Wednesday, August 29, 2007

High Marks

The Sam's House gang recently finished up another school quarter. Even in the nursery grade, they finish the term with a set of exams. So a few weeks ago, the children were hitting the books extra time in preparation for their tests.

The results are in and all of the children scored very well. This is really amazing considering that a few weren't attending school regularly prior to coming to Sam's House. At the mid-term, Maya and Manju scored with distinction. Now at the term's end, several Sam's House children scored top marks.

Dinesh, the proud baba (father), scanned all the certificates and they are posted below.

Sarita achieved highest rank in Lower Kindergarten (with 99.58%, edging out Binita by .08%).

Two months ago Pratima was showing little interest in school. But this term she scored the third highest marks in her grade.

Mina was a late starter, not going to school regularly until she came to Sam's House. She's starting school in Upper Kindergarten and scored third highest in her class.

Santosh bringing home the second highest marks in Nursery.

Binita earned the second highest marks (99.5%) in Lower Kindergarten or LKG.

Dinesh sent us a spreadsheet of all the children's marks and they're all doing very well. Moreover, he adds, they like school and they're very diligent about their studies and homework.

And a quick moment of recognition for Dinesh's son, Ritesh, who scored first in class one.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Staff Training--First Aid

To make sure we provide the best care possible at Sam's House, Dinesh is very dedicated to staff development and trainings. Though all the didis have had some training with regard to First Aid, our ever-resourceful director brought in a doctor from the International Nepal Fellowship to provide some new first aid ideas plus some helpful review.

The didis and Kamal were trained in treating wounds and bandages, and discussed ways to prevent nausea and vomiting. The doctor will come another time to address treating fevers and other health care issues.

The didis listen to the doctor as he talks about treating nausea.

The doctor bandaging a "wound" on Kamal's arm.

Sarita and Kamal at the sink with the doctor.


Monday, August 13, 2007

The Sam's House Song

Some of you may know that in Nepal, the children refer to the house as Kopila Bal Griha, which means Flowering Buds Children's Home. The term "kopila" is often used to refer to small children as a sort of general nickname.

Dinesh, with some help from the didis, wrote a house song that the children sing every morning before breakfast. It's really something to hear 17 children sing this. I've written the lyrics below--with the translations after each stanza.

And click this link to hear Mina and Maya's rendition (it takes a while to load--you'll have to hit play several times):

Sanaa sanaa kopila haami
Ajako sanaa kopila
Bholiko haami joseela
Piaro bal kopila
Piaro bal kopila

We are little buds
Today's little buds
Tomorrow we will be strong
Lovely little buds
Lovely little buds

Yo tai channa muni kahaami
Sabai ekai pariwaar
Sabai ekai pariwaar
Songei mili juli basne
Piaro bal kopila
Piaro bal kopila

All of us under the same roof
All one family
All one family
We live together
Lovely little buds
Lovely little buds

Sanaalaai maya garne
Tulalaai aadaa garne
Phul banai basna charne
Piaro bal kopila
Piaro bal kopila

We love the young
Respect the old
We will be flowers and spread our scent
Lovely little buds
Lovely little buds

Our singers with Sarita.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pool Party!

To much fanfare (and preparation), the Sam's House fundraiser, Cleveland edition, went off last Friday with great weather, lots of food, and plenty of friendly (and generous) people.

We started the day at the Avondale golf club where six teams competed in a best ball golf scramble. Hacking through the searing heat (92 degrees), two teams ended up tied after 18 holes. Because no playoff rules had been arranged, the two teams amicably decided to play 18 again, having ample opportunity to do so because the next foursome (the Lundins and Carole Butler) had fallen a few minutes off the back due to "excessive strategizing."

The two teams tied on 18 again thus forcing an improvised "putt off." The team of Harding, Atkinson, Kraft, and O'Reilly won when Harding lipped a 15-footer, good enough for the win.

The golfers then joined family and friends at the BayWay Cabin for a picnic. The attendees were treated to hamburgers and hot dogs and plenty of opportunities to come away with raffle prizes, expertly collected and arranged by Jennifer Atkinson.

After the picnic, we walked across the parking lot to the Bay Village pool for a couple hours of swimming.

While everyone frolicked in the pool, the donations were counted and we totaled $15,600 for the day! Incredible. We could call it two and a half years of food, five years of tuition, or seven months of operating costs. But any way you look at it, we raised enough money to insure that all the Sam's House children, and those to join us in the future, will be safe, secure and have the best opportunity to succeed.

As with all our fundraising to date, there are so many people to thank, so many people who donated countless hours and efforts to help bring this event together.

Special dhanyabaads (thank you):

Event organizers:

Jennifer Atkinson
Carole Butler
John Butler
Jennifer Forshey
Katie Forshey
Susan and Karl Lowe
Jim and Cathy McPhillips
Sean and Laura O'Reilly


Maureen and Tad Androsik
Applebee's of Westlake
Arthur's Shoe Tree
Colleen Atkinson
Margaret Atkinson
Bay Barber Shop
Bay West Salon
Blockbuster of Avon
Coldstone Creamery of Avon
Five Guys Famous Burgers & Fries
Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom
Beth Gergye (Pampered Chef consultant)
It's the Details (Cathy Durbin, wedding consultant)
Java Bay
Mike Kraft (MC extraordinaire)
Diane Purcell
Royal Appliance
Sheila Bee headbands
Trader Joe's of Westlake
Ginger Vedda

The next time you patronize any of the establishments above, please let them know you appreciate their support of Sam's House.

And there so many others to thank... everyone who came out for golf (esp. Dan Laschinger who sank a 60-foot birdie putt in my foursome!) and those who donated salads, desserts and games for the picnic. From the very start, Sam's House has been an incredible team effort and this year's fundraiser was no exception. In fact, Jen and I are feeling a little guilty at having done so little compared to everyone else. As Laura O'Reilly joked afterwards, we would rather work with you than the finest people in the world.

Here are a few more pics. I apologize for the lack. I should've asked someone to do this.

Linda Ho and Chris Lowe bundle silverware while superwoman Laura O'Reilly seems to do everything.

Jennifer Atkinson decorates the dining tables in Sam's House blue and yellow.

Dan Laschinger and daughter Reese.

Susan Lowe and Pammy Rotella set up the buffet table.

Cornhole games on the front lawn.

All-Arounder Sean O'Reilly dishing out baked beans.

Gwen Wojtkun. All the girls were given tikas.

Will and Jennifer Atkinson at the ticket table.

Tom Lundin with his nieces Grace Lihani and Taylor Lundin.

On behalf of all the children at Sam's House, Sarita says...

Just a few scenes of what you've made possible...

This could be you. Volunteers always welcome.

Thank you.