We did good things, people. Here is our year in review.
A group of 7 Americans came with me to the Dang Valley this November. They were given first class treatment by my former students and villagers. They all had a unique learning experience that each needs to tell independent of this blog. Visiting each of the first three schools that we have invested in created a lot of good will. It didn’t take long at the schools to see how impactful our work has been. Everyone who visited with us on our travels were touched by our efforts in a remarkable way. Indeed, the look on their faces when they were greeted was one of the high points of my Nepal year!
To begin, let’s cover the money side of our work, as that is often what people judge us with, both short-term and long-term.
We had an increase in income from all sources-up to $14,418. We sold a record 160 blankets. Concurrently, we were able to use most of our intake on construction cost for schools. Specifically, we sent $14,811 to Nepal via wire-transfer to be used on the construction of one of our previous schools as well as our new Montessori school in the Dang Valley. Picture of the half-finished structure is below.
In addition, our total travel costs within Nepal and cost of goods sold on our blankets was only $1900. We will be ending the year with nearly $2000 in the bank for future work. Good stuff.
The Place and People.
I travelled to Nepal in October to run the Annapurna 100 Ultra Marathon, along with 6 other Americans. Although most of them didn’t finish the event, two of us were able to cross the finish line and enjoy one of the views of a lifetime as we got to sleep in a small hut a few miles from Annapurna Himal, the 10thth biggest mountain in the world. Words can’t do that moment justice.
At the finish line, we got a chance to share our story of our efforts to raise money to build schools in the Dang Valley, and it was well received by some of the other runners and the Nepali people who lived there. We even got a donation from a runner, which meant that he carried money with him during the run. Those pieces of currency traveled a sweaty route in his pocket before they made it to our corporate account!
School #4: Yet to be Named….
Our efforts to build a new Montessori school in the Dang Valley is to accommodate the desire for the next generation to have their children educated using a method that shows both great promise and great results. Nepali law prevents naming the structure after The Nepal Project or any of its donors who are not Nepali, so it can’t be named after the donors (you guys) who paid for its construction and the training of the teachers.
There is an immediate need for an American to come work at Madan Bhandhary School to work. The school would pay a salary and expenses-all you need to do is commit. Email me for more details, if you are interested, or know someone who is interested.
Spreading the Message back home.
I made a couple of presentations at my local church in Monroe, NC, about the trip, and I was most pleased to hear how others in attendance were telling their friends about the effort. In those presentations, I announced that I am returning to Dang and the Himalaya in May of 2020. I will again do some hardcore adventure stuff (mostly likely take my sons up to the Everest Base Camp) and then spend a week in the Dang Valley working with our schools.