The Oda Project

Essential healthcare and education - giving Nepali communities in extreme poverty a fighting chance

Why "Not Just a Tree"

Some of you might ask: how did you come up with “NotJustATree” for the name of your blog. As many of my friends know, I went back and forth for quite some time.  Possible blog names included: “Nepal SoHard, CosNepalital, NepaleonDyanamite” along with countless others that I’d love to forget.  Ultimately I got two pieces of advice “Avoid a play on words those are annoying” and “Don’t ask people, find something that is meaningful to you”  As I took time to reflect on quotes and words of wisdom I’ve gleaned from the past 25 years a quote from Jim Rohn sticks out:
If you don’t like how things are, change it!  You’re not a tree” – Jim Rohn
For those of you who don’t know about my fellowship please visit  Other than quickly noting that Maggie is a much better blogger than me, hopefully you’ll also get a feel for what it is I’ll be doing and Nepal and what I hope to achieve.  When putting together my application two themes quickly emerged, however, both involved a change.  Prior to pointing out these changes, I will quickly mention that I don’t dislike how things are.  On the contrary, I love my life, my family and my friends.  That being said, I think this change will be good for the Kopila Valley family and myself.  
The first and most important change is in the lives of the children I’ll be going to help out with over the next six to seven months.  My number one goal is to influence positive change while living with the Kopila Valley Family.  I think the steps I’ve taken thus far in life put me in a good position to help out in an impactful way.  Further I find seeing others succeed and overcome challenges extremely satisfying;  I can’t help but think that playing a positive role in the lives of the people in Surkhet would make me unbelievably happy. I love being with people at their highest highs and helping them through their lowest lows. I can only hope that this passion to help others and see them succeed will give me the energy to wake up every morning and make a positive contribution to Kopila Valley. 
The second change, is much more selfish, however, likely inevitable as I set out on this journey.  Not only do I hope to help the individuals in Nepal, I hope they can help me broaden my horizons and see the world from another set of eyes.  As we all know clichés become clichés for a reason and in this case I think I think the expression “change can be a wonderful thing” is very fitting.  My younger sister has told me a few times that I tend to come off a bit too dramatic!  That being said, although it will only be for 6-7 months I will miss my friends and family immensely.  I’ve been blessed with a tremendous family, a great group of HS and College Friends, and an equally impressive group of friends during my time in DC.  I will miss them, and I will miss my very comfortable life, however, ultimately I think this experience will cause me to be changed for the better.  To come full circle…I’m not just a tree so it’s time for me to do something!