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Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 25, 2011
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In search of adventure, 29-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children’s Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal.
Conor was initially reluctant to volunteer, unsure whether he had the proper skill, or enough passion, to get involved in a developing country in the middle of a civil war. But he was soon overcome by the herd of rambunctious, resilient children who would challenge and reward him in a way that he had never imagined. When Conor learned the unthinkable truth about their situation, he was stunned: The children were not orphans at all. Child traffickers were promising families in remote villages to protect their children from the civil war—for a huge fee—by taking them to safety. They would then abandon the children far from home, in the chaos of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.
For Conor, what began as a footloose adventure becomes a commitment to reunite the children he had grown to love with their families, but this would be no small task. He would risk his life on a journey through the legendary mountains of Nepal, facing the dangers of a bloody civil war and a debilitating injury. Waiting for Conor back in Kathmandu, and hopeful he would make it out before being trapped in by snow, was the woman who would eventually become his wife and share his life’s work.
Little Princes is a true story of families and children, and what one person is capable of when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. At turns tragic, joyful, and hilarious, Little Princes is a testament to the power of faith and the ability of love to carry us beyond our wildest expectations.
An Amazon Exclusive Essay by Conor Grennan
How Taking Notes and Living without Indoor Plumbing Would Change My Life
When I was living in Nepal, I kept a notebook with me at all times. It was a small Nepali-made notebook—the brand name was Happy Days! or some such thing— and it made me smile every time I looked at it. I took it everywhere I went, and wrote in it often.
The children constantly asked me what I was writing, and I would tell them I was recording our conversations. That was true, but it was more than that. I was also recording everything I found strange in my new home. Like the fact that the kids chewed on chicken bones until they were practically dust, or that one of the boys, Santosh, had a digital watch which he’d borrowed from a friend that, along with displaying the hour, flashed “I Love You!” once per second.
There were times I was caught without my notebook, like in the middle of a soccer game when Dawa’s shot—destined for just inside the invisible right post—was blocked by the broadside of a cow, and I had to try to recall from memory the captivating debate over the role of livestock in team sports, and whether or not the goal should count. (It didn’t.)
Then, when the children would go to bed at 8 p.m., I would bundle up in two or three fleeces, a hat, and woolen gloves I had cut the fingers out of; I’d pull out my notebook and I’d sit down to write my travel blog, copying everything I had put into the notebook over the course of the day into an old, ultra-light Dell I’d bought off eBay for about 200 dollars. It was pretty much useless except as a word processor, but it was the most precious thing I owned. Over the next three years, traveling the globe and living in Nepal, I would end up typing just over half-a-million words on that little workhorse—five times the length of Little Princes.
It turned out that writing everything down in the moment was critical because the more time I spent in Nepal, the more normal these “strange” things became. It became normal to watch my blankets being made from scratch on the ground outside my house, to trade broken flip-flops for potatoes, and to use outhouses on a daily basis without thinking twice about it. (Did you hear that, people? Outhouses!)
The funny thing is, with all that note-taking, I never had any intention of writing a book about my time in Nepal. It honestly never occurred to me that it was a much of a story until someone else mentioned the idea to me.
Once I started writing the book, however, I couldn’t stop. I went back to my old notebooks and I was suddenly in Nepal again, hearing in my mind exactly how Hriteek had laughed, or Nishal had protested, or Raju had squealed as he’d run through the house, bare feet padding against the cold cement floors.
Little Princes, the book, allowed me to revisit that wonderful, difficult, challenging, happy time of my life. I still get back to Nepal, of course, and I still see the children. But they change, they grow up. Writing Little Princes allowed me to visit the children as they were. And also, as the person I was.
From Publishers Weekly
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More About the Author
At EWI, Conor developed and managed a wide variety of projects focusing on issues such as peace and reconciliation in the Balkans, community development in Central Eastern Europe, and harmonizing anti-trafficking policy at the highest levels government in the European Union and the former Yugoslavia.
Conor left EWI in 2004 to travel the world and volunteer in Nepal. He would eventually return to Nepal and found Next Generation Nepal, an organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families and combating the root causes of child trafficking in rural villages in Nepal. He was based in the capital of Kathmandu until September 2007 where he was the Executive Director of Next Generation Nepal.
To Donate to NGN, visit http://www.nextgenerationnepal.org/Donate_Online
Conor now serves on the Board of Next Generation Nepal, together with his wife Liz. He is a 2010 graduate of the NYU Stern School of Business, where he was the President of the Student Body. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and son, Finn, and a soon-to-be baby girl.
Top Customer Reviews
This is the situation in Nepal. From 1996-2006, Nepal suffered through a horrible civil war between the monarchy and Maoist rebels. The country was torn apart. Elementary-aged children were abducted by the rebels to serve in any capacity. And of course, as is so often the case, an even darker force came into play. Using fear as their weapon, child traffickers took thousands of children to "safety" - taking enormous sums of money and then turning around and either abandoning them hundreds of miles from home, or using them to make more money in donations that they pocketed while the children lived in squalor.
Little Princes is the story of one man who went to Nepal to volunteer for 3 months because he thought it would sound impressive. Conor Grennan decided he was going to take a year off and travel the world, using the volunteer time to make it sound better to his friends and family.Read more ›
Perhaps my favorite aspect of this book is that as a true story, the reader can continue to engage with the infectiously optimistic cast of characters by following the progress of the real life non-profit - Next Generation Nepal - that Grennan and others went on to build. Our sadness about the childrens' plight and their families poverty is greatly assuaged by the hope and excitement of Next Generation Nepal's continued progress. Overall, "Little Princes" is a fantastic read - and a story that you will think about for months even years to come...
1. Nepal is a part of the world of which I am woefully ignorant.
2. The use and abuse of children is a problem about which I know too much
3. I am a sucker for the underdog
After reading it, I can say that I learned a lot about Nepal and child trafficking, my spirit was recharged despite expanded awareness of the reality of life, and my guy won. Conor Grennan's life is in flux so to find some adventure in a way that does not appear to be entirely self-serving, he volunteers for 3 months at children's home in Kathmandu. What he learns about the children (all who were victims of a lucrative trafficking scheme) and himself reshapes his perspective on life. After completing his world trip, he returned to the Little Prince's home with the goal of reconnecting the families. In spite of the bureaucratic, political, cultural, physical, climatic and emotional barriers, he succeeds. This is a well told story about the sacrifices parents make to provide a better life for their children, the strong bond between a child and his parent and the truth that making the world peaceful is the responsibility of every individual. Informative, honest and critical in a way that seeks to nurture rather than destroy, "Little Princes" challenges the reader to examine their own values, set aside judgment and take some action to become and advocate for the vulnerable people that cross their paths.
After settling in and getting to know the children of Little Princes, the facility high in the Nepali Himalayas, Conor finds he loves Nepal and all the hazards, poverty, and trials that come with it. In 2004 when he steps off the plane from America, a Maoist civil war is raging around him. Nepali villagers are hungry and starvation is a large problem. Winters are harsh in the Himalayas, the cold freezing climate hardens the people of Nepal as they eek out a meager existence and the food shortages of winter. However, impoverished people, little heat, border patrols, and starving children, still doesn't put Conor off. For the next few months he digs in to help the facility and works with these charming love-starved kids with great enthusiasm. Rice bowl after rice bowl, Conor finds he has found his life's calling.
Weeks into his assignment, through various sources, Conor learns that the kids of Little Princes are not really orphans. Shockingly the staff learns that these children were stolen. Child trafficking runs rampant in Nepal, thousands of children have been taken from their families.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Charming, real, funny, honest, and open from the very beginning. As you read, you fall in love with the kids, the author, and the journey. Read morePublished 3 days ago by MiniMo
Inspiring, however, I wish the author had included more factual information. I used this book as part of a research paper hoping it would give me more detailed information about... Read morePublished 19 days ago by samharwood35
What a fantastic story! Conor's reading of his own story really enhances the diverse personalities and descriptions in the book. His narration makes the voices come alive. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jennifer H
This book was an interesting book because Conor Grennan sacrificed a lot of his time to help out children that were suffering. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Conor Grennan's book was very intriguing. I thought it was very inspiring. This book was very easy in the sense that Conor made the book look and feel lively. Read morePublished 2 months ago by estella
Reading this book has changed my perspectives on things. I know longer go about my day without thinking about everything I have, unlike what other countries aren’t able to have. Read morePublished 2 months ago by sarah cee
I started reading this book because it was mandatory for my college English class. The book started off a little slower than what I am used to reading in my own personal time, but... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ashley Griffith
My overall reaction to Little Princes was that it made me feel more aware about things over seas and how thankful we have it here growing up. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book was assigned to us in class to read, and I didn't think it was going to be as great as it was. I thought was going to be more about the history of Nepal. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Diana