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Papa's Home - Newsletter - 4 June 2013

Papa's Home - Newsletter - 4 June 2013

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Published by Eric Fairman
Newsletter of Papa's Home (Volunteer Foundation Nepal) for vulnerable children in Kathmandu, Nepal
Newsletter of Papa's Home (Volunteer Foundation Nepal) for vulnerable children in Kathmandu, Nepal

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Published by: Eric Fairman on Jun 06, 2013
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07/12/2013

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Personal Musings.
With a conceited smile. I departedKathmandu on the eve of thecommencement of the annualmonsoon season. It rained heavilythat day!! The smirk was soon to bewiped from my face when two dayslater, I arrived in Switzerland, acountry coping with the wettestearly summer months on record!So it is that life teaches us not tosmile at the misfortune of others, forit too could be our misfortune underdifferent circumstances.I posted on Facebook this past week,an article I wrote awhile back aboutthe work for
 Papa’s Home
inKathmandu. One (Nepali) cynicmade the snide comment:
“…selling Nepal`s poverty??”
effectivelysuggesting
 
that I was capitalising onNepal`s poverty. To get any furtherfrom the truth would be animpossibility! If the truth were tobe known, the contrary is thereality…
ask my concerned daughter!!
 It is hard to explain just why it isthat old fools like me, have thisinner desire or urge to respond to the
‘call`
for greater social awareness.A Nepali friend makes the followingquote at the conclusion of one of hisexcellent documentaries (
‘Flowersin the Dust’
– a film by Sushil BabuChhetri):
 
 As a human being, it is our responsibility to help those in need. Let us come together, by bringing alittle smile into these children`slives......because:"No religion is greater than Humanity
.
In truth, there are few who are ableto turn a blind eye to the needsand/or suffering of others. It is abasic human instinct to offerassistance to those less fortunatethan ourselves, or in fact, to any lifeform in distress. So it is a naturalhuman desire to want to be a GoodSamaritan in our interaction withour brothers and sisters in Creation,be they at home in our ownneighbourhoods or across the oceansin some far-off land…such as Nepal.
 
 It is perhaps in such charitableactivities that we begin to
`know`
 ourselves, with all our failings andhang-ups. Those who we believewe are
`helping`
, are in fact helpingus to open our eyes to our own
`Self`’
and to find our owndestiny….fulfil our
‘Karma’
if youprefer, sometimes through thesufferings of others.But there are occasions where thisfinding of the
‘Self’
sadlymetamorphoses into thedevelopment of an over-inflated
‘Ego’;
where the former
servant of what is good 
, instead becomes thepossessor,
the owner of the deed,
sothat it turns into a personal kingdom
(our queendom!)
where there isdanger of alienating those who weare there to succour.Such is the current challenge facingone renowned charitable endeavourin Kathmandu. We must alwaysremember that we are here in Nepalor wherever we choose to
serve
, as
‘humble servants’
not as
‘dictatorialcommanders’,
even though we maythink our managerial skills aresuperior to others!! It is a humanfrailty that we must all, myself included, be wary of!
 Namaste!
We know best! Or do we?
Since beginning to interact withsome of the Street Children of Kathmandu, both Lalit and I havelearnt that what we believe is in thebest interests of the children, doesnot necessarily equate with whatthey believe!! At the top of theirlist…
if they were to compileone
…would be
‘freedom’!
 Freedom to interact with their streetbuddies; freedom to reject a warm,dry bed for a hard cold slab of concrete and a filthy blanket;freedom to play cards in a doorway;freedom to eat or not and the listgoes on. To live in a house wherethere are certain minimal basic rulesthat groups of people living togetherhave to conform to, is sometimes just too much for even streetchildren. Life in a home, no matterhow caring and lax, can neverthelessbe just too demanding and the
`freedom`
of the streets beacon oncemore. Life in a
‘home’
is toopredictable…too boring even!!We
`lost`
two of our residents
(Zeevan and Kancha)
this year dueto this phenomena combinedwith the onset of warmer weatherand a greater influx of tourists fromwhom to beg for alms. But now themonsoon has started, we find thatthe boys are once again turning tocharitable organisations for help,Papa`s Home being one such NGO.
 
 Kancha cheerfully
‘came home’
twodays ago, bringing a mate with him.For how long, remains to be seen.However, contrary to his wishesduring his previous sojourn inPapa’s Home, Kancha has nowdeclared that he wants to attendschool!!! Fingers crossed! Let’sgive it a month and see whattranspires!
Deepu welcomes Kancha back!
There have been otherdisappointments in that two boysfrom another district (Thamel) of Kathmandu joined the family inmid- April. They only stayed longenough to take possession of fresh,new clothes and to fill theirtummies, before they wereoff…
taking Zeevan and Kanchawith them!
This was a blow to Lalitafter all his great efforts, so wiselyhe took a month’s break from the
‘street project’
, turning his attentionto the ever present demands of fundraising
(to repay large loans from pre-Papa’s Home days)
andpromoting Papa’s Home via themedia (
newspapers and tv….only in Nepali language!!).
Now Lalit has been joined
‘in the field’
by our eldest (
17 yrs)
formerstreet boy, Deepu Timalsina. Thepair ride over to Boudha on thePapa’s Home motorbike, Lalitdriving and Deepu on the rearwearing a back-pack containinglovingly cooked and individuallypackaged
‘suppers’
of dhal-bhat foraround 7 or 8 of the street boys.The boys had specifically asked fora meal at the end of the day, asduring the daylight hours, they werealways able to beg a cup of tea or asmall meal from tourists. With thisnew arrangement, the street boyscan now rely on a hot, nourishingmeal every evening thanks to cook Radha and house-mother Dhanusha,and our donors who make this
‘outreach programme’
financiallypossible.

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