Crossing the Chasm: Education in Rural Nepal

My phone rang as I was driving home from a pleasant Italian dinner party. When I picked up the phone my friend Zach Gaydos had one question for me: “Would you like to go to Nepal with me to teach English?“

We met for drinks to discuss the details, but the decision in my mind was made the moment Zach posed the question over the phone. Of course, I wanted to go to Nepal. It sounded like once in a lifetime opportunity to go and do something meaningful and useful. Going to a rural village in Asia with worthy cause of teaching, while having an opportunity for an adventure in the homeland of the Buddha, was too good of an opportunity to let go by.

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Namaste

“Namaste!” I was to hear this greeting many, many times in the three and a half months I spent in Nepal. I heard it from taxi drivers, hoteliers, old women carrying firewood on narrow mountain trails, and hundreds of times from students at the school I taught at. Loosely translated, “namaste” means, “I bow to the divine within you.” A bit different from the common “hello” most often heard in English speaking countries. While in cities, “hello” is becoming increasingly widespread, especially in areas frequented by tourists, in the rural areas “Namaste” stills reigns supreme. It is an excellent example of the polite respect Nepalese afford to all visitors to this beautiful country. It also showcases the narrowing bridge between a formerly isolated Himalayan Hindu kingdom and a modern nation.

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Sarkuwa Revisited

Sometimes there are moments in life that are worth reflecting upon. There were years not so distant from now that I used to be called Mrs. Lea by my third and fourth grade students at Fisher Grade School of Illinois, USA. It was a time when I assimilated the studies about Nepal in my classes to achieve four objectives: to make the learning interesting and fun; to make my students understand about life in the poor countries and value what is available to them; to make my students do something about the children of the world that are less fortunate; and to subtly teach my students about project development, marketing, sales and other valuable skills while raising fund for a Sister School in Nepal.

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How Rewarding an Educational Program can be in a Remote Nepalese Village?

By Donna Lea

Sometimes there are moments in life that are worth reflecting upon. There were years not so distant from now that I used to be called Mrs. Lea by my third and fourth grade students at Fisher Grade School of Illinois, USA. It was a time when I assimilated the studies about Nepal in my classes to achieve four objectives: to make the learning interesting and fun; to make my students understand about life in the poor countries and value what is available to them; to make my students do something about the children of the world that are less fortunate; and to subtly teach my students about project development, marketing, sales and other valuable skills while raising fund for a Sister School in Nepal.

Many years after our Sister School project was ended and as the years of my retirement advanced, my curiosity about what might have happened in Nepal as a result of our endeavors grew more intense. This quest to know, along with other endeavors we had become involved with in Nepal, took my entire family to Kathmandu in December 2006. It turns out that sometimes simple beginnings can bear unexpected and delightful outcomes that are worth mentioning.

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