Today is the first of my real working days here in Nepal. For now, my schedule will be:
7am Orphanage—where there are six children who have been rescued from the street.
9am –Breakfast of dal bhat and water
11am—Women’s Center, where I will be teaching very poor women how to speak conversational English
2pm—Teaching at a local private school
As most of you know, I feel passionately devoted to working on behalf of women around the world, and my goal here is to make a small dent in the lives of Nepali women. I had a conversation with the director of the program (Volunteer Society Nepal, or VSN) yesterday, and it seems that he would like to develop the women’s center. I asked him if he would be interested in starting up a microcredit loan program, and also if he had interest in expanding the Women’s Center, which is currently housed in an orphanage (and that is why it only runs for two hours a day), into a full-fledged shelter for battered women and their children. He sounded very enthusiastic about these ideas. I have decided to stay for five months in order to help to expand the women’s portion of their program. They already have started a sewing class to help women learn to become self-sufficient. I have bought material to have two kurtas made by a seamstress who works there. Half the proceeds she receives will benefit the women’s center (WC).
One of the women who attends English classes at the WC also works here, for Sugandha and Sova, as a cook. She just brought me a cup of delicious Nepali tea, milky and sweet. This was very sweet of her since usually the volunteers do not get their tea until 7am. It is now 6:30am. She speaks very little English and I speak very little Nepali, so we mostly smile broadly at one another to express our affection. Last night she gave me a delicious hug in the kitchen.