In A Story of Karma, Michael Schauch discovers all we in the Western world take for granted, including access to adequate education for children.
Schauch and his wife had previously hiked across the world, but his greatest dream is an unknown mountain he spies in a friend’s photo from Nepal. The mountain has an unusually perfect pyramid shape, with equal, smooth sides. The Schauchs journey from their home in Canada to Nepal, intending to find the mysterious mountain.
As they travel, Schauch’s sense of connection and fate grows. This fate, however, is not found in the pyramid mountain he set out for. After multiple challenging issues, he gives up his dream of climbing the mountain. However, he soon encounters something greater: a young Nepali girl named Karma who seemed “lit from within by a radiance that set her apart…”
The Schauchs are drawn to her vivacity and thirst for knowledge and take it upon themselves to ensure Karma can continue her education beyond the limits of her remote village. Through many obstacles of research (learning how to find a good school in Nepal, how to enroll a child who wasn’t their own, how to pay for it, etc.), communication, and distance, the Schauchs make good on their promise to broaden the girl’s opportunities.
The text maintains a conversational tone that feels like part travelogue, part memoir, and part cultural anthropology narrative as Schauch expertly blends stories of his travels with thoughts of his own life and information about Nepal’s history and culture. His writing is lively and vivid, peppered with interesting detail. While some may see this as a “white savior” narrative, Schauch remains humble and aware of his many privileges, and his affection for Nepal and the Nepali people is genuine and moving.
Readers will savor this engrossing account of Nepal through such understanding and humble eyes, and be moved by the selfless generosity described in helping a young girl achieve her dreams.
Also available as an ebook.