I was sitting having lunch with a couple friends in Vilnius when the usual question popped up.
“So what will you be doing in Nepal?”
It’s usually the first question that people ask when I tell them I’m going to work as an AP Peace Fellow for the summer.
“Well, I’ll be advocating on behalf of member organizations of the Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP) in Baglung.”
This usually draws rather blank stares. It did for my buddies in Vilnius. Truth is, I’m really not sure exactly what I’ll be doing or for whom. This is the first time The Advocacy Project is sending out fellows to the COCAP focal point offices around Nepal.
Other than a (dubious) Wikipedia article and some general info from the COCAP website, I know next to nothing about my village Baglung. Furthermore, since we are a person short after a fellow dropped out, I’ll probably be shuttling back and forth between Kathmandu and Baglung to offer my services at the Kathmandu COCAP office.
I wouldn’t really say I’m nervous, perhaps anxious, but that’s to be expected from a new experience in a foreign land. Monsoonal rains, sinewy mountain roads, and snakes (I have an Indiana Jones-like phobia of snakes) should make for an exciting time.
But the overwhelming feeling is eager anticipation. It’s such an important time for Nepal. A year ago, there was an absolute monarch ruling the country by decree.
Mass protest, international pressure and a thirst for change has led to today’s prospect for peace, democracy and (hopefully!) elections. The country is at a critical juncture. So what will I be doing in Nepal? Stay tuned…more to come!
Posted By Tassos Coulaloglou
Posted Jun 5th, 2007