Little Princes: One Man’s Promise To Bring Home The Lost Children Of Nepal
by: Conor Grennan
One man’s promise. One man’s realization. One man’s inspiration. One man’s calling. There are many things you can call this book and many things you can call this man Conor Grennan. Inspirational would definitely be one of them.
Conor, now 29, starts off in Prague, leaving his day job of eight years for a year of travel around the world, starting with a three-month volunteering position in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, which he approaches with some humorous trepidation and a bit of “doing it for the wrong reason” kind of outlook. What, and who, he encounters at the Little Princes Home changes his life forever. Conor describes his first encounters here in a “hilarious antics kind of tale” and slowly unfolds it into a heart warming, engaging and emotional story of his experience at Little Princes and the children he meets there. The first thirty or so pages maybe the best “introduction” to a book I’ve ever read.
For those not familiar with Nepal – at this time, around 2006, Nepal was in the midst of a civil war. Many of the children at this home, as well as plenty of other homes around the Kathmandu Valley, were not only orphans, but were caught up in child trafficking, which is extremely prevalent in Nepal, at this time, as well as today. Children are taken from their villages and parents at a very young age, with the promise of a good education, being taken care of, and the promise of a good future. The civil war only expanded the trafficking, as people and villages on the outskirts and more rural areas of the country became poorer. Parents who couldn’t feed their families thought they were doing the best thing they could for their children. Giving their children to the traffickers never to hear from them or see them again.
As Conor works the three months at Little Princes he slowly weaves an engaging tale through and about the children there, as well as Kathmandu, slowly transforming from scared and confused to confident and fatherly. He animatedly describes the children and their antics, connecting names and personalities throughout the book, bringing the children to life through his light-hearted writing style. At the end of his volunteer stint, Conor travels the rest of his journey throughout the world, to end up back home in New Jersey. Not for long though, as promises he made pull him back to Nepal.
This time with a true purpose. Conor starts his own children’s home in Kathmandu, not only rescuing, watching and protecting children, but setting off throughout the mountains of Western Nepal to find the families of these children. An animated tale of adventure and frustration ensues, until Conor makes it back to Kathmandu. At this point, with the help of Farid, his partner, and many others, Conor realizes not only the dream of the children, but his own. Children see pictures of their parents that they thought were dead, families start calling, showing up in Kathmandu, and Conor’s dreams of reuniting the children becomes reality …but not without its problems, of course.
A heart warming story, sometimes hilarious and funny, other times heart wrenching and tragic. A very well written story of the children of Nepal, as well as one man’s realization of a dream to help those children that helped him form that dream. Throughout, Conor writes in a lighthearted style which really lets this book and story shine through. A truly inspirational tale of what can be done if one only tries. If you’re at all interested in Nepal, this could be the best book I have ever read about the country. If you’re at all interested in child trafficking, what you can do to help stop it, what it entails and why it happens, again, highly recommended. If you know nothing about Nepal, or any issues in the country, but like travel memoirs, highly recommended.
…For any reader the least bit interested: Highly Recommended – This was a great book.
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