Annual Nepal Report – 2015

Mark Lamont traveled to Nepal this summer. Here is his report.

I went to Nepal for the 14th time in July. I’m really fortunate to have the time, the support and the donations to help out there. I’m lucky to have countless colorful memories and deep friendships in a gorgeous place. That gets better each time I visit. Nepal makes me remember that life is really hard for most people in the world who don’t have the rights, opportunities, freedoms, quality of education, income, luxuries, sanitation and health care that we have – especially for women and children. Problems and stresses here wither in comparison and I can deal a bit better. Nepal also has a lot to offer that we don’t have.

Three new libraries are being established in isolated schools in northeast Nepal. All are dedicated to loved ones who have passed away recently. In July we got the LaMont Family Library up and running in Num, Nepal. It’s in honor of Ken LaMont, my father, a man of many great deeds. He passed away from ALS one year ago at the age of 73. You can read his obituary by clicking here. Two more village libraries will be opened in September. One of them is for Antonio and Cooper from West Linn.  Another library will be dedicated to Lavae Robertson, Dick Bailey, Martha McReynolds, Sandy Muller, Larry Heater and Carla Westrobe.  (Please see the bottom of this page for more information about these honorees.)

The villagers are in these communities are always grateful for the libraries. The libraries honor those who have passed with a unique memorial in a far away and magical place and provide a useful gift that is cherished for years to come by people who don’t have access to books.

I visited the Hopeful Home orphanage. The kids are doing great. They get along well and study hard. Over 90 percent of them have passed their graduation exams over the past 15 years. This is much higher than the national average. With Ten Friends’ help they have purchased land and hope to build a new orphanage building soon. This would be the completion of a plan and a dream ten years in the making. We hope to start building the new Hopeful Home Children’s Home in the next year or two. We need donations to make that happen. Please ask Mark for more information about donations for building the home.

We also plan to help build (fund) a new hostel building for the Himalayan Education Center in Khandbari. We need donations for that as well. Please ask Mark for more information if you’re interested in supporting this project.

Some people in Kathmandu were still living in tent villages when I was there. Some of them were told not to go back in their houses or apartments by the government or engineers. Some of them were scared to go back in their homes. Some of them had found a free place to live for awhile.

Earthquake damage is fairly minimal in the capital, Kathmandu. But there were damages and some casualties. Severely damaged buildings are hard to find. Several historic sites and temples were damaged and are now propped up. That was really sad but they are not destroyed and are still worth visiting. The damage was more severe near the epicenter, northwest of the capital. I didn’t visit that area but it was really bad there and many died. However, Nepal is not destroyed. It’s fine for tourists. They want us to know that.

New Libraries are being dedicated in remote villages of Nepal in honor of the following people:

Antonio Caballero and Cooper Hill were two beloved juniors at West Linn High School. Both were good students, good athletes, and kind young men with countless friends. They and six friends were on their way to a hike in the Columbia Gorge one weekend morning in February. As they stopped on Highway 14 to turn into the trail head parking lot, a car rear-ended their car at full speed, killing Antonio and Cooper, who were in the backseat. No alcohol or drugs were involved. A horrible tragedy for our community. We’ve lost a number of kids over the past few years to traffic accidents and suicides.

Lavae Robertson– Loved all children, a kindergarten and Sunday school teacher throughout her life. Incredibly faith-filled, wonderful mother and wife. Active community member, stayed busy during retirement and throughout her life volunteering and helping others, and always active in her hometown church.

Dick Bailey – farmer, strong Christian, honest and hard working. A great and true friend to others. Gentle and easy going laugh, always made everyone anyone feel welcome. Loved to read western books his whole life until he died in his eighties.

Martha McReynolds – born and raised in Germany, faced many struggles but never a complainer. Hard working, loved gardening, worked in schools and volunteered hundreds of hours in various service organizations. She was a long time quilter, sending them to hospitals, as well as individuals, she knitted tiny hats for the premature babies that helped keep them warm. She worked endlessly at her church doing the unseen things that keeps a church functioning. She was grateful to our Lord for life and demonstrated it by her works rather than words.

Sandy Muller– Sandy was a vivacious, cheerful, adventure loving 14 yr old when she was diagnosed with cancer. She battled it all her life, never letting it slow her down until her last few days when she died at the age of 59 . She was an incredible wife and mother of three with an amazing inner strength and faith. She worked in the book publishing industry most of her adult life. Loved her family and friends a tremendous amount.

Larry Heater -Wonderful sense of humor, easy going, family man, hard working loved and welcomed all others. A kind laugh and demeanor like that of Floyd the barber on the Andy Griffith show. Active in his hometown church, always willing to quietly lend a hand to anyone in need. Died from Alzheimer’s in his early 70’s.

Carla Westrobe – Loved her family, friends and dogs. Was a wonderful friend to others, tremendously enjoyed singing in the choir, watching movies, and volunteering in her community.

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