December 21, 2018
Tarpon came to Orchid Garden Nepal at the age of 10. By then, he had already experienced a challenging life. He was born in Pachnthar, in the eastern part of Nepal. The youngest of two children, his father died before he had a chance to know him. His mother, Tara, unable to provide for her children, left them with her parents and traveled to Kathmandu to make a life. There, she remarried and had a son. Throughout Tarpon’s childhood, his mother would return to Pachnthar once a year to visit him and his older brother. During this time, he had very little education and had just made it through the third grade. His days were spent roaming the streets with friends and collecting coins from the local river. At age 10, Tara brought Tarpon and his older brother to Kathmandu, where Tarpon first learned he had a younger brother and that his mother, thinking it was best for Tarpon and his older brother, had made plans to put them up for adoption. All of this was crushing to Tarpon, and he spent days crying and refused to be adopted by people he didn’t know. When the adoption failed, his relatives sent them to the Mother Theresa organization, as they could provide neither shelter nor school for them. This organization, however, had a relationship with OGN, and so, this is where the second part of Tarpon’s story begins.
OGN reached out to Tarpon’s mother and provided counseling to keep the boys together with their mother as part of her new family. Unfortunately, due to family conflict, this arrangement lasted only one year. Tarpon and his elder brother were returned to the village of Pachnther where they struggled for the next year and were put into a government-based school. Finally, Tarpon’s mother persuaded her husband to bring Tarpon back to their family. It was only him now, as his older brother had moved on to make his own life at age 15. Again, with OGN’s help, Tarpon was fed and assisted in gaining admission to the New Sunshine English School. OGN also pays his tuition.
Today, Tarpon is studying in grade 11, and has become an accomplished artist. His early hardships drove him to want to understand people, including himself. So, it is people that he draws. Above are a few of his drawings, and an early photo of his family. Whenever he has holiday from classes, he returns to OGN to help teach the younger children. His love of children and genuine devotion to giving back reminds us of Keenan.