Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lions Club Program

The Lions Club of Pokhara and the Network of Children's Homes in Kaski held a joint cultural program last week.

Dinesh is the current president of the Children's Homes Network so he presided over the schedule and made a speech on behalf of the many men and women who work in children's homes throughout Nepal.

We should mention here that it is no small feat that Dinesh has been asked to be president of the network. Under his leadership, Sam's House has quickly become a model home for others in Pokhara, and Dinesh is frequently sought out for advice.

Dhiraj, Babit, Sarita and Sabita performed a dance during the program. Photos below.

That's Sarita and Babit on the left, Sabita and Dhiraj on the right.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Tihar 2010

The Nepali holiday season closes this week with Diwali. Last weekend, Dinesh and Rekha hosted the Sam's House gang for last day of Tihar called bhai tika, the annual celebration of brothers and sisters, which includes plenty of food, dancing and games.

As is custom, sisters honor brothers with food, usually pastries or candy. Brothers honors sisters with gifts of money and/or clothing.

Dinesh reports it was a fantastic day all around... photos below.

The didis and girls put a lot of work into preparing the blessings. Here they ready to bless their brothers. That's Ritika in the lower left showing Dipika the ropes.

The brothers pre-ceremony.

Maya draws tika on Sara

Sandeep and Bibek.

And dancing, always plenty of dancing... Sabita, Mina, Maya, Mamata and Sarita.

In this number we have Kiran, Mamata, Rina, Sabita and Pratima.

It's always a big day for the girls as it's one of the few times of the year they can wear make-up.

The boys join in... Dhiraj, Bishal (ever the dancing fool) and Saran across the back. Ritika, Rina, Pratima and Kiran in front.

Sarita (partly obscured), Kiran, Chija, Ritika and Pratima

Here's a number with brothers and sisters: that's Santosh and Rina (back left), Dhiraj and Ritika (left front), Bishal and Pratima (center), Saran and Kiran (right front)

Psychologists and child development specialists say that ritual is extremely important to young people... rituals provide a way that a child can develop a sense of security, stability, belonging, connectedness, and pride in his or her family.

Thanks to you, the Sam's House gang has that structure, that special way of marking their lives through holidays celebrated in the warm company of family.

You make that possible.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oanh Goes a Long Way for Sam's House

A big big thank you and shout out to Oanh Ho who ran the Chicago Marathon this month for Sam's House. Adding to her impressive goal of raising money, this was the first race she had ever run! Incredible!!!

Dasain 2010

It is the holiday season in Nepal... a three-week stretch of celebrations and days of religious significance.

This year, Dinesh and Rekha hosted the entire SH gang at their home for Dasain (duh-sigh), a 15-day festival historically tied to the celebration of fall harvest.

Dinesh sent along these photos of the party...

Diksha passes out candy to the gang.

Bishal and Jamuna play karom.

Lunch time.

The big girls eating at the table with Rekha and Diksha.

Sandeep and Ganga playing together.

Mamata with a new doll.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Happy Birthday Sam's House!

Yesterday, the Sam's House gang celebrated many birthdays, including Sam Rothchild's, the house namesake, and more importantly, the birthdays of 25 brothers and sisters!

You may recall from earlier years that Sam's House celebrated every birthday individually. Well, they still do on the proper day, but to economize the cost of cakes and other treats, they have one large celebration of all the birthdays on September 1. Needless to say, it's quite the party... gifts and candy and tika and cake all-around.

It's nice to be able to do this, most obviously, because the children enjoy the event. But it's also significant because these events over time help form the rituals and collective memory that all families have. So, in this way, dear supporter, you make possible this wonderful party, but, more than that, you contribute to these children's evolving sense of family and belonging that will be their strength in the years to come. Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Pictures from Dinesh below.

The oldest (Mina) and youngest (Dipika) chosen to cut the cake.

Mina feeds the first piece to Dipika.

Tara gives tika to all the children.

Pramila and Santosh.

Rina receives a present from Tara (Thulo Mommy).

Shiva gives a gift to Dhiraj.

Prema hands a present to Dipika.

Tara, Asuna and Prema putting the finishing touches on dinner.

Celebration ends with dinner.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Snow Cones for Sam's House

At this year's Stevens County Fair (August 11-15), please stop by the Morris Kiwanis concession stand and have a snow cone, from which a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Sam's House--A Nepalese Orphanage.

ounded in 1915 and headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.

The principle core of the Kiwanis mission is the belief that the most effective way to enhance a community is to enhance its children. When you give a child a chance to learn, experience, dream, and succeed, great things will happen.

In Morris, the Kiwanis have contributed in many ways to making the community one they can be proud to raise our children in. They fundraise to provide financial opportunities for children to grow into the adults they are called to be. They also volunteer time and talents to directly impact the Morris community in positive ways.

Sam's House is honored by this partnership with the Morris Kiwanis.

So beat the heat, and have a snow cone for Sam's House... and thank a Morris Kiwanis!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

5th Annual Fabulous Friday

Come celebrate the last month of summer vacation at the 5th Annual Fabulous Friday Picnic and Pool Party on August 6.

The event begins with a picnic at the Bay Youth Cabin at 6 p.m. Food, games, crafts, and plenty of prizes. At 9 p.m. head across the parking lot to the Bay Pool for a Moonlight Swim.

All proceeds to benefit Sam's House--A Nepalese Orphanage. A home for today... hope for tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Nice Dance

One of the things I love about Nepal is that all the children know how (and love) to dance, specifically cultural dances. I imagine they learn from family members or other people in their villages.

The Sam's House gang has a dance teacher who comes on the weekends and taught the older girls (Mina, Maya, Sabita and Sarita) this routine. I asked them to dance on the roof of the house in front of a small audience. They were a little nervous, but a lovely performance you will see.

And then, the younger girls--Pratima, Mamata and Kiran--followed with their own...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Roll Call!

We picked up a new video camera this summer and thought it would be nice to put some voice to the Sam's House gang. Most of this goes well, but there a little stage fright.

And now for the introductions...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Resham Firiri

Our tutor, Shiva, is also a talented guitar player, having taught himself during high school and college. When studies are finished, or to give the children a break, he pulls out a house guitar and leads the group through some Nepali folk songs.

Here are a few children singing Resham Firiri, one of the most popular. It's hard to meet anyone in Nepal who can't sing this song. The lyrics are below the video if you'd like to give it a try yourself.

Resham firiri, resham firiri
Udeyara jounkee dandaa ma bhanjyang
Resham firiri

Ek nale bunduk, dui nale bunduk, mirga lai take ko
Mirga lai mailey take ko hoeina maya lai daukey ko

Resham firiri, resham firiri
Udeyara jounkee dandaa ma bhanjyang
Resham firiri

KukuroLai Kuti Kuti Biralolai Suri
Timro Ra Hamro Mayapirti Dobatoma Kuri

Resham firiri, resham firiri
Udeyara jounkee dandaa ma bhanjyang
Resham firiri

Aakash ma Motor, sadak ma motor na bhaye gada cha
Yo mana jasto tiyo mana bhaye tagati gada cha

Resham firiri, resham firiri
Udeyara jounkee dandaa ma bhanjyang
Resham firiri

Saano ma sano gaiko bachho bhirai ma, Ram, Ram
Chodreh jauna sakena mailey, baru maya songhai jaum

Resham firiri, resham firiri
Udeyara jounkee dandaa ma bhanjyang
Resham firiri

Kodo charyo, makai charyo, dhan chareko chaina
Pachi, pachina au kanchi manpareko chaina.

Resham firiri, resham firiri
Udeyara jounkee dandaa ma bhanjyang
Resham firiri

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pox Update and Photos

I'm very pleased to say the chicken pox outbreak appears to have crested and is rapidly descending. Just six children were home from school today, but all were smiling and awake so it seems safe to say they're feeling better.

I have a little more time and better connection this afternoon, so here are some photos from the house. Many more to follow...

Pratima and Maya after school.

Chija. The most polite little girl... the other day she was talking to Jen and another child interrupted and she said, "Excuse me, but I was talking to Aunty."

This is Bibek, one of the newer children and also tracked down by the chicken pox. The didis have had a hard time keeping him in the sick room.

Sandeep before school. Missing his tie today because it was too dirty to wear. Sandeep, while a good student, apparently is forgetful, frequently losing things. This morning I saw Sarita putting Sandeep's pencils into his crayon box for school and saying, "Now you'll be able to find your pencils."

Rina and the twins head to the bus stop.

The littlest ones gather round the homework table.


Ritika getting a dose of calamine lotion. She definitely had the worst case.

Saran hanging clothes on the line and Ganga helping out, sort of.

Me and the prime minister. Still rascally, but definitely growing. One day he brings me my shoes to play soccer. The next day I see him trying to catch water drops in his mouth that are falling from a second story drain pipe.

Sarita, who skipped a grade from class 2 to class 4. Whiz kid!

Jen and the didis on photo day. Five women but one mommy. They keep the house running like you wouldn't believe.

The Three Musketeers... Amrit, Babit and Dhiraj. They got these soccer kits a couple years ago and they looked like house dresses. They're filled out pretty nicely now.

Chija helps Dipa button up after showers.

Dipika and Pratima would like you to support Sam's House.

Like bears in hibernation... just fueling up for another round of non-stop frivolity.

Dipika ready for school. She's rocking the long sleeve shirt under a halter dress. She is one of the most user-friendly children you'll ever meet, likely a result of being constantly passed around by her brothers and sisters.