Swayambhu, or in English, The Monkey Temple in Kathmandu.
As most of you remember, I went to Pokhara, Nepal in December last year to help train women as sewing instructors. I’m so excited to be getting to go back this year!
I’ll be leaving in just a few short weeks to start the nearly 30 hours of flying to get there. Once I make it to Kathmandu, I’ll take a bus through the Himalayan Mountains for 6 hours to the town of Pokhara. It’s a good sized town with a beautiful lake and a tourist village that we jokingly named the Gatlinburg of Nepal.
This is Machapuchare, or in English, Fish Tail Mountain near Pokhara. It is sacred to the goddess Shiva so no climbing allowed.
Once we arrive in Pokhara we will meet with our host, Sangte (pronounced Son-TAY). She will be our translator for the week. She is a remarkable woman. Indian by birth, she and her husband felt called to minister to the Tibetan refugees in Nepal so they packed up and moved from India to Pokhara. She and her husband have cared for Tibetan refugee children over the past 10 years. Sometimes she has as many as eight children and teens living with her! She decided that another way to help would be to open sewing schools for women to learn job skills.
It is said that to be born a woman in Nepal you had to have been very bad in a previous life. Girls receive little education and are expected to quit school when they marry. Several of the women we worked with last year worked as seamstresses but also dug gravel and sand out of the river to sell to supplement their income. Sangte’s sewing schools are helping change that. By training women as seamstresses and then allowing them to purchase a sewing machine through a micro-lending program, women are able to start their own businesses in their village to make clothing and household items to sell.
I can’t explain how humbled and excited I am to be a part of this project.
Here is our group from last year!
Many of you asked how you could help. If you are inclined to contribute, you can do so in a variety of ways. The group I work with is Global Women. You can donate on that website and please specify that it is for Nepal. You can also help me with supplies I’ll be taking with me. I need: women’s vitamins, calcium, small tubes of toothpaste, yarn, crochet hooks in sizes 5 and 6mm, scissors (Nepalese scissors are very poor quality), sandwich and gallon sized ziplock bags, gum, candy, hand lotion, band aids, or neosporin. I also need fun things to go in a grab bag the ladies can pull from. Fun things like hair ties, nail polish, scarves, necklaces, note pads and pens are things we had in the grab bag last year. If you don’t have time to purchase those items but still want to help you can pass me some cash and let me know what you’d like for me to purchase. You can also paypal me under my name.
Lastly, I will ask you to pray, send good thoughts, light a candle or do your special dance for me and the team traveling to Nepal and for the ladies we will work with during the two weeks. I don’t talk much about my religion here but I will say this: I feel very strongly that God has called me to this place to spend time with these ladies and tell them they are loved and cared for by a community that is on the other side of the world. That they matter and are important to God and to me.
Thank you. It means a lot to me that many of you supported my trip last year and I appreciate what you have done and are continuing to do for this trip.