In the shadow of uncertainty…

May 27th brings us back to Kathmandu following four days at the annual VSO conference, at a venue in Godavari, an hour or so’s drive away from the city. This is also the date of Buddha Purnima, the worldwide celebration of the 2554th birth anniversary of the Buddha. Of significantly less global importance, it is also the birthday of a certain johnnyc1959! Sometimes fate deals some interesting cards….

Swayambhunath. john Callaway 2010

Swayambhunath. John Callaway 2010

On the eve of a still as yet unresolved constitutional situation, there may yet be a bitter irony in celebrating Buddha Purnima in Nepal, the country of his birth, at a time when wisdom, compassion and skilfulness appear to be in short supply amongst those who would run the country.

As of now (6.30 pm: 27 May 2010) the security situation from VSO’s perspective has improved and I (along with the other volunteers from the current cohort) will be traveling to our placements on Wednesday 2 June. I have met with representatives from the two partner agencies that I will be working with,(Sakriya Plus Nepal and Nava Deep Jyoti), both of whom deliver a range of services to people with HIV/AIDS in the Kavre district of Nepal. Hopefully my next blog entry will record the fact that I’m in situ, and begin to unpack some of what it is I’m going to be engaged in. However, as most of you will by now have realised, a week is a very long time in Nepal, and the latest news from the Himalayan Times is not altogether encouraging…

Unified CPN-Maoist on Thursday decided not to extend the term of the constituent assembly unless Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal steps down.
A meeting of the party’s standing committee concluded at Paris Danda reiterated that the party would never support extending the CA’s term in the status-quo situation. Maoist spokesperson Dinanath Sharma said UCPN-Maoist would cooperate with the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML to extend the CA term only after the resignation of Prime Minister Nepal”

(Online update: 27 May 2010: 4.58 pm).

Buddhist Prayer Flags. John Callaway 2010

Buddhist Prayer Flags. John Callaway 2010

…and so Nepal waits.

7 responses to “In the shadow of uncertainty…

  • Mally Saunders

    Hi John,
    Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!
    Hope you are well and SAFE. You are definitely on an exciting adventure. Enjoy your birthday and hope you get to your placement on the 2nd June. Take care,
    much love,
    PS My friend from school, June says she has written to you. She’s accepted a post in Gambia.

  • Karen Bone

    Hi John,

    No idea how reliable these translation websites are but…

    Janma dhin ko Subha kamana!

    Many happy returns,


  • Auntie Jude

    Hi John

    Hope it has been a memorable birthday for you! Looks like Karen and I were on the same translation site – hope you finally managed to open my e-card.

    Take Care. Everyone sends their Love.
    As Always
    Auntie Jude

  • Pam Bush

    Happy Birthaday to you – hope it is!
    What a difference a year makes in terms of birthday celebrations!
    Good luck as you embark on your placement – we’ll be thinking of you hoping all goes well. Look forward to hearing all about it!
    Take care
    Pam (&mum) xxx

  • carol

    Happy Birthday to you all the way in Nepal. Perhaps I could send you an e.card From all of us to you accross the miles. Or whatever.
    Anyway, I do hope you are still enjoying the adventure and I am looking forward to next instalment. Hope you fit and well and happy.
    Ian sends his best wishes too.

  • jackie arnold

    many happy returns on your birthday. an auspicious day indeed. a birthday on the top of the world will certainly be one to remember, have a lovely day. i hope that you are able to go ahead with your job as anticipated. i must say that sending birthday greetings to someone in nepal has given me a certain standing amongst the grandsons who now know where it is on the globe as a result.

  • johnnyc1959

    Thanks for all the good wishes. Certainly one of my more memorable birthdays!!

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