Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Christmas... from Britain!

As you may know, the Sam's House children attend Gorkha English Boarding School, which provides classes nursery through 12.

The school recently formed a international partnership the King Edward VI Humanities College in Spilsby, England. Last year the two schools did an instructor exchange and some British teachers visited Sam's House and were impressed by 1) the house, and 2) that our supporters were helping the children attend such an excellent school as Gorkha.

Upon their return to Britain, the teachers raised some money among the students to purchase some Christmas presents for the gang.

From their note: "The students fund raised to buy Christmas presents and had a lot of fun doing it! Some wore their pyjamas to school for the day, some organised goal competitions, others sold cakes and on the last Friday of the week, everyone wore blue and red (the colours of the Nepalese flag) for 50p. We really enjoyed these activities and had a lot of fun while thinking of you all."

Needless to say, the children were thrilled... Happy Christmas!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jasma's Visit

Over the holidays, Jasma Stein and her mother, Kathie, stayed a week at Sam's House. This was a unique visit in that Jasma herself is a Nepali adoptee living now near Washington D.C.

As part of a service project for her bat mitzvah, Jasma raised money to buy some special things for the house (a collection of musical instruments), and collected clothes which she brought over to share with the children.

Here's a passage from Kathie:

"We loved everything about Sam's House, from the kids, to the didis, to the supervisors and Dinesh. It was a remarkable experience for us. Everyone made us feel a part of the Kopila House family. We were with them for most of the week, and ventured to Lakeside for just a short two hour visit. Jasma wanted to spend all her time with the kids. She played with them, taught them American jump rope and clapping games, and they in turn taught her Nepali games. She helped them with their their studies and studied when they did. One night the older girls asked her to sleep in their room, and she did. She loved all the kids but bonded especially with Maya and Meena, who were closer in age. She participated in the dance efforts, and also spent a lot of time on the playground with the kids.

Dinesh suggested as a project that we buy musical instruments for the older kids. They apparently study music beginning in grade 4 but have no instruments at home to practice on. So we bought 2 guitars and a drum and a full size keyboard with the money Jasma raised. Dinesh said that he has the funds to give the kids lessons, just didn't have the instruments. To have something for the younger kids, we bought a bike with training wheels. But after seeing the faces of the older kids, some of whom remembered bikes from their villages, we decided to go back a get a bigger bike without training wheels for the older kids. It was truly heartwarming to see all the kids trying to teach each other to ride."

Jasma also purchased a couple bicycles...