We returned to Canada, but we continued to talk with Kamal every week. Early in 2012, he told us that he and his wife were expecting a baby. The baby arrived in May and it was a boy!
We were very thrilled for him and then much to our surprise and completely out of the blue, Kamal asked us to name their child. “There are too many Kamals” he said, “I would like you to name him.”
At first we thought he was joking with us, but when he said “Pick one name for the baby; I will phone you tomorrow” we realized he was very serious. So, we had some important homework to do that night!
To be honest, “Lenard” (Len’s name!), while a lovely name, is impossible to pronounce in Nepali. We tried looking up some English names to see if they sounded like nice Nepali words: unfortunately, they sounded like Nepali words meaning “thief” or “ladder”. Not good.
How to choose, how to choose? We decided that if this little boy was going to have a name foreign to his own culture that it better have a little story to go with it for when he’s older.
A little bit of our personal history is required here to explain things: we actually met on an 8-day backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta in 1998. We had never met each other before being on that trail, and we figured if you still like someone after they haven’t showered for 8 days it has the makings of a fine relationship. And 13 years later it still is working.
The Rocky Mountains are (on a smaller scale) reminiscent of the tall and beautiful Himalayan mountains of Nepal and one of the two main towns in the Rocky Mountains is Jasper. So: meet Jasper!
Jasper is the little boy who has inspired us to action: we want to make sure Jasper has an opportunity in his own country that we take for granted here: an education. Although we have 5 years until he begins school and another 17 years until he graduates, we are starting now to raise and save money for his schooling (and Resmi‘s too!). We have begun this fundraising project by importing Nepali-made jackets! And now, not only have you met Jasper himself, you also have the story of Jackets for Jasper!