"I left Little Princes (orphanage) with a traditional Nepali
leaving ceremony. Farid had come back from the hospital for a few
hours to see me off with the other volunteers. The children, one by
one, placed a red tikka on my forehead, gave me flowers, and bade me a
safe journey. As each of the eighteen children approached, each asked
if it was true that I was coming back next year. I confirmed it again
and again. Some of the volunteers looked skeptical. Farid only smiled.
I meant it. I would be back for them."
Like many other young adults, Conor Grennan, author of Little
Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal,
decided to spend a year travelling--in his case, around the world.
After eight years working he was burnt out and badly in need of a
change. He discovered quickly that the people in his life felt this
to be a self indulgent waste of money he should be saving for
parenting or retirement. To win them over he signed up to volunteer
with orphans in Nepal, one of the world's most impoverished nations.
Little did he know what was in store for him. He had no clue
that he would:
*come to care deeply for the children he was put in charge of and be
unable to move on from his experience;
*Open up his own children's home in Nepal;
*and go on extremely perilous journeys into the dangerous, civil war
torn mountains to locate these children's parents because...
...most of them and so many others were not orphans.
Traffickers had promised their impoverished parents they would take
them where they would receive food, shelter, and education, taken
large sums of money for doing so, and abandoned them.
This poignant adult coming of age novel is a great read. It is
not only a moving testimony to the ability of human evolution beyond
the point where developmental psychologists would have us believe
identity is set in stone, but a chance to learn about a fascinating
and complex country most of us can't even locate on a map.
On a personal note, I have a beautiful pair of beaded earrings from
Nepal. The organization that sells the jewelery enables very poor
people in that country to bring in money to improve the lives of their
families and communities. This empowerment gives them the confidence
needed for leadership and problem solving.
A great big shout out goes out to all who go all out to improve the
lives of the poorest of the poor.
Sent from my iPod