LOVE IS STILL THE ANSWER: The Vinge/Culver Fundraiser
ON JUNE 29TH, WE WILL GATHER TO CELEBRATE LOVE.
- The following written by Kirsten Vinge
In November 2018, I travelled to Nepal to help build school classrooms with the non-profit organization, Her International. Her International supports young Nepalese girls to receive an education and supports a micro-credit financing program for Nepalese women to start and maintain their own businesses. Twelve other volunteers joined my family to straighten rebar, lay bricks, and twist wire under the hot sun for 10 days. This country and its people had stolen my heart in 1985 when I was just 24 years old. The precious innocence and loving nature of the people had not changed since my first visit.
I had changed since my visit in 1985. I had two beautiful daughters, 24 year old Kate and 21 year old Claire. I was also in the midst of separating from my faithful husband Hugh and I was in the depths of my grief. I was so overcome with pain during this experience that I left Nepal two weeks earlier than planned and crawled back to Canada to patch myself together. The fundraiser, “Love is Still the Answer” is a result of this difficult personal journey and what it taught me.
Lessons from Nepal:
1. You Give What You Can
Everywhere we went, we were celebrated and received with such sacredness and joy, often christened with a garland of marigolds or lovingly tika’d!! One of the shining lights of this trip was a young man who works for Creating Possibilities and Her International. One particular evening, Chaundry “Man” Bahadur, invited us (16 volunteers and support staff) to his home. Little did we know, that we would spend the evening sitting on the floor of his family’s beautiful thatched roof hut, being treated like royalty, eating a multi -course meal, and indulging in the abundance of the rice elixir someone termed “Roxy”! Man’s parents had spent much of their lives enslaved, working for a Nepalese land baron. These were not hardened people but gentle, humble souls who opened their arms with grace and shared what they had. This is the heart of the Nepalese. Open, caring, light, abundant..... giving what they can.
2. Dancing, singing, and celebrating as a community brings joy to the heart.
It was Diwali, the Festival of Lights, while we were visiting Nepal. 5 days of singing and dancing, eating and celebrating. Women and girls walked door to door sharing their songs and dances- in return they would receive small tokens of appreciation. When we stopped from our tasks and joined in the singing and dancing something magical happened. I forgot about my personal struggles and I felt pure JOY! It doesn’t matter who we are or what we do or where we come from, when we move and sing together we are one joyful community.
3. “Love is Still the Answer!!”
Bless Jason Mraz who wrote and sang this song, penning the lyrics:
“The question I’ll ask, at the end of my days...is what did I give and what will I take?
even if your heart and your dreams have been shattered
there’s only one answer that matters...Love is still the answer”
And so on June 29 we will celebrate that “Love is Still the Answer” - we will dance and sing, we will love each other, we will open our hearts and our wallets to a need across the continent. As one of our friends or a dear member of our family, please join us.
DATE: Saturday, June 29
TIME: 7:30 p.m. - Midnight
LOCATION: East Kelowna Hall, 2704 East Kelowna Road
DRESS CODE: Nepalese or East Indian attire optional (saris welcome)
Snack, cash bar, tea is free!! We will be able to take credit card numbers, cheques or cash for any donations to Her International. See you there!!
Love, Kirsten (Hugh, Kate and Claire)