Well, I never dreamed that I would be going back to Nepal in the same year. But I leave Friday! Nathan and I continue to be amazed at the number of connections we have with this country. Not only through fair trade organizations that we work with, but also through other friends in town. This trip though, Nathan will be unable to come as there is much work to be done at World Next Door! Stop by and say hello because he might be kinda lonely :-). And at the end of the month we'll be participating in GPS' annual Robin Hood event, so Nathan and Beth (our amazing, awesome, "we could not do this without her!" blog writer and assistant manager) will be quite busy. My dad will be going to Nepal this time, and I'm excited about showing him a little more of how fair trade works.
If you'll remember with me back to late April and May, Nathan and I were in India and Nepal visiting fair trade groups. We also started a relationship with an organization that is rescuing girls from being trafficked at the border of Nepal and India. You can read about how that works here. We're selling their banana fiber products in the shop right now and are very excited about the customer response. Sometimes when you purchase things, you think they will sell, but you never really know until they go on the shelves. These products are beautifully made, and everytime I look at them, I can't help but think of the women and girls in Nepal who are being empowered through the skills that they have learned at the half-way house. Not only have they been rescued/prevented from a life of prostitution, but they are being empowered to go back into their communities to help other girls learn how to read, write, sew, etc. It is very exciting! You can see some of these products on our website. Scroll down to the bottom and look for the banana fiber hats and scarves.
Half of my time in Nepal will be spent at the half-way house, hopefully talking about products and how we can partner with them better as a store. The other half will be in the mountains where my dad and other Nepali doctors will be doing a medical clinic. We fly into a village in the mountains, and then have to hike 3 or 4 hours- complete with horses carrying our medical supplies!- to another village where the clinic will be. I don't have any medical experience but I can play with kids, run medicines to people, and be an extra set of hands. I will try to post some blog entries while I'm gone but probably will not have as much access to a computer as Nathan and I did last time. I'm sure to come back with lots of stories though!
So, see you in a couple of weeks with (I hope) 3 or 4 duffel bags full of product!