We successfully arrived at the Kathmandu airport on February 11th and were greeted by a smiling and exuberant Rosie Hughes (fellow Dartmouth alum), with whom we stayed during most of our sojourn in Nepal.
She skillfully bargained down our taxi price in Nepali and whisked us away to her home, across the Bagmati River and south into the Kupandol district of Patan. Kathmandu is ricketier than Beijing, and older-seeming in ways that give it charm and character. Where most of Beijing has been replaced by tall buildings and enormous apartment complexes, Kathmandu seemed full of winding streets with colorful houses. Rosie lives in the Kupandol area of Patan, down a street that seemed far too narrow for a cab but through which he magically fit, and in a house right next to a yarn-dyer who lays out a new color of beautiful yarn to dry every day. It seemed magical, somehow, to me.
Rosie is in Kathmandu on a ten-month assignment with the International Rescue Committee, a non-profit humanitarian aid organization dedicated to emergency relief, human rights, post-conflict development, and resettlement services. She is there as their Grants and Information Fellow, which I understand means she does a lot of communication work, both to the outside world about the IRC’s work in Nepal, and also to local Nepalese staff, teaching them grants and information writing skills. (Rosie, please correct me if I’m wrong). Some of her professional work has been published by Reuters, such as a piece she did on the flooding in Nepal and northern India from the Koshi River. She also has a personal blog where your can follow her exploits in Kathmandu and beyond.
We give all our thanks to Rosie and her two Australian roommates Gemma and Avigail for letting us stay with them and showing us so much hospitality. And also to their landlord who did not kick us out of our new home despite the city’s severe water shortages, though I think she may have wanted to. Immense thanks to you all!