news that Jimmy Carter recently finished a four-day visit to Nepal in which he met with the prime minister and leader of the Maoists, which is something the US ambassador refuses to do.

After the visit the former president said he hoped the US would remove Nepal from its travel warning list and cease branding the Maoists as terrorists, since they have complied with UN requests to lay down arms. The US is the only country to include Nepal on its travel warning list.

Obviously, being here, we support those sentiments. Travel is key to Nepal's economy and there aren't many other options, so making travel easier and less worrisome for Americans would be a positive step.


Yesterday was our third wedding anniversary. We celebrated by having dinner with the Rajbhandaris and Priti at a local restaurant. It seemed fitting to celebrate with Dinesh and Rekha, the directors, since Sam's House started on a June 19th through the generosity of all the people who attended our wedding and sent gifts.

The other day Jen met a British volunteer who had visited Sam's House about a month ago. She described it to Jen as "perfect." Being so close up, we spend time talking about things we could do better and will do better, keeping in mind that Sam's House is only three months old. But it was certainly nice to hear that, and actually, it is a pretty amazing place.

And how could it not be? We made our first tax filing just before we left in May. I was counting up the number of donors who have supported Sam's House. It was well over 150 people and families.

I haven't been saying much about the pictures but I hope they convey the happiness and fulfillment that these children now have thanks to you. Just a few months ago they were struggling for food, missing meals, not (or barely) attending school, and living in relative squalor.

Today they wake up to a warm meal, put on nice clothes for school, study, come home and do homework, then play in the yard until dinner. Then they watch a little TV and off to bed and repeat the same routine the next day with all their brothers and sisters and four house mothers watching over them to teach them good habits, clean their wounds, stop their tears, give them love and hugs and so much more.

And it all started three years ago yesterday with you. Thank you so much.

Life is good.



Liz and Greg Deegan said...

Butts- we have been enjoying your blog- especially all of the pictures. Rina's bday pics were adorable! How priceless to see the smiles on their faces... Hopefully Carter's visit is the first step in getting more visitors over there in the years to come. We can't wait until we get the opportunity ourselves to make the trip with you and Jen. Thanks so much for sharing Sam's House with us. Can't wait to catch up with you soon. Take care, Liz

Sheila said...

Well, happy anniversary, folks! I knew there was another something important along with Juneteenth that happened yesterday.

We are just so impressed with all that you have done in such a short period of time. Yes, I know it's a group effort, CB, but someone has pull everything and everyone together, and you and Jen along with the Rajbhandaris really have done amazing things!

Ruth and Irwin said...

We are so glad all has gone well-any problems seem to have been handled. It will be hard to leave-but you will be back! You are ccoming home mwith good memories, great pictures, and stories to share. Your task to solicit support should be made easier by the children's faces! Safe Journey!

Anonymous said...

A belated happy anniversary from Morris MN!! I certainly enjoyed visiting Nepal, felt safe, and strongly encourage people who have the opportunity to visit. best wishes, Joe