11 May: Kathmandu, Nepal

11 May

I received a wakeup call at 9 am.  I went downstairs and saw my German friend, Karl.  I sat with him for breakfast and talked about the news.  I noticed the IMF had some bailout of Pakistan of $5.3 billion.  I wondered why they were bailing them out given the so called ‘war on terror’. Pakistan were playing an interesting game supporting the United States and sympathising with the Taliban, given they were Muslim.  It was indeed fascinating to see how this politically, culturally and religiously played out.  I wondered at the influence behind the bailout.  I noted also a bailout of Portugal and the global financial crisis. In my view it is still going.  Yet money is bailing out countries to maintain stability yet at the end of the day these are failing economies in a global system that is producing too much credit driven by greed and instant gratification.  It is truly remarkable to watch it unfold.

Anyway I sat there chatting to Karl and then Gordon turned up.  A little later Peter and Pat came.  They indicated they were going to the Department of Education that we were welcome to come.  Gordon was waiting for this lady he met 40 years ago called Pam, she is around 70.  So he decided to stay around the hotel as she may be returning on this day.  I was going to stay and then reconsidered when I reflected on peace education.  Perhaps I could get the Education Department to consider peace education as a viable segment of education.  So I decided to go.

We ended up visiting Krishna’s place first and meeting with his lovely children.  His son was sick from a long all day bike ride and his daughter was present.  So Pat, Peter and I chatted with the son about his interests and time in Australia whilst Krishna and Krista made lunch.  They treated us with a wonderful soup and vegetable rice.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and the surroundings of the house.  I saw his family photos and a picture of his wife and children.  She seemed a lovely woman, very hard to be apart I could imagine.  

They talked about this humour trek and teaching training and possible start dates.  I sat eating some watermelon and enjoying the company.

We then decided to leave.  I did notice Kailash had his motorbike.  I didn’t want to ask for a ride but it turned out that Peter asked Kailash if he would like to take a passenger.  I was really happy as I really wanted a ride.  So I jumped on the back in my Nepalese clothes and off we went.  I find bikes easy as I used to ride a 550cc Honda for many years in Brisbane.  I love the feel of a bike, the gliding in and out of traffic and feel I have good balance, didn’t fall off once!  I filmed from the back of the bike and took photos.  I had a great time.  It was nice to ride with Kailash.

We then arrived at the LEARN office.  Kailash and I played with photos and transferred them to a flash drive.  A friend of Peter’s arrived his name is Rinzin Sherpa, he is actually a Sherpa and I smiled at his last name.  I found out that he had a wonderful friend staying with him from the United States who is into peace.  Her name is Tara.  I indicated I wanted to meet her, I understand she is involved in a NGO and I want to find out more.  Always keen to meet peace people.

From there we decided to squeeze into a taxi and go to the REED Office.  Kailash used to work for REED.  We arrived there and met the guy coordinating.  He had a nice office and Peter filmed him talking about REED and possible relationship with LEARN.  He spoke of the Education Department and the importance of following the rules, which apparently do change.  So they have to be up to speed with the government in order to deliver teaching training.  

After our meeting we headed back to the hotel and had a Lasse together.  I was mindful this was our last night.  I did get the chance to ring the American woman Tara and speak to her.  We will meet tomorrow at a time and place to be arranged.  I would have loved to have spent time with Kailash and Krishna given it was our last night.  They had to go.  I watched them leave and felt the connection.

We ended up going for dinner and I felt to finish up with Dahl Baat, as my tribute to this country.  I thought of our friends in Nepal.  I will miss them a great deal.

We went back to the hotel and saw our musician friends (Suresh Gandhari and friends) and decided to have a tea.  We met Joanne, an Australian who is patron of an orphanage here.  We met her lovely Nepalese friend and son.  She told us of her love affair and the challenges of it.  I enjoyed the chat and recognised how our culture is so understood.  I really understood her thinking as I am Australian.  She is an independent Australian woman trying to understand a Muslim man.  She had no concept of the differences between men and women and couldn’t understand.  She is head strong and it sounded like her man is too, so there relationship will be rich with learning’s.  

I went off to bed, my last night in this wonderful city of Kathmandu.  One more day to go and then back to Australia.  I am looking forward to going home but I am already missing dear friends. I thanked the team tonight for their kindness and making this a wonderful time, I felt really appreciative.   What a learning journey!

Mohandas Gandhi

“Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.”

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