I was browsing the local library for books and this treasure popped up. I passed by it several times before I actually stopped to read the description. It was about Nepal! I was sold immediately. No brainer.
I have to admit, I listened to the audiobook and I would highly recommend it. The author, Conor Grennan, reads his Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal and it is worth every minute. He’s funny, compelling, and sometimes reads with a Nepali accent which always makes everything better. always.
Conor quit his day job, and spent a year traveling the world. To make himself feel a little better about the whole trekking trip, he spent three months in Nepal, volunteering at an orphanage. I’m so glad he did. Little Princes is his experience of that initial volunteering trip, and succeeding trips after because he fell in love Nepal. I can’t blame him…not that I’ve been there or anything.
Anyway, Conor works at this orphanage and later finds out that the kids he’s come to know and love aren’t orphans at all. There parents are very much alive and well and somewhere out in the mountain villages of this little country. He sets off on this quest ot find parents, educate them about the signs and dangers of trafficking, with hopes to reunite the kids with their parents. Eventually, this turns into Next Generation Nepal.
Nepal was a war torn country, dealing with a caste system, afflicted by poverty, and the villages can be relatively remote if in the mountains. Believe it or not, there are people who go around promising a better life for the child. A well-paying job. A chance for educational opportunities . Lies and deceit! This is not true. The family gets jipped of a child and some idiot makes money off of well-intentioned volunteers and donors who want to help the “poor orphans of Nepal” when in fact, they aren’t orphans at all. Not only that, but oftentimes the children are abused (verbally, sexually, physically, and emotionally) in these “orphanages.”
I’d encourage you to read this book (or even better, listen to it). It made me love the Nepali people even more. It made my heart break for the injustice in this country. It made me want to pick up and fly to Nepal (even more so than I already did). If you can’t tell, I really love this country I haven’t even been to yet. More on this in another post…