Team dinner + trip to Pokhara (Nepal)

Hi all! This last week has gone so quick! Last weekend I had to do some online work for my work back home, hence I booked a nice hotel (Hotel Radisson Kathmandu) to make sure I had internet and electricity for the full two days. It was so nice to stay in a nice hotel, however I spent in one night the same as I usually spend in one week. BUT I got to enjoy a hot shower!

I was working from my hotel room at Radisson for two days
Working from hotel room

I had a lovely night together with my colleagues at Australia Awards as well as staff from the Australian Embassy. Sunita, my contact person in Nepal works at the Australian Embassy (in red in below photo) and she has been amazing. Any question – she will always have an answer, she invites me to events, and she helps me to get in contact with people I want to interview. Could not have asked for a better contact in the field.

Team dinner and drinks with staff from the Australia Awards and the Australian Government
Team dinner and drinks with staff from the Australia Awards and the Australian Government

Last Sunday night my husband Andrew arrived from Sweden! He only had one week in Nepal but it was great to show him around and for him to meet my friends and colleagues. We spent 4 nights at a holiday destination called Pokhara, such a nice place. You can either go by bus approx. 7-12h or fly 25min to get there… In Pokhara we did a fantastic 3h trek to Sarangkot view point where we had a beautiful view of the city as well as the Himalayas mountain range.

My husband and I in Kathmandu
Andrew and I in Kathmandu
View in Pokhara of Phewa Lake and the Himalayans
View in Pokhara of Phewa Lake and the Himalayas
3h trek to Sarangkot View Point - here photo of Pokhara
3h trek to Sarangkot View Point – here photo of Pokhara

I went to a really interesting presentation by Maggie Doyne, an American philanthropist who has built a children’s home, women’s center and school in Surkhet, Nepal. She won the CNN Hero of the Year Award in November 2015. An inspiration!

Presentation by Maggie Doyne
Presentation by Maggie Doyne

Half-way there

Today marks the exact half-way point of my field-trip in Nepal. How fast time flies. It feels like yesterday that I had that kid-on-Christmas-day feeling as my plane descended into Kathmandu Airport. Now with my notebooks already getting full and so many thoughts, impressions and hours of interview recordings I start to wonder if maybe I have actually been here a very long time! In the last week I have met many inspiring individuals, from women working in empowerment programs through garment manufacture, to expats who have come here to try to make a difference on the ground, to NGO project managers that know they need more knowledge to do things right but are not sure where to turn to. Their stories are sometimes sad but always inspiring. So many insights and much data to sort through… I thought I would be able to begin writing my actual thesis by this point but things take time here, so my patience will need to extend to my drafting also. In my daily life here in Nepal I have been lucky to combine field research with reading, yoga, meditation, and many many cups of chai! I’m wondering how I will leave this place come November. But for now, I have planned a ten-day vacation. A self-imposed holiday break to mark the half-way point. It will be off to a remote region where internet access will be limited and I will have much time to gather and sort all the information that is accumulating in my brain before I head off for the last 4-weeks research voyage in more isolated areas to visit and interview local NGOs. A wonderful opportunity to see a little more of this spectacular country, a nation very small in comparison to its giant neighbours but so big when it comes to generosity, kindness and culture.

 Meeting Womens Empowerment Project workers in Pokhara

Mountain traffic jams – travelling with patience

Making new friends along the way to enjoy
cups of spicy masala chai and the amazing Himalayan views