Updates, Dasain

No updates in a while, as things are a bit slow around here. I am still working on getting used to the pace of work here, as it is pretty different from what I am used to. I am so used to, at school, juggling class, work, homework, clubs, and friends, that it is weird to work at a slower pace, to match the way that things are done at the office!

In the past two weeks I finished up fixing their profile to give to donors (in both Word and PDF forms. This involved a lot of learning random functions and things I can do in Word to make an aesthetically appealing document. Good use of my art/design skills, and obsessive-compulsive need to make it look aesthetically perfect!). I also finished up two versions of a concept note for them (a longer one and a shorter one), a project proposal for a contest, and gathered and compiled all the materials they need to send to a US company that is vetting them before giving them a grant. Also, I learned to make a budget for the aforementioned project proposal. And yet, it is slow! That is also in part because they didn’t want me to start any new projects before the holiday, Dasain, which we are now in the middle of.

This week the city has been slowly emptying out. Last Saturday was the first day of Dasain, the major festival here that lasts for two weeks, and is the reason why I am going trekking. It is sort of like Christmas, and everyone goes home to their villages and to their families. Because of this, the NGO is closed for the next week (starting tomorrow), and, apparently, out of the seven million people living in the city, nearly four million of those leave! So the place basically empties out. It makes it a good time to take a vacation and get out of the city, hence going trekking!

I spent the last week or so finding the remaining things I need for my trek that I leave for on Saturday. This involved going from knockoff store to knockoff store to find the best fake-brand name hiking pants I could! Also found a fake Nalgene (for $3!). Of course Kathmandu has a North Face store, a Marmot store, and one or two other real outdoors stores, but everything is 10x cheaper at the knockoff stores, so that’s where I went instead.

I think my favorite conversation I overheard this week was between an Irish-sounding guy and an American—the Irish guy just got another backer so is going to Everest! I love how casual of a conversation that is here. Just casually dropping that he’s heading off to Mount Everest soon, over a couple of beers and momos.

I’m moving soon, too! Moving in with the other American working at my NGO, Lauren. I’ll finally have internet AND backup lights when the power goes out…I feel like I am moving to the civilized world! I’m also excited to live with a roommate again—it’s been getting a bit lonely living in a flat alone.

Anyways, more updates and photos when I return from the trek! (For those who are interested I’ll be up in Lang Tang, which is north, pretty close to Tibet.)


The view near my house, when the clouds clear out after a rain.


2 thoughts on “Updates, Dasain”

  1. Hi Jenna! I finally registered, so I can get an email when you post. Glad you know what you’re up to. Turns out my brother Jeff is in Kathmandu right now, too, just for a few days, before heading out on a 2-week trek tomorrow. I’m not sure where (NOT Everest). We have very little communication with him, just via one of his group member’s ipads.

    Anyway, have a wonderful trek yourself! Love, Becky

  2. You are accomplishing and learning so much, even in this “slow” period….they are so lucky to have your energy and skills. And you’re right: no one around here is casually mentioning an upcoming trek to Everest.

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