Moving in and feeling like home

Yesterday, I moved into my rental apartment, a very happy moment!   It was just great to have my own place and enjoy cooking again.  My hotel is less than a half a block away so I got one of the young guys at the hotel to help me carry the bags over to the new apartment.  A lady by the name of Parvin  does the cleaning and laundry at the apartment so she arrived soon after I arrived and showed me the lay of the land.  I will want for nothing!  She is absolutely stunning looking, I feel like an oaf next to her,  She is a single mum with two kids, a 15 year old girl and a 7 year old boy and seems to provide this service to a few apartments in the building.  Both kids are in school and she hopes they will go on to 3rd level education.  She never went to school but she can read & write enough to get by, and her English is excellent. I took the opportunity to have Parvin walk me over to a nearby market to get some groceries & cleaning supplies.  We live in such a global world these days that I got pretty much everything I needed … including decaf coffee!  I dunno why I crave coffee daily, it’s decaf for crying out loud but it is a must have.  We got two rickshaws back with all the stuff, it seems I am set up very well for the next 4 months.  Parvin also agreed to give me some cooking lessons on local dishes, fantastic! Got the wifi reconnected too, a luxury I know but how I have missed wifi in the evenings.  Also, there is electricity here most of the day!  As compared to load shedding for 8+ hours at a time in Nepal.  We had one outage for about an hour last night but the generator kicked in so a few lights & the fans & AC remained operational.  Bliss!  Maybe it is because I am in Gulshan, but I think there is more infrastructure here in Dhaka than there was in Kathmandu.  Even when sightseeing around Dhaka on Sunday through other neighborhoods, I still got that same sense.  The roads are paved and maintained, traffic lights work etc.  Just the general feel I get. Once Parvin left, it felt good to unpack my bags into wardrobes, hang up my clothes, lay out toiletries in the bathroom knowing no other young volunteers will use them, and generally be happy to no longer live out of my bags.  In Banepa everything stayed in bags for want of furniture to put my clothes in. I loaded up on Mortein’s mosquito repellent plug ins, my internet research deemed this product was the best for use in high-mosquito areas such as Dhaka.  And I am happy to report no new mozzie bites for me overnight.  Woohoo!  It’s always the small things eh? I slept well on my first night in my new home, today is a whole other day.

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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3 Responses to Moving in and feeling like home

  1. Grace Coffey says:

    Wishing you every happiness in your new home! Enjoy the cookery lessons – please bring your fav home with you. Xx

  2. Esha Thapa says:

    kate…you sound as happy as always…love your blog
    We will try to make you life better when you are back in Nepal. Rasil’s apartment is the answer. There is a new city museum oped in town.

    • Kate Coffey says:

      No need to worry Esha, I will,be back to SIRC for sure! And yes, Rashil’s apartment will be perfect for me when that time comes. I saw about the new museum, I think Kumudini mentioned it on FB! Missing you all …. love Kate xo

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