For a short while I called Nepal my home.

I joined the Peace Corps shortly after college and my 10 months in Nepal — a tenure cut regrettably short by the escalation of the country’s civil war — left an indelible mark as I moved on to Moldova to continue my service.

The terrain alone is unforgettable, but the hospitality and kindness of the Nepalese people is unrivaled, which is why I helped lead a Project Week trip to Nepal last year (pictured above) and why I have been so touched by the generosity of the Morgan Park Academy community in raising funds and supplies to help after Nepal’s devastating recent earthquake.

When I heard that some airlines were flying supplies stateside to Nepal for free, I reached out to several Nepalese who lived in the area. I coordinated with Cumin, a Nepali-owned restaurant in Wicker Park. Over the past 10 days, MPA students, parents, and faculty contributed more than I expected. Last Saturday I dropped off fifteen grocery bags filled with supplies — gloves, soap, water purification tablets, and, naturally, foodstuffs — and they were beyond grateful

Additionally, we raised more than $2,000. This will serve the Patan Hospital, which is providing most of the trauma care to the southern third of Kathmandu, as well as the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in the north and Bhir Hospital in the central third.

Thank you to the entire MPA community for your kindness and support!


By Derek Smith

Mr. Smith teaches English in the Upper School and is the department’s curriculum leader.