It’s a small world

1.  Uncle Jerry whom some of you have already met, lives in a brilliant care facility in Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia.  He got chatting to a male nurse, asking him here he was from – Nepal.  Then Unc mentioned about me being in Nepal etc etc.  Well it turns out the nurse knows SIRC very well and is from our neighbourhood.  How delightful for Uncle Jerry to show the young man my write-ups of SIRC and my day to day life in Nepal in my blog, and for the young man having someone in his new home, know where Bhainsepati is.  The world is really just a connection of human beings. 2.  Cathy & Len Stevulak in Washington State were my contacts into BRAC in Bangladesh – where I am next headed to in 6 weeks time. Cathy also introduced me to Andreas Falk, who heads up the German-Nepalese Help Association, Cathy knows Andreas from Bangladesh.  Andreas spends much of his time in Nepal so she thought he might be a good contact for me. I first met Andreas with his nephew Philip for a coffee in Vancouver, a week before I left Canada for my year’s journey.  They were on vacation in Vancouver.  It was through our chat then that I discovered the German-Nepalese Help Association has generously supported the Poor Patient Fund at SIRC for many years, and in fact Andreas remembers SIRC from the very early days when they were based in Jorpati, Kathmandu.  So another case of Small Worldness – Bangladesh to the US, to Germany to Canada to Nepal! Andreas is in Nepal right now, reviewing existing projects in girls education, clean water and sanitation projects here in Nepal, and was out this way looking at potential sites for a teacher training college.  So I was able to catch up with him and his Nepal team for a quick dinner in Dhulikhel Lodge Resort (about 4km east of Banepa).  I was pretty impressed for the broad range of projects that the German-Nepalese Help Association are involved in, and how astute they are in spending precious euros donated by their loyal donors – very impressive.  Please check out their valuable work on their website, much of it is translated into English if you do not have German.

Andreas and Kate

Andreas and Kate in Dhulikhel

Good luck to Andreas and his team at German-Nepalese Help Association! 3.  And a quick #3.  Andreas was connected with a German doctor volunteering at Dhulikhel Hospital by friends of his back home in Germany.  They were also meeting at Dhulikhel Lodge Resort yesterday.  It turns out they had already met a few years back at a summer concert in rural Germany, her daughter was the flutist in the symphony. Very small world it is indeed.

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 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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3 Responses to It’s a small world

  1. Renu says:

    Heartwarming… Six degrees of seperation!

  2. Md. Bazlur Rahman says:

    May i please request for contact address of Andreas Falk, once i worked with him in GTZ supported project

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