Five volunteers for the Gorkha Foundation spent a productive few weeks in October 2015 at the village of Chhoprak and vicinity, in Gorkha District. The main venue was Chhoprak’s Mandali Higher Secondary School, where the Gorkha Foundation is constructing one of the new classroom buildings to replace what was lost in the April 2015 earthquake.
The five volunteers were—Joe Richards, an engineer from Portland, Oregon and former Peace Corps Volunteer to Nepal; Christoph Franklin, a hospital nurse specializing in wound treatment and health development advocate, from Portland, Oregon; Robert (‘Bob’) Wachman, an educator from California, who specializes in the training of Teachers of English as a Second Language; Susan Wachman, an educator from the Philippines who works with her husband Bob; and Don Messerschmidt, the group leader, a rural development specialist, former Peace Corps Volunteer to Nepal, and member of the Gorkha Foundation Board of Advisors. We were accompanied by Kapil Bisht, a Nepalese writer, who has helped document the Foundation’s work in Gorkha. Three of the group were former Peace Corps Volunteers in Nepal (Joe Richards, Robert Wachman, and Don Messerschmidt).
In Chhoprak: assisting the faculty in TESL teacher training ( Bob and Susan Wachman); some classroom teaching and discussion with faculty and students (the Wachmans and Don Messerschmidt), and an amazing calisthenics, sports and yoga demonstration with students and teachers (Joe Richards). And at the Chhoprak community health center, we delivered medical supplies and discussed local health services (Christoph Franklin).
In neighboring Jaubari, delivery of medical supplies (Franklin, Richards, and Bisht).
In Nepane and neighboring communities and schools: documenting the Gorkha Foundation’s new model school building developments, discussions with educators and students, and follow-up interviews and observations from Kapil Bisht’s earlier visit to Nepane and vicinity (Richards, Franklin and Bisht).
In AmpPipal: delivery of medical supplies (Franklin, and group members), and a group visit to the 16th century archaeological site of LigLig Kot, a large historic fortress on the hilltop.
We acknowledge the valuable assistance in the field by Ganesh Shrestha and Basanta Devkota of the Gorkha Foundation, and are especially appreciative of the warm hospitality by the Mandali school faculty and principal, and by community members at each place we visited.