It may sound silly to hear that as it is not quite holiday season in the US, but in Nepal the biggest holidays of the year are coming up. Dashain and Tihar (Festival of Lights) are the two great holidays in the country. These holidays are National Holidays and celebrated with great enthusiasm and merriment by people of all ages. These holidays are like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the United States and they fall within a month of each other during the late Fall. I am extra excited about the coming holidays because my husband and I are going to visit our family and friends in Nepal for these holidays. Besides visiting our relatives, we will also be able to visit the Rukmini Scholars and foundation staff in Nepal. This is the reason that makes us more excited to visit this year.
We will be back in Nepal a week before the holidays start, and we are planning to visit Shikharapur School to meet with the students. For this holiday, we were thinking of taking some books for the students because there were not enough interesting reading materials in the school library. The need to improve the library was identified after a report by Nabin about the current condition of the library in the school. We knew that we had to do something to improve the situation, but weren’t sure what we should do.
The idea of introducing an electronic book reader that could hold many books and be suitable for different skill levels was suggested by our Board member, Dennis Kremer. Its feasibility in terms of power supply and other technical aspects was confirmed by Sandesh our Chief Technology Officer, and the idea was supported by all involved.
So, not only am I excited about going back home, but excited to be carrying a library in my handbag containing various books for all skill levels – from “Three Little Pigs” to “Little women” and “Tom Thumb” to “Tom Sawyer” for the students. Over the last few weeks, I have been getting familiar with these devices as I have never owned or used one before. I felt like a kid myself as I was reading many books that I had never read as a child. I am trying to learn enough to be able to teach the mentors and also show the students in Nepal how to use these tablets.
Although I am not an expert in computers, I can use some of the most common applications and now I made myself familiar with the use of these devices for searching new books, downloading them and for reading. I can now teach the girls how to open the books, how to find books to read, and also how to find the meaning of words while reading using the built in dictionary. I am sure the students will benefit immensely by this new technology and will be very excited to learn to use them.
I would like to thank a few friends like Anand Perumal from Columbus, Ohio and Mike Sabol a neighbor and supporter for providing us with some of the devices that I will be taking back with me. Thank you very much for your generosity, and on behalf of the Foundation and its scholars, Happy Holidays to all.