Last weekend me and two friends left for two days of Pokhara. In Holland people would tell you you are mad if you opt for a weekend away which involved eight hours by bus to get there and eight hours back! But I finally wanted to go and see Pokhara! And it was worth it!
Friday we left at 7 in the morning. At three o clock we arrived in Pokhara, a beautiful city with a huge lake and towering mountains above(more than 8000 meters!). We went to Dorieke and Karels house, a Dutch couple, but only Dorieke was there. In the evening she made us cheese fondue!!! This is one of the things I really miss from Holland.
The next day we headed out to lakeside, strolling through the park, taking pictures, eating ice-cream and hiring a small rowing boat. We ended up spending the afternoon on the middle of the lake swimming, sun tanning, enjoying the views of mountains and watching people paragliding. All with a nice beer and some crisps. I will come back here in November with Nicole for sure!
Back in Kathmandu I had some small successes at work. I had a meeting with my section team to discuss my policy structure set up. Everybody was very enthusiastic, had feedback and the section chief wants to discuss it with the joint secretary soon! If he agrees we can start implementing this policy management and development structure and this will hopefully lead to better policy development and management and therefore, better implementation!
To end this blog a small reflection. In Nepal there is still a caste system. A caste system is a type of social structure which divides people on the basis of inherited social status. Although many societies could be described in this way, within a caste system, people are rigidly expected to marry and interact with people of the same social class. If people fall in love with somebody from another caste this can lead to hatred and violence from the families. Most of the time the couple has to flee from their villages and try and create a new life somewhere else, without family and hiding one of their castes background. These Romeo and Julia stories happen regularly in Nepal. VSO volunteer in Nepal Dilman Dila created a documentary on this. Check
It is very impressive and makes you realize that there are still so many prejudiced people in this country, and some very brave people who condemn the caste system for the one they love. If you are interested you can buy the dvd from me for 10 euro. The money will go 50% to the costs of producing the movie and 50% to the couples who married inter caste and are still suffering from the consequences. Transfer 10 euros to L.F. Ris, 385241259 and I will bring the dvds with me in September.