Saturday, November 17, 2012

Our plan for School for Andy 2

Andy Manley
After a very successful meeting – complete with drama – here are the details for our plan.

Contact

Our contact will be a gentleman called Nir Kumar Karki.  Kumar owns and operates  Tailored Treks and Expeditions.  He comes highly recommended from a good friend of mine.

No matter how we do this, we need someone on the ground we can trust.  We all got nothing but good vibes from Kumar.  Couple this with the recommendation, and Kumar is our man.

I look forward to working with him in the future.

Location

We will be based near the airport of Phaplu in the Pahar region of Nepal.  This is the completely opposite end of the country where we first intended to be.

The village itself is a 2 day trek (!) from Phaplu.  Trekking from Phaplu is not the best way to get there however.  Instead, we will be taking a two-day four wheel drive from Kathmandu and going the long way around.

I will be travelling there with Kumar next week.  Patti and Melissa - alas - would have flown out by then and Heather – alas – can’t be off the grid for that long due to work commitments.

It'll take two days to get there, two to three days on site, and then two days to get back.  Fun times!

  • Accommodation and Wonderful Locals
    Kumar informs me that the locals are more than happy to accommodate and feed the volunteers and I for free.  Not only that, but they will help build the school for free!

    This fills my heart with warmth and gives me good vibes about the project.

    Having said that, I am not entirely sure I am comfortable with not paying people to feed and house volunteers.  We will have to remunerate them in some way.

  • Water
    The locals drink from the mountain spring.  This sounds like a nice clean source, not dissimilar from that in Romblon in the Philippines.  Would I trust it?  Nope.

    Our options for drinkable water are wither iodine tablets or have bottled water brought in from a nearby town.
  • Electricity
    Electricity comes via a pico-hydro system.  It provides about 5 hours of electricity a day.  Once again this reminds me of Romblon where we tried implementing a pico-hydro system.

    We will be adding to the electricity situation in the village by bringing in solar panels.
  • Internet
    Internet is possible via an internet-enabled cellphone, or a USB device that plugs directly into a laptop.

    Not sure yet how fast it is, but I'll soon find out once we are on the ground.
  • Climate
    The village is high up in some mountains,  not so high that elevations sickness is a problem, but high enough to avoid the worst of the monsoon rains.

    This means that a start time from mid-September to October is perfect.
  • Safety and Hospitals
    If something bad happens, there are two options.

    The first is that the villagers put you on a stretcher and rush you down the hill to a hospital.  The second is that if we put a $US 10,000 deposit at a embassy, then they will rush a helicopter out to pick you up.

    I suspect there is some type of health clinic in the village for minor ailments.

How we are going to build this thing

We are planning a one building, two classroom school.  It is going to be a six month project.  Kumar says he is going to help us coordinate getting the building supplies on site.

We - of course - welcome any help we can get on this project.  If you have time between mid-Septmeber and mid-March, then feel free to contact Meaningful Volunteer.

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