In country training takes place at the VSO Nepal offices which are located a few miles away from the guest house. Transport is arranged but after an earlier visit there, four of us decide to walk in order to see a little more of Kathmandu…and what an experience it proves to be. It’s around 8 am and the narrow streets are teeming with life. Children on their way to school, vendors with bicycles laden with fruit and vegetables, people about their daily business, and of course vehicles and motorcycles by the score. ( According to one of our briefings the number of vehicles in Kathmandu has risen by 380% in the last ten years, which undoubtedly contributes in no small measure to the high levels of atmospheric pollution in the city).
Kathmandu clearly wakens early in the morning. The store fronts are already open and with every imaginable item available. (As an aside, there is a temporary badminton court which appears from about 6am until 9 am in the square outside the guest house).
Tea houses are already full and people are beginning to gather at temples and shrines en route. Every available space in the densely packed buildings seems to be used for something. As a precursor to our security briefing, trying to imagine how Kathmandu would fare in an earthquake proves to be a salutary exercise…
Nepal’s new constitution should be written by May 2010, and seemingly isn’t going to be.The 2006 April Uprising opened doors for Nepal to move forward as a democratic republic, placing the power in the people’s hands. Writing a new constitution which secures the rights of all the sectors of the Nepali society and creates the framework for establishing a federal system is the major challenge for the present government.
…and so in country training continues….