Nepal, Summer 2011, July 13

Dear Friends,

We hope all is well and summer is treating you well. We’ve had a near perfect journey so far with 16 people in our Ten Friends group, the largest ever. Although a bit overwhelming in numbers the group is really fun and very diverse – from Central Oregon high school students, to teachers, to college students.  They get the full experience of a third world country, the richness of the culture, and participation in our projects in Nepal from orphanage assistance to village community development in small Nepali villages. It’s an amazing connection between countries, cultures, and definately life-changing for our interns and volunteers that are here with us.

Tomorrow we’ll leave for Khandbari and the Himalayan Education Center with 2400 books to initiate more libraries in rural regions in the Himalayan foothills of Northeastern Nepal. We’ll follow up on the libraries with solar panels for evening reading and safe drinking water. Below is a photo of a clay water filter made by local potters. These filters are highly effective at eliminating contaminants and they do not require electricity as most of Nepal does not have it. We hope to bring these filters into the region we’re working in Northeastern Nepal in the next year or two and start production of these filters in the region.

About half of our group will trek to Chamtyang near the tibetan border to verify village projects that were done by Sunita, our employee, during the past winter. Some will go toward Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world, to dedicate libraries and village improvement projects in that region. Both groups will work with your blessings and support, bringing basic needs to some of the poorest people in the world. We wish you could see their appreciation. It’s always emotional and makes it all worth it.

Wishing you well, always,
Mark and Rand

Clay water filter made locally in Kathmandu. These are highly effective and requre no electricity.

Ten Friends volunteers buying and transporting books from the streets of Kathmandu to remote villages in Northeastern Nepal.

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