We are excited to share with you that this Saturday night promises to be one of the best outdoor live music events of the summer here in Victoria. We invite you to join Vancouver Island Construction Association’s energetic and brilliant U-40 gang for the 3rd Annual Builders On The Barge Festival. Headliners are the talented Leeroy Stagger & The Deep Sea Gypsies along with opening acts Lola Parks, Tyler Bartfai, and DJ Steeltoes. This all takes place on a barge at Victoria’s Ogden Point from 2 pm to 9:30 pm on Saturday night, August 17. You can look at the event webpage here, or just go directly to get tickets here.
Our friends from VICA U-40 decided to make this event a fundraiser for ABIN. We can’t thank them enough for the support that they have expressed for our current and future school projects in Nepal. The last time that I checked some 240 tickets were sold meaning that there are only 160 left for this fun Saturday night event. The first 100 people through the gate will receive either an embroidered Nepali toque or scarf embroidered with the ABIN logo/Builders On The Barge 2019. We will have an ABIN booth set up where we are going to be selling our logo’d hats, hoodies, T’s, and tanks at cost. We will also have our signature selection of nepali scarves for purchase. There are doorprizes/raffles and best of all totally rad live music on a barge on Victoria’s waterfront. I hope to see many of you there as this event will definitely sell out.
We are excited to share that a recent break in the monsoons allowed our construction crew at our Sharada School project to pour the concrete roof thus completing structure of our 8 classroom school building. We anticipate that interior finishing, & exterior smooth coat/parging & painting will be complete by the end of September.
As you can see from the most recent pictures, Sharada School is nearing completion. Rebar is being put out for the slab work on the roof of the second floor of the structure. We anticipate the building being finished some time during August and will continue to update you with the progress.
In other news, the board will vote later this month on our next school project. After Craig and Rob made a presentation of their time in Nepal to the board we have couple of good candidates. As soon as the next school is finalized we will share with you the details of the project.
We feel so proud to be close to completion on our second school and planning our third project. We couldn’t have done any of this without the amazing support of our supporters. Thank you!
We are at our hotel in Guangzhou, China 9 hours through a 12.5 hr layover. The nice part about flying with China Southern through Guangzhou is that you get a free hotel and breakfast on layovers that are over 6 hours. Craig and I went for a nice walk around a huge inner city (man made?) lake after breakfast. We were both impressed with the literally hundreds of seniors partaking in numerous activities of exercise, singing, dancing, tai chi , etc …. many with their grandkids too.
We are maxed out on our baggage allowance which is largely made up of: 169 various Nepali scarves, 300 Khada scarves, 24 wallets, 18 purses, 15 large size wool toques, 2 packages XL prayer flags, 2 packages lg prayer flags, 6 table centre size Nepal flags, 2 large Nepali flags, and a few personal treasures.
We visited 6 different schools in the Sharada region, conducted many meetings in the field, visited SODEC sponsored Macadamia nut tree farm, a SODEC sponsored “pilot” coffee farm which is 5yrs along and producing fantastic coffee, attended meetings with a Chainpur farmers co-op about expansion of coffee farming as a means for them to escape the poverty cycle of subsistence farming. This is the strategy behind the macadamia trees as well. We have much more to share on these topics.
On our return to Kathmandu from Sankhuwasabha we had many tasks to accomplish in a very short time. We met with my friend Mingma, Randy & Alana’s trekking friend/business owner Himal, and probably of greatest value , we met with Ghambir from Creative Services (engineering firm who designed & oversaw our first school build). His experience, knowledge and willingness to share their strategies around school construction and budgets will be a fantastic help to ABIN.
Due to unforeseen events we were unable to visit Bandevi School in Apchaur. I did however arrange for Parshu to head out to the village later this week with 22 more money boxes. As the team from last fall will recall, we had imposters and the grand opening celebration meaning than some of the Bandevi children did not receive a money box gift. Parshu will also get us pictures of Aish Rai with his grandmother. Our board is supporting this young child as his father died and mother left the village, leaving Aish behind with his grandmother.
I will wrap things up now as we are now at the airport and will be boarding in about 45 mins. In summary, the trip was a resounding success. Much was learned, accomplished, and evaluated.