Thank You, SIBYLS

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After the earthquake in Nepal we have supported rebuilding schools at both Sangachok and Maga Pauwa by sending donations  directly to N.I.C.E. – a fund raising group associated with Mahabir Pun.  It is very pleasing to see progress has been made. Future donations will also help schools establish online education connections.

The people of Sangachok and Maga Pauwa  have sent these photographs to thank the Sibyls.

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It is amazing how far a helping hand can reach across the world.

Sibyls’ Salon

 

Sibylesque William James Quote
Sibyls Doris Brett and Kerry Cue, have inaugurated The Sibyls’ Salon to promote philosophical discussion about aging or, as The Sibyls are an opinionated lot, ageing.

The Salons provide a lively afternoon of feistiness, reflection and frivolity in a safe environment, which feeds ideas into Sibylesque.(See below) As the concept develops we will, eventually, open the salons to all.

Sibyls' Salon Philosophy

Teaching computers to Shree Durga teachers, September 2011

Sue Lees teaching computers to Shree Durga teachers, September 2011

 One aim of the Salon is to raise money for a charity linked to one of our sibyls. Sibyl Sue Lees has worked as a volunteer in Nepal.

Mahabir Pun

Mahabir Pun

The Challenges in Education in Nepal are huge. eg.

Many children are sent to school with little or no food. Where provided, Kajaa often consists of handfuls of beaten rice in a child’s pocket. It is hard for children, who are malnourished and hungry are less able to concentrate and learn.’  

Find further reading here: challenges-in-education-development-in-nepal

The Sibyls have raised funds to help connect remote schools to the internet. This not only allows students to continue their education beyond secondary level, it can also be a future source of income. Sue Lees began working directly with Mahabir Pun – the truly amazing Nepalese teacher who worked out how to connect remote villages and schools to the Internet.  Now Mahabir, has aurhorised two young Nepalese men – Nabin Parajuli (an engineer) and Phurba Lama (a former teacher) to work with Sue Lees as an independent team.  Donations can still be made to the Nepal Wireless Network Project, through thsibylesque.com (contact us by e-mail).  The donation will be directed to the Dolakha/Sangachok areas connections.

Here is his thank you letter from Nabin Parajuli for the donations:

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Donations can be sent to Nepal Wireless. Anyone interested in working as a volunteer in education in Nepal will find helpful information here: volunteering Nepal

 

 

Frogs, Thornbills, Crimson Leaves and Cycla-Men: The Many Enchantments of the Natural World

By Helen Elliott

 Sibylesque Richare Louv Quote

Easter was sublime here in the country. It was cold at night and the days remained crisp. The family were staying for a few days and because there were babies and toddlers the house needed to be kept warm, mostly by the open fire that astonished the children. They all live in centrally heated houses.

Outside the garden was modestly, quietly preparing itself for winter. The golden ash no longer dazzled along the drive but it’s leaves made a russet eiderdown for the bright shoots of bulbs beneath. The huge maple by the creek still flies banners of crimson and orange and the children gasp at the size of the leaves. And the shapes. They hold them out against the palms of their hands and make us look. They have seen leaves in books but not like this, scattered across the grass, tumbling in the water.

Two of the children are old enough for an Easter egg hunt, and on Easter Sunday with the mist still blooming above the tallest gums, bundled into their coats, their crazy pink gumboots and cherry- red hats they waited by the kitchen door holding their new buckets. Their parents each hold a swaddled, rosy-checked baby and everyone is wondering where a rabbit might leave eggs. Had I glimpsed him that very morning? Fat? Silver fur? Tall brown ears and a great puff of a tail? I had a few suggestions about where he might have been.

Sibylesque Autumn EnchantmentsI was right. Over by the fence where the climbing rose is finishing the season with a few tawny buds amongst the crowd of rosehips two perfect golden eggs are lying. The little girl’s joyful screams pierce the morning air startling two birds out of hedge. They flap vertically into the sky. Where else would that rabbit go, the children wonder? Under the Irish strawberry? Or maybe if they bent down and lifted the tips of the branches of the Chinese elm where it sweeps the earth and crept into that glade they’d find something? Again their screams of delight, again their sparkling faces.

Olivia rushed to the first of the jelly bushes, certain that the rabbit would have been there. She was enraptured by the jelly bushes because when you shook them, or polished them they wobbled like jelly! To us they are common English box bushes but they’re shaped like small urns and are just the right height for a three year old to shake. Alas, not one golden egg wobbled from the deep green urns.

And nothing was found in the old fountain except an upturned pot. Nothing? Well, there was a tiny striped frog. Half lime and half olive. The girls wondered if he had a name. And shouldn’t he live in the pond? Continue reading article here: Frogs, Thornbills, Crimson Leaves and Cycla-Men- The Many Enchantments of the Natural World

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Helen Elliot 2Helen Elliott is a thoughtful and analytical reader, informed and soulful writer and unyielding literary critic for many Australian newspapers. She is also a dedicated gardener. After down downsizing the family home and moving into an apartment Helen longed for her garden. You will find her insightful thoughts on this experience here.

Photo Source: Stairs marksinthemargin blog.

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There’s work to be done

by Sue Lees

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 For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.dark green quote 2

………………Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address January 2009

Sibylesque Signature green

Roman border green

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Calling all Sibyls

Fellow Sibyls ‘gird your loins’. We haven’t finished yet!

In April 2008 I travelled with my husband, Andrew, to Nepal, to trek and briefly work at Shree Durga School. There I met Prashuram and other inspiring local teachers. Twenty months later I returned to Nepal as a presenter for a teaching conference, where I re-engaged with the teachers from Shree

Preshuram Shreshta

Preshuram Shreshta

Durga and had the great fortune to meet one of the true heroes of the world, Mahabir Pun, a former Nepalese teacher who has worked out how to connect remote areas of Nepal to the Internet. For more information see Nepal Wireless.

Prashuram and the teachers from Shree asked me to share their dream of helping Shree Durga Higher Secondary School get the Internet, to help digitise their world.

Shree Durga students

Shree Durga students

Together we spoke to Mahabir and ascertained that a connection was feasible. I returned to Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar and asked for support. The best Year 7 ever raised the money and on June 2010 both schools spoke and waved to each other across the digital sea.

Since then 8 other remote Nepalese schools have currently reaped the benefits of this initiative with connections to the internet, connections to an ’in house’ learning site for the schools, access to computers and teacher training. All this has been done by the small scale fundraising efforts of Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar students and private individuals who have hosted afternoon teas, asked for donations, washed cars, made cakes…

Teaching computers to Shree Durga teachers, September 2011

Teaching computers to Shree Durga teachers, September 2011

This morning (9/4/14) I opened Facebook (which I am still learning to use!! ) to see Prashuram the subject of a magazine interview about our work. Wow!!!!

“Wow!!” and “Help!!” Two more schools have formally requested an Internet connection. I need to raise $2000 and as I have just retired I must develop new sources and ideas for financing the connections.

Donations can be sent to Nepal Wireless

Sue Lees, Venice, 2014

Sue Lees, Venice, 2014

Sue Lees, 56, is a retired teacher and apprentice Sibyl. Despite traveling from Australia to work as a volunteer in a Nepalese school, she says she is quiet and quite insignificant!

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