Five weeks in Nepal

Posted on November 11, 2015 by Anastasia Valentine | 0 Comments


As you may know, earlier this year I received a call to reconnect with a country that I consider my second home, after the earthquake in April in Nepal. From the initial $300 sent for relief supplies, my involvement in post-earthquake Nepal expanded very quickly, and I now find myself responsible for the significant project of rebuilding the village of Rainaskot in Lamjung.

It has been an incredible few months of working harder than I ever have in my life, Making jewelry during the day and fundraising at night. Due to the tremendous support of the donors and my clients, I was able to fund the first five houses, and also take five full weeks off from my jewelry business to go see the progress on the ground. Between witnessing what my fundraising has accomplished and seeing beloved people and places for the first time in 16 years, this month was a big, big deal.

One of the places I visited, though for a very short time, was the town of Patan, where I spent two years learning sculpture in the 90's. That experience shaped my artistic voice in so many ways that are still with me today. I find myself full of inspiration after my reconnection to this special place. Here are some pictures from Patan and pieces of beautiful jewelry that I saw during my travels:


 
Most of my time was spent in the village of Rainaskot, where the rebuilding project is taking place. It is a beautiful village perched on a ridge overlooking the Himalayas. The most astounding thing that I learned was that this village may have ceased to exist if not for the rebuilding plan. 

The villagers welcomed me and my Nepali partner, Bibek, with flower garlands and we were invited several times to each house for food. While I was there, the foundations of the first five houses were completed, and the rest of the construction will resume after the holiday season ends this weekend.

Here are some highlights from the 20 days I spend in Rainaskot, Lamjung, and a link to donate to the project: http://fundforlamjung.org/donate
What does this mean for the rest of my life, my work in the studio? Honestly, there are a lot of questions to answer in the coming months. It seems likely that the work in Nepal will become a long-term calling and balancing the two will take some consideration. For the time being, I am eager and ready to get started on new projects, especially with the renewed inspiration of my time in Nepal.



It hardly seems like Christmas can be coming up so soon. I am going to be making some gift-ready items in the coming weeks. This is in addition to the Valkyrie Wing Ring and the Ganesha Pendant, both of which have been runaway hits this year, and the Vegeveiser pendant, which launched just before my trip.

I am also taking some custom orders for delivery by Christmas. Send me an email atnatasha@natashajewelry.com or fill out this form to get a spot in my schedule.

I look forward to making you something special, for yourself or for your loved ones. As always, thank you for allowing me to share my work and my thoughts with you


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