The conference in Pokhara went really well. I met all the member organizations, and everyone is doing such interesting, risky work — from human rights to women’s rights to working with the Untouchables, to health and media and natural resources management… All this in a country where human rights abuses are rampant and severe, human rights defenders are persecuted, jailed, tortured and threatened, and women are in general very disempowered. Another Kate from the United States is interning with one of our member organizations, so we hung out in Pokhara. We stumbled upon a Tibetan Refugee Settlement and it was fantastic — almost exactly as I imagined – huge prayer wheels, and prayer flags everywhere.
We came back on a hideous, hideous night bus. Kate threw up the entire ride, and had a flying roach on her hand (which then went in my shoe). The bus conductor barked exactly like a rabid dog everytime the bus stopped and left again. It was definitely one of the world’s greatest mysteries! The interior of the bus was decorated just like an apartment, complete with posters and a clock. We made a few stops, and pulled in at a seedy rest place to sleep for 2 hours (or not, as it happened — the seats didn’t even go back, making sleep impossible). The rest place also had the nastiest, most terrible, hellish bathrooms. The holes were actually convex, with feces pouring out of them, and spit all over. Ah, the good times!
Now back in Kathmandu, I have moved to my Expat Palace, and will be starting Nepali and yoga classes soon!
Posted By Kate Kuo (Nepal)
Posted Jun 13th, 2003