Friday, November 14, 2014

Sherpa Cultural Center


Wow!  Another year of great productivity is behind us for The Himalayan Project, thanks in large part to your incredible interest and generosity!  Most of this past year has been spent on the planning and gathering of building materials for the Sherpa Cultural Center at the Chaurikharka School in the Mt. Everest region.  This in itself is a HUGE undertaking, not to be underestimated in any way, shape or form.  Because the town of Chaurikharka is accessible only by air or foot, it's impossible to call a local “Home Depot” and have the building supplies delivered in the blink of an eye when the project is ready to begin.  All the construction materials either come from the local environment, are flown up from Kathmandu on freight helicopters OR carried on a human back for 10 days to 2 weeks from Kathmandu.  Every building project is a labor of perseverance from start to finish.

 Each stone building block for the Sherpa Cultural Center has started out as part of a glacial boulder, chipped away by hand until more manageable stones can be carried to the building site and hand chiseled into cobblestone building blocks.  And each piece of lumber that frames the windows and doors and becomes the foundation for the roof starts out as a tree in the jungle that is cut down, stripped manually of it's bark and hand carried to the building site where a “carpenter” pit saws each board.  The corrugated sheets of metal roofing material have to be transported to the mountains from Kathmandu, usually carried on a porter's back.

 So this whole past year has been getting ready for the actual construction.  And certainly, not to be minimized, is the official Buddhist ceremony of blessing the building site and arranging for an auspicious time to begin the construction.  There has been a flurry of excitement and commitment in Chaurikharka, involving the students and community alike.  Since the Cultural Center will also house a small museum depicting the Sherpa heritage, many people are eager to donate family heirlooms to be put on display.  All of this involvement excites me tremendously as the community realizes that the inherent success of this project totally depends on THEIR participation, THEIR ownership and THEIR pride in our partnership.  This Sherpa community has come to the realization that  YES!, they do represent  something that  needs to be woven into the beautiful web of diversity that surrounds us all and this is their public statement of acknowledgment.

 So once again I write and ask for you to consider a contribution to The Himalayan Project.  As you know, all contributions are tax deductible.  Please remember to earmark your donation for The Himalayan Project as it passes through the Marion Institute.   After 15 years we have together helped to fulfill the dreams and aspirations for this community in the Himalayas.  Hope is ever vigilant as a commentary on the past and a promise for the future!   And who knows what effects might ripple out into the world......

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