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!
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.
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