On Saturday our house was host to a small benefit / documentary screening / awareness-raising event for the Friendship Clinic Nepal in Megauli.
Photographer, documentary filmmaker and film school friend, Pat McDonnell, and humanitarian and clinic founder, Hari Bhandary, entertained and informed with films about the clinic, beautiful photographs from Nepal, authentic Nepalese cuisine (cooked by Hari and a landsman living in Jackson Heights) and many touching stories from Nepal.
Through selling jewelry, a raffle of photos and donations they are financing this trip throughout the US in hopes of finding more volunteers and sponsors for the clinic.
We were all very moved by Hari's dedication to bringing health care and sanitation to his village and building a clinic which now serves about 50,000 people in the surrounding area. We felt honored that he would share his vision with us.
Pat who has traveled to Nepal several times to volunteer and to shoot one of the documentaries recently wrote this about the event:
[...] folks who may be able to [help directly], or know folks who could help out in many ways other than just giving money. the skills needed are so vast, from public health, skilled carpenters/electricians, computer gurus, to simply just being able to read to a group of kids. One of the goals of this trip is to find more volunteers. In a world caught up in what celebrities are doing, one of the nicest rewards is to give what ever you have and take back some of the collected knowledge that's out there in the world. i cannot tell you how rejuvenated I feel coming back from such an experience. So hopefully that feeling will come across in Hari's presentation.
I hope their travels bring them much success. If they choose to come back next year it would be nice to organize something more public in a bigger space. But like I said it felt very special to have them at our house and make this an event among friends (and stay up till sunrise...).
Their tour continues in Chicago tonight, then:
- July 21, 2007 . Minneapolis, MN -TBA
- July 26, 2007 . Austin, Texas . Creekside Lounge
- August 3, 2007 . Tallahassee, Fl - Amtrack Station/ Tallahassee Film Society-8pm
Please visit the following links. And, if you can, please support Hari's project.
P.S.: If anyone took pictures on Saturday please send them to me. I only have very few of Hari or any guests (and one picture of Pat's foot... uh, Kate?).