I’ve departed Nepal, but not without already feeling like my life may have been permanently altered. I have loved Nepal. So much more to learn and explore here. Volunteering at the orphanage in Pokhara was great and my heart was very touched by the direct connection I was able to have with the kids. While further researching orphanages in Nepal and trying to understand how the system works here, I came across a website for Nepal Orphans Home. I wrote to Michael, an American who runs the place, and in our conversation I mentioned my interest in the Khan Academy and perhaps helping to expand its use in Nepal. As it turned out, they have a strong interest in moving in that direction with their kids, but haven’t necessarily been able to overcome some of the technical barriers to implementation. In my research I was aware of a good workaround (KA Lite) which allows offline setup. Anyway, after some back and forth including with a board member in the US, I flew to Kathmandu and met with Michael.
I was lucky enough to arrive there on a Saturday when the male children at the home were celebrating their sisters in what the orphanage calls “Sister’s Day.” I met many of the kids and enjoyed the entertainment. Apparently celebrating brothers is common in Nepal but no sisterly counterpart generally exists. It was full of laughs, dance, singing, decoration and special food.
Meeting Michael was in a way extraordinary. It felt like I was getting a glimpse of what my life could be like if I would truly let my life be led by my heart. I was deeply touched by what he has done. In the approximately 12 years he has been in Nepal, he has grown to caring for 143 children and set up many programs for vocational training to help their youth transition successfully into adulthood. His organization also provides support, both monetary and volunteer, for many other charitable organizations within Nepal.
Truth be told, though, I was more touched on an inner level, in feeling the potential of my own capacity and the potential satisfaction for my soul which might come from serving humanity in a similar way. I think Michael perhaps sees himself in me, as he arrived in Nepal with a similar heart at a similar age and I see a reflection of my potential in him.
I feel very blessed in my life to have the range of capacity and opportunity that I have. If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you’ll know that I lay a lot of import on manifestation in this lifetime. There is such a natural desire for me to be of use, to give, to connect, to love, to have my life have meaning. There is something about a location like Nepal where the resultant output for effort expended has a high multiplier. So much need on a practical human level and the difference that one life can make when it’s energies are suitably harnessed is significant.
My father/fathering impulses are also very strong and were definitely touched in the presence of the children I met in Nepal. Helping to provide in some way for children touches that fatherly part of me that has remained less than satisfied in this life. For awhile now, I’ve realized that I need something larger than myself to be in service of. Something for my egoic self to step aside for. In a way I don’t see that I have much of a choice but to enter these doors which are opening, both practically and into my heart.
My plan is to come back to Nepal after the New Year and walk through that next doorway and help to lead an offline installation / rollout of the Khan Academy for the Nepal Orphan’s Home. There will a lot to do / learn / prepare before heading back over there, but it feels great to be of service again and I’m very excited to be going back.
I’m in Thailand now in a lovely bamboo cottage where I am visiting my father and my step-mother. Very nice to see them and be together again. Sonia flew here from London as well so we’re all having a lovely time together. They have created a little corner of paradise here in Northern Thailand. So many ways to live a life and speaking of manifestation, they’ve manifested a lovely one for themselves here.
One reply on “Departing Nepal and Further Orphanage Connection”
Ted welcome to the life of being a Bodhisattva! A selfless nourishing exhausting wild crazy path! How wonderful! I have a friend that took an off the beaten path 5 day elephant trek that was other worldly in Thailand. Have a great time!