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Posts tagged ‘himalayas’

Using What’s In My Hands

We want to help our friends at Hope and Joy Home in Nepal rebuild their care and training centre after the tragic earthquakes this past April.  First they lived in a giant tent with family and friends until it was safe to go back home.  Their home was damaged, cracked and unsafe so they are now in temporary housing.  But they have just received land to be able to build an earthquake safe home for the children and ministry.

What do I have in my hands to help? I have the My Color Friends Children’s Book Series!  Using what’s in my hand, means bring Graceful Grey to New Zealand!  I just completed the final draft, uploaded it on CreateSpace and have ordered a few dozen.  Once they arrive, I hope to sell them to raise money for the kids and our friends at Hope and Joy Home. It’s not much, but it’s what I have.  We hope that a few kids books will transform into a new children’s home in Nepal!  We will need your help!

Graceful Grey, Asian Elephants at Work and Play in Chitwan, Nepal

Elephants in Nepal!

They have Hope.

They have Joy.

Now they need a home!

There will be more to come about our NZ Special Edition of Graceful Grey, Asian Elephants at Work and Play and our fundraiser this month, but for now if you’d like to give to Hope and Joy Home, please contact us!  And we will donate all the profit from buying a copy of Graceful Grey or a Book Bundle directly from us!

We are getting ready to launch our fundraiser and to invest in precious lives in Nepal!

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Rebuilding Nepal

I am so thankful for everyone who has given to our Sheltering Nepal rebuilding fund!  #HopeinHumanity

$1,000 has been raised which equals about 20 shelters built!  Each shelter can hold up to 5 families, that means at least 100 people have been helped through this giving!

I know many families are still suffering without shelter or food, but I am HOPEFUL that international neighbors and friends of Nepal are sharing their burden and doing more good than I will never know. Because we have seen such generosity, all the thousands of other people who are working hard to help Nepal, they must be making strides to.

Even though the rebuilding process will take time, the little moves we make forward together are life changing for those individuals involved.

I wish I had testimonies and stories to share, names and places of families being helped, but I don’t. And you know why? Because our friends are hard at work traveling and visiting those in need in villages.  They are tired, they are suffering through the heat of the monsoon and they honestly don’t have time to sit and communicate long stories to me…but I trust that lives are being changed! And when the time is right, I will hear those stories and pass it along!

Thanks for being a part of Nepal!  You can give or share our Sheltering Nepal fundraiser by checking it out on YouCaring.com. Click here to see the Sheltering Nepal fundraiser!

Please remember anytime you buy a My Color Friends paperback book, $5 will also go to this fundraiser for Nepali families!

Read more here: My Color Friends Book Titles

Following the Earthquakes in Nepal

After Yesterday's Aftershock in Kathmandu, Nepal May 13, 2015

After Yesterday’s Aftershock, May 13, 2015

 

Nepal is on always our hearts.  We eagerly open Facebook to see how our friends are doing– are they still sleeping outside in tents?  Are they still afraid?  I decided the best way I could be of any help to Nepal is to try to encourage our friends there.  I have meager messages to send.  It’s not enough. But I want to give something.

All 400 of our friends in our shared NGO have been safe since day 1, but I am afraid they will experience burnout.  They are giving 100%.  They are also feeling the fear 100%.  Are they emotionally safe?  Can I say anything to encourage them, or are my words trivial?

I am hearing GREAT reports

“We distributed 300 insulated mats and 300 tarps in 5 locations around Chiraudi. (Then) 1,176 tarps arrived in Gorkha from India and other places in Nepal. Distributed them yesterday (along with bags of rice, insulated sleeping mats and blankets) in several places in the mountains surrounding Gorka…” M.E.

“Five families will be able move from tarps to portable shelter (out of corrugated iron)
By tonight..and we are training others at the hospital on how to make the shelters…” P.P

“Today reached 123 people without house(s).” K.M.

“Distributed for 85 houses…”  P.D.

Our friends are giving themselves! They are in the best position to be able to give as they speak the language and they already have many connections in the villages most hit by the earthquake and land slides.  They are giving food, building temporary shelters for families, helping other bigger NGOs hand out supplies and donations, translating and coordinating within Kathmandu and the epicenter villages.  They are phenomenal.  I am so proud of our friends in Nepal!

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From a friend in Nepal

I know the Kathmandu we once knew is now gone.  I am hopeful that once the rebuilding begins Nepal will think to the future, not just try to sort out the past.  The future is bright for Nepal as the global neighbors lend their helping hands.

We are trying to move forward with our life in NZ, renting a house, adjusting, connecting with friends here.  I’m not sure how to move forward.  I feel emotionally stuck in Nepal, and completely out of my depth in “normal” NZ life.  Somehow we have to keep moving forward.

NZ has always had a great tie to Nepal, mostly because of the New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary and the Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay conquering Mt. Everest in 1953.   Nepal is still highlighted daily in the New Zealand’s 6 o’clock news.  Yesterday a Kiwi guy being interviewed via Skype from Nepal, said it perfectly, ‘Nepal has plenty of local people who can help and speak the language, they are the greatest asset now, we just need more donations to keep the supplies flowing…’

You can give a tax-deductible gift to our friends doing relief work in Nepal by clicking here:  GIVE TO NEPAL

Or give to your favorite NGO,

~We are hearing that the funds are no longer bottle-necked in the Nepali government, but going straight through to all the organizations.

 All I can pray is there will be triumph in Nepal.  This crisis will continue and continue and continue…but may there be triumph of the human spirit in the midst of destruction and uncertainty.  May the world keep looking to Nepal, keep giving, keep praying and keep hope alive for the nation!

 

The Earthquake in Nepal

We left Kathmandu approximately 2 weeks ago.  Exhausted and emotionally drained already, we saw the tragic earthquake in Nepal while watching the evening news.

Nepal News here: eKantipur

I wasn’t shocked.  This earthquake has been expected and warned.  It was my biggest fear while living in Nepal for the past 5 years.  We had been warned of an earthquake with 9 magnitude that would have flattened Nepal completely.

We were told to make copies of our passports and leave them in 3 different locations, 2 outside of the house.  Every room was supposed to have a metal bar to dig yourself out.  Each home needed an earthquake detector.  Every family living in fear.

I was living in an ignored paranoia while in Nepal.  We felt earthquakes often, especially while living in Pokhara.  We would wonder, “Is this was the ‘Big One'”?  But it never was and we went quietly about our day.

Was this Nepal’s ‘Big One’?

Now that we are sitting in New Zealand, we are being told of the Christchurch earthquake again and again. The first earthquake hit while everyone was at home sleeping, there was little damage and no casualties. Then TWO YEARS LATER the ‘Big One’ hit; mid-day, while everyone was at work, a lot of damage, a lot of lives lost.

How can anyone know if this is the ‘Big One’ or not?  I think Nepal has had at least 14 earthquakes in the last 48 hours.

My friends write that their nerves are shot; they are sleeping outside in the cold and rain for fear of their houses collapsing.  But all our friends are safe.  And since they are a part of a NGO in Nepal, they have quickly mobilized themselves to be first-responders.

My range of emotions in the last 48 hours:

  • Relief that we are home in NZ, not in Nepal.
  • Guilt that we are home in NZ, not in Nepal.
  • Sadness at the lives lost.
  • Immense pride in watching how Nepalis have banned together.  How our friends have quickly mobilized to help others.  No looting, no running amuck in Kathmandu, but a country of neighbors willing to dig through rubble to find a living soul.

Nepal is stoic.  Nepal is fierce.  Nepal is kind and hospitable.  This is Nepal, #tin.

I am sad for Nepal–but I see hope and grace even in this.  First, that the major earthquake happened on a Saturday.  Saturday is the only day off school.  Families were together.  And since Saturday is the religious day, most people were worshipping somewhere, either outside or in low buildings, not at an unsafe multi-story home.

The next few days we will see more tragedy as the number of lost lives may skyrocket.  Once the first responders reach the villages the true tragedy will be revealed–whole villages and people groups wiped off the map during mudslides.

Nepal has a long road of recovery ahead of them.  But the nations are responding.  Kindness is winning.  Nepal will endure this tragedy bound together with their neighbors to keep moving forward.

And I am a neighbor.  I can network, I can give, I can pray.

Please be a neighbor to Nepal.  Immediate needs are shelter, food and water– Tarps, Rice and water catchment systems.

You can give a tax-deductible donation through Cimarron, Colorado. They do not take an admin fees, 100% of the donation goes straight to first responder teams on the ground in Nepal.  Click here to give online: Give to Nepal via Cimarron, Colorado.

 

Graceful Grey, Asian Elephants at Work and Play NEW on Amazon!

Graceful Grey in Chitwan, Nepal

Graceful Grey in Chitwan, Nepal

Take a ride on my friend Graceful Grey through the jungles of Nepal and discover the uniqueness of Asian elephants compared to Africa elephants.

You can also cheer for your favorite elephant during the elephant races and soccer tournaments at the Chitwan Elephant Festival. And you’ll also meet curious baby elephants at the Elephant Breeding Center in Nepal.

With real life photos taken by the author in Chitwan, Nepal, this book is fun and educational for the whole family! Graceful Grey is part of the My Color Friends book series dedicated to exploring the colors of the world.

Read Graceful Grey Now on your kindle!

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Other colors in the My Color Friends books series include: White Went Around the World, Blue Went to Sea, Orange You Glad, My Friend, Mr. Brown, Pink’s Garden and I Spy…Purple. Join the adventure of reading through the nations today!  Click here to see the My Color Friend Book Series on Amazon.com

Also read White Went Around the World for FREE on Smashwords.com!

Link

NEW Online Application for Nepal Visa Extensions and Renewals

NEW Online Application for Nepal Visa Extensions and Renewals

A friend and I just spent 48 hours in KTM renewing her tourist visa for another 6 weeks!  We vaguely new the Nepal Immigration office had moved, so as I was searching for the new location a very important notice popped up: Notice To Foreigners…all visa extensions are now online…as of February 1, 2014. We then applied online and waited to see what would happen next.  We promptly received an email and were told to go to the immigration office with cash    : ).

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With our confirmation number in hand, we went to the new streamlined immigration department.  Seamless. We quickly had a new stamp in her passport and were on our way.

As for the other 25 tourists that had not stumbled on is notice…flustered each had to find a way online (the department does have a machine, but it also had a long line) and start the whole process over.  A little bit of research goes a long way!  But I am also not sure how well it is publicized that Nepal has finally entered the 21 century and with their new online visa applications.  So here I am to spread the good news!  Come one and all, fill out your online application today and enjoy your stay!

Welcome to Hetauda, Nepal!

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When we were planning on moving to Hetauda, Nepal (after 2 years living in Pokhara, Nepal) the first thing I did was googled it, of course!  But I didn’t find much, just a few old old blogs and many government sites, mostly in Nepali.  So if you have googled Hetauda and found this post, my job is done : ).

The Basics: 

Map of Hetauda

General Info on Wikipedia

Where is Hetauda:

We are 132 kilometers south of Kathmandu valley, you need to climb a mountain or two to get here!

How to get here: 

The fastest, most direct way is to take a Sumo Jeep over the mountains.  Most travel agents can arrange this. It is 400R per seat.  If traveling alone, hire the front two seats to have the most comfort.  As a family we hire the whole jeep at 4,000R ($40) per 1 way trip.  It is 3 hours of windy roads, but safe and and with stops.  It is well worth the direct route instead of 7-8 hours through Chitwan, unless of course you want to stop in Chitwan!

The government is digging a tunnel from Hetuada to KTM (the first tunnel in Nepal), which will only take 1 hour of travel when it is completed.  FYI.

Eating Out/Where to Stay: 

The Orchid/Avocado Hotel We have stayed in the Avocado for cheap and we regularly enjoy their food!  And they serve some great Guacamole when the avocados are in season!  Their new addition of a playground make this a must for our family!

Hetauda Playground, kids

Regal Hetauda Resort The Regal has a quiet lake and is the perfect spot to get away for the afternoon. We prefer their menu and usually go there once a month.  It has a big garden for the kids to play in.

For our Fast Food needs: Kathmandu Fast Food on the main street is great. They also have a few toys for the kids.

Local Entertainment: 

The river! Restaurants with music…typical Nepali life.

Nearby are two great places to visit: Daman and Chitwan National Park.

  • Daman offers a beautiful view of the Himalayas, from the Annapurnas in the west all the way to Mt. Everest in the east!
  • Chitwan is the natural playground in Nepal.  A safari to find elephants, rhinos and crocodiles is a must! See our family’s adventure in Chitwan: Travel Blog

Volunteering:

There are dozens of NGOs here, mostly because the need is great!  Two that we have visited and worked with are:

EduVision Nepal and Familia d’Hetauda (In Spanish)

Here is a spot for general volunteer info in Nepal: Volunteer in Nepal

Living here: 

Living in Nepal is always an adventure!  Hetauda suits us well as it is small enough and big enough at the same time!  There is a movie theater, a walk-in grocery store, restaurants, a new playground, a sports field and many beautiful friends!  But it only has a handful of busy streets, which suits us fine.  We often drive in the “country” and create our own family adventures.

Please email me if you would like more information about Hetauda or Nepal!

Email: meetmycolorfriends@gmail.com

 

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