Category Archives: Centre for Micro Finance

Farewell parties

Tomorrow we leave this lovely country behind. Today our new friends threw us parties to thank us for our friendship and whatever we were able to do for them. I spent the morning making sure the laptop and backup drives were ready to hand over to CMF. Then I headed to Thamel looking for the National Bookstore. A Nepali friend, Raja, back in Canada had asked that I pick up a book from there. As it turned out, the National Bookstore was not in Thamel but was near Asan a short distance to the south. I ended up taking a rickshaw and had a great chat with the driver all the way there.
Rickshaw driver in Thamel
He had been driving rickshaw for eighteen years and really loved the work.

The bookstore didn’t have the book though they had others by the same author. So I headed back to CECI where I totally enjoyed lazing about for a change.

Kyle came back from his farewell party laden down with gifts. He had been working with his organization for three months and had made quite an impression. Carly was still at her farewell party and Bernie’s party was this evening as was mine.

Around 5:30 I headed for CMF dressed in my new kurta and salwar. Ruchi was still working so I caught a picture of her with our new system.
Ruchi working with KnowledgeTree
When she was done we headed for the rooftop where people were beginning to gather. I had a lovely chat with a gentleman who was the former head of the Bank of Nepal. He seems to be totally committed to the micro-finance model and spoke quite eloquently of the benefits. Plates laden with chicken, fish, chips, and marinated peanuts were handed around along with glasses of wine or whiskey. The sun set over the distant hills as we ate and chatted. It was quite lovely. Ruchi and Tejhari gave touching speeches thanking me. I thanked them for the wonderful (although short) time I had had with them. The party broke up soon afterward with lots of hugs and good wishes.

So now I am back at CECI spending a nice quiet evening. The others have gone out with their buddies for a last fling. I am going to curl up with my book and enjoy the quiet. (Well, if that guy doing all the yelling a couple of houses over will fall into a drunken stupor I should get some quiet.)

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Filed under Centre for Micro Finance, Kathmandu, Personal Info, Sue On Leave, Travel


The goal for this morning was to see whether Ruchi could re-install Knowledgetree and load in the latest backup with just the manual to guide her. She was totally prepared and dove into the task with a grin. An hour later we were patting each other on the back. She had loaded the system onto my little netbook and restored it to the same state as the main system on the HP laptop. I have every confidence that she will be able to carry on without me.

I left to get caught up on my blogging and email and prepare for a de-briefing session at CMF with Nikunja Nepal of CECI, Tejhari Ghimire, the CEO of CMF, Ruchi and myself. We gathered in Tejhari’s office to discuss the project and its outcomes. The biggest concern will be the mindset shift for the CMF staff to actually use the system. This is typical of any new computer system and will probably take some time. But hopefully they will come to see the advantages (with urging from Ruchi) and it will become a part of their daily routines. The whole experience has been extremely satisfying for both Ruchi and myself. We have learned a lot and truly enjoyed working together.

I headed back to CECI and met up with Bernie. We wanted to re-visit the Fair Trade shops in Patan to pick up a few more items. From there we began an inner-city trek taking us from the southern part, north cross the Bagmati River along the Ram Shah Path (actually a fairly large and busy road) to the Narayanhiti Palace Museum and then west towards Thamel. The trees of the Palace Museum are loaded with hundreds of birds who serenade you as you walk along the Palace wall.

Bernie had not been to Thamel which is the tourist mecca of Kathmandu. It is chock full of tourists and vendors trying to separate them from their money. We eventually found the Rum Doodle restaurant, went up onto the rooftop and ate another great meal. The Rum Doodle restaurant is a famous starting point for many of the mountain expeditions and the walls are covered with footprints labelled with the signatures of the climbers. I understand Sir Edmund Hilary and a number of famous Sherpas are there.

Satisfaction came in many forms today – the professional satisfaction of a good project, the personal satisfaction of trekking this city and crossing those crazy streets without getting hit, and the overall satisfaction of getting the internet back and regaining contact with family.


Filed under CECI/Uniterra, Centre for Micro Finance, Kathmandu, Personal Info, Sue On Leave, Travel

Down to the crunch

Today’s plan was to prove that my backups worked and we could do a full recovery from them. Originally I thought I would just wipe out what we had done so far and then reinstall using the backups but in the end I bowed to pressure (I encountered some questioning as to the level of risk) so I decided to do a full recovery to my little netbook instead.

I got to CMF early – loaded with two laptops, a backup drive, my notebooks and my camera. I had visions of portaging in Algonquin with the foodbarrel on my back. OK – so maybe I exaggerate a bit.

I spent the next hour proving that we could recover our system with a fresh install and our backups. It worked like a charm. Now I have to document the process thoroughly so Ruchi can replicate it. I’ve told her that I will have a manual for her by Monday and she will then have to do a full recovery on her own. She says she is up for it.

That’s when we ran into a little hitch. I asked her to connect to the system from her machine just to make sure that she had access to everything and that’s when we found that she couldn’t see the directories that we had set up. So I played around with some config settings and somehow corrupted the database. Again, the system recovery steps came into play and I was able to drop and recreate the database with our backup and we were back in business in no time. It seems that permissions hadn’t been properly set for the groups to access the directories and once that was fixed she was able to see the documents from her machine.

We decided we’d had enough of that for now so we went around to the various offices taking pictures of whoever was around and then headed for Trendy Cafe for lunch. We ate chicken momo C’s (I may have the order of that wrong) and they were delicious. They are basically dumplings with a spiced chicken filling and a tomato jelly-like sauce. They were wonderful and I would definitely have them again.

I went back to CECI for the rest of the afternoon and worked on filling out the end-of-assignment documents that CECI wants filled in. Basically they are used as an assessment of the overall project – based on the satisfaction of the participants and partners. I did try to work on the manual for Ruchi but I used the form-filling as a procrastination method, I’m afraid.

Raja (from Guelph) had sent a parcel with me to deliver to his brother in Hetaura and because I am finding myself running out of time, I had called his brother to arrange an alternate method of getting the parcel to him. Today his brother-in-law who works at the Nepali Broadcasting Station arrived to pick up the parcel. He seemed very nice and happily took the parcels from me to take to Ram (Raja’s brother).

Next on the agenda was another shopping spree with Bernie and Anne. Anne took us to a number of Fair Trade stores that CECI deals with and Bernie and I picked up a few items to take home.

Supper tonight was at Bernie’s – an amazing lasagna cooked by his Dede (literally ‘Big Sister’) who cleans his house once a week and cooks him a delicious meal. Bernie had picked up a bottle of wine on the way back and we dined quite well.

Must get that manual finished this weekend but I would like to work in one more site-seeing trip to something nearby.


Filed under Centre for Micro Finance, Kathmandu, Sue On Leave

Life is good

A day of celebration and success. I headed off to CMF in one of my new kurtas with its matching scarf. I strutted down the road, stepping carefully over the squashed rat outside our gate, avoiding the puddles and keeping an eye out for taxis and motorcycles sweeping round the bend. At CMF Ruchi noticed my outfit, gave out the requisite compliments and we settled in for another productive day. She concentrated on gathering more documents and I worked on a DOS backup batch that she can run at the end of each day.
I haven’t written a batch in DOS for many years so it was tough. But with trial and error and much googling, I finally put something together that was consistently backing the data into nicely timestamped directories on the backup drive.

CECI had invited all the volunteers to a luncheon on the rooftop of CECI Place to celebrate the work of those of us who are leaving next week. Paul has been here for 9 months and Carly and Kyle for three while Bernie and I have only been here a week and a half. Not sure that we deserved the attention, but we got it anyway. Carly and Kyle entertained us with a pseudo rap session, Nepali style. Lunch was another great Nepali meal and afterward Bernie, Anne and I made our way down to Buzz Cafe for a cup of coffee. Buzz is an outdoor cafe/bar with a decidedly western lean – reminiscent of those beach bars you find in the Caribbean. It is certainly a popular spot although today in the early afternoon, we were the only patrons.

Fortified by caffeine, I headed back to CECI Place to continue working on my backup batch. I was struggling with trying to delete the oldest backup directory automatically. In unix it would be easy enough, but not so in DOS. Or at least, not for me. I finally decided to reach out across the continents and sent a plea to some of the gurus I know in Guelph. In no time at all I had an answer that worked like a charm. Life IS good! Is it good enough for me to risk wiping out the Knowledgetree system Ruchi and I have set up and seeing if I can restore from my backups?

Tonight Van showed up with an armload of pizzas and desserts and Carly, Kyle, Van, Bernie and I headed for the cool breeze on the roof to devour our goodies. The pizzas were delicious. My favourite was the pesto pizza. We checked out Kyle’s wonderful pictures as the sun set and the night moved in. He has a really good eye for composition and his shots of Pokara, the lake it borders and the surrounding Himalayas were breathtaking.

As the day ends I hear soothing music and the murmur of Kyle, Van and Carly’s voices in the other room.

Life is good.

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Filed under CECI/Uniterra, Centre for Micro Finance, Kathmandu, Sue On Leave

Breakthroughs and shopping sprees

Eureka! I think I solved the indexing problem – with a little help from my friends, of course. Last night Bernie suggested I look for the php.ini configuration file and see what the install had configured. By then I had decided that the biggest difference between my installation in Guelph and the one here was timezones. How that might affect the indexer I’m not sure, but something I had seen in a log file somewhere made me think along those lines. So this morning I dug around until I found the php.ini file and sure enough there was a setting for timezones. It was using the default (although I couldn’t tell what the default was). I searched the web until I found the php timezone setting for Kathmandu, reset the php.ini file and rebooted the machine. I loaded a test file and it indexed properly. So I then loaded the 356 files that Ruchi and I had organized into a logical file system yesterday and the indexer immediately began to chug. Now, it isn’t perfect. There are some Powerpoint presentations that didn’t index properly, but only 18 files didn’t index and I’m sure we will be able to resolve that problem too. So on that note I ducked out of the CMF office in the early afternoon and headed back to CECI.

Carly was waiting and Van (a student from Edinburgh University) joined us. We met Lindsay (another student but this time from New York) and grabbed a taxi to New Road to pick up my new clothes and do a bit of shopping. There must have been a demonstration or some sort of action happening because the traffic was incredible and I did see a large crowd around the bus park.

Midst constant honking and stifling exhaust fumes our taxi dodged and darted fighting motorcycles, bicycles and other taxis for any tiny opening to squeeze into. I don’t know how we avoided hitting anybody but eventually we made it to New Road. Carly led us through the street bustle to the tiny shop of my seamstress where I modelled my beautiful new outfits for the gang. She did lovely work. The seams were all serged and finished properly. I can hardly wait to wear one of the outfits tomorrow.

Carly then led us to a little sweetshop off Freak street where a Bob Marley poster hung on the wall and beautiful cakes were displayed in the window. Freak Street is famous from the celebrity visitations of the sixties and early seventies. George Harrison was a frequenter of Freak Street. We indulged our chocolate addictions and washed it down with delicious cappuccinos. I really have to go back there.

From here we piled into a taxi and headed for the tourist district of Kathmandu – Thamel. Carly, Van and I jumped out while Lindsay headed off on another errand. There are a zillion shops in Thamel and they do cater to the tourists, but there are a lot of really lovely things to buy. I drooled over beautiful hand-embroidered jackets, exquisite Thanku paintings and Pashminas galore. I spent every last rupee I had on me and then resorted to VISA. I really have to get a grip. But, I did bargain for most of it. I think some of my purchases were a good deal but then some probably weren’t. It was fun so it was worth it.

Before I hit the sack I have to get some documentation done for the project.

Another great day in Kathmandu.


Filed under Centre for Micro Finance, Kathmandu, Sue On Leave

The rains continue …

It poured all night again and was still pouring when I got up. The internet wasn’t working either, but the indoor water was running and the water heater had been turned on so I was able to have a lovely hot shower. Usually we keep the heater turned off because the water gets way too hot and the shower only has the one tap. But, with the slightly cooler weather and keeping the dunking time to a minimum, I didn’t get scalded.

When the CECI staff started coming into the office I got them to bump the router to get us back on the internet and I spent the rest of the morning hiding out from the deluge and working on the fresh install of the Knowledgetree software. It was quite frustrating to discover that the new version didn’t change the situation and many of the documents are still not getting indexed. It seems I may have to resort to my alternative shared directory structure. The problem with that is limiting access to only certain computers and users. I need to do a bit more research. I submitted a bug report to Knowledgetree support but I don’t know how quickly they will respond to a request from the Community edition (ie free) version of the software.

The rain had stopped by noon so I headed in to the CMF office and spent the rest of the afternoon working with Ruchi organizing documents into the directory structure. I set up the file-sharing capabilities to see whether Ruchi could access the documents from her desktop and that worked. But we need to restrict access so I had to turn it back off for the time being. I really wish we could resolve this Knowledgetree issue. That would still be the best solution.

Some of the CMF volunteers are leaving soon and they were having a party for them after work. I took my gear back to CECI, tidied up and then returned for the party. I thought I had timed it properly and arrived about 1/2 hour late but the party didn’t start for another 1/2 hour. I will learn. Anne (being a former CMFer) showed up and after visiting with everyone for a while we headed over to Trendy Cafe for supper.

We met up with some VSO’s (a British agency like CUSO but they take people from all over the world) who were friends of Anne. Julie and Anil are a married couple and Pam is on her own. All three have grown children and are from Britain. They have all been in the country for well over a year mainly working with various NGOs. Anil gave me some advice on travelling to Chitwan and Hetauda next weekend. It might be best to fly there since I don’t have a lot of time and the roads are rough. We shall see.

Back at CECI I discovered that the wet shoes I had put on earlier have left lovely black markings on my feet. Will the shoes ever dry? Will my feet ever recover?

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Monsoon season

It poured rain all night and I got up to no running water inside (though I could still hear it beating down outside) and still no internet. I didn’t realize how addictive the internet is, especially when you can’t just call up your family or friends.

It was still pouring when I headed for CMF, but I had learned how to turn on the water pump when it goes off and Rajendra had booted the office router so we were able to access the internet. I found a response to my forum query suggesting that we upgrade to 3.6.1 because it was more stable than 3.6.0.

My puny umbrella was next to useless so I was quite wet by the time I got to CMF. Their internet was down as well so I couldn’t follow up on the response about our indexing problem. To be on the safe side, I decided to exercise my alternate option of storing all the documents in an organized directory structure that I can set up for sharing. Ruchi and I spent the rest of the day making sure that all the documents that we had loaded into Knowledgetree so far were replicated in the alternate directory structure.

Once we were finished, I asked her to carry on collecting documents on the pin drive and I would head back to CECI to download the newer version of the software and install it. Downloading ended up taking about three hours.

Meanwhile I had heard from Luni Bista (her brother-in-law, Ajoy, in Canada had sent a parcel for his mother) inviting me to come to her place for dinner. The rain had stopped by then so I headed out to try to find Jawalakhel – in the southern part of the city near Patan. I ran into Bernie so invited him along. Our taxi driver wasn’t sure where to go, but after checking with a policeman he headed out. This time of day traffic is fierce, but the strike was settled so the buses were also back on the road. There seemed to be some military action as well because some streets were blocked off with long lines of military and we ended up going a round-about route. It took over an hour, but we were dropped off near the bakery where Luni requested we meet and she easily picked me out in the crowd.

She led us a couple of blocks then down a muddy alley to an area of lovely big homes surrounding an ancient brick Newari-style house with the typical wooden shuttered windows. Luni said that the old house was the original and when the family grew too big, the surrounding land was parcelled out to the sons who then built the big homes all around. She then led us into her courtyard and up the steps to the second level, past the little white spitz-like dog who seemed to take a liking to me. We were settled into a little sitting room where her son Ashram (I think that was his name) who would be around thirteen joined us. He is a really sweet boy who helped his mom with the host duties and translated for the grandmother when she also joined us. We were presented with a pile of photo albums that traced the history of the young family – Luni, her husband (Ajoy’s older brother) and their son. The wedding pictures were fascinating, with all the finery and Hindu traditions. Ajoy’s brother is in the military and has done a number of stints with the UN. His pictures of Somalia, Sierra Leone and Liberia were fascinating.

Ajoy’s mother was a lively little woman who welcomed us warmly. If we could have spoken the same language I know we would have been chatting up a storm.

We were then fed probably the best Nepali meal I have eaten since arriving. According to their traditions, Luni and the grandmother did not eat with us but Ashram did. The grandmother brought in a pickle that had been in the brine for months. It was delicious and set off the flavours of the Dal Bhat perfectly. After the main meal, we were brought tea and dessert. The dessert was another Nepali dish which, I’m afraid, I’ve lost the name for, but was wonderful as well.

By then the rain had begun again and I remembered that I had come away without my umbrella. Luni and Ashram walked us to our taxi after we had a session of pictures. Grandmother stood beside me and we laughed at how short she was compared to me.

Back at CECI I sloshed my way through ankle-deep puddles to our door. I hope my shoes survive this. I was totally drenched by the time I made it to my room.

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Filed under Centre for Micro Finance, Sue On Leave

End of Week One

This morning I called Jasmine on Skype – computer to computer. I went up to the roof with the computer, turned on the video and was able to give her a panoramic view from the top of CECI Place. It really is quite spectacular.

At work I noticed that we are having an indexing problem with a number of the documents that we loaded into the system. It uses the Tika Apache Extractor to pull out the words from the document for indexing and for some reason a large percentage of the documents are being rejected. I believe it may have something to do with control characters but I haven’t found a way to get the extractor to ignore them. From checking the knowledgebase it seems there is a way to do that but I haven’t discovered what it is. It just says that the problem was resolved by ignoring them. Help!

Despite that, we were able to load another bunch of documents into the system. In fact, Ruchi did all the work and I just sat on the sidelines as coach. We both felt wiped by the end of the day but satisfied that we had accomplished a lot.

She was heading off to visit family out of town this weekend. I told her I was heading for Nagarkot to see if I could get a glimpse of Everest.

When I got back to CECI Place, Carly was there ready to wisk me off to the main shopping district downtown (New Road area) where we found a great shop selling lovely material. You can buy a package which contains material for a salwar kurta (also called kameez) outfit consisting of a long top often containing embroidery or some design, pants (either tight fitting or loose) and a matching scarf. I found two packages that I couldn’t pass up and then Carly led me to a nearby seamstress. We had to climb up a steep and narrow staircase (somewhat like the stairs to my attic) to a little shop where three generations were (wo?)manning the business – a toddler grabbing at her wrinkled granny’s glasses and a very efficient mom who measured me thoroughly for my new outfits. I emerged from there excited about the prospect of wowing my friends back home with my new clothes.

Back out on the street again, Carly led me on a shortcut through some back streets to where we could catch a cab home. But the shortcut!! It was camera heaven! The streets were crowded with vendors plying everything you could think of from spices to wooden marionette Ganeshes, from shoes to copper and brass plates. The colours and movement were incredible. There were wonderful old (and I imagine VERY old) shrines with amazing carvings and metal sculptures dotted throughout. I couldn’t get enough of it.


A taxi took us back past the palace where Carly tells me the locals line up to go through the grounds on Saturdays. The king was dethroned over a year ago and is no longer here.

Here I thought I was getting to know Kathmandu but I’ve been cocooned in a very small and quite privileged area. There is a whole big wild and crazy city out there.

After resting up a bit I headed out with a number of the kids to Buzz Cafe to meet up with Anne and Bernie and celebrate with Pakesh – the owner – who is a great friend of the kids. Pakesh enjoys throwing parties for his friends.

Bernie and I are heading for Nagarkot tomorrow to do some site-seeing, try to get a glimpse of Everest and possibly do some trekking.


Filed under Centre for Micro Finance, Sue On Leave

Making progress

No meetings and only 10 minutes of power loss – a great day! Ruchi and I dug in and tackled the new system and came out smiling. We proved that we could very quickly enter a whole sub directory of reports in one fell swoop and within a minute they were indexed and therefore searchable. We set up the main users and assigned group privileges and then proved that we could log into the system from other computers. We set up some project information metadata and then loaded some project reports. The system forced us to enter the mandatory project info metadata before allowing the load to complete.

In the afternoon, the IT consultant’s right-hand man, Karan, joined us to try and figure out how to assign a static IP address to the Knowledgetree server. I don’t think he quite understood what I was trying to get at so Ruchi took a stab at it in Nepali. Finally I googled the problem and once he saw it in plain text he caught on. I guess the Canadian accent is as tough for him as the Nepali one is for me. Between the three of us we figured out how to do it and now it works like a charm. We decided that we make a good team. One other thing Karan was able to help me with was loading the fonts for Nepali characters. Now Word documents in Nepali display properly. I had been having trouble because I had installed Word before I left but had not tried running it. It wouldn’t accept my product code so Karan was able to re-install using the CMF product code. Much later it struck me that I had changed the time zone on the computer when I got here and I wonder if the product code hashing depends on time zone. Who knows?

Bernie came by after work. I think he is making some headway in his project but he says his clients are very much like his Canadian clients – more concerned with the visual than the functional. We wandered over to Anne’s to pick her up to go to Trendy Cafe for supper. She had already eaten but kept us company. Bernie and I tried vegetable thali which was delicious. Trendy is on the top floor of an office building close to my place. It affords a decent view and is a fairly classy joint, but best of all, the food can be trusted.

Anne may go with us to Nagarkut on the weekend. If there aren’t too many clouds we should be able to see Everest from there.

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Solar eclipse – huh?

I was up on the roof by 5:30 am ready to take in the solar eclipse but somehow I seem to have missed it. Of course, the clouds were thick and pretty much obscured the sun for much of the time, but even when you could see the sun there didn’t seem to be any eclipsing going on. According to news reports, though, this was the eclipse of the century. What do I know?

Looking east towards the eclipse and clouds.

I think I should have taken the eclipse as an omen. Ruchi was in meetings all morning so we didn’t do any document collecting, but I was able to spend the time fruitfully anyway. I set up some of the metadata for the various documents that we will be loading into the system. I’m becoming more familiar with the software and catching onto its capabilities. I’m sure Ruchi will pick this up quickly. I was also able to resolve my indexing problem – we need to get the IT consultant, Arbinda, to assign us a static IP address. Once I configured the indexing server with the IP address of the machine and the software port number properly, indexing was back in business. But I did also find out that the manuals I downloaded are images saved to pdf so the content won’t get indexed unless it is run through an OCR utility. I believe that is a purchased add-on. C’est la vie. I don’t think that will be an issue here though. Hopefully the pdf’s they have will be the original and not a scan.

I went back to CECI place for lunch and then on returning to CMF ran into Anne so invited her for supper. Ruchi was still at a meeting (or at another one) so there wasn’t a lot I could do. When the power went off and looked like it was going to stay off for a while, I headed back home to bed. The heat and mugginess seems to wipe me right out.

Cooked up my rice and beans dinner (with a few adaptations) in a lovely rice cooker. Anne showed up with a couple of mangoes which added the piece de resistance to the rice dish. She has done a lot of traveling and working in this part of the world – Japan and India as well as Nepal. She has probably spent most of that time here so is full of good advice on places to see.

Ended the night by walking her back to her place. I hadn’t gone up the road in that direction. We walked by the Prime Minister’s house, the Chief Justice’s house and a couple of American diplomatic homes. Quite an impressive neighbourhood she lives in.

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First day

I was really eager to do a good job on the first day and, in truth, I’m still not over the jet lag, so I was awake by 5 am. It gave me lots of time to get myself organized for my first day at CMF. Nine o’clock turned out to be too early cuz Tej was in a meeting but by ten Nikunja and I were walking down to the offices of CMF. It’s not very far – maybe ten minutes of dodging traffic.

There is a very strong relationship between CECI and CMF since CMF was actually begun through a CECI project. Nikunja knew everyone there and introduced me to Tejhari (the CEO) who then introduced me to everyone else. I am still not very retentive with the names. Ruchi (a young Nepalese woman with the title Senior Program officer) was assigned to work with me exclusively for the time I am here. She is smart and beautiful as so many of the women here are. She holds an MBA from the University of Nepal. It was refreshing to work with her. We spent the morning analyzing the document situation of CMF and fairly quickly came up with a workable structure or hierarchy for sorting the documents. We discussed categorizing by document type and assigning other attributes based on the document type. She listed the CMF Strategic objectives which were very impressive. We realized that all the projects fell under one or more of the strategic objectives and so determined that this would be an extremely important attribute for project classification.

I went off to Trendy Cafe for lunch with Anne Burnside (a former CMF volunteer) and Amel (sp?) an Armenian lawyer studying at Harvard and doing a fellowship research project in Kathmandu at CMF. I ate Dal Bhat for the first time (the national Nepalese dish) and really enjoyed it.

After lunch I went up the road to CECI Place to pick up the HP laptop that contains the software I want to use for the project then headed back to CMF. Everyone was at a meeting so I settled into Ruchi’s office and tried to put into place some of the structure we had discussed in the morning. I ended up puttering around until 5 pm and noone showed up so I headed back home. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to put a full day’s work in.

Bernie came over in the early evening and we ended up at Buzz Cafe for beer and nachos. His first day was quite productive and he has lots of plans for his time with the Non-timber Forest Product group. We discussed families and generally got to know each other better. Before long the kids and Anne joined us. A dart tournament got underway and Bernie headed home. It wasn’t much later that Anne and I left the kids to the tournament.

Tomorrow morning at 5:47 am Nepalese time there is supposed to be a full solar eclipse. I intend to go up onto the roof and try to take some pictures – as long as it isn’t cloudy or raining.


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