Two Weeks Today

I arrived in Nepal two weeks ago, I feel like I have been here longer but also many things are still new to me.  It’s Christmas Day and I did NOT go to 6am yoga – my gift to myself – stay cozy in bed until breakfast!

On Christmas Eve, Sarah and Hannah (the two young Aussies) and I decided to go out for a tea in celebration. We hoped there might be some sort of a dessert to have too but alas no.  So we stuck to our hot lemons and black tea.  The owner came by to wish us a Happy Christmas, he studied hotel management in London and worked for a while in London before his visa ran out.  He returned home to open up ‘My Small Kitchen’ restaurant in Banepa.  He was disappointed we could not celebrate Christmas with a toast so arrived back with an urn, 4 ceramic little bowls and poured us each a measure of a Newari specialty which was a cross between brandy and Irish Poteen.  It was lethal!  We took a few sips while he knocked his back.  Once finished, the ceramic bowls get chucked out and smashed on the “street” outside.  We were warmed from the inside out after our little nip!

This morning I doled out hair ties to a few of the little girls I meet every day on the walk up the hill to work.  They have no clue what Christmas is but were thrilled with the unexpected pressie.  The badminton game was abandoned whilst they compared hair ties.  Let’s hope I picked the right ones!

I have nothing else planned for the remainder of the day except maybe finish early and search out a bar of chocolate – Christmas is not Christmas without Lindt Chocolate Reindeer (a tradition in my family) but I guess a Snickers bar or some such will have to do, washed down with a cup of coffee – bliss!

Happy Christmas everyone!

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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2 Responses to Two Weeks Today

  1. barb says:

    Kate it is so great to read about your adventures! Love that Christmas presents were for hair! Happy New Year!!!

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