From December, 2009, NamloNews
As we walked up the newly constructed road to Yarmasing last month, flashes of the narrow, difficult trail we first hiked in 1999 kept recurring and we kept thinking what a difference Namlo's 10 year commitment has made.
The magnificent views of the nearby Tibetan peaks remained the same, but life in this Sherpa community has changed dramatically. Yarmasing has not only reached self-sufficiency, but has exceeded our wildest expectations. This trip was our first non-official visit - we were going back to see our old friends and the only agenda was to accept their invitations to their homes and to hear their stories.
Now, many families have constructed beautiful houses, everyone has electricity and new efficiency stoves, the children wear shoes and many people even have home telephones. The women's group invited us for dinner and told us they have saved enough money from their income generating programs to start a loan service program to other women -at 3% interest! Their leader had just returned from a workshop in Pokhara where she learned about cultivating coffee and they were debating the advantages of this new crop. These are the same women that in 1999 sat silently at the community meetings and could not read or write.
The school is going well and they are considering expanding it to a middle school. The parents of the scholarship children cheered, full of pride, when we gave them the news that Kalisangmu had passed her high school exam and that she would be continuing to college as a Namlo Scholar.
As we walked down the road, people came to give us more garlands of flowers and reminded us to come back again soon - maybe next time we will be able to go by bus!
We should all be proud of the success of Yarmasing. We gave them the opportunity to help themselves and they have taken it. This makes us even more excited about the possibilities in the other six Namlo communities in Nepal and Nicaragua and we look forward to our continued partnership with you in the next decade of making a difference.
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