Monica’s Diary – September 12, 2016,

I would like to start today’s blog post by first introducing myself a little more. I am Monica Hellström who works as a midwife and specialized nurse in Gnosjö in the south of Sweden. I am 44 years old and have a husband and four children. I first found out about the Lööf Foundation when I met Lööf Foundation representative Johan Magnusson at a book expo in Gotherburg a year ago. We talked about the book “Dreams of an Orphanage” which was about his previous trips to Nepal to support the building of an orphanage in the village Ratankot. I told Johan that ever since I had visited Nepal 20 years ago, it had been a dream of mine to go back to Nepal as a midwife. He told me to contact his wife Sophie Lööf, so I did.

This summer I met Sophie and Lööf Foundation volunteer Morgan Young. I was so glad that I got the opportunity to come with Morgan and help the children of Home of Hope as I will be doing a follow up health check on the Home of Hope children, teaching the children about adolescent development and holding a “women’s health talk” for the women of Ratankot. I will also work with the nurse who runs the health clinic in Ratankot.

In just one month after I had found out that I would be going to Nepal I raised SEK 38 000 :-! The way that I raised all of this money was by telling my friends, family and work friends that if they would like to help the Lööf Foundation they could swish me money or make a deposit. So many people thought that going to Nepal was such a good opportunity for me to help the children that they wanted to donate to me. They then told their friends, family and work friends about me going so then they also donated to me. I have these two friends who own a yoga studio together. They gave a yoga lesson called the “Charity Yoga” that I attended. I told the people who came to the yoga lesson about my trip to Nepal and about the Lööf Foundation and the work I was going to be doing at Home of Hope. Many people donated to me from the lesson. I had another friend who is an artist that was holding a small art show at the library. Once she heard that I was going to Nepal, she told me that every painting she sells during her show, the money would go towards me. Some of the money also came from donations from strangers and friends from my childhood who I hadn’t heard from in years, but yet they heard what I was doing and wanted to help. I had some larger donations and together with the many donations made by so many people it turned out to be a huge amount of money very quickly.

Along with money donations, I received items from people such as a suit case, head lamps, stuffed animals, pens and medical equipment. I would like to thank every single person that donated to me. Without you, our shopping trip would not have been so successful. I was able to spend almost the whole amount and will be going back out tomorrow with Shyam and Morgan to spend the rest of the donated money.

I went shopping today with Karma Lama who is the brother of the Housefather Shyam Lama at Home of Hope. I had a lot of fun being with Karma today as he is funny and did a great job helping Morgan and I find the best shops. He also gave us a lot of advice on what is needed at Home of Hope. I was very happy to have Morgan here helping me organize everything. We left this morning at 9:00 and didn’t finish shopping until 6:30 in the evening. It was a very long day, but we managed to buy the following list.

Hygienic items:
– 1 big bottle of olive oil
– 192 bars of soap
– 8 bottles of shampoo
– 8 bottles of conditioner
– 7 bottles of moisturizer
– 6 containers of Vaseline
– 54 tubes of tooth paste
– 4 packages of q-tips
– 3 hair gels
– 4 big bottles of Listerine
– 13 bottles of coconut hair oil
– 12 packages of hand soap
– 3 bottles massage oil
– 20 body scrubbers
– 46 tooth brushes
– 16 floss
– 17 hair brushes
– 24 lip balm

Kitchen items:
– A pressure cooker
– A rice cooker
– 2 bottles of sunflower oil
– 2 large cans of milk powder
– 7 packages of tooth picks
– 2 big cooking pots
– 12 spoons
– 3 tea sifters
– 2 peelers
– 2 serving plates
– 4 wooden spoons
– 1 can opener
– 22 kitchen utensils
– 2 cutting boards
– 2 knives
– 4 pitchers
– 19 steel wool cleaners
– 9 packages of dish scrubbers
– 8 kitchen towels

Food items:
– 30 juice packs
– 24 cans of tuna
– 2 large cans of milk powder
– 20 lollipops
– 32 cans of ham
– 17 cans of sausage
– 10 packages of dried peas
– 3 packages of salt
– 3 packages of black rice
– 25 bags of lentils
– 6 bags of beans
– 5 bags of corn kernels
– 13 cans of mushrooms
– 3 jars of jam
– 8 boxes of tea
– 3 packages of dried fruit
– 38 packages of spices
– 2 jars of honey
– 3 jars of mayonnaise
– 6 jars of peanut butter
– 6 bottle of sauces
– 43 packages of pasta

Cleaning items:
– 2 containers of toilet cleaner
– 6 toilet brush scrubbers
– 3 buckets for bathrooms
– 4 bags of laundry detergent
– 2 bottles of disinfectant
– 50 cleaning cloths
– 2 bottles window cleaners

Household items:
– 26 packages of incents
– 8 packages of candles
– 2 growth charts
– A white board
– 2 buckets
– 2 wash basins
– 48 batteries
– 1 table cloth
– 2 garbage bins
– Sewing kit
– 5 pairs of scissors
– 2 multi socket plugs
– 3 long rope for hanging wash
– 4 packages of clips to hang laundry
– Folder for children
– Wifi
– Laptop and mouse

For the children:
– Game of Uno
– 9 bottles of bubbles
– 20 water bottles
– 6 jackets
– 20 pairs of underwear

Medicine:
– 60 bottles of vapo rub
– 6 packages of magnesium tablets
– 7 inhalers
– 9 elastic bandage wraps
– 24 itch cream
– 25 eye infection drops
– 1 large box of ibuprofen and paracetamol
– 1 large box of stomach medicine
– 3 bottles of cough medicine
– 20 packages of inflammatory cream

The bigger items that we purchased was a laptop, wifi and kitchen supplies. The laptop and wifi will allow the Housefather Shyam to be in better communication with Morgan about the children’s well-being.

When we got back from our shopping trip Shyam was here at the Monastery to meet with us and talk about the state of the road to Ratankot. We were supposed to travel tomorrow, however there was a landslide over the road. Many people are fixing the road and we hope to leave for Home of Hope on Wednesday instead now!
I want to send a huge thank you to everyone who donated to me. Today would not have happened without everyone’s kind donations. I was stunned by the number of people who wanted to support my trip and support the Home of Hope children with money to buy all of the items we bought today. Everyone who donated has now helped to make the children’s life at Home of Hope easier. As well as help Housefather Shyam and Housemother Asha give better care to the children.

Monica Hellström
Lööf Foundation volunteer

at-store           computer

items-3           items-4

items1           rice-cooker

items2

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