Ted Samuel (Nepal)


Ted Samuel

Aaron "Ted" Samuel (Jagaran Media Center): Ted graduated from Kenyon College in 2005 with a degree in international studies. He earned college and departmental honors and was inducted to both the Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Iota Rho Honor Societies. He was also awarded the prestigious Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award and Franklin Miller Award for his campus leadership, activism and efforts in raising money for tsunami relief. In 2005 to 2006 Ted served as a Fulbright research fellow in South India where he researched the social movement of the Aravani – or South Indian Transgender – community. After his fellowship, Ted wrote: “Though some parts of [my] travels ranged from uncomfortable to heartbreaking, the images I saw and the people I met are forever engrained into my mind and I will be able to share these experiences with others for the rest of my life.”



10 Oct

Finding Answers

And it’s over. In the blink of an eye, I somehow reappeared in the United States. I am still in the process of sorting through thousands of memories, mental images, and learning experiences, and I must admit that I am not getting very far. (Perhaps that is why I have struggled to write this particular […]

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Posted Oct 10, 2007

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13 Sep

Vendors, and Beggars, Drug Hawkers…. Oh My!

It is a sight that is far too common. A traveler walks through the crowded streets of Thamel – the tourist haven/slum of Kathmandu – followed by a horde of souvenir vendors, beggars, and people who promise to sell them the best marijuana in the country. Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. It doesn’t matter […]

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Posted Sep 13, 2007

2
12 Sep

The Gandharbas of Nepal

I thought I’d share this piece that Ganesh Gandhari, a member of the Gandharba Culture and Arts Organization, and I put together. (Ganesh acted as the primary author, but I helped a bit with the structure and grammar of the article.) It gives a short personal personal perspective of the history and current struggles of […]

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Posted Sep 12, 2007

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07 Sep

Blasts

I was a bit late in hearing the news. I had spent the previous few days lying in bed with the flu and failed to realize that the world was continuing its course, whether I was healthy or not. When I returned to the office on September 3rd, the first thing my German colleague, Matthias, […]

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Posted Sep 07, 2007

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29 Aug

Food for Thought

Everyone has their minor addictions. Mine is food, and I’m proud of it. I love healthy food, fresh food, fried food, “ethnic” food, junk food… and the list goes on. I often think about it, talk about it, plan entire vacations around it, and even occasionally dream of the many flavors that my tongue has […]

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Posted Aug 29, 2007

2
23 Aug

The Bandha Conundrum

Kathmandu is uncharacteristically silent today. The air is a much cleaner than usual and the roads seem a bit safer as vehicles (which are infamous for spewing soot laced fumes, swerving drastically, and honking for dear life) have altogether disappeared. There are random groupings of policemen and army officials lazily sitting under trees near the […]

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Posted Aug 23, 2007

1
10 Aug

(Even More) Arrested Developments

My colleagues who were involved in the protests at Singha Durbar did not return to the office yesterday. Even though we expected them to arrive sometime in the afternoon – as they had done in the demonstrations earlier – I was not incredibly worried about thier safety as I walked home. Today, however, I learned […]

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Posted Aug 10, 2007

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09 Aug

Arrested Developments

Nearly a quarter of the JMC staff and volunteers were arrested two days ago as the result of a sit-in protest at Singha Durbar, a temple facing the entrance of Nepali Parliament. They were released within a few hours and no one seemed to be hurt or even the slightest bit perturbed. Yesterday almost half […]

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Posted Aug 09, 2007

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19 Jul

News

A seven year old boy was forced by his school teacher to lick his own feces in front of his peers. A 12 year old Dalit girl was gang raped and then killed in the Siraha district. Scholarship money reserved for Dalit children has repeatedly been embezzeled by upper-caste school administrators.There are so many stories […]

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Posted Jul 19, 2007

4
12 Jul

Totally Gross

“Gross” is a word that I try to keep out of my vocabulary, especially in this part of the world. My experience in India has taught me that there will be days when you sweat so much that your fingers prune. I learned that you always have to watch your step while walking on the […]

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Posted Jul 12, 2007

4
04 Jul

Hopes and Dreams

When I was in elementary school, I knew that I would be an astronaut when I grew up. After tasting the spotlight in my fourth grade play, I decided that I could be an actor too. My father was a doctor, so maybe practicing medicine was in my blood? Or I could just live the […]

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Posted Jul 04, 2007

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04 Jul

Mental Snapshots

A picture is worth a thousand words… right? Well unfortunately I don’t have a digital camera to speak of, so getting any pictures on this blog is an uphill battle for me. I can however offer you some “mental snapshots” of the lighter moments that I experienced during the past week’s road trip. My hope […]

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Posted Jul 04, 2007

1
03 Jul

Devin and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

We didn’t get around in a time traveling phone booth, and we might not have met the likes of Socrates, Joan of Arc, Abe Lincoln, and Napoleon… but Devin and Ted’s excellent adventure was just as interesting and entertaining as any film starring Keanu Reeves. Recently Devin (the other AP Fellow working with JMC), Prakash […]

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Posted Jul 03, 2007

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03 Jul

Putting 2 and 2 together

Caste and Nepal. As an Indian-American and a student of Indian Religions, Cultures, and History, it is safe to say that I have a decent grasp on the concept of caste. As the geography bee participant in junior high and (slightly more recently) a traveler and performer in Nepal, I have learned a fair amount […]

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Posted Jul 03, 2007

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21 Jun

Resam Phiri Ri

I walked into Thamel – the chaotic tourist district in Kathmandu – armed only with a name, Ganesh Gandhari, and a vague address. I was looking for the office of the Gandharba Culture and Art Organization (GCAO), an association set up by members of a Dalit musician caste here in Nepal. As soon as I […]

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Posted Jun 21, 2007

1
20 Jun

Prachanda’s Speech

There were quite a few influential politicians and leaders at the National Assembly of Dalit Citizens this past weekend, but Prachanda, the leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN or Maoists) definitely made the most fans. His speech – and even his mere presence at the event – was the highlight for scores of […]

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Posted Jun 20, 2007

1
18 Jun

Motivation Boost

A cab ride to Balmiki to attend the National Assembly of Dalit Citizens – 85 Nepali Rupees. The cost of a bottle of water to prevent dehydration at this outdoor event – 15 Rupees. The price of a newspaper which summarized and highlighted the speeches of Dalit leaders and guest politicians (which included Prachanda, the […]

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Posted Jun 18, 2007

1
13 Jun

Reality Check

Just as I was ready to get into the swing of things, disaster struck. Okay, I am a bit melodramatic when I use the word disaster, but being sick in Nepal is no celebration either. While posting my last entry, I felt a slight soreness in my throat. The next day… well it’s hard to […]

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Posted Jun 13, 2007

2
08 Jun

The Foreign Crutch

“You look like a Nepali”. I have been in Kathmandu for about 3 days now, and have heard this phrase about 18 times. (Honestly, I take it as a compliment because Nepal is full of good-looking people!) My immediate response, after thanking the person who made the observation, is to explain that I am South […]

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Posted Jun 08, 2007

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