Thursday, May 26, 2016

Out and About in Kathmandu, Nepal (14-17 May 2016)

Although we were in Kathmandu, Nepal, for the opening ceremonies for the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC), we had free time to look around.

14 May - Saturday

Yesterday we arrived in Kathmandu and went to our hotel, Park Village Hotel and Resort. We then walked to ECDC with Tom Morgan for our first visit with Pushpa Basnet and her children. At ECDC we met a couple from Germany, Joachim and Helga Schulze and their daughter Kerstin, who lives in Singapore. They have been supporters of ECDC and were here for the opening. Helga told us about a temple a short distance from our hotel that we should visit.

The Budhanilkantha Temple is a Hindu temple north of Kathmandu and close to ECDC. At 7:30 AM, the monks gather to wash the Sleeping Vishnu statue. According to one of the locals that greeted us near the statue, the statue was discovered by a farmer while he was plowing his field. This is one of a couple of stories about the origin, none of which have been proved true, or not.

Unfortunately, we never made it there in time to see the ceremony. However, on our first visit, it was Saturday which is their weekly holy day and the crowds were very large. As you can see in a couple of the photos, the of people waiting to lay gifts at the feet of the statue was quite long.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Early Childhood Development Center, Kathmandu, Nepal (13-17 May 2016)

We have been fortunate to know Pushpa Basnet and to support her Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) in Kathmandu. In Nepal, if a parent goes to prison, the children often accompany them. The Nepalese government provides no support for these children. Pushpa helps take children out of prison and provides housing, food, medical, education, and family support for them. Our son-in-law, Thomas Morgan, made a documentary about Pushpa, the 2012 CNN Hero of the Year, called Waiting for Mamu.

ECDC recently moved into a new facility, the Butterfly Home. We were invited to the Grand Opening of this wonderful place.

13 May - Friday

We arrived in Kathmandu the day before the Opening. After checking into the Park Village Hotel and Resort, we walked to the Butterfly Home, led by Tom Morgan. It was not a far walk but I don't think we ever made it there and back without making at least one wrong turn. One trip included two slippery rock crossings across the same stream.

Ray and Tom walking up one hill on the way to ECDC

Tom and Pat descending the last hill to ECDC. Note the tiny Butterfly Home sign on the blue pole.

The road to ECDC is steep in places and needs lots of repairs. The last 100 yards or so is unpaved and not easy for cars and motorbikes to drive on. (There will be additional pictures of the road, later in this posting.)

The Administration Building and main courtyard.

Solar panels on the Administration Building which supports the facility 24/7.

The Girls Dormitory and Pushpa's home in the back. On a clear day, the mountains would be visible.

Central fountain and sculpture.

Tree house in the central area.

Tom and Pushpa

Children doing their daily laundry chores (1).

Children doing their laundry (2).