Jonni Lehtiranta

Name: Jonni Lehtiranta

Home Address: Helsinki Finland

DATES IN NANGI:

11.3. – 19.4. 2002    WLAN testing, sauna-building
20.5. – 23.6. 2004    sauna-fixing + misc
20.9. – 7.10. 2007    more sauna fixing + misc

PROJECT

Building a sauna with a shower/changing room for common usage. The project was finished in 2002, then fixed poorly in 2004. In 2007, it was improved in many ways and a real heater from Finland was installed. The sauna provides warmth and boiling water all year round. It’s good for warming up, hygiene and relaxation. It also fits into an existing tradition, namely that of bathing in hot springs in Tatopani and elsewhere.

LIST EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING MATERIALS

Donated by me (and my family): A sauna heater, a couple of books, three WLAN network adapters, miscellaneous computer parts

METHODS

The sauna project occurred to me after spending two weeks in Nangi without a warm shower. Mahabir got interested, and I wrote a proposal complete with drawings for both the sauna room and the first heater. The construction of computer building’s second floor was underway at the time, and the workers built the sauna rooms while I was in Pokhara with Mahabir, trying to get the heater made.

I wasn’t very much involved in the actual construction work, but was rather supervising it to my best ability. I did install the heater on all three occations though, and in 2007 I wrote simple but effective instructions for using the heater. These are hopefully translated, printed and framed on the sauna wall now.

OUTCOME

One sauna was built. Twice the custom-built heaters from Pokhara and Beni broke from usage, probably because of suboptimal material and design. The third stove, built by sauna professionals for the purpose, will hopefully last for at least a couple of decades.

I recall villagers talking about building their own saunas, but I think those ideas are suspended at least until a cheap local way of building reliable heaters is found.

FUTURE GOALS

My personal goal is to remain aware of and involved in the development happening in Nepal in Nangi and elsewhere under Mahabir’s influence. That includes first and foremost maintaining the sauna if it still requires involvement and learning more about construction of sauna heaters and efficient water heaters.

I’m keen on teaching science and programming, and hope to do more on my future visits to Nangi.

I’m hoping starting a small software business in Nangi will be feasible in the future. The requirements include a reliable network connection and good skills in english, programming, and linux systems, and that kind of expertise is simply not found there currently. I have some ideas for software products and some connections. My very small company has an occational paying customer in addition to hosting www.nepalwireless.net.

I’m thinking of donating a powerful telescope or two. Khopra is an excellent location for stargazing on clear nights, and short tours of the skies could bring in some income from the tourists. Further, the equipment could be used to monitor trekkers who venture upward from Khopra toward the Annapurnas. Another one could be set up in Nangi for teaching, villagers and volunteers all alike. The usage of said equipment requires some training that I’m willing to give.

PROJECT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE VOLUNTEERS

I’m hoping the sauna project is finished now. Building more saunas is always a possibility, but finding a good heater near Nepal is an unsolved problem. Bringing in and installing an electric sauna heater to another sauna, maybe in another village, would be a nice project as well.

Somebody should bring in a cheap set of modern power tools. These cannot be found in Nangi, and I find myself often needing them.

A good and important project would be to gather information about Nangi’s school’s inner workings in english, for the volunteers. Everything from the dates of school or no school to the subjects – what kinds of things are being taught on which lessons for what grades. Tips for teachers, available equipment, that kind of thing.

I’ll probably come up with other ideas and proposals later, but these are all I can think of now.

3 Comments

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Meet (some of) our Volunteers // Dec 16, 2008 at 2:27 am

    [...] Jonni Lehtiranta [...]

  • 2 Fred Kempf // Mar 6, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Jonni,
    What kind of power tools are needed? What current would be required — 110 or 220? It may be that I can arrange for some tools to be donated.
    I was a volunteer in 1998 in Nangi, teaching English to a 6 person grade 10 class. It was a great experience!
    It sounds like you are very excited and also a very creative thinker. That is good! This is very much needed in Nangi, though Mahabir has lots of ideas and is also very motivated.
    Is the solar shower still working? It was an income generator when I was there.
    Take care,
    Fred Kempf

  • 3 Jonni Lehtiranta // Jan 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Dear Fred,
    Sorry I wasn’t really paying attention to this page. Saw it eventually though, and perhaps you’ll read my reply next year or so ;) .

    I think the solar shower was never working during my stays in Nangi, unfortunately. Might have been though, as I would have used the sauna instead anyway at the times *that* worked! The thing I’ve missed the most is an electric drill, and unfortunately I forget what else. 220V if I recall correctly.

    Take care and namaste!
    -Jonni Lehtiranta

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