Regular readers of this blog (few as you are!) will know that we had been experiencing some difficulty with bank transfers between the UK and Nepal, which was delaying work on the Learning Resource Centre. I'm absolutely delighted to say that these difficulties have now all been overcome, the first funding payment has arrived and we're getting back to work on getting the centre ready for action. Since the money arrived on Sunday, we've signed agreements for doors and windows, as well as furniture for the library and office. We've more contractors to meet this week; we should have more agreements signed in the coming days.
As frustrating as the wait has been, I think it was right that we took a cautious approach, not transferring any large sums of money until we were certain we had a secure transfer route. It's far better to put work back a couple of months than to see significant sums of money vanish. As it is, we haven't lost any money during this time, although I may have lost some hair by pulling it out!
|Teacher Training in front of the LRC|
Barbara has now returned to the UK, after a great effort to get around and visit all our supported schools in Palpa. It was great having her here, really helping to get things done and making some very enjoyable school visits. We also had a fantastic meeting with the headteachers, who all shared news of their schools progress over the last year, and their plans for the year coming. We really have seen some excellent progress, especially in terms of infrastructure and there are certainly some ambitious plans to watch out for.
|Handover Ceremony at Mahachap|
While visiting Himalaya Primary in Mahachap, we were able to make an official handover of classrooms that we funded after the earthquake. The difference between the old and new rooms is unbelievable and the students were clearly excited to be learning in the bright new classrooms. Schools are now on holiday, with the exception of a few students who still have some exams left to sit.
|With world famous trail runner Mira Rai before the race|
Despite schools being closed, it promises to be a busy end to the Nepali calendar year for Saran and I, as we try to make up for lost time by getting the LRC up and running as quickly as possible. During the downtime, I have been able to get lots of lessons prepared and fully form a few ideas. I also managed to sneak in an extra race that I didn't think I would have time for, running 55km from 'Monkey Temple' to Buddha Stupa in Kathmandu.
Running 55km is hard, but the views are rewarding!
For the most regular updates of how our work at the LRC is progressing, please check our Facebook page where I post photos of the work as it's going on. There should be plenty done by the time I write my next blog post here!