November 2015

& the Club Visit to Nepal

November has been a wonderful month. I had hoped that the trip to Nepal for club members would be a highlight of the year. And it was!

Fri 30th October 2015 - Mon 16th November 2015 Visit to Nepal

Myself, Dave, Bruce, Carolyn, Celia, Richard Backwell (Okhle Village Trust), Richard Brind (Casterbridge), Jane (Poundbury) and Jo finally made our long awaited trip to Nepal. We did not know what to expect after the earthquake and now the current fuel blockade which is crippling the country.

However we had a wonderful trek through remote and rural Nepal where westerners have not been before, plus visited several villages to see both old and new projects.

Water – Tutepani has been completed in May this year. We saw the source spring, tank and all the new taps. Now villagers have a year round supply of fresh clean safe water, with one tap for groups of about 6 houses. They were absolutely delighted. Plus two new toilets were constructed. The project in Baspani for this year was agreed. Building will start in January 2016. This is again to build a new 26000L water tank and seven taps for water supply to the village: Yes “Changing peoples lives for the better.”

We visited water projects recently completed at Raile, Madkina and Gahateri plus found several more potential projects for villages in need of clean water.

Earthquake – we saw the completed rebuild of eleven houses in Okhle, Gahateri, Ghalegaun and also the new primary school at Samjur that our three clubs and the OVT with its sponsors all contributed towards.

It was an emotional roller coaster seeing the earthquake damage in Bhaktapur and Durbar Square with some people still living in tents.Also to see old friends in the villages with whom we had stayed in the past and now whose houses have been damaged or destroyed, one now sleeping in their verandah due to their house being unsafe to live in. Bimal and his family moved from their flat in Kathmandu as it ws badly damaged. The destruction however was actually not quite as bad as expected though still distressing. Inroads are being made into repairs though it will take ten years at least in Kathmandu.

Villagers made us incredibly welcome and treated us like royalty, providing us with food and dancing almost every night! Our long standing guide and friend Bimal looked after us very well. We camped mostly and had a wonderful cook called Baboo who made an excellent Dhal Bhat. We also stayed in the homes of some villagers which was a wonderful experience.

All of our group had an amazing time with this unique experience and we will be happy to give talks to our clubs or any other that wish.

It was a wonderful and rewarding experience. I shall be returning next year, this time to trek to Annapurna Base Camp as well as the villages. Any other takers?

Sat 7th Janet’s coach trip to Bath raised £386. Well done Janet

Sun 8th WasRemembrance Day. Ian laid the wreath at the Portland Cenotaph which was a very moving occasion and also attended the short service at the American War Memorial.

Tue 10th Pat attended the Southwell Street Fayre committee where the club was given a donation of £100 for our help on the day.

Sat 14th Table top sale Friends of Victoria Gardens raised £197. Well done Rachel.

Tue 17th At theBusiness Meeting a donation was agreed to be made to Rod Wild (Mayor of Portland) for his chosen charity £50

Our latest member Adam was inducted. We are delighted to welcome him into the club and look forwards to working with him.

Tue 24th Guest Night – our speaker was Jane Walker from the Philippines Community Fund. An excellent inspirational speaker. She told us about how when visiting Manila she was so affected by the plight of children working on the rubbish dumps that she gave up her job and has dedicated her life to creating her charity devoted to education and bringing these children out of poverty.

 

Next comes December one of our busiest months in the club with the Children’s Christmas party, sleigh tours, Christmas Tombolas, Father Christmas visits and deliveries on the 25th. Dont forget our own Christmas party on the 12th too!