SAVING LIVES UPDATE: Please contact me for a specific way to donate directly through Teach for Nepal to the villages that welcomed me. Young volunteer teachers are there now providing emergency aid. I don’t want to give this information publicly, so please email me privately. Many of the students, and some of my friends, have read more..
UPDATE: Please contact me for a specific way to donate directly through Teach for Nepal to the villages that welcomed me. Young volunteer teachers are there now providing emergency aid. I don’t want to give this information publicly, so please email me privately. Many of the students, and some of my friends, have died and I would appreciate your direct assistance in immediately caring for the survivors.
Men Alive –
As many of you know, I benefited from over three months spent over three visits throughout 2013 and 2014 in Nepal, and have close connections there. I’m breaking with the format of “Man Alive!” in the coming weeks in the hopes of further humanizing an international heartbreak and supporting these generous, gentle people in rebuilding their lives and country. I’ll also be writing simpler entries in order to focus more on fundraising and saving in an effort to give back a fraction of what a peaceful community granted me access to: a process of existing in the world in all its beauty in a practice of presence that extends to this very minute.
All I have for you this month are mere portions of my own story. In this immense grief, I wish for you to share an intense gratitude. Please be moved to be similarly gentle in the moment, spreading love in all in your circles, and generous monetarily – guiding that love to a community across the globe. There are many money-raising ideas for living out the spirit many Westerners have experienced in Nepal – ways that welcome mutual joy through communal generosity.
I stayed in two small villages for two weeks on a mountain in the remote, underdeveloped Sindhupalchok District. These centuries-old villages have been decimated. Almost every house and building has collapsed. Uncounted people have died. And it is currently cut off from government assistance. I fear that my friends have been killed, and I know that all of them are grieving the violent loss of loved ones. They are suffering in isolation. This is the only way I know how to be there for and with them.
I collaborated with Santi School last year in directing funds to successfully provide clean water, functioning toilets, and dry erase boards to two schools that are now unavoidably destroyed. Any donations you send will be put to appropriate and transparent use in select remote villages, including the ones I was so heartened by. Please be there for and with these communities too. You can learn more here.
It was in Nepal that I encountered a graciousness of space as some of our global community’s poorest members opened up their hearts and homes to me, expecting nothing in return. Under their roofs, my inflated Western ego and an inherited greed were challenged, and something in me changed, allowing for an old belief in abundance and an expansiveness of love that has found me forever more present to the people I’m with and the moment I’m in.
It was in Nepal that I reclaimed my inner child while I became a more realized adult. In reflecting their receptiveness, I sublimated my individual, immediate wants to the sublimeness in our shared, extended humanity. In taking delight in foreign details – in performing pūjā or partaking in hours-long family meals by candlelight – I witnessed the divine in the familiar.
It was in Nepal that I transformed from a steady scheduler of to-do lists, camera on the ready, to a restorative openness to simply being in an uncontained moment.
The Nepalese express something so naturally that I tussle with: A patient resilience, and a readiness to greet the day as it presents itself. Whereas I tend to procrastinate from rapturous living in a perfectionist scrambling to capture – I don’t even know what – they surrender and show up to what is. I became more responsive to life as fully lived in the “Roof of the World.”
Now, how will they care for the injured? How will they wash and cremate the deceased? How will they feed themselves? Santi School will work at the ground level to bring relief. Please support them in doing so.
We are all inextricably linked, and Nepal’s cultures and communities are humble testaments to the beauty of being human. Let’s uplift our better humanity in lifting up these compassionate people in this terrible time. Please assist me in supporting my friends and a way of life that mirrors our more honorable selves.
Please share the link to Santi School with friends, family, and coworkers by emailing it, posting it on social media, and talking about it.: www.santischool.org
If you prefer to give more broadly, I suggest Doctors Without Borders.
NOTE: Please contact me for a specific way to donate directly through Teach for Nepal to the villages that welcomed me. Young volunteer teachers are there now providing emergency aid. I don’t want to give this information publicly, so please email me privately. Many of the students, and some of my friends, have died and I would appreciate your direct assistance in immediately caring for the survivors.
With a heavy heart and a hopeful spirit,
PS – One connective way to collect funds is to host a dinner at your home for loved ones. Really relish the moment with them and gather the money you all saved from not going to a restaurant and donate it. You are welcome to contact me for more meaningful ideas.
If your world is enlarged by my website's content, please consider making a donation or supporting my latest passion project.