Mark Koenig

Mark Koenig (Collective Campaign for Peace – COCAP): Mark was born in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from the International School of Bern in Switzerland in 2000, he spent one year at Davidson College in North Carolina and then moved on to Johns Hopkins University where he received a bachelor's degree with honors in Political Science in 2004. While studying at Johns Hopkins, Mark completed internships with genomics researcher Craig Venter, US House Representative Chris Van Hollen, and in London with Lady Sylvia Hermon, a Member of Parliament from Northern Ireland. After graduation, Mark moved to Shenzhen, China where he lived for two years teaching English at Shenzhen Senior High School. At the time of his fellowship, Mark was studying at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston focusing on post-conflict reconstruction, law and development. After his fellowship, Mark wrote: “I think that perhaps it is my interest in and understanding of community level dynamics and activities that has developed the most while here. The significance of community level interactions and relationships as it pertains to the events that take place on a national level is an intriguing topic that this summer has given me new insight into.”

Ranjita Pariyar

29 Aug

Kaushalya Pariyar (introduced in the previous blog entry) lives a block away from Ranjita Pariyar in Shantitole Village. They are not related by blood, rather they are related through their situations and struggles. Like Kaushalya, Ranjita is the wife of a tailor who could not sustain his family though tailoring. Ranjita’s husband has had to go to India as a day laborer, just like Kaushalya’s. Both these women work hard physical jobs to try and make ends meet while their husbands are away.

Ranjita works at the local stone mill. Working at the stone mill more or less entails breaking rocks all day with a hammer. In Nepal it is cheaper to have humans make gravel than to buy machines. Ranjita sits for hours a day in the hot sun using a small hammer to break as many rocks as she can. Recently Ranjita has been having more trouble working at the mill but she cannot stop going. What is the reason behind her recent difficulties? Ranjita is more than seven months pregnant.

Ranjita recently learned her husband, Ramesh, is on his way back from India. It is too hard there for him to earn a living, and he does not want to be away when his third child is born. What Ramesh will do when he returns is unclear, but for the time being Ranjita is just happy that he will be back home. His children Saugat and Siddharth will also be happy to have their Father home again. Ramesh will certainly be happy to learn of Saugat’s recent progress in school. At less than ten years old he is now the first member of his family who can read.

Posted By Mark Koenig

Posted Aug 29th, 2007

Enter your Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *