Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The new government of Nepal, led by the Maoist party, is beginning to make it's mark. It's far too early to draw finite conclusions but there are some indications that the wind of change are blowing in my home away from home.
The government is making efforts to deport undocumented Tibetans for the very first time.
Members of the Maoist army have entered the parliament building adorned with automatic weapons in order to provide 'security' to constituent assembly members.
The Miss Nepal pageant has been cancelled following complaints that the pageant discriminated against women of darker skin and shorter stature.
There has been a crackdown in activities in dance bars, etc.
The state-run Trust Corporation, overseeing cultural affairs, appointed the new Kumari, or living goddess. In the past, Kumari was chosen by the head priest of the monarchy, now abolished.
Government officials have reached out to the rogue government of Iran to establish "closer" relations.
An infusion of money from China into the Nepalase Army.
The launch of another armed youth force, this time by the Nepali Congress, to join the YCL (Maoist) and one by the UML.
My friends in Nepal are not yet experiencing an improvement in basic services such as sanitation, petrol availability, road conditions, or healthcare.
I'm only one month away from landing again in Kathmandu! I'm sooooooooo happy! During this visit I will be able to finally go trekking and see things outside the Kathmandu Valley. I can't wait to see my friends again!
This week is my sale: Shop the Himalayas for the Holidays (without the jetlag!) I'm selling the purses, jewelry and other things I brought back from Nepal in support of the Women's Skills Development Project and the Manakamana Handicraft Cooperative. I hope it goes well so I can take some money back to the people.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
In the U.S., Hurricane Gustav came ashore with less force and surge than Katrina and the levees in New Orleans held. Many are still without electricity but, for the most part, the damage was less than expected.
Gustav, downgraded to a tropical depression, moved north and has taken up residence over Arkansas. So far, the rainfall estimates are around 7-8 inches in the last 24 hours. That is a LOT of rain. Around 90,000 Arkansans are without power tonight and there are flash flood warnings in many counties. Lots of inconvenience.
Meanwhile in southern Nepal, 60,000 people have lost their homes. In the Bihar state of Inndia, 550,000 people are displaced and another 300,000 still await rescue. The resucue, using mostly small boats, is preceding at a rate of only 25,000 per day.
The Nepal Red Cross is coordinating rescue and relief efforts in my home away from home. Interesting but not surprising, you cannot donate online directly. Another example of how much infrastructure support is needed in Nepal.
If you are interested to donate Nepal Red Cross Society right away, then click on the follwing link to DOWNLOAD THE DONATION FORM and send it to our email address email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org , then you can deposit the amount in our Bank account 18-0002089- 58 of Standard Chartered Bank.
If required we will come to collect the amount in your given address.
We thank you all for your kind cooperation!
Download the Form in MS Word format