Sunday, April 22, 2007

New year – new experiences

Finally we entered a new year here in Nepal – more precisely the year 2064. And it seems to be a really exciting year.

Work has finally kicked off leaving me with plenty of exciting tasks. After a long time as an observer I now feel like I am able to contribute to the development of the two organisations and their work.

Also the language I am starting to master quite well, which certainly has made life a lot easier for me. I am still struggling with the alphabet but have accomplished to write small notes to my cleaning lady – some of which she actually understood.

Finally, my social life as taken an unexpected turn; as part of the peace process and upcoming election Nepal has asked the UN for assistance. And it certainly has arrived now. In my town around 40 new UN people have arrived. Some to support the election commission but most of them to monitor the arms management of the Maoist guerrilla army and the Nepali army as well. It is a mixed group from the Middle East, Afrika, Latin America and Europe. They spend a lot of time in the Maoist camps but whenever they are in Nepalgunj, they enjoy plenty of football and parties – some of my favorite hobbies as well.

Also on new years eve these festive guys arranged a BBQ prepared on the remains of a satellite disc by a guy from Paraguay – and what a party.

Yes, 2064 will for sure be an exciting new year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My office – a typical Terai house

My office at DWO looks like a typical house in city areas of the Terai. For reason that mostly are based on economy rather than logic the house is painted on the front only as if it is expected that any day a new house will be building in connection with the unpainted side of the house, so that the boring grey cement doesn’t show.

The office is in two stores with the district office on ground floor and the regional office on the first floor. My office is on the first floor with my desk right by the window you can see on the picture. In the summer the curtains are closed to keep the strong sun out, so we sit in the dark and work. During the monsoon it rains in through the window so we have to cover the window with plastic and once again we work in the dark. Only in the cold season do we get a bit of light for our work, since the office is so cold that we work on the roof top in order to get a bit of sun…..and that is how a typical Terai house is….