Our GSAM Banbassa Indian orphanage visit
The GSAM was started in 1948 in a remote jungle area of Northern India, on the border of Nepal. The “mission” is now surrounded by many villages and small towns. There are approximately 80 orphan children on the mission, ranging from newborn to young adults.
Though it is partially self-supporting thanks to a 60 acre farm, the GSAM relies primarily on help from caring individuals to keep changing the lives of so many orphan children. The mission is largely run on a communal basis.
Facebook comments from Clifton in appreciation of out teams efforts.
Our new Small Girls Hostel is now complete, we are so grateful to all the amazing people who helped make it a reality! Not only do we have this amazing new building but we also have a 53m long undercover raised walkway to protect our kids from the monsoon rains and summer sun -complete with solar lighting!
For more information about our orphanage: http://www.indianorphanage.com
Flight over Mt Everest and Kathmandu Nepal visit
As part of an Insight vacation tour we visited Kathmandu Nepal. When we found out about the flight to Mt Everest we jumped at it. It was simply amazing and something to tell everyone we now meet as is was a life’s ambition to see it. Now we just need to tick that of our Bucket list!
Northern Indian adventure
A journey into the mysterious and enigmatic, full of strange fascination – from the erotic temples of Khajuraho and the splendid Taj Mahal, to the spiritual presence of Hindu holy men and the world’s only official living goddess.
Source of the post below is from johnmarshall.com The reason I have included this is that our Indian adventure has changed our thoughts…. I was never one for hugging but the kids at GSAM have changed me… please see the 1st video above and read the following blog to understand why…
Photo credit John Marshall
HUGS ARE GOOD FOR YOU.
If you have any doubt that this bit of deep wisdom is true, the bloggers of the world are here to remind you, offering a host of numbered lists that bloggers are addicted to writing.
7 Reasons why we should be giving more hugs
9 Reasons to hug and be hugged each day
10 Reasons why you need at least 8 hugs a Day
A quick scan of any one of these posts will tell essentially the same story: Hugs are good for you.
They boost the immune system, lower stress, stimulate oxytocin in the brain, promote feelings of contentment, increase serotonin and dopamine production that reduces pain and makes you happier.
Studies show babies who are hugged fare far better than their non-hugged peers. There’s even evidence that hugging can raise the dead, as more attention grabbing blog headlines reveal:
Mom’s hug revives baby that was pronounced dead
Twins, now 17, rescued by hug at birth
With all this in mind, I decided to give myself a challenge to count the number of hugs I received here on the Mission in a single day. Before starting this however, I set one simple ground rule: I could not solicit the hugs in any way.
And so yesterday, I walked out of my room and started counting, which was harder than it might sound. The children on the Mission, especially the young ones, are incredibly affectionate, often swarming in packs, jumping, calling to be picked up, wanted nothing more than to be seen.
Which makes it difficult to count when you’re saying good morning to seven children at the same time, attempting to give each a piece of undivided attention.
But I soldiered on.
Before breakfast, after breakfast, on the walk up to school, on the way home from school, during play time, before and after tutoring, heading to dinner, leaving dinner, during free time, and at the intense finale at the end of the day.
When the kids were all in bed, I thought my counting was complete until three of the Small Girls walked into Rick’s room where we eat to say goodnight. Kelly, Sawitri and Kushbo. “Good night, Uncle,” they all said. Hug, hug, hug.
Before I give the final tally, I’ll make a few observations. While a good number of the hugs I receive here are the quick grip-and-go variety, many of them are much more than the sterile, bony slap-on-the-back kind of hugs that most Western hugs are made of. Many of the nursery kids follow up their full-body hugs with a kiss on the cheek, while some of the Small Girls and Boys will hug and then hold on, talking about school or test scores or anything at all, no doubt soaking up all the good huggy vibes all the bloggers are raving about.
I know hugging is a bit taboo in American, mostly banned in schools for fear of crazy (and not-so-crazy) accusations. But here, there is none of that weirdness. Of course visitors are screened and vigilance is maintained. But generally, there’s such a sweetness around the hug culture on the Mission, I’m sure it contributes in a big way to the overall happiness of the place. Without any scientific evidence to back me up, I suspect the collective serotonin/dopamine/oxytocin levels are off the charts, probably bubbling over into the water, sparkling like fireflies in the air.
After 217 hugs yesterday, I’m just happy to be doing my part.
Photo credit John Marshall
Further information on the Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission’s
- GSAM Website http://indianorphanage.com/
Richard Bejah CFP® was appointed in the role of Ambassador (Voluntary) to The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission and their successful #OrphanSchool building campaign. GSAM is one of the oldest Orphanages in India.
“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
~ Khalil Gibran, The Prophet