Eat y’self fitter…

Well that’s that then…recovered and back in the saddle so to speak! Business as usual…or not! I’ve become accustomed to things not going according to plan here, and my diary for the week ahead seldom reflects what actually happened…although sometimes it gets quite close! I’ve been meeting with the Board and staff of both Sakriya Plus Nepal and Navadeep Jyoti Kendra to discuss the feasibility of a joint proposal to FHI to continue the Positive Prevention Programme in Kavre beyond the end of September 2010. As with any joint proposal, discussions about loss of identity, possible loss of jobs, and the more fundamental ‘who manages the project‘ have at times been interesting! However, at the beginning of last week, it appeared that a meeting in Kathmandu was on the cards with FHI to discuss the proposal in more detail. Fast forward to last Friday when I was scheduled to go with representatives of both organisations. A ‘lively’ meeting in the morning produced a change of plan, with different people attending said meeting…I’m looking forward to Monday and the outcome!

Rudra Puja offerings. John Callaway 2010

Rudra Puja offerings. John Callaway 2010

Perhaps none of this is surprising given that those running the country at present seem unable to provide much of a lead in terms of ‘getting things done’. Some weeks ago, I wrote about the apparent constitutional crisis which was looming, which was averted at the last minute. The then prime minister resigned and the country has now had 4 attempts to install a new one…it just hasn’t happened yet… Here’s a good summation of affairs to date if you want to read it.

But for me this placement is about much more than organisational development and management  systems….its about people, relationships and cultural understanding. And I’m constantly being reminded of this through my daily interaction with the community. Two events of the past weekend more than compensate for the frustrations of earlier in the week…

I live on the first floor of a building that is owned by my landlord Hari. He and his extended family also live in the building, and we often pass on the stairs and exchange a few words. A knock on my door on Saturday and Hari’s youngest brother tells me that the entire family are ‘doing puja’ and would I like to join them. What an enormous privilege as I spend all afternoon with the family, before sharing traditional Nepali food with them. Later on in the evening I’m invited back for more food, and to be shown some of the basics of Nepali cooking.

Rudra Puja. John Callaway 2010

Rudra Puja. John Callaway 2010

Food is inextricably bound up with Nepali culture, and the following day, a planned trip to Kathmandu to visit a drug rehab with Raju,  a member of staff from Sakriya Plus Nepal, includes a visit to his mother to sample yet more traditional Nepali food. मीठो  छ  indeed…!

Good, wholesome, nourishing, home-cooked food…just what’s needed  after the somewhat drastic weight loss of last week…and  just because I can, a link to the immense Fall doing Eat Y’self Fitter” back in the early 1980’s

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5 responses to “Eat y’self fitter…

  • Lesley Callaway

    Good to see you are back to health and your usual enigmatic (if that’s the right word!!) self xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • johnnyc1959

    Polite way of saying “writing the usual oblique nonsense”???

  • Mally Saunders

    Hi John,
    Just been catching up with your blog. Hope you are feeling a lot better now. The hospitality of the people feeding you and inviting you into their homes to share in the rituals must have helped. I remember well the feelings associated with the onset of the monsoons, but at least I always had access to clean drinking water in Singapore in the 1960s. You are learning so much first hand about another culture and the difficulties faced by many people all over Asia. I don’t think you will be able to cope with us indulged spoilt brats when you return to us. Whenever I mentioned cream teas and pampered cats, no doubt you will want to smack me one! Take care my dear,
    Love, Mally XX

  • johnnyc1959

    Hi Mal
    Much better thanks…as Lesley noted above!!
    All part of life’s rich tapestry…I’ve only experienced what is pretty commonplace here. The thing for me is that here in the 21st century, the right to clean water, good health and a level of income that is above the poverty level should not be optional and dependant upon circumstance. Hopefully what I write about gets people to think, and maybe act differently in some small way…”think global, act local” to use a slightly trite phrase.

    Cream teas are not off the agenda though…!!! Local produce, locally sourced, and providing an income to producers /tea shop owners in the area being the only caveat….

    John

  • Mally Saunders

    Hi John,
    Glad you get the cream teas and I’m sure you are very kind to the local cats too! Very true what you say about basic rights and I’m sure your blog is read with interest by many. Frustrating situation and one that seems difficult to solve. particularly clean water in areas prone to monsoon flooding e.g. neighbouring Bangladesh another case in point. Anyway, I’m off to watch the tele and pack for a few days in Cornwall with Carol and Milly. Take care my dear,
    Much love,
    Mally.
    XXX

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