Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pedaling Parsons

Sam's House recently had the very good fortune of being selected as the sponsored charity for the annual fundraising rides of a group called the Pedaling Parsons, a group of Methodist cyclists who "shared a passion for cycling and mission." Starting in 1987, they began riding not only for fun but also to raise money for various charitable endeavors. Over the years, the Parsons have pedaled over 10,000 miles, raising more than $500,000! Incredible.

My brother-in-law, Tom Lundin and several members of the Lundin family (father Bill, brother John and nephew Tommy) rode last month on a trip from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh, PA. This fall the Parsons will saddle up again for a ride throughout southeastern Ohio.

If you'd like more information about riding or sponsoring a rider, their attractive brochure (featuring many familiar Sam's House faces) is posted below. You can also see some excellent photos and reflections about the July ride on Pastor Don Richards' blog.

From all the Sam's House children, dherai dherai dhanyabaad!!! (Thank you!)

The Pedaling Parsons

Monday, July 21, 2008

High Standards

Sometimes when I'm sitting around I recall events/moments I wanted to write about on the blog way back when. Here's one...

Dinesh and Sam's House belong to a local group of children's homes. It's a convenient network in which the directors can pool resources and share ideas and experience about managing their homes.

Occasionally a new home will join the group and Dinesh will be solicited for advice and ideas on getting started and improving the quality of life around the home. Recently he asked our didis to visit a nearby home that had been struggling. He wanted our didis to share experience with their didis, hopefully making life easier for them in the long term.

When they returned in the afternoon, the didis were telling Dinesh about their impressions of this other children's home. They were alarmed by its overall hygiene and how overworked the staff seemed, and they expressed this to Dinesh with great sympathy.

What struck me was how authoritatively the didis spoke about running the house and how the standards that Dinesh has insisted upon have influenced the didis in a positive way, given them feelings of expertise and job ownership that they previously may not have experienced either because they couldn't find work or were employed in situations that did not stress the significance of their work.

To underscore this point, Sam's House was recently written up in the Kathmandu Post in an article about volunteer work abroad. Both Brittany and Hannah were quoted. In the author's complementary blog, she gave Sam's House another shout out:

"One of the best times I had while in Pokhara was visiting an orphanage called the Kopila House, or Sam's House... This visit inspired me to begin a personal project on Nepal's orphanages and their usually poor conditions. This one however was super nice. There are about 20 kids, they all have their own beds with clean sheets and are probably more responsible and mature than your average college kid. I was pretty happy with some of the photos I made. They do all their own chores, help cook/clean etc. I was beyond impressed; unfortunately this is a rare case in Nepal."

Je hos... this is all to help everyone appreciate (and feel proud about) what you've made possible with your generosity.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Teacher Day

The children celebrated Teacher Day this week for our tutor, Laxmi, who, as you know, does an excellent job with the children, as evidenced by their exam results and the number of children who have skipped grades since she began working at Sam's House...

Maya presenting Laxmi with a present.

Children enjoying the fare.