Desperate Girls

The Badi Girls

Between 7,000 and 12,000 young girls, aged 9-16, are trafficked each year from Nepal; mainly to India. According to Nepal Monitor/On line journal, 2007, there are more than 200,000 Nepali girls in Indian brothels.

The Dalits(untouchables) are the lowest level in Hindu society, and the Badi community, in Western Nepal, are the lowest of the low. As a displaced hungry people group the Badi community has made sexual subservience a way of life. Young girls from this group “serve” other groups. This has become a tradition and means of livelihood. Many girls, even when they are unwilling, are forced to serve as sex slaves. Family members knowingly sell their daughters to traffickers.

Though prostitution is illegal in Nepal, the industry reportedly has links with highly ranked officials and political leaders. Large groups of girls are taken across the border with many police and government officials being in collusion with traffickers and brothel owners.

Traffickers and related criminals are often protected by political parties, and if arrested, are freed using political power. As a result, there is an underlying distrust of police that has led people not to file cases against traffickers.

Domestic action involves activities of NGO’s and other volunteer groups. These groups are playing a major role to address girl-trafficking and sex slaves issues. Some NGO’s are playing a very important role to improve the situation. From creating social awareness to rescuing and rehabilitation, they are providing services (and relief) to those that need it the most – the likely victims as well as the rescued ones. The Lighthouse foundation is one of these.

*See Chandra Kala’s story on this blog site.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Monday. New Years Eve

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year, and we wonder what it will hold.  The political situation here is still at a stalemate

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sunday- Conference begins

All the eager young teachers were rearing to go today.  It is a big operation to organise.  There must be 200 people, plus they get a hot meal at lunch time, plus morning tea.  Some come from far and wide so they need to be accommodated at the Bible School.  Our young principal has organised it all and she is only 25 or so.  Young people mature very early here and take on serious responsibilities.  She is an impressive young woman.  Many of the young people are just amazing.  I stayed for the singing , and then some of the kids from the school did an item, and Ted Boyce is the keynote speaker for this week. He was challenging his audience to have a mission heart and be willing to say "Yes Lord, send me"  Afterwards, I went to Tusal hostel to see our gorgeous little babies in the Miriam centre.  Little Miriam, (our first baby, hence the name), the cute triplets (who are doing so well after such a rough start in life) and our fifth one, a little boy.  The triplets are two boys and one girl.  Their mother died the next day after giving birth and they were very malnourished, but they are powering on now.Today the carers had just finished feeding them and they were all wrapped up and out in the sun for a little while, all sleeping soundly  The weather is so warm outside.  I then visited our girls up on the rooftop where they had just finished lunch.  It is always a pack attack, but I love every minute of it.  One of them got a nepali drum and the music began, and we all danced together in the sun, I took photos and then another pack attack to see if they could see themselves in the photos.  The boys Grahame brought back last time from Chepang are there.  They were so hungry, had their heads shaved because they were infested with head lice.  Now their hair has grown back and they look so much better.  They wouldn't join in the dancing.  They are still very shy having lived on a remote mountain top.  Kathamandu must seem overwhelming. The team will get home from the conference before 5 p.m. and then we are invited to Raju's house for dinner.  I am looking forward to hearing how each class went.  We have a great team.  They are all a pleasure to be with.  Ted and Stephen are here for a week, then two others come as they leave, then another 2 arrive a few days later.  All with different skills and abilities to help train these lovely people to excel in all they do.  We are still looking for new digs as the rubbish dump has grown yet again, ever encroaching on our guest house.  .  No naughty house-breaking monkey as yet.  Lets hope it was a one off.          Robyn.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Back in the land of mountains

 It  is the 29th of December, 2012.  We arrived yesterday in the early afternoon; the sun was shining and the day was beautiful and warm.  We were expecting to be freezing.  When we got to the flat, it was cold inside though.  We needed to rug up at night.  There are 14 hours a day without electricity so it is good that is chilly, with not much refrigeration.  But we learn to work around it, and sort of get used to it.  We have seven  team members here and we are all a little weary.  The conference starts tomorrow at 9 a.m. for the next two weeks for full time teacher training.  Also governance, and community development.  I start my doll making on Tuesday.  Can't wait. We went to church this morning.  The first service was packed to the doors.  The band was wonderful and the preaching passionate.  I met Bimala again (my little sponsored girl) She had her 12th birthday last week.  She is so tiny it is hard to believe she is that old.  Some of the women from the half-way house were there also all smiles and cuddles.  It was lovely when we arrived at the airport yesterday, two of the women from the half-way house were there to greet us with marigold lays to welcome us here.  I was very touched by that.  Our inverter was not working when we got here.  It was fine when we left.  With such a shortage of electricity it is good to have a way at least to charge our computers and phones etc.  We hope it can be repaired.  Apparently, the Badi girls will be part of a movie that some famous movie star here is making about the importance of education.  I am a bit vague about the details, but Raju is very excited.  At some point, I am going to the half-way house with an interpreter to get their stories.  Also for the new little girls who came in since were here last.  When we arrived at church this morning, some children were practicing some items they will be performing tomorrow at the beginning of the conference.  They were singing, playing recorders and violins.  Now they are just normal little girls doing things that would not have been in their wildest dreams a couple of years ago.  I can hear my pressure cooker about to blow it's top out in the kitchen so I need to attend to it.


Sunday, 30 September 2012

A little nostalgic

It is our last day here and this morning we were going to see a couple of little girls with new sponsors to take photos of their sponsors to show them.  The rice paddies, usually iridescent  green are beginning to yellow off at the tops as the grain heads are forming.  The stalks already tied into sheaves to stop the heavy heads dropping down.  Women have their washing draped on hedges and fences and on the grass.  The little block houses painted bright pink, blue, green stand out against the rice fields.  Badi 5 hostel has the new little girls from the village we went to see the first week we were here with Binod the politician.  They are all so tiny.  Once again we were entertained by their singing and dancing.  Our taxi driver and a male teacher had to do their bit also.  I won't miss the terrible roads, full of potholes, large rocks, and clouds of dust.  I won't miss the incessant barking of what seems like a thousand dogs at night.  They sleep all day and off they go at night.  We have said all our goodbyes, but of course we will be back here on 28th December, so it really won't  be a long break.  Thanks for following along with us on the journey.


New accommodation

We have loved our flat here in Arabank but we will need to find new accommodation.  When we first came here there was a small garbage dump at the corner of our street but as time has gone on it has grown bigger and bigger.  The people who work in dump, go through all the rubbish with their bare hands sorting recycling  out.  Apparently, they are very tough characters, and have recently bashed up 10 people near here.  No one will complain about the smell or the way they have completely blocked our street.  Every time we come home in a taxi, the street is full of foul smelling trucks, and these vehicles and bags of rubbish are moving closer to the house.  There are lovely houses in this street and it must be terrible for real estate values.  Its all about "location, location"  We had a house in mind, but the owner wants to sell not rent.  We are very sad about leaving here and it is very comfortable, is close to the things we need to be close to, and we have many happy memories of our time here with our beautiful Nepali teachers, and our Aussie teams, our nice little gate keepers family and their two little boys, Onus, and Monus  (the whole family lives in one tiny room about the size of a small single bedroom.)  We would like to see first hand any building we move into.  We don't want someone else deciding for us, but time has beaten us so we will have to see what happens.


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Saturday - Goodbyes

It was our final church service today.  Once again jammed packed to the doors, the sunday school  filled to the brim, and then  the big changeover from first to second service.  One hostel has 96 kids.  Can you imagine getting then all ready for church.  When we came out from the first service, there they were all lined up outside the church, quietly waiting for their turn to go in.  After church, I had to reinterview a beautiful young women who I had talked to before.  She wanted to tell her real story.  Previously,she had been ashamed (not that any of it was her fault) to talk about it.  We sat up in the church office, with my lovely little interpreter  (who is so quiet and gentle with the girls) and she sobbed her way through her horrific story.  I was no better.  It is so difficult to comprehend how human beings can treat each other the way they do.  After it was over, we were all pretty wrung out.  But after lunch, we went to say our goodbyes at Tusal hostel,which is near here,and where the young woman lives.  It was a happier time.  They all sang Nepali songs to us, and then took the floor in little groups and danced their beautiful Nepali dances for us.  Even the tiny little toddlers get up and try.  Of course, it is expected that we will do the same and they enjoy our fumbling attempts.  The four little boys from the  mountain were there, still very shy and quiet.  A little overwhelmed by their surroundings, having been all their lives in a remote little mountain top village.  I am looking forward to our next visit to see them at school in their little uniforms.  There is a young mother with two small children who lives at the hostel (her story needs a small book to tell) who works there cleaning and cooking.   She is so poor but today she shyly unwrapped a small gift for me.   A lovely bracelet in all the beautiful Nepali colours.  It is so humbling.  I wondered how she could ever afford it.  I will treasure it.  We were also given a couple of other little gifts from the houseparents.  They are very dear to us.  Tomorrow is our last day, and we have a visit to one hostel to deliver letters from their sponsors and get photos of them.  Then at 6 p.m. we fly out.


Friday, 28 September 2012

Friday (continued)

Last night, Raju took us out to dinner at the Tibet International Hotel.  It is very nice and as Raju knows the manager very well (he seems to know all sorts of people, even had a meeting with the Prime Minister a couple of weeks ago) we hope some of our girls can be trained there in hospitality.  He has full confidence that they will be safe there.  It was Raju's sisters anniversary and it was a privilege to be part of the family group.  Trish began her tour today.  It is funny because she is the only person on the tour, so it should be very personal.  She says that she is off with all her friends!!!  She is seeing the sights in Kathmandu today, and off for rafting and elephant riding.  She even got on the back of a motorbike the other and went for a ride in this lunatic traffic.  She is braver then me.  Robert and Jahni have the day off today also, and are seeing the sights.  This afternoon, we need to see our exporter, and sort out details about the tea etc.   Remember the 4 little boys Grahame and Raju brought into Kathmandu.  When they got down the mountain, he bought them an ice-cream.  They had never seen one, let alone eaten one.  The little one was quite afraid of it.  One bite changed his mind.  I have been looking at the footage of Grahame's ride up and down the mountain.  I am so glad I wasn't there.  It looked terrifying.


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Grahame home again (continued)

Then they had the long drive home again to Kathmandu.  I really admire what Grahame will do for these children.  At his age, it is hard work.  Yesterday, I went to school to record a couple of songs the children sing.  It was so wonderful to see them in their neat little uniforms, the choir singing, one on a keyboard, one on the drums, three violinists.  They had been practicing for a couple of days because they wanted to get right.  Raju wants me to reinterview one of our girls to get the "real story".  I am bracing myself for this job.   When face to face with a beautiful teenager, with a big smile,and then having to hear what has gone on before, I always have trouble keeping it together.  The "half-way" house for the women from India is officially being dedicated this afternoon.  I believe there are 10 more women on the way soon.  Don't know if we will be here when that happens. Nepali time is quite different to ours.  Grahame if off again on a 5 hour round trip to see the land I mentioned.  It is the most magnificent spot. There is a wide river winding through the mountains.  Terraced rice fields on the mountain sides; it is so beautiful.  This is such a land of extreme contrasts.  Indescribable beauty and horrendous poverty and tragedy.  Our team is down to four after today as Trish is off on her tour.  She says she will see everything in a different light now she has seen what life is really like, and not just be a tourist who sees only part of life here


Thursday-Grahame's home again

I awoke to loud "tinny" Nepali music, the metal worker banging away at his trade, a circular saw whining away somewhere, dogs incessantly barking, people talking.  Ahhhh! Kathmandu at 6am.  Grahame arrived home last night 9 pm. totally exhausted.  Tuesday was spent driving and driving to Chitwan.  They stayed overnight at a good hotel though the bed was a mattress on the floor.  Wednesday, they took a four wheel drive large truck up the mountain to the village they came to see.  Grahame said the hairpin turns of the road were extremely dangerous.  The driver had to do three point turns to get around at each bend.  At one stage, Raju insisted they get out while this was in progress as he was concerned the truck was going to go over the cliff.  They arrived at the village where the baptisms were to be held.  Finally, there were about 65 it was considered that some were not fully understanding what they were doing.  These people are subsistence farmers, mostly tomatoes.  They are all malnourished and terribly poor.  The annual income is $300 to feed a family. It is quite remote.  Grahame said the scenery was absolutely spectacular.  He tried to video it but it didn't do it justice.  We saw some photos of the baptisms.  Shrivelled old ladies, young women, men and boys.  This young man, just trained in Raju's Bible college for 5 months, has gone home and led 200 people to the Lord.  What a hope Christ must be to them.  They photographed the children for the new hostel  and also bought back four young boys from there, from about 12 to 8, who walk 4 hours a day to get to a little village school and back.  Raju has brought  them to Kathmandu to settle them in the Lighthouse hostel for a while and then when they go back, they will be able settle the other new kids in, having had the experience already.  The four boys were alive with head lice and in rags.  When they got down the mountain, they went to the barber and had their heads shaved (like pastor Raju) and were fitted out with a new set of clothes.  The trip down the mountain was even more scary.  The big truck lurched from side to side, precariously near the edge, slippery places where there had been landslides and very steep. Part way down, Raju insisted on getting out and walking the next 1 and half hours down to the bottom. Once there they stayed a night in a "home stay".  I use the term loosely.  Their bed was a wooden board.  Even though Grahame didn't need his pink mosquito net, it came in very handy for a pillow wrapped in a towel. (continued)   Robyn

Last day at the Guest House

I have come to the end of one chapter of my trip and begin another.
Today I leave the guest house and head to the Himalayan Hotel for the first stage of my tour. it has been wonderful over the last 3 weeks, obviously the trip out west the first week was the highlight, bringing the girls back to safety even though it was very scary at times. Horrible hotels, but these were mansions compared to where the girls live, roads with sheer cops on one side and land slides on the other, crazy drivers where I had my eyes shut more than open and much much more. But oh I would not have changed any of it at all.    
Our team was great. Each of us had something different to bring to the trip.
I consider the school  "my school" now and the children "my children". It is impossible not to fall in love with each and every one of them. One little boy in grade 4 will be Prime Minister by the time he is 30 I am sure.
Kisses and cuddles are the norm and the children's prayer just takes my breath away.
Teaching stretched me to my limits but I got through it and am very happy with the result. Robyn and Graham said  "I would only achieve half of what I planned to"  and that is right but we are in a 3rd world country.
I will be back, to help with the Vocational Program and the Transition to Work, but it will be in 2014.
Yesterday I had one of my wishes granted when I got to go on the back of a motor bike through the crazy traffic. So much fun I loved it. Susan, (that is what we call him) the driver, who is a house parent at one of the hostels asked if he was going to fast and I said "no go faster and he did"
I am looking forward to seeing more of this beautiful country and I know I will be amazed.
I know if I say it has been "life changing" you are all probably thinking yeah, yeah, it does seem to be a overused saying, but right now but I have no other works to describe it.
This will be my last blog but to all my dear friends and family thank you for your prayers, (I am sure they kept the bus on the road) and I will see you in a week or so.

Love Trish xxxxxx           

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Leaving Nepal tomorrow

Our last night in Nepal. It's impossible to describe the range of emotions we are feeling tonight. As weary as we are, and ready for home, the tug on our hearts as we have said farewell to the girls in the hostels is almost unbearably strong.
For me, having seen the appalling poverty from which they have come, and knowing a little of the horrors that have inhabited the lives of some, the joy they now experience is tangible. How can a child whose very life has been a hell on earth be so remarkably changed? The love they know now is light years away from the brutality of their not too distant past. The love shown to them is more than merely human love; it is the love that God has for them, manifested through the remarkable people here who have cared enough to devote their lives to the rescue and rehabilitation.
It took us about 45 minutes just to say goodbye to those we have come to know through Margaret's cooking classes and others in the same hostel. The are indelibly imprinted on our hearts.
For me, who came to Nepal wondering where and how I could fit in, I can honestly say I will be looking forward to our planned return about April next year. 
The fellowship of the team, and the leadership of Grahame and Robyn have been something very special. Thanks to all of you.


Our experiences in the past month will live in our hearts forever. Our final cooking class this evening was wonderful in spite of tears and cries of "Please Mumma don't go"!! The girls have nothing of value yet they raided their rooms so they could send me away with something personal belonging to them. How humbling!! These are the most beautiful girls I've ever met and the love they give and long to receive blows me away. To think of the horrendous lives some of them have had and to see them now as their new lives blossom before our very eyes is nothing short of miraculous. They love and care for each other as sisters and not once did I see even a sign of a disagreement among them.
When we fly out of Kathmandu in the morning there will be a part of me that remains in this country. 
Some observations:
1. Nepal is a poverty stricken country but only in material wealth. It's people are rich in so many other ways.
2. It's possible to be happy, really happy,  even when you have nothing but the love and support of others.
3. The little the Nepali people have is willingly shared with the likes of us! In fact to, them it's an honour but I know the honour is all ours.
4. I've never before been able to walk down a dark lane at night and feel totally safe (except from the monkey!!)
5. Even with the constant beeping of horns and continual pushing in I never saw any road rage, rude signs or angry gestures in this crazy traffic. 
6. In the midst of extreme poverty, dreadful smells and piles of rubbish, the ladies always look immaculate. They are a proud people always ready with a smile. 
7. They are longing to hear about God and His love for them.
8. In a country with the caste system so active, it's a wonderful thing when the Badi people (the untouchables) realise they are so valuable and worthy of God's longer worthless but loved and cherished by Almighty God. His love for them is so evident as He keeps sending people to rescue and restore them to their rightful place.
9. Nepal is a country where you can't visit just once. There are too many lessons to be learnt from these amazing people.
10. You don't need to have the latest toys to have fun. The girls have no computers, Xboxes, games of any kind but I've yet to see a group of young people aged from 5 to 16 have such fun and enjoy their simple lives.  

So, as was said to me many times at our final baking class..."We will be waiting for you."  The waiting is uppermost in my mind also as I almost count the sleeps till I can once again be with these adorable girls who have taught me so much.

Margaret Dell

School Finished, so sad

I had my last day at the school today. What an amazing time I have had with the most adorable students ever. They are so well behaved, listen so intently, laugh at my jokes!!!!!!!, and tell me how much they love me. What else could a budding teacher ask for.

I have spent 6 wonderful days teaching English in grades 3,4,5, and 6 with children ranging in each class from 7-16 years. I also did English lessons for the teachers each afternoon. I was totally out of my comfort zone and after a rocky start I think I did ok. That is what the feedback was anyway.

To see the children that I have heard so many heartbreaking stories about laughing, dancing, playing and learning with me was more that I can put into words. After school today I went to the playground and played hand clapping games with the girls that Sarah used to play at school. We laughed as I got it wrong and cheered when I got it right.
I head off on Thursday to explore  this beautiful country. It is hard to put into words what my trip so far had done to me. The first week my tears rarely stopped and my heart ached. God seemed very far away sometimes.
Back in Kathmandu and I became part of the next step for them and I spent most of my time amazed at their spunk, determination, loving nature and I was only too willing to play a part in their need to be loved.
The teachers at the school are committed, caring and willing to learn as well as being fun. They treat the children both boys and girls with respect and like many of the teachers I know put in many hours of extra work for no pay.
God's hand is everywhere and as the children sing and pray as they did for me on Saturday for my birthday I know Nepal is in good hands in the future.
I am looking forward to my next adventure but soooooo sad to be leaving this one.
Love Trish          

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tuesday- team disbanding

Its Tuesday evening, and four members are at the principals home for dinner.  She lives nearby in a tiny home, very humble surroundings.  But they love to be hospitable and it is a joy to have us over.  Margaret and Barry have their final cooking class tonight and should be home soon.  Agnes, Margaret and Barry head home tomorrow at 1.30.  They are finding it hard to say goodbyes.  Trish leaves us on Thursday, but is having a week on a tour around Nepal before she  flies back of Oz.  We only had a flying visit from our monkey today but found out this afternoon, that he had bitten one of the little boys who lives on the ground floor.  We heard a lot of screaming early in the evening yesterday and wondered if he had encountered  our not so little housebreaker.  Robert and his granddaughter are settling in to the school life here and have the rest of this week and next week before returning home.    I was reading Ps.113 today verses 5-8.

Who is like the Lord our God,
The One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth.

He raises the poor from the dust,
and the needy from the ash heap.
He seats them with princes, with the princes of their people.

It is so wonderful to see this with our own eyes.

Grahame is still away in Chitwan.  He comes home tomorrow afternoon, and then the next day he goes to a place called Dolonghat to walk over some land to see if it is suitable for another project he has in mind.  Some other team members will write a blog tonight with their summary of their time with the team


Team and teams continued.

Then we had a visit from another team.  The Groves Distance Education Team came to Mulpani block A grades 1 and 2 and Badi Hostel 5.  My hat is off to the teachers who brought these fine young folk. 15 years old to 18. Young, energetic, full of life.  What impressed me however was the disciplined way in which they conducted themselves.  Teachers Kevin, VJ, Merle, Marliyn, Sarah and leader Karen worked with the young people and produced a polished program that fitted in well with the Nepali teachers desire to fulfil an academic program.
There were teaching segments on the properties of water tied in with Christ's ability to wash us clean; science experiments that had the Mulpani students eyes rivetted on the bunsen burner and the equipment; a  craft section for making a bird; English in the teaching of simple songs; a moral story which lead to the teaching of a memory verse.  All done with student participation and all done with the aplomb of teachers.  They spoke slowly and clearly, which takes some discipline when you are a tad nervous. Then when it was time to mingle and talk to the Mulpani students they were very focussed on sharing the Mulpani students thoughts and not talking about themselves unless asked specifically.
Yes, I was impressed. They have certainly set a precedent for other teams. Well done Groves.

For devotions the other day Robby shared this, "We are either goers,senders or disobedient."  This is from John Piper.   Well we goers certainly thank all you senders who supported us in so many ways but especially in your prayers.  Couldn't have done this without you. Thanks.

Team and teams

Hi. This is Agnes. Well the trip is all but at an end. Port is packed and stuff to stay boxed. It has been another time of seeing Christian brothers and sisters working together in harmony to assist our dear Nepali fellow Christians in the hard but rewarding work they do. Must say they are amazing. They work harder longer hours than we are used to and smile all the while. Some of them do not know the book of Peter but live its principles anyway.  They are a blessing to us all.

Trish is not a teacher but has shared her knowledge of ESL to encourage and teach the Mulpani staff and in particular the head English teacher.  They teach in their second language and she has been able to share ideas and inspire Absolutely a positive influence on all the team.
Barry worked with her and provided the drama and light relief as well as being a quiet encourager and "bag carrier" for the team.  Remember the Nepali teachers have to meet the government requirements from the text books for each subject and so Trish had to keep in mind the content in each book as well as share new ideas. Steep learning curve for her and one she accomplished.
  Katie took photos of everything and her talent to see things through her camera lens that depicted the work here is of the highest quality. Her heart was one by her sponsor child and all the other darling girls who just loved her.
 Margaret baked her way through bronchitis and into the girls hearts. Battling unrising self raising flour and health she set to work with a will and has left behind a kitchen and a program ready to go.
Robert has now arrived and Hari the maths teacher is thrilled to pieces to have someone of Robert's ability to give him ideas and help.  Robert's grand-daughter is sharing in the nursery classes and of course the little ones love her blonde hair and smiles.
Robyn does as she always does and even with a big fat cold has set to to keep our home clean our tums full and all of us on time. She is a marvel our little Robby. In charge and yet quiet and efficient and loving.
Papa Grahame is really a softie.  He keeps an eye on us all and yet works from pre-dawn to late. God surely picked just the right man for this job.  Bless you big brother.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Monday Home Alone.

Grahame left this morning with Raju to go to Chitwan, where the Chepang people are.  A young man from the bible college is there and there are over 200 new converts.  Raju is going to baptise 100 people. Grahame will be there to video the event.  How we would love to see this at home.   I hope Grahame will survive the trip as it is a long way in a van and then at least a 4 hour hike and I know Raju's " 4 hour hikes"  They are also photographing 40 children for another hostel there.  These children are sold into the circus and usually never seen again.  Bill Newman will be doing a crusade there next april, Lord willing.  The rest of the team are off doing their various tasks.  Grahame was up at 4 a.m.working on the computer, and our naughty monkey was trying to get back in, testing all the windows.  He turned up later, sitting on our little balconies, looking very relaxed, having a good scratch.  I talked to him through the screen, and he jumped at me. Scared the life out of me.  He is not very friendly, and I am a bit nervous going out to bring in the washing.  He has a set of quite nasty teeth.  I had to do some further cleaning and will have to wash the floor again with very hot water.  There is also a memory stick missing with some important photos.  Hope he hasn't eaten it.  He sits there staring at windows,thinking,thinking how he can get back in.  The two screens were pushed in over Margaret's bed, where he had been testing.  We have made sure they are well secured.  Last night, Grahame had to buy a mosquito net to take as Chitwan is in the tropical zone.  The only one he  could find was hot pink with floral patterns.  I'm trying to imagine Grahame and Raju tucked up at night under their frilly canopy.


Sunday, Monkey Mayhem

The team members went their various ways this morning, and this afternoon, we met up with the team of young people from Groves Distance Ed. who are here on a mission trip.  We had a meal with them in Thamel and half of the team came home, while the rest of us had to pick up some things and then caught a second cab home.  We arrived home to chaos.  Someone had left a window partly open and our naughty monkey paid us a visit while we were out.  He had caused utter chaos in the flat.  He had been in the pantry and chewed holes in lots of stuff, which had to be thrown out.  He chewed my ear phones to pieces, eaten a few cholesterol  tablets, chewed up biros and left blue ink everywhere.  He unscrewed the lid off a full, large bottle of oil and poured it all over the kitchen, he broke some eggs, had broken open a packet of icing sugar all over the carpet.  He left blue ink all over a bottle of sleeping tablets as he had tried to open it up.  And of course, he left lots of unpleasant little other messages all over the place.  The electricity was out.  When our first group arrived home, 3 women and Robert, the women went flying into the bedroom and locked the door, and poor Robert had to be brave and get rid of it.  He chased it out onto the verandah, and it politely came back in through the window.  Finally Robert managed to get it out.  We arrived home 20 minutes later and were glad we were not here to have to clean up the mess.  We are hoping he didn't wee on our bedding.  Anyway, we all sat around afterwards, had a cuppa and a good laugh.  Only in Nepal.


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Saturday,Comings and Goings

Thursday, I met Robert and his granddaughter  at the airport after a long wait, they finally emerged.  Yesterday, we had a day to ourselves to do some tourist things.  Three team members took the day to see some of the historic sights, and others went into Thamel to buy gifts for the family and then we all met up at the beautiful Garden of Dreams for the evening meal.  As we waited in the lovely gardens, the little squirrels  darted about on the grass looking for food crumbs and chasing each other through the plants.  The meal was really beautiful.  Today, Saturday, was church day and afterwards Agnes and I took our little sponsor girls out to lunch then bought a lot of board games and things for the hostel kids to play with.  On arrival home, we heard that we had a runaway monkey in the flat.  A door on the verandah had been left open and a monkey with a white face and spikey red hair dashed through into the kitchen, presumably looking for food.  He was promptly chased out, so he dashed around to the kitchen window and peered in.  I was sorry to have missed the incident.  Katie goes home tomorrow, after taking in excess of 10,000 photos.  Grahame arrived home today after 4 days in Penang, in Malaysia.  He was at an Asia Pacific Association of Christian Schools International Round Table, with representatives from Canada, USA, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal and Australia and New Zealand., and Malaysia.  We have an invitation to go to Canada to talk about the work here, with a number of others very interested to have some involvement.  This coming week some time,  a busload of little girls are arriving from the west. I hope I am here to see them come. Three will be the little sisters of Binu, the 13year old who Katie sponsored from the village the first week we were here.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Wednesday, School photos

Yesterday, we spent the whole day at the school, Katie taking photos of our sponsored girls while I kept records.  It was totally chaotic but seeing those girls all "spiffy" in their uniforms and comparing the girls in the Slum Village; what a huge leap.  Then Katie took class photos and teacher photos.  Everything takes 10 times longer then at home.  The bus broke down on the  way, so about 80 kids followed us down the street,  I felt like the Pied Piper .  But they just hold hands with us and look up with big brown eyes and big smiles and practice a few words.  Marijuana  grows like a hedge along the roadside, so that is interesting.  Last night, Raju took us out to dinner at a nice place and we had a nice steak.  Tonight's tea will be red meat, only buffalo instead of beef.  Don't say "yuk".  In the pressure cooker it is quite fine. Today, being Thursday, I am collecting another two team members from the Airport, Agnes has been training some teachers in our lounge room, Trish and Barry are at school all day, Margaret has her cooking class this afternoon(though she is quite unwell), I've been washing all morning and have to do the shopping after the airport pick-up.  We all fall into bed exhausted each night from days of frustration, joy, being on the go constantly in all different directions and Nepalese time drives us crazy.  But we love it anyway.  Last Tuesday, we spent all day at all the hostels (5) photographing the girls.  The difference in the ones who have been here for some time and the new arrivals is remarkable.  We wonder what tomorrow brings. Some of the team a doing a bit of sightseeing and later in the day, we will go to Thamel, the tourist area, and have a nice meal at the Dream Garden; a lovely place to see and clear our heads for the week ahead.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012


It's extremely hard to express the feeling of seeing hundreds of little girls who if not for Educate Nepal would now be either sold across the Indian border or prostituted in their own homes. The girls we saw today were so young, probably 4 - 15 years old. Cuteness personified and longing for love which of course we are all more than willing to give them. Barry and I have had sponsor children before but never had the opportunity to meet them in person. Today, we met our little Nabina! She is 4 and as cute as a bug's ear! She and her friend Manissha (who is just as cute and being sponsored by our friends) were 2 of 9 little ones rescued this week. Their future is now secure and fear of being kidnapped gone!! How utterly awesome is that!!
My cooking classes have had a slight hiccup as I've had trouble breathing. Not sure if it's asthma, chest infection, sinus infection or stress but I suspect all of the above!! I'm on the strongest of medication and still tight in the chest but hopefully improvement is on the way! So, I missed a class on Monday and today being a holiday there were no classes. Tomorrow I'm trusting all will be well for the class to re-commence. The kitchen is now fully equipped and Grahame has sourced the finest flour in Nepal!!
Barry is enjoying being part of the English teaching this week. He has made a life long friend in a young girl of 13 who is the oldest of 4 daughters who live in Surkhet. The team met the mother while they were out in the villages and she begged Pastor Raju to take her daughters as she was terrified of them being kidnapped by traffickers. They live in a hut made of mud, sticks and cow poo and there are no doors so the girls are at great risk. No father there at all either so this poor mother knew of Pastor Raju's reputation and her pleading paid off. The oldest girl flew back to Kathmandu with the team and her sisters will follow in the next bus load. This poor darling had never been on a bus or plane before and vomited all the way but adopted uncle (alias Barry) cleaned up the mess and looked after her. She is now so happy at the hostel and met up with her cousins. She now has a bed of her own instead of sleeping with 5 others (Grandma included) in a single bed. This ministry is beyond amazing and seeing God's heart for these beautiful girls has changed us forever.

Margaret Dell

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Another day in Nepal

We have had and are having lots of trouble getting the internet so lots has happened . I did a long email on saturday and unfortunately it has still not gone.
I am teaching in the school now and it is so rewarding. The students are excited to have me there and I am working with Barry.We are doing our best but we are far from teachers. The kids love us anyway and we are having lots of fun. They are so well mannered and listen so intently to everything we say. We are also having afternoon sessions with the teachers. That I am finding more challenging as they expect to learn so much from us.

Today we went to the hostels and the children are amazing. We sang and played games with them while Katie took photos. It is Women's Day today, a holiday and the women are wearing red, beautiful, the material in the clothes are stunning. Time is going so fast.
We have now seen the girls in their villages, in the most terrible situations. We have been to the brothels and taken the them and the village girls with us to Kathmandu.  Then been to the concert at the  school and seen the end result. Girls well fed, being educated, cared for, having fun, singing and dancing.
Then to the hostels and the lovely clean rooms with sheets and a bed each. Good food and love from the house parents.
Lots of love to you all

Tuesday, festival day.

Grahame has flown out this morning for Penang for a 4 day conference.  Today is a Hindu festival for women, and many of the streets have been  blocked off for lots of women in their red and gold saris, dancing together and having a good time.  Grahame had to leave 1 and a half hours early because of all the traffic congestion to make he got his plane on time.   The rest of us visited all five hostels today, and Katie worked her magic with the camera a and photographed all the girls.  The rest of the team had a great time with the kids, singing and playing silly games.  We have had all sorts of trouble with the internet and Grahame has bought a  "dongle" do we can still communicate.


Children's concert

As Trish mentioned, we went to the school for Children's Day, which the schools here have in September.  It was all set up with a big tent, all the children were there in their sports uniform.  There were all sorts of items; christian songs, traditional dancing, poems, some modern dances, even the teachers did some traditional dancing.  After coming from the west and the abject poverty and seeming hopelessness, and to see these beautiful children with a bright future was a big boost for us after the previous 4 days.  They played a Michael W Smith song, "Who am I" and the children performed a mime to the words.  It really broke me up to see these little "untouchables" reaching their little hands up to God who has redeemed them and given the

Wet Monday

The internet is not working ; as is common here.  So I’ll do this on Word and put on the blog if we get connected again.  It has rained here every day, and getting to the main road down our lane is quite an adventure.  Great potholes full of water, bikes and taxies spraying up water as they pass by, and very few dry spots to put our feet.  Yesterday, I had my second class for “Newborn Care”.  Six different ladies turned up, and only four from the first class.  So I had to go over the same ground again.  I have a brilliant little interpreter.  She has only been a Christian for one year.  She remembered everything I had said at the first class, and she almost did it all by herself.  She is so adorable.   All our team members are in various places doing what they came to do.  Margaret’s cooking classes are a big hit.  I have my training today between 4 and 6p.m.   Yesterday, when we arrived at he hostle, all the women we brought here from India were there, all smiles and cuddles.   The oldest one, 27, looks so much older than she looks, but at that age she could have been  in India for at least 13 years.  How anyone survives that is beyond us.  But seeing our beautiful little girls here in their school uniforms, being educated, even learning to play the violin, is very heartwarming.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Out to a village church.

Today is Saturday, the normal church day here in Nepal, because that is the only day off.  We drove about 2 or so hours out to this little place, walked along a dark hallway, up a very steep flight of stairs and entered a small room on the first floor.  The village folk were all seated on the floor, mostly women and a few children.  They sang a few songs with the aid of a guitar, tambourine and a  nepali drum.  It was hot and oppressive inside, one lady was picking nits out of her little boys hair and another was giving her child a piece of collate to chew on to amuse him.  We tried to explain afterwards, that coolite is not good for a child's diet.   Grahame preached, we looked at land out that way for another project that is in the pipeline, then managed to have lunch at about 3p.m at a hotel on the way back.We finally arrived back here about 6p.m. after a 7.30.a.m. start.  Tomorrow, some training begins here in the flat with some of the teachers, I have my Newborn Care training at one of the hostels, Margaret is doing more preparation for her classes on Monday.  Next week is going to be full on, with each of us in various places all day till 6.p.m.  One of our team went home today, and two others arrive during the week.  Katie is fantastic, with her camera clicking away all the time.  It must be tiring as she has to be on the alert trying to take photos to capture life here, the weary faces, the smiling children, the magnificent scenery.  Today we were all heartbroken when a poor lady came begging at the bus window as we were stopped at a checkpoint.  She was filthy, dishevelled, deep lines on her face, saying she has no home and no food.  We all passed some money to her, and she broke down with tears streaming down her weatherbeaten face.  How these people survive I have no idea.

Baking Classes

While the rest of the team were on their incredible journey to Surkhet, Agnes and I stayed back at the hostel as we were both tied up with teaching.
The baking classes started last Sunday afternoon with 20 girls which seemed to increase as the week went on! Thanks to the generous donations received before we left we have been able to purchase a commercial oven, a fridge, a microwave and a generator! Thank you to our wonderful supporters!
I've had to buy numerous bits and pieces as well and Monday we are buying a set of kitchen drawers...and we still have money left over. It's feels like the feeding of the five thousand all over again!
Barry and I have never experienced such poverty first hand. We've experienced the full gambit of emotions from the heart break of hearing the girls stories to seeing the joy they now have. At least two of 'my girls' in the baking class have such horrific pasts and to see the continual smile on their faces is nothing short of miraculous. What an absolute privilege to be a part of what God is doing here!
The baking classes have been quite chaotic and we are forced to halve the number of girls I will train. It was becoming too difficult to manage with over 20 excited girls keen to learn. I was so touched by the girls reaction to the oven. They've never seen one before and were so fascinated they sat in front of it and watched the cakes cooking!! How adorable is that!
We've successfully made brownies, slices and have just started on cupcakes and decorations. We were just a tad ambitious on Wednesday and made a chocolate mud cake for Sujan, the house father's birthday! He loved it, shared it around and the party began! The singing and dancing brought tears to my eyes.
I expect to up our standard now that the class has been reduced to 10.
There've been a few hiccups with flour and fondant so in some ways it's back to the drawing board for me!!
I'm overwhelmed at the love the girls show us and the amazing opportunities God has given us to share the love of Christ to these very worthy but almost forgotten Badi people. They are such beautiful people and it's an honour to be here with them.

amazing 4 days

The last 5 days have been extraordinary.  We have travelled hundreds of kilometres, seen the most incredible poverty, danced with prostitutes, travelled the scariest roughest roads, meet beautiful generous happy people, cried many tears, picked up  girls who have come from brothels in India taken them on their first bus ride, plane ride and first trip to Kathmandu and delivered them to the safety of the hostel.
Today we went to the school and saw the end result. The children at the school came from these backgrounds and today we watched them dance,  sing and laugh at children's day. We were cuddled, hugged and kissed and a game of "round and round the garden like a teddy bear" was a huge hit and caused lots of laughter.

To see where the girls came from, the  villages, poverty and pain and then see them at school laughing is the greatest thing ever.
I am loving it here, i would not want to live here it is the worse thing I have ever seen. But what a amazing work Educate Nepal is doing.
I must go we have a very early start tomorrow, we are off the the country again.

Love Trish            

Binod's experience

We have built a good relationship with our Maoist politician. Not at all what one would expect.  In his dealings with the Badi people, he made a statement that resonated with us all.  He says to the Badi women, "you will no longer be sex toys, but queens in a palace"  He is very passionate about helping them.  He told Raju, after travelling with us for 4 days, that he has worked with many NGO's before, but we are different.  He says that others are interested in the project, while we are interested  with people.  He also told Raju that in all his years of polities, these past 4 days have been the highlight of his career.  We all got a big hug as we parted company, and we believe he will do all he can in his political position to help us.


Friday, 14 September 2012

Back in Kathmandu

Friday, 14th

It is so good to be back in our flat.  We are totally exhausted as we spent the last four days banging around in a mini bus on rough roads, dangerous and slippery roads around mountains, and playing chicken with every oncoming bus, truck or bullock wagon.

We began the day yesterday collecting Nepal's throw away women, 5 in all, and the little girl Katie wants to sponsor.  The oldest one is 26, but she looks much older.  We stopped at villages, and out they came, one from here and another from there.  Our poor little 13 year old had never been out of her little village, and on the long trek back to Nepalgunj

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

More rescues

Wednesday, 12th.

Today, we met 3 women rescued from an Indian brothel.  One is a bit older, and the other  two were 20 and 18 respectively.  The two young ones have already been enslaved for 4 years.  These are the first of more we are hoping to get.  I am unclear about how this has come about, but they will be flying back to Kathmandu with us tomorrow also.  Raju is organising a half-way house for them, where they will be cared for and trained so they can gain meaningful employment.  We had lunch with them and it is so great to think what the  Lord can do to change these lives.  This afternoon, we all piled into the bus, with all our new additions, and went to another village a couple of hours away.  We were trying to arrange for girls from there also to come to Kathmandu.  Sadly, there was one girl we have been looking for before who was going to be coming in and then was nowhere to be found on the day she was to be collected.  She was 15 when she was originally contacted.  We found out today that we are too late and she has already been taken to India.  It is hard to look at her photo that we have in the computer and know we have to delete it, as she will no longer be on our list.  We are also bringing in  the younger sister of Pabrita, the beautiful girl who was rescued from India about 6 months ago.


A day of rescues


Last night, Raju had a young 13 year old girls in tears, pleading for help for her family.  He joined us at the evening meal upset from the experience.  This morning, there was a bunda (strike) so no one was allowed to travel.  Raju sent us off with a man to photograph a family near here and the surrounding village.  We trekked down a long gravel steep path and came to our destination.  There was a mother, grandmother, and four beautiful daughters.  The oldest daughter asked for help for the family.  When we came back to the hotel, our photographer, Katie has fallen in love with this beautiful girl and asked Raju if she could sponsor her.  She also contacted her mother,who would sponsor another one, and Trish had friends who would sponsor the other two.  Raju was very excited.  The mother is very willing for this as she wants her daughters to have a better future.  The oldest one, of course, is the 13 year old who had pleaded with Raju the night before.  She will be flying back to Kathmandu with us tomorrow and the other three will be coming on the bus with other girls who are waiting for sponsors.  A whole family rescued.  It was wonderful after all the sad days we have had in the past few days


Back to Garbage River.


We were exhausted by the end of Monday having left Kathmandu guesthouse at 6.30 a.m., caught a plane to Nepalgunj, spend over 6 hours travelling, with all the stops in-between, plus the emotional rollercoaster of all we had heard and seen We crashed into bed and I didn’t care that our toilet floor was a swimming pool.  We were grateful for a bed and sleep. 

Today we were glad to escape the heat and head up with Winding Mountain to Chinchiu.  This is such a beautiful country.  Mountains everywhere, terraced rice fields, flocks of little goats with floppy ears.  We visited the hostel up here where we hope to start a new school next April and then headed on to Jhuprakola (garbage river) where most of our hostel girls come from. Once again we saw the same poverty and the  same houses, only on the banks of a lovely river.  Just down stream is where all the bodies are cremated and then the remains thrown in the river, Raju has renamed it Hallelujah River.  There is now a little church there with about 250 believers.   From there we have moved on to Birendernagar where we will be saying for 2 nights.

Wild West – Continued

Monday afternoon.  Binod wanted us to see another village he called the brothel village   Once again, little mud buildings and thatched roofs.  The women’s dress was quite different.  almost Egyptian style.  They are absolutely stunningly beautiful.  The men were surly and stood back but the women were smiling and crowding around.  They presented us with lays made of hibiscus flowers then they began dancing so beautifully, from the young to a very old wrinkled lady.  Then they insisted that we try.  So Raju and Binod danced (they were very good) and also the other lady Rama, who travelled with us.  Then we Aussies also had to have a go.  They really enjoyed seeing us make a fool of our selves.  It was such a happy scene out under the spreading trees, yet underneath the terrible slavery those beautiful women endure.  Even as we were there, we knew what was going on in those little huts.  We were told these precious ones are sold for a mere 20c. A time.  Men take their wives and make them dance while they play in front of houses.  Then the men in the houses come out, and if they like the woman, the husband stays outside while his wife is being raped inside.   As we left and watched those smiling women waving goodbye, our hearts were breaking.