Sunday, August 22, 2010

First few days in Kathmandu

Landing in Kathmandu...

Mostly our days at the moment consist of sitting in cafes / restaurants in Thamel, Kathmandu. I’m sure a lot of you know it – it’s the backpacker area and the easiest place to find WiFi and a decent feed. I’ve been going through EWB policies / procedures / expectations with the other volunteers and meeting people.

Ride around Kathmandu – We also had a great intro to cycling in this crazy city when Jai (EWB field officer AKA ‘our fearless leader’ here in-country) hired mountain bikes and took us for a ride. The ultimate goal was the Australian Embassy, but we took the ‘scenic’ route along the river – and the poor areas along it. Amazing to see people spending their lives pulling gravel out of the bottom of such a dirty river. I also picked up some rendering tips (see below) - puts our Ross St efforts in perspective!

A short stop at the Australian Embassy for some of the group to vote, and to meet the first secretary. Fresh from a Baghdad posting, he was not keen to let us to far through the front door!

We also visited a few interesting NGO/projects during the day. KEEP Nepal (Kathmandu Environment Education Project), NEWAH (Nepal Water for Health) and another organisation who’s acronym eludes me at the moment. There’s a lot of good stuff happening here – a lot of huge challenges too. One of the guys that presented to us spoke about their work to stop practice such as the sacrificing of a nine year old girl that occurred recently due to a bad season in that particular area.

I've posted a few more photos up here on PicasaWeb (or see below).

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