We just finished hosting our "see the samples" open houses last week and now we are armed with plenty of valuable information that we will use to start work on our next iteration of prototypes for 2014/15. And now we will be able to do much of this work with Rajan, in person at his factory. Surprise! After juggling work schedules and airline ticket availability, Len and I have just booked a trip to Nepal! We will be leaving very, very soon... this Friday night, in fact. It takes a very long time to get to Kathmandu from Vancouver - about 30 hours - and it will only be a short trip, so we will have to hit the ground running.
We are preparing to bring some suitable gifts for our friends there and we are requesting some last-minute assistance on this front. When asked, both Rajan and Kamal made requests for technology that will enable them to access the internet. For Rajan, a 2nd hand "smart phone" (not Blackberry); for Kamal, a used lap-top computer. These gifts would help Rajan run his manufacturing business and Kamal will be able to offer email access to lodge guests in a remote village - a rarity in the Langtang valley. Do you have a used-but-functional smart phone or laptop you could donate? They will be very gratefully accepted and put to excellent use in Nepal by Jasper's dad and our manufacturer. If you do, please email us today!
At the very top of our jam-packed list of "to-do"s while in Nepal is this: we will finally meet Jasper! When we arrive, he will be one month shy of two years old. Just last week, we had our second brief chance to see him on Skype and so we know that he can squeak a few basic words, he can blow kisses, do 'namaste' and of course, can do the famous Nepali head-bobble.
And last, we would like to know...
What are YOU curious about? We're going equipped with Liz's brother's GoPro and our own handy little point-and-shoot camera that can take photos and very basic video. Talented West Vancouver film-maker, Chris of Freeman Video, has also lent us a voice recorder and tripod to help us document some of the things we see, places we'll go and people we'll talk with. Since we will not likely be back in Nepal for quite some time, now is your chance to tell us what you'd like us to document for you to see and learn. How are conditions inside the factory? How do they cook in the home village? What does Resmi's school look like? Where do Jasper and his parents live? All this and more, we are prepared to share as much as we can while respecting people's privacy. If there's anything you're curious about, email us before Friday evening!
Here are some top items on our "to-do" list:
- Meet Rajan, our manufacturer, and the rest of the men making our jackets;
- See Resmi, our little friend who has just finished Grade 1 and is currently on school holidays;
- Visit Jasper's family at their village called Khanigaau, a bus ride and short walk east of Kathmandu;
- Meet Saroj of Unique Cargo, the man who organizes all our shipments;
- Check out the fabric market to see where all the materials making up our jackets comes from;
- Visit the factory where the jackets are made;
- Tour the school that Resmi attends and check in with her principal and house-mother;
- Hang out with Jasper's mom, Nanu, and learn to make some delicious Nepali meals!