Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Little Princes

Dear Readers!

Recently a book has been released onto the market entitled "Little Princes." When we found out the subject of this book is an orphanage in Nepal called Little Princes Children's Home and one man's experience with said orphanage we of course bought up as many copies as our wallets could manage. Jan has devoured her book and already contacted the people involved with the NGO that the author of the book has started, and Danny (myself) has broken into the book with ferocity and is almost too shocked to continue reading now at the half-way point. The author is kind of living a parallel existence to my own, only a few years ahead of myself. He describes in wonderful written language the exact feelings that I had working in Buddhist Child Home the first time.

For myself, this book cleared up a lot of issues I had been wondering about for a long time. Besides the overall impressive knowledge on the finer points of inner-city life in Nepal, like which castes live in which parts of the city and other information about festivals, cultural gestures, and language, Connor Grennan (the author) explains his personal experience with child-trafficking in Nepal. He discovers very interesting things about why so many children are on their own or in orphanages in Nepal. I will leave the details to be found in the book, I absolutely recommend reading it! It has been fascinating to hear about the Maoists, the corruption and the opposing sweet nature of Nepali people and all the wild craziness that a place like Nepal brings. We are in contact with the organization created by Connor Grennan called Next Generation Nepal, (http://www.nextgenerationnepal.org/index.php) and very much hope to be able to visit them during this next trip to Nepal. We feel deeply that our causes are connected and linked and that promoting education in the remote areas of Nepal (where most children are trafficked from) will increase their motivation to stay and not follow after false opportunities which could lead to sticky situations.

That is all for now, more news on the inner-workings of our org to come. A new website is on the way! Along with a possible online auction store.

Thanks for reading

Monday, February 14, 2011

Kathmandu Skateboarding

I heard about a project going on in Afghanistan that was about bringing skateboarding to children who had nothing to do and not much hope for their future. I read articles about it and secretly planned my own version of doing this in Nepal. The work in Afghanistan was entitled "Skateistan" please please please look at the pictures on the website, http://skateistan.org/ and read through to learn a little about this great work.

The last trip to Nepal my friend and photographer Nate Abate and I (both dedicated skateboarders) were constantly passing the time by dreaming about the possibility of bringing skateboarding to Nepal. One day, we were walking through the Thamel district which is the tourist area of Kathmandu, and we saw a Western looking kid riding a skateboard through the crowded streets! We were so shocked we just pointed and sputtered as the guy went rolling by with a funny look at us. A few evenings later we were again walking through Thamel and two Western kids with a definite "skateboarder" style were handing out fliers. We stopped and to our shock and surprise they were advertising a Skate Shop that they had opened recently in Thamel. They are from Switzerland and the shop is called Arniko. They employ local Nepali wood workers to carve amazing custom skateboards.

Here is their website, http://www.arnikoskateboards.com/en/

We talked to them for hours and went back to the shop again and again to hang out, watch skate videos, and pick through their awesome selection of artsy t-shirts. Oh how I dreamed of creating a skatepark in Kathmandu ("Skatemandu") !!!! and introducing my favorite activity into my favorite culture. Just thought I'd share these thoughts and story on this lovely day of love.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Listen In

Hello Everyone;

I thought I would post up a link to an audio clip of Jan being interviewed back in November before our last fund raiser. This is for anyone who missed out on hearing it when it first aired. She did a great job of explaining our work and describing the environment and conditions of Nepal. Enjoy!