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Field Trip, Part 3

April 2, 2010

in Philanthropy

9:30am Play with kids, hang out, have fun, relish it.

10:30am Educate Sita on the business of goats. We calculate together: you buy 3 goats for $100 dollars. You feed them $50 of food over 3 months. How much should you sell a goat for?

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Sita gets a lesson on the business of goats

11:00am Lunch #1 Rice with lentils and mushrooms. Sit on floor, eat with hand.

11:30am Back on the bike. Steep uphill road to Batase. Climb off and on bike every time the road is too rough or steep. Glad that fruit is off my back. It’s well over 80 degrees now.

12:00pm Lunch #2 (Rural Nepal–it’s all about feeding people.) Cornmeal paste with local chicken in gravy and spicy sesame seed-cilantro on the side. Sit on floor, eat with hand. Delicious!!

1:00pm Visit school.

The Batase School

They heard about our nearby Children’s Home and came last fall to ask for some help for their village school. Starting in Grade 6, kids have to walk 2 hours DOWN to school (more back UP at the end of the day). They’d like to add Grades 6-8 to their village school, but they need classrooms. They’ve gotten local people to donate cash, bags of cement, community forest wood, and labor to make the foundation–but they ran out of money. They need cash for doors and window frames to complete it. How can I say no to a village working so hard on their own? I gave $200 out of pocket last fall for a deposit to order the doors and windows, with a promise for more this spring–after a visit. So here I am, visiting.

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Nearly finished school addition

We inspect the old building and the new partial one, then sit down to discuss doors, windows, drinking water, teachers, cement, and more. Over 25 community members gradually show up to this impromptu meeting to listen and discuss. I’m impressed with the headmaster and the community.

With the aid of my friend Martin in the US, we agree to give $600 to finish carpentry. I’d like to give $250 more next month to secure clean drinking water if I can find a donor. Make this project number 3. How did I end up involved yet again???

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The Batase community--and me.

3:00pm En route down the mountain. Inspect location for water-driven mill we want to establish as a source of revenue for the children’s home.

4:00pm Back to Children’s Home, declining 2 offers for tea. Inspect new space nearby to convert for volunteer accommodations, mushroom farm, and computer room.

4:30pm Tea break.

Final installment coming next.

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