Update on Nepal Notebook Campaign – Funds on the Way!

Well, after all that work, back-and-forth stress, and endless paperwork, our friendly bank here in the USA didn’t approve our international bank account application.  In response, we gave them the American Salute, and opened up a different account to avoid paying exorbitant bank fees and ensure that ALL of the money donated ends up in the hands of these students.  Long story, but the moral is:

FUNDS ARE ON THEIR WAY TO NEPAL!

Volunteers Unload First Batch of Notebooks

It’s hard to imagine that it’s been over 9 months since we began this project and your generous donations started pouring in.  We’re up to $3,530 in donations, over 85% of the way to our goal.  If you have an extra buck to spare, can you donate to help 30 children in remote Nepal receive an education?  Or, can you click on the facebook button at the bottom and share this with friends to help us reach our goal? 

Thank you as always for your support and included in this post are some pictures of the notebooks that have been purchased thus far.  More updates to follow!

Back Cover of Notebooks

Hundreds of scholarship forms have been received and we will choose 30 students to receive supplies, uniforms, and a fully funded school year thanks to your donation!

As promised, if you donated $140 or more to support a student for the year, you will receive a letter and photo from your sponsored child when they receive their items. Thank you for your patience, as we finalize these international transactions.

If you would like to learn more about this project, please visit our Nepal Notebook Campaign site!

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Update! Nepal Notebook Campaign

Over $2700 has been raised to aid school children in Nepal, donated by our generous friends and family. Thank you! We felt it was time to update you on the progress of our OnlyABuck Project.

As of this moment, the president of Nepal Volunteers Council Keshab Acharya, is applying for a passport in order to receive the funds for the Nepali children from our bank. Due to exorbitant fees from the local bank in Nepal, we elected to open a joint account in the USA to eliminate transaction fees and make sure the students receive what you’ve donated. Keshab has accepted hundreds of scholarship forms and will choose 20 students to receive supplies, uniforms, and a fully funded school year from you!

President Acharya at his desk in Nepal

As promised, if you donated $140 or more to support a student for the year, you will receive a letter and photo from your sponsored child when they receive their items. Thank you for your patience, as we finalize these international transactions.

If you would like to learn more about this project, please visit our Nepal Notebook Campaign site!

View original article on this subject.

Yoga Ashram and How To Complete an Organic Gastro Cleanse

Erin Shows the Way!

Yoga?  Check.  Meditation?  Check.  Organic Gastro-intestinal Cleanse?  Um, check.  Yup, we did it all during our 6 day/6 night stay at a yoga ashram and we’re still standing with a few good stories to tell, too.  My in-laws are going to get the biggest kick out of this one, that’s for sure.  So, Rick and Deb, this one’s for you…

Thanks to generous wedding gifts, Erin and I were able to “check in” to Sadhana Yoga Ashram in Pokhara, Nepal.  Perched on the side of a mountain, the 5-story orange, purple and white behemoth is pretty hard to miss, even from town center.  With killer views of Phewa Lake below and delicious organic vegetarian cuisine, it felt like we were at a serious health retreat.  After the good, healthy living with loads of exercise we had during the Annapurna Circuit trek, we had slipped into some well-deserved indulgences.  Comfort food, room service, beer o’clocks and whiskey combined with a steady diet of loafing around and getting caught up on internet became part of the daily repertoire in Pokhara.  It was time to clean up our act again and we intended to do just one thing while at Sadhana — get healthy.

The Daily Schedule

5:30 – Wake Up to Gong (so cool)

6:00 – Pre-meditation Practices

6:15 – Morning Meditation

7:00 – Tea Time

7:20 – Yogic Cleansing (Neti Pot)

7:30 – Morning Yoga

8:30 – Morning Walk

Group Shot During Morning Walk

9:45 – Breakfast

10:00 – Steam or Mud Bath

Schneids and JV Gettin' Dirty

12:00 – Pre-meditation Practices

12:15 – Afternoon Meditation

1:00 – Lunch

3:30 – Karma Yoga (Chores)

4:00 – Tea

4:30 – Chanting

5:30 – Evening Yoga

6:45 – Dinner

8:00 – Bedtime

Day 1 is the Toughest and Our Experience

Continue reading “Yoga Ashram and How To Complete an Organic Gastro Cleanse”

The Annapurna Circuit: The Ultimate How-To for the Epic Trail

The Trail

The Annapurna Circuit has been ranked one of the world’s best treks for countless years and for a good reason; it’s absolutely, 100%, jaw-droppingly amazing. And frankly, that’s putting it lightly.  With 26,000-feet-plus peaks, the world’s deepest gorge, the world’s highest lake, and the world’s longest pass, the trail has it all and then some.  At times you feel like every mountain range in the world has

On the Way to Tilicho Lake

been crammed here until you reach elevations high enough where you know you could only be in the Himalayas.  Originally, when the area opened to tourists in the 70s, the circuit took 21 days, starting and ending in Pokhara. These days, with the abundance of roads (4×4, unpaved, single lane) being built over parts of the existing trail to accommodate trade amongst villages along the way, hikers are much more likely to take a bus for certain sections rather than walk and be passed by vehicles all day. This means the trail can be knocked out in a maximum of 16 days. We did it in 10 and added 3 more days halfway through for a highly recommended side-trip to Tilicho Lake, the highest lake in the world, for a total of 13 days on-trail.

Erin and I combined forces to write this, with inserts from our travel journal to never forget the magic we felt and saw each and every day, and partly as a practical guide for all intrepid travelers who may want to follow in our footsteps and may need honest, objective, budget-minded advice on how to plan for what will definitely become a highlight of any trip. Continue reading “The Annapurna Circuit: The Ultimate How-To for the Epic Trail”

Healthcare in Nepal: Volunteering at Bageshwari Hospital in Kathmandu

Bageshwari Hospital

While Erin was teaching during the morning hours I would hop on the packed local bus everyday to shortly arrive at Bageshwari Hospital for four to seven hours of volunteering. The hospital is a two-story “L” shaped brick building on the dusty, heavily-used road leading to central Kathmandu, serving a predominantly poor community and emergencies that needed immediate attention. It contains a ward with three beds, an out-patient room, a pharmacy located street-side, an ER, and an x-ray lab. It was eerily reminiscent of the very hospital I stayed in 3.5 years ago in India but much, much (much) cleaner.To be honest, once there, I mostly chatted with the doctors, comparing and contrasting the multitude of differences between our respective healthcare systems, and having them answer my questions about physiology and diagnoses.  While I believe every healthcare system is riddled with problems, this experience strengthened my convictions that healthcare in the U.S., despite all of its alleged flaws, is in really, really good shape.  I’m proud to say, “Hey USA, we’ve got it gooooooood!” Continue reading “Healthcare in Nepal: Volunteering at Bageshwari Hospital in Kathmandu”