Affiliations, Disclosures, and Rewarding Work

“Days start slowly in the junior girls’ house at Olgapuri Children’s Village.”

That’s the first sentence of the most recent blog post I’ve posted. If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen it yourself, well – that’s because it’s not posted here on Crystal Witnesses Wonders, but on the Nepal Youth Foundation blog.

NYF is the nonprofit I’ve been working for since November, and I’ve been doing most of the blogging over there since the pandemic started. So, full disclosure, yes, I’m getting paid for those pieces (though not on a per-click basis – I’m salaried, and titled, like a fancy adult, which is a Very Big Deal to us millennials).

I’m sharing that information now because I still haven’t landed on a solid blogging schedule to dovetail into my regular workweek. So on the off chance that any of my regular readers are missing my writing, I thought you should know that it’s still being created and published – just on the NYF website, and not here.

The Nepal Youth Foundation was founded in 1990 by an absolutely inspirational woman named Olga Murray, who at the time was about to retire from her career as a research attorney at the California Supreme Court. She visited Nepal briefly and fell in love with the children there – and when she saw the conditions some of these kids were living in, and how simple so many of their wishes were (most of them said their dearest wish was to attend school), she took it upon herself to find a way to help them make those dreams come true.

This is a woman who had immigrated to the United States from Hungarian Romania at age 6 just before the Great Depression, and she had already led an absolutely amazing adventurous life before ever visiting Nepal. She’s now 95 years old and still a downright powerhouse as the foundation she built tackles the COVID response. She’s basically my hero. I hope I grow up to be just like her.

NYF does some amazing work, all incredibly practical, sustainable, and culturally-appropriate. Everyone working in Nepal is Nepalese, to ensure that every program makes sense within its broader cultural context. We’ve got educational interventions, a family-style children’s village, malnutrition resources and programs, a counseling center for kids, and on and on. We’re pivoting tons of those resources, facilities, and knowledge networks into our COVID response right now. I’m so proud to be part of it.

My intention is to continue working on Crystal Witnesses Wonders. I love this project and I’d like to keep it going. And I hadn’t mentioned my specific nonprofit here up until now because I didn’t want any of my readers to feel pressured to donate. I honestly and truly do not want this blog to be any kind of hustle. Just a place to write my indulgent little heart out and maybe to make the internet just a little nicer.

But for now, I actually haven’t been feeling starved of writing. Especially since the beginning of the pandemic, much of my work writing has naturally matched my own personal sensibilities of wonder and gratitude. The work NYF is doing reflects my own values. I genuinely love the work I get to do every day, I love the team I get to work with, and I love the ways my career is growing.

It’s a welcome, wonderful feeling in a year that even I am struggling to find positives in. I’m an optimistic, upbeat thinker, but I’m no bodhisattva. Wow, 2020. Just wow.

Once I post this here, I’ll be jumping into a couple more work projects I’d like to get done over the weekend. There’s a short report for a generous and patient COVID donor, a staff spotlight focused on sports and games during Nepal’s lockdown, and a couple of grant applications I’d like to make progress on. All writing – all ways my writing can help improve conditions for children and families on the other side of the world. Incredible.

I’m truly living my dream as a writer. One of the few saving graces of 2020 for this gothic little optimist.

So meanwhile, until I’m able to figure out a personal blogging schedule, I’d love to invite my readers up to the Nepal Youth Foundation’s blog to see what I’ve been up to there. There are staff spotlights about some truly spectacular individuals in Nepal, a recipe for samosas, descriptions of some of our COVID programs – all standard nonprofit stuff, really, but very optimistic and very worth the time (if I may say so).

Thanks for sticking with me through the long silences. I so appreciate my community here in blog-land.


How is everybody? What’s been a saving grace for you and yours this year?

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Happy witnessing!

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