Nothing is ever black and white…

Time marches inexorably on, and yet some things seem to remain the same. Nepal now has a prime minister, but its difficult to see what progress has been made in moving things forward, as the ‘discussions’ move to who will be in the government. As ever, claim and counter claim fill the press, and its impossible to get any real sense of what is going on. And as with the British press, there are newspapers with varying degrees of affiliation to the different political parties. The common thread however remains one of dissatisfaction…and not without a good deal of justification. In May last year I wrote about the brinkmanship involved as the interim Constitution was extended for a further year, until May 2011. Needless to say, there remain many loose ends, and it remains uncertain whether or not the new Constitution will be drafted in time. Meanwhile, ongoing discussions regarding who will be in the home ministry aren’t moving the formation of a government much further forward. The Maoists appear to be indicating that they will not participate in the new government, whilst the Nepal Congress has already indicated that it won’t participate. The door to change may be open, but its difficult to see who’s going through it…

Doorway, Kathmandu. John Callaway 2011

Doorway, Kathmandu. John Callaway 2011

Meanwhile I’m spending more time in Kathmandu, since the closure of Navadeep Jyoti Kendra due to the end of its funding. I’m still working three days a week for Sakriya Plus Nepal, but have been co-opted to work with VSO to help look at the Nepal Government’s recently published health sector reform plan, and ascertain ways in which the work of VSO can best contribute in helping Nepal to reach the Millennium Development Goals. In truth, I’d forgotten how much I enjoy this sort of stuff, and it was certainly interesting to attend my first meeting inside the Ministry Of Health a few days ago. Meanwhile, you can’t help feeling from time to time that much of the population of Nepal remains, if not indifferent, at least oblivious to what is going on around them, as they go about their daily lives…

Oblivious... John Callaway 2011

Oblivious... John Callaway 2011

Rock & roll may not save the world, but sometimes you have to admire the way in which it can bring people together…if only for the duration of a concert! Last weekend Bryan Adams became the first international rock musician to play a live concert in Nepal…and yes I went! I have to say, he wouldn’t have been a first choice for me to go and see in the UK, but he was pretty impressive. He had the crowd of 20,000 or so, (of which around 75-80% appeared to be Nepali) eating out of his hand after he opened up with Bob Seger’s “Kathmandu”…. The policing was somewhat interesting mind you…

Rocking In The Free World. John Callaway 2011

Rocking In The Free World. John Callaway 2011

Click here for a view of the man himself.

And finally, another one of those moments when you just end up somewhere on a whim, and get the privilege of meeting these guys…

Dignity...John Callaway 2011

Dignity...John Callaway 2011

Yogi. John Callaway 2011

Yogi. John Callaway 2011

Priceless….

फेरि भेौला !

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