And this week’s news …

The heavy monsoon rains continue across Nepal with over 102 people killed, 22 reported missing and 58 injured as a result of flooding and/or landslides in the past 5 days.  Part of the Araniko Highway further east of me in Banepa, was shut down for two days due to landslides.

In addition to the displacement of people from their homes, there is also a big fear of an epidemic of water-borne diseases including typhoid, dysentery, cholera etc.  Don’t worry, I am vaccinated but many are not, I know of at least one recent typhoid case.

kids rescue flood

In political news, poor President Bidya Devi Bhandari must be shaking her head– the deadline given to the parties to form a consensus government expired on Sunday without any result.  It’s because the 2nd largest party CPN-UML decided to sit in opposition.

As a consensus could not be reached with one large party not at the table, Her Excellency had no other choice but to instruct commencement of the process to elect a new Prime Minister on majority basis (as opposed to a consensus).

Not a very happy looking crowd with President Bidya Devi Bhandar yesterday. Photo credit eKantipur

Not a very happy looking group of party leaders with President Bidya Devi Bhandar yesterday. Photo credit eKantipur

That vote is due to take place tomorrow.  We shall see ……

Balancing out with a bit of positive news …  for the first time in Nepal’s history there are three women on the Supreme Court including Sapana Pradhan Malla, a strong advocate for social justice including women’s rights.  Ms Malla was one of 11 new Supreme Court Justices voted in yesterday.

Sapana Pradhan Malla is seated in the back row 2nd from right. Photo credit Kathmandu Post

Sapana Pradhan Malla is standing in the back row 2nd from right. Photo credit Kathmandu Post.

She is a very popular appointment amongst Nepal’s youth and social activists.  Let’s hope she is allowed to make a difference.

And continuing the rituals during the month of Shrawan, the holy ritual of Bol Bom was observed yesterday.  During Bol Bom, many pilgrims bring water from Sundarijal located 15km NE of Kathmandu, and walk barefoot in saffron robes, offering it to Lord Shiva at Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.  It is believed that participating in Bol Bom grants the wishes of the devotees.

No sign of any Bol Bom holy rituals in Banepa yesterday as far as I could see!

Dirty feet of the pilgrims after their long barefoot walk. Photo credit: Angad Dhakal.

Dirty feet of the pilgrims after their long barefoot walk. Photo credit: Angad Dhakal.

Btw, I was in Kathmandu Friday to Sunday for a variety of appointments and my feet did not look far off the grimy feet in this photo, after tramping to government offices in the monsoon rains!  I had to scrub the bejaysus out of my sandals last night!

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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One Response to And this week’s news …

  1. SafeNEPAL says:

    Excellent. High appreciation for your efforts. Please keep up:)

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