Rotarian team in Nepal send full report
Monday 21st was D-day for the two teams of Rotarians to present the computers to the 2 schools in Nepal.
Team one set out on full day journey to reach the Panchamol School, only approx 100 miles from Pokhara but at an altitude of 45000 ft above sea level. The team included Mr Barrie Pollard, (Project Leader) from Harrogate Brigantes Rotary Club, Mt Trevor Dale of Goldcross and Elmet Rotary Club, Mrs Gill Poople of Mirfield Rotary Club, and Mr Andy Morrison , a computer specialist from Harrogate. Part of the journey was made in vehicles, and the remaining part on foot with the computers and luggage etc. It was learnt late on that there is in fact a daily bus service between Pokhara and Panchamol but couldn't be used as the bus travels over very rough terrain, and would make for a very uncomfortable journey for the team, and could also damage the computers . The good news was that a group of 10 porters would descend from Panchamul to the point at which the team would leave the vehicles taking them, and provide them with lunch for an en-route picnic. The porters, walking and climbing with the team of 4 Rotarians and carry the computers and baggage of the team. Panchaumul is the home village of Major Lilbahadur, A retired officer of the British Gurkhas, who accompanied the team on their journey to Panchamul.
The team of 4 Rotarians travelling to the school at Rithepani had a much easier 30 minute journey from Pokhara, dodging bullocks wandering on the roads and some hair raising drivers on the road. The team included John Proud of Northallerton Rotary Club, John Ogbourne of Wensleydale Rotary Club, John Diggles of Settle Rotary Club and Peter Barnes of Harrogate Rotary Club. Major Yam Gurung accompanied the team to Rithepani school, this village is also Major Yam Gurung's home village, and many of the pupils are from the families of Gurhka soldiers, many from the British Gurkhas and others from The Indian Gurkha Regiment. Most other pupils are from poor families in this area.
On arrival the team was overwhelmed at the moving reception received from the governors of the school, local councillors, the teaching staff in traditional costume of the area, and pupils of the school. Garlands were presented and 'Namaste' greetings exchanged between the visitors and those meeting the team, amongst much cheering and singing. The Rotary team were very touched by the importance the project to equip and train the schools with computer facilities meant to the people connected with the school. After speeches of thanks from governors, senior teachers and local councillors and expressions made of the importance of this project to improve the life chances of pupils in this area were given and responded to by John Proud, some of the ladies performed traditional dances, with which the team of 4 men joined in as best they could. The team then proceeded to work on the setup of the computer facilities in the dedicated room being provided as part of the project, including solar panels and battery systems needed in view of the intermittent nature of power supplies in the area. Training of 4 teachers by the team follows over the next 2 weeks in the use f the computer systems, who will then train the pupils.
For the team travelling to Panchamul their reception was spread over 2 days, beginning with a colourful reception in the village, which was followed by a reception at the school the following morning. Further details of the receptions in the mountain village are delayed due to the difficulties of communication.
These photos were sent by John Ogbourne while in Nepal. More photos and much more information can be found in his Blog