Louisiana Himalaya Association update on Nepal

Since our last LHA email update on Nepal a lot has happened including a second earthquake, which I’m sure most of you are current on. Unfortunately two of the places where LHA has been previously involved in Nepal, which were not affected by the first quake, had severe damage from the second one. Still to date, miraculously, no physical bodily injury to any LHA affiliates or their families has been reported, although many have lost their homes and/or have had severe damage to the monasteries where they live. Most up to date research shows more than 7000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of victims are in need of food, water, medicine, shelter, rehousing.

After a careful review of the aid already happening in Nepal we have discovered that the people LHA should focus on are those in the most remote mountain villages. Many of these people (maybe up to a million) will be in tents and makeshift structures for the monsoon and only able to really rebuild once the rain slows in September.  They have to stay in the mountains in order to tend the rice crops.  Getting the crops grown over the summer will be crucial to their survival.  The monsoon can be very cold in the mountains.  Unfortunately the Nepali government is not able to take care of everyone in a timely way. They need our help.

From our experience of seeing the massive amounts of waste in the aftermath of Katrina we have identified some forms of temporary housing materials that can be used in Nepal as roofing before more permanent housing structures get underway.  Here is one example of materials that LHA is providing that will serve as shelter now and will be used for roofing material later:   http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/nepal-quake-temporary/1849134.html

What is LHA Doing Now:

LHA now has people both in India and Nepal.  We are shopping for the best deals and buying supplies  including sheet metal , tarps , rain gear and rice in Delhi and having them trucked to Kathmandu Nepal (a two day road trip) where our volunteers there will assure that the supplies get to the people in need, the first truck in in route now.

LHA’s main Coordinator in Nepal is Pema. She is from there and is the fiancée of Michael, an LHA Board member from New Orleans who has worked extensively in Nepal, and is now in India organizing the shipments.  We’ll have more volunteers arriving in both India and Nepal over the next few weeks. Please see the attached letter recently received from Pema.

We have also identified Chokgyur Lingpa Foundation to be the organization with which LHA will partner in the days ahead. Pachok Rinpoche, who leads this effort, has visited LHA in New Orleans three times over the past few years and has a strong connection with LHA already. He and his team have been on the ground working since day one after the first quake. All reports I’ve received say that they are doing incredible work in a very organized and efficient way. Please take a minuet to check out the websitehttp://earthquakerelief.cglf.org/

What’s happening in New Orleans:

In New Orleans, volunteers now meet at the LHA Community Center  (623 N Rendon) every Tuesday night at 7PM to discuss fund raising events and other plans.  As of now the group has received confirmation from both the Botanical Gardens at City Park and Tipitina’s Club to hold fund raising events in June. LHA now has volunteers and groups as far away as Norway and Germany putting together events and many individual donors have started showing support by making contributions to the LHA website.

How to Help :

Come to the LHA Nepal Relief Meetings on TuesdayNights at 7PM

Organize a fund raising event in your home area

Here are a few ideas for fund raising: http://earthquakerelief.cglf.org/how-to-help/

Send this email on to your email lists

Spread awareness about the Nepal situation in any way can

Make a donation to LHA, the Chokgyur Lingpa Foundation or other organizations with minimal overhead costs ( make sure you get maximum benefit out of  your donation)

Prayers and dedication of merit

Thanks for your support

Neil Guidry

LHA President


For Donations to LHA :    http://www.lhainfo.org/donate.html

Every Dollar goes a long way:

$1400- Full truck load of Rice

$100 – Sheet metal to construct shelter for a family and later use as a roof on their home

$50  – Tent

$15 – Tarp

$5 – Rain Pancho

 100% of donations received by LHA during the month of May will be dedicated to the Nepal projects. Please note, unlike many organizations, LHA is not burdened by managerial and other overhead expenses. Know that your donation directly gets to those in need.

LHA is a 501-c3 Organization – tax ID # 72-1487498 (all donations are tax deductible)

LHA  www.lhainfo.org

Excerpts from A Field Guide To Trees- Bill Lavender

the night’s young
you’re not

that sensuous brown surface
it grows on trees and barroom walls

compared to this
the passing of the body is nothing

what happens when humanity finally boils

things I imagine saying to the tree
just go

the tree that represents itself has a fool for a client

Fortin Street Stage


As a veteran of the Fortin stages (mine was directly behind the Jazz Tent), yeah you rite.

Originally posted on Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans:

by the time I stop drinking and start thinking about sleep
by the time we’ve eaten the last of next-door jimmy’s hot meat
by the time my feet have shuffled their last hussle
on the public blacktop ballroom of Fortin Street
and the hustle has all gone downtown to Bourbon
and the bustle has all gone downtown to Frenchman
and the last of the one-song, school-kid bands
and the last of the weary ice-cold water men
have carried themselves home weary to the bone
and one sad bicycle hangs abandoned on the fence
and the can picking man passes on his sad, last round
i will stand on Fortin Street and glisten to the sound
the last frantic arpeggios vibrating in the silence
attenuated into memory, a faint flow of the distant glory
like the milky way backdrop to the asterism’s story–
then, yes, then and only then will I…

View original 13 more words

Oysters at St. Roch and Piety Pizza at the Rusty Rainbow

Drove in a serpentine fashion to get to Riverbend, or maybe it was more like playing Pacman- right turn! no, go back, hurry! 2 left turns…. forward forward get it GET IT…..Ugh Uptown folks, I feel for ya these days.
Picked up re-visiting Greg R, to catch up downtown at St. Roch Market and to check it out. Not sure what I think yet. Maybe you know me and you suspect I have a dozen or so theories and just-formed opinions about it and you’d be right. I know I like the oysters at Effie and Melissa’s place: had East Coast (1), West Coast (1), and Gulf Coast (6) oysters.
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Yes, these two women are longtime pals of mine, buddies from the farmers market/Festivus/White Boot Brigade trenches, but even so, they know their food and hosting, friends of yours or not. The GC are so robust in flavor and huge that it’s hard to fully appreciate the others, and were from a St. Bernard oysterman. Effie told me specifics about his business and his oysters, (which I then later thought might be good for everyone to see when they come, maybe on a chalkboard?) That level of detail, along with their Cajun authenticity, are important for people to know, I think. The pickled shrimp was really good- the sauce is fresh and sweet and clean. Next “door”, the rum drink was nice, as was the bite of the dirty mac with crawfish and tasso from the other end of the hall. Greg bought some sheepshead, kale, garlic (acted like it was a market or something) to make his hosts some non-JF dinner. We discussed the Koreole vendor (which looked inviting especially on a cold winter day, not so much right now oops) and how Asian food in the last 20 years or so keeps expanding. Is it because Americans have become more comfortable with the different nationalities and cultures so we see more breaking away from calling all Asian restaurants Chinese? Or is this about successive generations feeling more comfortable staking their claim in the restaurant business, serving what is authentic and yet Americanized as an experience?
We decided to leave the hall to get a slice at Pizza Delicious and for the first time for me, not another eater was in there. I’m sure it’s a temporary lull, but let’s remember that it remains one of the best slices in town (I hear salads are top notch too, but I’ll probably never know) with charming service. As we went in, the Piety Ironworks was abuzz with a party- seemed to be a film thing as, oddly, the actor who played Red Forman in The 70s Show (or Robocop character ______ someone else pointed out) was standing in the middle of the street, seemingly waiting for either a ride (Greg said waiting for his Uber) or maybe he was hoping for a second line. In any case he put that aside to graciously allow those who asked for a pic with him, which seemed an appropriate end to this new set of experiences. Who says non- JazzFest days are off days?

Campanella at Jazz Fest next week with new book

Campanella, a Tulane University geographer who occasionally writes for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, has come in under the radar with his new book. He will launch “Lost New Orleans” with an April 30 event at the Jazz Fest Book Tent. Filled with grand archival photographs, Campanella’s book ranges across the centuries, cataloging a remarkable array of lost landmarks, from the French Opera House to the Rivergate Exhibition Hall.

If that sounds intriguing, check out Campanella’s much discussed “Bourbon Street: A History,” which vividly detailed the city’s most famous thoroughfare. In a 2014 interview with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, he said, “Bourbon Street is a totally authentic, only-in-New-Orleans phenomenon – and a grand success. That’s hard for some people to swallow.”

all of the signings:

April 24 – Friday

2-3 p.m., Laura Lane McNeal, “Dollbaby”

3-4 p.m., Tom Cooper, “Marauders”

4-5 p.m., Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and Rachel Breunlin, “Talk That Music Talk”

April 25 – Saturday

Noon–1 p.m., Chontel Carter Frank, “The Adventurous NoLa Kids Go to the Ruined Mansion”

3-4 p.m., Keith Weldon Medley, “Black Life in Old New Orleans”

4-5 p.m., Patrice Joseph, “Water Line: My Family’s Journey Before, During and After Hurricane Katrina”

5-6 p.m., Dawn Chartier, “Bewitching the Enemy”

5:15-5:30 p.m., Irvin Mayfield, “New Orleans Jazz Playhouse” (Event in Grandstand)

April 26 – Sunday

1-2 p.m., Barri Bronston, “Walking New Orleans”

3-4 p.m., Ashley Kahn, “Universal Tone: Bring My Story to Light, Carlos Santana”

4-5 p.m., Kourtni Mason, “Little Miss Dancey Pants”

April 30 – Thursday

1-2 p.m., Bill Loehfelm, “Doing the Devil’s Work”

2-3 p.m., Leif Pederson, “Adventures of Swamp Kids – A Zoo Ta-Do”

3-4 p.m., Richard Campanella, “Lost New Orleans”

May 1 – Friday

1-2 p.m., Bernie Cook, “Flood of Images”

3-4 p.m., Guy Lyman III, “A Big Easy Childhood”

4-5 p.m., Dennis McNally, “On Hwy 61: Race, Music and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom”

May 2 – Saturday

Noon–1 p.m., M.O. Walsh, “My Sunshine Away”

1-2 p.m., Cornell Landry, “Good Night Cajun Land”

2-3 p.m., Michael Pitre, “Fives and Twenty-Fives”

3-4 p.m., Troy Andrews & Brian Collier, “Trombone Shorty”

May 3 – Sunday

1-2 p.m., Brian Boyles, “New Orleans: Boom and Blackout”

2-3 p.m., Johnette Downing, “Fifolet