In March of 2016 I planned to build a home for Nisha, Manish and their little girl. In August of 2016 the process of building that home had began. Nisha messaged me on Facebook while I was working at my contract position in Seattle, WA (earning money for the home and my living expenses) to send me photos of the ground breaking and some of the supplies being delivered. I was excited and anxious at the same time. I was worried about how they were going to pay for the supplies and for the workers when I hadn’t gotten my first paycheck yet. Nisha told me she had money to get started. I felt relieved that they could start the home on their own and provide for themselves, not only since I couldn’t get the money to them but because I want the people of Nepal to be able to realize their potential and be able to do things without the help of tourists or others as much as possible. This was the first step in Nisha and Manish being able to build the home they never thought they could without too much help from others.
As the end of August was fast approaching and we were getting into September, my employer had trouble getting me my first paycheck still as there was an error with my second week’s Timecard that needed correcting and it wasn’t submitted in time to be processed with the rest of the timecards for the time period. So, Nisha was left to have to continue to pay for the workers and supplies they needed to continue to clear the trees and dig the location before the foundation could be built. In addition to the struggles with getting them the money they needed, August and September are months in which the rainy season in Nepal is abundant. Major thunder storms and deluges of water were falling onto the ground where the home was being built. Workers couldn’t spend as much time as we had hoped for, and the rain was filling up the holes for the columns faster than they could be dug out. On September 4, 2016 Nisha sent me a photo of a small landslide that had pulled the wall behind the home down and the rain filled up the column holes. Nisha and the workers spent days clearing the mud and bailing out the column holes.
The week before I left for Nepal my employer let me go from lack of available work, and later finally issued my first paycheck. Nisha was finally able to withdraw money and start buying more of the materials needed for the home.
On September 15th I boarded my flight for the 20 hours of flying from Seattle, WA USA to Kathmandu, Nepal. Nisha met me in Kathmandu, and after we spent a few days in the city and visiting with Paru in Sankhu (a town hit pretty hard by the 2015 earthquake and the site of future homes we will be building) we made our journey to Hidden Paradise where Nisha now lives and I stay while in Nepal.
I couldn’t wait to walk up to the home site to see the progress that was made. Nisha, Manish and the workers had accomplished so much just in the month before I had arrived even with the rains and set backs. The columns and concrete had been poured and filled, the frame for the foundation was nearly finished and the bricks for the wall that were ordered had arrived.
In the weeks following Manish was working on the plumbing for the indoor toilet and septic system. The workers had finished the frame for the foundation, installed the plumbing and began pouring in the flooring with concrete. We had a set back with missing bags of concrete, so Nisha now has the bags locked up and the workers counting the bags to ensure they aren’t leaving faster than they are using them.
Nisha and I went through all of the receipts and her calculations for the worker’s pay. We added everything to a Google docs spreadsheet so that the organization could gain insight into all of the costs. Friends had donated some money to help with the home, so we added the donations, what I contributed and what she and Manish were able to contribute.
The first week of October the celebrations for Deshain were about to begin, then followed by Diwali, so the workers have left for a month before we can begin work again. All of our funds are exhausted, so I will be using the time to raise more money for the home to be completed. Nisha and I are making a deposit on a shop we are partnering on in Lakeside in Pokhara, Nepal that will support the work we do for the people of Nepal. The money she earns at the shop will go to pay for items needed for her home as well.
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…but wait there’s more!
The story continues as the home grew much larger than we anticipated, the funds were dicipated, and I was learning that perhaps I was being taken advantage of.
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