Will Maya Go To Kathmandu?

November 28, 2011

in Nepal, Philanthropy

Maya & Me by Kerry

Reunited with Maya this fall. Photo credit: Kerry Van Voris


On my way to Everest Base Camp this fall, our first stop was Phakding. Maya was looking great! She was smiling and talking and far less shy than only a few months before. She was writing the alphabet in a notebook although she wasn’t in school yet, and she clung to me with the needy affection of a child not getting enough attention. All of this made me more confident that Kathmandu was the right option for her.

I sat down with the Sunrise family to tell them about the home available in Kathmandu. It took a fair bit of convincing for them to believe this was a nice, clean, beautiful home and not something out of a Dickens novel. I described how the house mothers and staff ate the same food as the children (not cooking better food for themselves). I told them about the American living there, the stacks of books and toys, the private education, the organic garden, and more. Finally, I left it up to them to think about it all while we trekked. I didn’t want to pressure them into doing what I thought was right. I wanted them to consider what they thought best.

Two weeks, 9,000 vertical feet, and many adventures later, our group was back in Phakding. Sitting in the kitchen of the Sunrise lodge, I asked the family what they wanted to do. They had a few more questions–about paperwork and school holidays and such. In the end, they decided to send Maya to a new home and new life in Kathmandu. Today. Since I was going that way.

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