Roosters crowing children growing, got big plans but dirty pants, with kids to teach life is sweet!

Monthly Archives: June 2010

I say to my brain…

Today we started another week of school, and I got to spend all day with our fabulous fifth graders. We read Shel Silverstein poems, identified prime and composite numbers, and still had time for future-tense conversational practice!

Went to the market after school with Gail and Erin, who are here for a little more than a week photographing and filming Maggie, the kids, the school, et al for a documentary called Opening Our Eyes. They’re traveling the world to tell the stories of people who are changing the world.

The roof is up on the second building at the school, which means floors and carpet are soon to follow. The school looks so beautiful from the roof of the house. I’m so proud of Maggie and the staff here, and the kids. They are honestly just really incredible people. They make me excited to be around, you know? Life is better when there are good people in it.

Sometimes when I walk down the hall to my room in the evening my mind wanders (actually my mind wanders all the time – but) as I walk toward my room, my brain tells me, “Lisa, you’re in Nepal!!!” And then I tell my brain, “Brain, I know!!! How did I ever get here? How did this ever happen?”

And then I run through it in my head…’you were on Facebook and saw Maggie’s Do Something profile….and then you spent the rest of the work day furtively reading her blog…and by the end of the day you wanted to volunteer there. Then, you got laid off’ – thank you EDGE Tech – in all sincerity it was exactly what needed to happen. I sent in my application to Maggie thinking that if now wasn’t the time, there would never be a right one.

That was what really got the ball rolling and things began to fall into place. I found a subtenant, people let me borrow their cars after mine died, they let me live with them for practically nothing so I could save money…then others who knew my family supported me by donating airline miles for my travel, work told me I would still have a job when I came back…everything just worked out.

My good friend Erin said to me at one point – “You see Lisa, when you follow your heart and you do what you feel is right – the universe helps you.” And while I’m still a novice in quantum physics, maybe its true. Maybe the universe does help you. If I can be in Nepal helping open a school, then anything is possible – even a helpful universe.

PS – here is a picture of me enjoying a FANTASTIC cup of black tea made by fellow volunteer Christina. In case you can’t tell – it is delicious.


I am a bad blogger

I’m sorry it’s been something like 2 or 3 weeks since I last posted. We have been working so hard everyday at school and it just seems like there is always something important to do!

But this afternoon we have the winning combination of a political strike, electricity, internet connectivity, and a little quiet!

Monsoon is coming so it’s cool outside and there’s a nice strong breeze blowing through my bedroom window. We’ve been resting and working on a few small projects around the house – organizing closets, hanging kids’ artwork in classrooms, and cleaning up the side yard for planting now that the rains are coming.

Everyday at the school brings more success. The teachers are working hard to learn new teaching methods. The kids are blown over by everything we bring to class. Karen (who just left us yesterday – I was a mess – she is a fantastic ESL teacher and I don;t know what I would have done if she hadn’t been here) brought a homemade “Lingo” game board to Chetana’s first grade class to help them learn time and they ask for it everyday now. I laminated some copy paper to make mini-whiteboards and left a rock star. The enthusiasm and wonder that these students bring to class each day is what puts a fire under my behind morning, noon, and night.

Hannah, Maggie’s best friend, arrived about a week ago. She and I are starting remedial literacy tutoring in the mornings for the kids that need a lot of extra help. I can’t wait to see all of them reading children’s literature and writing their own simple sentences a month and a half from now!

I have tons of pictures to post, and since I’ve gotten so behind in relaying the day’s events here, I’m going to share the goings on with a little thing we like to call the photo-montage! Don’t roll your eyes, every blog has one.

Ode to a Copier

Xerox, Sharp, or HP made
Our worksheets you’d duplicate in spades
We’d send you documents galore
From our networked laptops on the first and second floor…

If you only knew how sweet it would be
To walk down the stairs to make a copy
Instead of saving, dragging, and dropping,
Then starting, driving, stopping, and parking
All for a few schedules, or lesson templates
That ten eager teachers earnestly await

Think of the cash it costs to collate
At the very last minute when your term paper’s already late
Now multiply again and again and again,
To count up the pennies we’ve spent on the same

What if the power were suddenly out?
What if the market had been shut down?
What would we do? We have midterms to scan!
We have to make dittos, they’re part of the plan –

A copier/printer’s the thing we need.
One that can work at breakneck speed.
We’ve opened a school and our first day is here
The last puzzle piece is a shiny Lanier!

Check in your checkbook and peruse your accounts
Maybe your billfold’s overweight by an ounce
If you can spare a few dollars it really would help

We here at Kopila, we’re asking you please
To donate a dollar, so we can copy with ease.
Just follow the link, it’s listed below

You can write “for a copier!”
Right there in the memo
And that way we’ll know just where the money should go!


We’re hard pressed to run a school without a way to efficiently print and copy information and teaching materials. Next to a utility vehicle, a copier/printer would be a dream come true. Please consider making a donation for this much needed school supply : )

Thanks and love in advance!



I want to start off with words of thanks and appreciation to everyone who has been following the blog. I love seeing/hearing that people are reading it and it’s so nice to read your comments. Even though I haven’t been able to respond to everyone, I do read all the messages you leave and they are much appreciated.

Things that happened this week:

On Monday we gave an entrance exam to over 250 kids!!! We were expecting maybe a 100, so it was a wild and woolly day.

After asking some kids back for interviews, we ended up with 50 merit seats filled. Congrats to our new Kopila Valley students!

Wednesday and Thursday were full of meetings, lesson plan writing, textbook reading, and paper filing. We worked around the inconveniences of no water/electric/and/or internet as best we could, with admirable success.

Friday was spent at the school registering all the new students, going over parent contracts, and getting uniform measurements. Lots of excited and smiling faces despite the heat and long lines.

Today we’re resting up, because Monday is the first official day of school! Maggie is in Nepalganj with Sarah, who will be missed dearly. Everyone have a great weekend. Here are some photos to nosh on!

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