Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘Nepal’

The Kindness of Strangers

My Forgotten Path Home
41KTXR9-obLA Novel by Tim I Gurung
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans

This novel is all about the 2015 earthquake in Nepal that killed over 8000 people and injured over 20,000, and, it has very little to do with the earthquake. Mr. Gurung dedicates My Forgotten Path Home to the dead and survivor’s of the quake in the acknowledgments, and the story revolves around May Andrelina Applehouse, who is found in the rubble by an Australian couple, but the essence of the story is about Nepal, its people, and finding a “place” called home.

When May returns to Nepal at age 27, for the first time since leaving at age 3, she discovers that it is not what she had imagined, and finding her birth parents will be much more difficult than she had anticipated. Helping her in her search are Inspector Raj Komartamu and his assistant, Officer Mangale Magar. Even though she is not familiar with anyone or anything, May feels like she is “at home”. The journey begins in Kathmandu (the capital), and then extends to the countryside.

May is amazed with the beauty outside the city. “The morning fogs around the valley had not dissipated, cobwebs of gossamer and the nearby jungle were visible, and birds were still reluctant to fly away from their warm nest.” With the help of her new friends (Raj and Mangale) May looks near and far for her parents, and eventually makes a decision which brings her even closer to the Nepalese and her understanding of what life is like for those in the capital and farming the land in small villages.

My Forgotten Path Home is similar, in some respects, to the storyline for the wonderful film Lion, in which a young orphaned boy in India is adopted by an Australian couple, and then returns as an adult to try to find his mother. Mr. Gurung’s story however, takes place almost entirely in Nepal and feels almost like a personal memoir, though it is not in the least. My favorite aspect of this tale is the genuine kindness and gentleness of all those involved. Everyone treats one another as family, whether they are related biologically or not. This is a novel written with heart, that touches the heart.

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32 Recipes for Joy

51jMFwLXU2LFinding Joy Around the World by Kari Joys MS.
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans.

Join the author, and people from around the world, as they describe what joy means to them, and how they came to find it. Kari Joys, “While happiness is often defined as the experience of well-being, satisfaction or pleasure in your life, joy includes those characteristics, but it also brings with it the qualities of spirituality, higher consciousness and true delight.”

Most all of those in Finding Joy Around the World have dealt with some kind of loss, trauma, or difficult situation in their lives (death, poverty, abuse, loss, etc.), and all of them share their story. Whatever they have lived through, or had happen, did not prevent them from still finding joy in their lives. In fact, many felt that their hardships are what helped them search for joy, and try to find some kind of meaning in life. Here is what some of the thirty-two people interviewed had to say:

Santosh Sagara (Nepal) – “Joy means mindfulness and peace within.”
Gede Prama (Indonesia) – Read and meditated to find joy.
Deb Scott (USA) – Experiences joy through prayer and volunteering.
Barasa Mayari (Kenya) – “Trust in God has been the anchor.”
Sylvester Anderson (USA) – “Never give up on yourself.”
Jayne Spenceley (England) – “Feeling expansive from the inside out.”
Hanneke van den Berg (Netherlands) – “Connections with myself and others.”
Sakatar Singh (India) – “Read good books and make friends.”
Ashleigh Burnet (Canada) – Believes meditation is instrumental.
Gimba A. (Nigeria) – Gets joy when he can “care for my children.”
Eugenie Areve (France) – “Love ourselves unconditionally.”
Bill Zhang (China) – “A state of feeling ‘good enough'”.
Marcia Conduru (Brazil) – “We are more than our ego.”

Ms. Joys noticed some common threads which ran through the responses from all those she contacted (or who contacted her). They are provided in a list of ten traits at the end. Some of the conclusions are that joy is experienced in the present moment; gratitude is a big component; it grows out of compassion for others; when noticing beauty of nature; and there is often a connection to the “divine”, or something greater than ourselves.

Many of the responses in this work remind me of my book Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something! Grief’s Wake Up Call, which is a compilation of interviews I did with fifteen people who had someone die, and then decided to help others in some way as a result. Some are well known, and others not so. This was written before the internet, so I did all the interviews in person across the USA and Israel.

Finding Joy Around the World is an inspiring mix of tales and observations, from a variety of people around the globe. Ms. Joys asks all the right questions, and lets the kind people who responded answer in their own words. Each person’s story begins with a quote from a famous writer, or person, which corresponds perfectly. Thus, Joseph Campbell is quoted before one of the participants shares their understanding and experience of joy. “Find a place inside where there’s joy and the joy will burn out the pain.”

Sight for the Blind

Dear Gabriel,

Your gifts do much more than just give back eyesight to someone who is needlessly blind.

A donation to Seva creates a strong network of international eye clinics that provide much needed access to vision services in the most remote areas of the globe.

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What does it mean for every person to have access to eye care?

Early diagnosis of eye infections & injuries prevent suffering and reduce the chances of a person losing their eyesight.

Routine screenings identify cataract and other eye conditions that can be corrected through sight restoring surgery.

Eye exams and low-cost prescription glasses protect against low-vision and ensure that children will stay in school.

Seva’s sustainable programs bring eye care to the people who need it most, like in Nepal, where we are proud to announce a historic milestone:

As of this spring, all of Nepal’s 75 districts now have permanent access to eye care services thanks to support from Seva donors like you!

Bajura, Nepal had been the last remaining district without an eye clinic. Today, thanks to support from Seva & our sister org Seva Canada, this remote and underserved community now has a Primary Eye Care Center that began serving patients this past month.

We are so grateful for your role in helping to achieve this historic milestone.

Though there is still much work to be done in our campaign to eradicate needless blindness around the globe, it is these successes which we achieve together that deeply inspire us.

Seva wraps up our 2012-2013 fiscal year on June 30th. If you haven’t already supported us this year, or can make an additional gift to restore sight, I hope you will take a moment to do so today.

Yours in service,

Jack Blanks
Executive Director

Help Women In Nepal

Dear Gabriel,

Providing high quality livestock and agricultural training to poor farmers has proven exceptionally effective in Nepal where two-thirds of the people depend on subsistence agriculture for a living. This has truly created a revolution in Nepal, where families living in poverty can procure economic security in one generation.

Now, you have the opportunity to become part of this revolution. Add your name to the pledge showing you support these women as they learn, train, and work their way to economic freedom.

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The program helps provide goats, vegetable seedlings and training in animal care and small-scale agriculture. In many cases this has given women the means to support their families and provide their children with the opportunity to pursue their dreams. These are amazing accomplishments for women in a country where chronic gender discrimination has historically prohibited them from owning animals, property or even holding jobs.

Let’s be part of this incredible transformation. Sign this action to support 25,000 families in Nepal.

Thank you for taking action,

Sharanya P.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Dr. Salma Opening Eyes

Meet Dr. Salma (A Seva Trained Eye Surgeon in Nepal).
From SEVA Foundation

In honor of International Women’s Day 2013, Seva proudly 15631highlights one of our most cherished staff members in Nepal. Dr. Salma is an eye surgeon who received her training thanks to support from Seva donors like you. Seva is committed to training women like Dr. Salma who go on to become important leaders in the movement to cure and prevent blindness and low-vision.

We are so proud to invite you to watch this short video feature about Dr. Salma, produced by Seva’s partner TOMS.

Your donation this International Women’s Day will provide training to more young women like Dr. Salma, and provides eye care services to women and girls in the places where it is most needed around the world. Donate.

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Overcoming the Gender Gap in Eye Care: Two-thirds of all people who are blind or have low-vision in the developing world are women. This is primarily because women and girls are treated less than half as often as men. Seva’s Women and Girls Initiative, works towards achieving gender equity by focusing on overcoming traditional barriers to women’s and girl’s access to healthcare. Awareness of the problem is not enough, providing solutions to these gender inequities is one of Seva’s top priorities.

Your donation in honor of International Women’s Day 2013, will train more doctors like Dr. Salma, as well as provide transportation for women and girls and subsidize outreach and surgical programs designed specifically to increase the number of women and girls served.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we thank you for generously supporting our programs in the past and hope you continue to support these important initiatives by making a gift to Seva today. Each donation will help open new doors for women and girls around the world.

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