A hit of Canada

Many of you Bowenians will remember Nicole Martin who used to work at the Bowen Island Arts Council.  As it happens she and a group of friends are currently on a tour of India and Nepal, so I was delighted to meet up with Nicole and friends in Kathmandu.

They have done a whirlwind tour of India and spent their first night in Nepal last Friday night.  I had the blissful experience of staying at the hotel, complete with hot shower and get this – heated room!  I was so so very happy.  It’s always the little things no?

It was lovely to see Nicole and get caught up with her (photo to follow), and get the highlights of her trip thus far – the Taj Mahal and the ghats at Varanasi (definitely on my bucket list).  Most of the group were heading off early Saturday morning for a flight to see Everest.  I must admit I was a tad doubtful as more often than not the Kathmandu Valley is fogged in in the mornings which means no flights in or out.  I was right, they were all back at the hotel for 9am eating breakfast. So instead the group (and Nicole) opted for a 7-hour bus tour of Kathmandu.  Lynda and Anita (two from the group) opted to take it easy so we hopped in a taxi and headed to the Boudhnath Stupa in Kathmandu, one of my fav places.  

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 the past two years, my work in Nepal has expanded to the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation www.bomkarlsson.com and the Spinal Cord Injured Network Nepal. 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 the 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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4 Responses to A hit of Canada

  1. Katherine says:

    The gnats or the ghats!? 🙂
    The effort to help Marsang come to Canada is on again! Ian’s father needs a caregiver so we have started the process. L-o-n-g and convoluted!

    • Kate Coffey says:

      Ha ha, I just corrected that typo – lol. That would be so great for Marsang, I hope to meet her early February, I have too many things planned to spare a weekend in KTM.

  2. lalastudios says:

    Great to hear you hooked up with Nicole and friends. And btw, hot shower and heated room — I count those as the “big things.” Miss you.

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