Roberta Anderson

Roberta Anderson

I was born and raised in Montana  in the western United States.  I attended  the University of Montana and graduated in 1964 with a B.A. in French and English Literature. The following year I received a M.A. in French Literature and Language from the University of Washington, and later a M.Ed in Educational Psychology

I worked as a junior high school French and English teacher for several years, and then was employed as a school psychologist in the Seattle Public Schools for 12 years.  Although I am no longer directly employed in this field, education and children remain some of my strong interests.

I started a wholesale silver jewelry business in 1983 on my first trip to India. I  am still doing this business to sustain myself and my sales reps.   I first visited Nepal in 1987 to hopefully  find some new jewelry  suppliers, and immediately fell in love with the country and its friendly and kind people.  Having grown up in the mountains myself ,  I felt completely at home with “mountain people” and your amazing mountains in Nepal.  I have since been back to Nepal many times, most recently in February of 2016 when Mohan Gyawali invited me to serve on the board of ISDRI.  I feel deeply privileged to be able to participate and give what I can to this important relief work which ISDRI is doing in Nepal.

I enjoy yoga, hiking, camping, gardening, entertaining friends, and traveling.  Besides working in my jewelry business, I currently volunteer at the gift shop of the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas, and am also a board member of the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation based here in Montana.  I also support a hostel for street children in Puttaparthy, South India, “Happy Home”, and a women’s sewing co-operative  called “Cocoon”, which has developed out of this project.

I am also the author of a book called “Thank You India” which was actually printed in Lalitpur, Nepal in 2014. This book  tells the story (illustrated with some of my own water-color drawings) of all the many magical,  mysterious, and “unexpected” happenings which transpired in my life in 2012 in a small apartment in a South India village over eight months.  On Februay 3rd of that  year,  my life took a radical left turn which led me on a long,  deeply  transformative healing journey.  As a result of casually  stepping out of the bathroom on to a small pool of water on a concrete floor, slipping  and falling hard on a ledge, I badly smashed  my right femur in numerous bone shards.  After receiving surgery at the nearby Satya Sai Baba Hospital and thinking that I would be home soon, five weeks later  I fell and smashed my femur up again– and even worse than the first time.   At this point I was informed that I would be spending many, many months recovered from my second complex surgery, and that my life as I had known it would be changing radically in every way.  I ended up being confined to bed for many months, utterly dependent for all my needs on my new friends who had been former strangers.  During this time I became good friends with a woman who runs a hostel for 54 street children.  I received so much loving care from so many during this time that I decided to donate the profits from the sales of the book I wrote about this event to my friend’s  hostel, “Happy Home”, as a small way of giving something back for all of the kindness and care I received from so many friends over these eight months.