8:00am Stop to check on unfinished wooden doors and windows for the Batase School. Neel lights a fire under the slacking carpenter. I stretch my shoulders after 9 lbs of fruit have been bouncing on them for a few hours.

9:00am Arrive at the Children’s Home to some excited kids! I’m a little awed by how changed the place is since December: new tables in the yard, new shed, new tutor/coordinator (Sita), paint and doors on the toilets, new water tank and tap, and most especially new confidence in Laxmi (staff member) and in the kids. Every little piece of effort over these past few months feels suddenly meaningful and worth it. 100% worth it.


Happy kids--and a new shed in the background

Krishna, who was the quietest and most withdrawn of the bunch, has grown more comfortable and is now smiling easily–despite the arm he broke last week running around with the older boys. 200% worth it. Suresh, the eldest, is now older brother to the family and taking on responsibility with the goats and other chores. He grins sheepishly and you can tell he’s proud. 300% worth it. Sanchamaya, our newest addition, has started responding to Nepali (instead of only Tamang, her ethnic language). 400%. Laxmi, our staff member, is thinking about divorcing her drunkard husband now that she earns a salary for herself and has some experience. 500%. The list goes on…


Sanchamaya peeks out

I can see the course of life shifting for Laxmi and these kids. My heart is near bursting, knowing I’ve done something that is 100% good. 200%. 500%.

9:30 am Tea break.

To be continued…