Talents abound

I had the honour to attend an exhibition of MYP Projects prepared by Rockridge‘s IB students the other week, I was dead impressed.

I had been invited by Bowen Wright who you will remember donated lovely care packages for the kids at SIRC while I was in Nepal at the end of last year. I’ve known Bowen since she was a wee one, when her Mum & Dad Bonnie & Curtis with their young family moved in next door to me here on Bowen Island.  Some 12 years later, I am privileged to call the Wrights my Canadian family, how lucky am I!

Bowen is a passionate young lady in a quiet and understated way and has followed my journeys to Nepal over the past few years.  She even hoped to come with me on my last visit.  What with the aftermath of the earthquakes and blockade, we thought it best she wait for another time to come join me in Nepal.  Maybe this is the year??

But I digress, back to Bowen’s project.  Bowen chose the “Fairness and Development” theme to focus on, and also chose a global context.  Putting a spotlight on SIRC seemed a good fit.

Bowen had to start her planning process over 6 months ago, keeping a regular journal on her activities towards the culmination of this project.  A lot of hard work and effort, that’s for sure.  She interviewed me a few times on my work at SIRC and with additional research and study, she formulated her idea for her MYP Project “Care Packages for Nepal”.

Bowen and board

Working at the local pizzeria here on the island, Bowen saved her earnings to pull together 20 care packages for the SIRC kids, which I was able deliver last December.

Bowen example gift package

By the photos alone in my post back then, you can see the delight in the kids faces receiving such packages.  Way to go Bowen.  You did good girl xo.

All of Bowen’s hard work and effort culminated in the presentation of her project to the parents and friends of the Rockridge students the other week.

Check out a few photos of her presentation, and also the presentations of a few of her fellow students that caught my eye!

Bowen board front

Bowen article

Bowen was featured in an article in the Bowen Island Undercurrent weekly newspaper, outlining her MYP Project and volunteering at the recent SIRC fundraiser

Bowen certificate

Bowen thank you card

A thank you card to Bowen from Nikita and Nistha in recognition of the care packages donation.

Bowen Two of us

Next up is Maddy Robertson’s Writing and Illustrating a children’s educational book.  It’s unusual to have the writer and illustrator be one and the same – talented!  I think this book should be published.

Maddy with book

Book board

Next up is Ashling Redmond’s mobile insulated sleeping pod designed with the homeless in mind.  This is a pretty ingenious idea.

Ashling sleep pod

sleep pod board

Ashling's sleep pod

Shirah Essevia had a thought-provoking project with a theme of “Identities and Relationships”.  Shirah’s artistic talents allowed her to capture and examine the eyes of family members (including the family dog!) as well as those of friends from multiple ethnic backgrounds.  Although each set of eyes appear different, the actual eyeball itself is the same … a commentary on the sameness of everyone despite race, colour or creed.

Shirah Essevia

Eyes board



There were many other really extraordinary projects, including a project on a young man’s grandfather’s role in WWII, another young man who made a surf board and another who made really beautiful furniture.

I tell ya, these young people are far talented than I ever was at their age.  Wonder what contribution they will be making to this fine world we live in, in the years to come?

Note:  permission received from everyone mentioned above, to be featured in this post.

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
This entry was posted in Canada, Nepal and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Talents abound

  1. Mick Canning says:

    Well, a shout-out for these great youngsters! Well done to them all!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s