The story of a Bhutanese family and their journey from refugee camps in Nepal to a small town in Idaho.
Two years ago, I met a family of Bhutanese refugees who had just resettled in Twin Falls, Idaho, after spending 17 years languishing in a Nepal refugee camp. In the early '90s, Bhutanese of Nepali descent -- called Lhotshampas -- were systematically driven from their country by the Bhutanese government.
More than 100,000 Lhotshampas fled to Nepal, where the government put them in camps in the southeast part of the country. In 2008, nearly two decades after they left Bhutan, the United States agreed to resettle 60,000. More than 300 of those ended up in Twin Falls, a city with no established Nepali or Hindu community.
I plan to travel to Beldangi II refugee camp in April and spend about two weeks with a family who is assigned to resettle in Twin Falls. Over the following year, I will shadow the family as they adjust to a radically different life.
I want to tell the story of Twin Falls' Lhotshampas through the eyes of this family. I will write about the history of the Lhotshampas and their troubles in Bhutan, the conditions of the refugee camp, the family's experiences, cultural differences between Idahoans and Bhutanese, how the economy has affected resettlement and how the new arrivals have changed Twin Falls. My reporting will culminate in a book at the end of the 12 months.
HOW THE FUNDS WILL BE SPENT
The funds I raise will cover travel to Beldangi II camp. They will also partially pay for self-publishing and part of the plane ticket for my interpreter, Chandra Upreti. Any extra funds raised will go to upping the quality of the books and printing more of them.
Thank you for helping me share their stories!
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pledged of $4,750 goal
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Sep 26, 2010 - Nov 15, 2010 (50 days)
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A hand-written thank you note and a photo from Nepal
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Three recipe cards with Nepali dishes, a hand written thank you note and a photo from Nepal.
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A handmade bookmark made with Nepali beads.
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A signed copy of the book with a bookmark.
Pledge $60 or more
A signed copy of the book and a piece of jewelry brought back from Nepal.
Pledge $80 or more
A signed copy of the book and a framed photo from my travels in Nepal.
Pledge $100 or more
A signed book, a framed photo and a mention in the book's foreword. You will also get a phone call from a very grateful me, and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have about the project.
Pledge $250 or more
A signed copy of the book and mention in the book's forward, a phone call from me and a silk pashmina in a color of your choice from Nepal.
Pledge $500 or more
A signed copy of the book and mention in the book's foreword, a phone call from me, a silk pashmina in a color of your choice from Nepal and an additional surprise gift from Nepal.
Pledge $750 or more
A signed copy of the book, plus I will come to your school, church, business or organization and give a multimedia presentation on the Bhutanese refugees in Idaho if you are within a 4 hour drive of Twin Falls.
Pledge $1,000 or more
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A signed copy of the book, plus I will come and cook a Nepali dinner at your home for you if you live within an 4 hour drive of Twin Falls.