The delivery of the computers at Madan Bhandhari School (MB School) was a great event for the students and staff at the school, as was apparently well received by the community. Alas, we forgot to account for one thing: Power. The local grid doesn’t have the resources to extend power to the school during daylight hours, and the students aren’t able to use they computers as expected.
This shortfall justifies action. A bit of history shall come first, followed by a plan for a solution. Please begin prayer as you read the proposed routes to address this.
Nepal, like most all countries, has a set of written rules on how things are to be done and a set of real rules as to how things are done. In our country, we have published speed limits and we have the ones that law enforcement and the courts allow you to drive. In Nepal, import/export tariffs represent a parallel. To import technology into the country requires payment of a steep tariff. I have two plans in place to address this. Holding back no words, we can either raise ten times the amount of money really needed for the project, and give 90% of it to the government or we can do it ourselves and keep the money for other projects.
To begin, special thanks to Joe Sheffield at Southeast Power for getting the solar panels, batteries and wiring needed for the project to us. His donation is changing a community.
Plan A: Get permission from the Ambassador to bring the product into country, without tariff. We would land in country, pick up the product and overland it to the school. We intend to bring in local contractors and conduct a training to teach them how to install safe solar panels. I will translate. Marty will oversee installation. We have two others whom will serve as videographers and bloggers.
Plan B: Ship the equipment via container from Wilmington to Calcutta. Hire a truck and driver and get the stuff up to the India/Nepal border and “bring” it across in the night. All the remaining steps remain as list above. This takes an extra week of time and adds some serious logistical challenges of the sort that I cannot fully blog about.
Please pray for wisdom and guidance as we ponder the right route to take. We are open to suggestions.