August 16, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Jim Lengel's Peace Corps Nepal web page

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Nepal: Peace Corps Nepal : The Peace Corps in Nepal: August 16, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Jim Lengel's Peace Corps Nepal web page

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 10:24 am: Edit Post

Jim Lengel's Peace Corps Nepal web page

Jim Lengel's Peace Corps Nepal web page

This is an individual web site about one person's experience in Nepal. This web page is not sponsored or supported by the Peace Corps or any government organization.

Email j i m A T j o c u l a r D O T n e t.

08/11/03 - back in the swing

07/30/03 - the end of monsoon break

07/23/03 - pictures from Thailand! Thailand! Thailand!

07/21/03 - post-Thailand

07/20/03 - emails from Thailand

06/12/03 - two more days until monsoon break

06/02/03 - Sport's Operation

06/01/03 - Teacher Requests

05/31/03 - Pictures from last October

05/24/03 - Typhoid

05/23/03 - Neeva

05/15/03 - after Teacher Training

05/06/03 - Teacher Training

04/28/03 - a sick dog

04/25/03 - Chaitre Dashain

04/22/03 - Nepali New Year

04/07/03 - Giardia

03/29/03 - Photos from my village

03/26/03 - Training in Bhairahawa

03/17/03 - Holi

03/09/03 - Last week of school

03/01/03 - Shiva Ratri

02/17/03 - 2 weeks of school

02/09/03 - warmer weather

02/02/03 - peace talks

01/26/03 - photos from training

01/26/03 - back to life

01/19/03 - back from training

12/29/02 - Christmas

12/22/02 - Second Week of Exams

12/15/02 - More Christmas Gifts

12/08/02 - The Week before Exams

12/01/02 - Christmas Packages

11/24/02 - Thanksgiving

11/17/02 - Post-holiday Ennui

11/10/02 - Even more photos!

11/08/02 - The End of Tihar

10/27/02 - The Week Before Tihar

10/17/02 - Dasain Holiday

10/10/02 - Michael's Visit

9/29/02 - Dashain Approaches

9/23/02 - Tibetan Refuge Camp

9/16/02 - Another Bandh

9/8/02 - Women's Holiday

8/26/02 - The week before the conference

8/16/02 - Peer Support in KTM

8/8/02 - frustrations

8/4/02 - school is in session and I am busy!

7/26/02 - last weekend of summer break

7/21/02 - short trip to K'du

7/12/02 - Rant

7/9/02 - back from Kathmandu and Ilam

7/8/02 - Ilam recap

6/29/02 - Ilam

6/26/02 - more photos!

6/24/02 - site team committee mtg in k'du

6/19/02 - day after my birthday

6/15/02 - photos!

6/12/02 - monsoon vacation in 2 days

6/06/02 - Taking shape

5/24/02 - first week at post

5/18/02 - first night at my new place

5/14/02 - life in Pokhara

5/8/02 - I moved to Pokhara

5/7/02 - Swearing In Day

5/3/02 - last week of training

4/26/02 - last day of the 2nd bundh

4/20/02 - 2 days before the bundh

4/18/02 - site team conference

4/12/02 - pokhara

4/7/02 - end of bundh

3/28/02 - gaidakot

3/20/02 - transportation strike, my family, site assignment in two weeks

3/16/02 - Narayanghat... again

3/13/02 - kathmandu again

3/09/02 - getting shots, toilets, food, stuff I need

3/01/02 - early experiences

1/28/02 - itinerary

1/10/02 - maps of Nepal

1/5/02 - how to send me a letter

12/2/01 - Peace Corps timeline

Peer Support in KTM (8/16/2002)

Dear all,

I am in Kathmandu again this week. I was called in for a Peer Support meeting concerning the conferences that are taking place later this month. So all week have been more meetings about this, and lots of conference work on the computer. It has been extremely productive and I can see that I am being groomed to be a Peer Support Committee coordinator of some sort. I have learned a lot about PC policies and about peer support in general. I think this is my 6th or 7th time in Kathmandu. I am getting recognized by certain restaurant and hotel staff.

I have been able to see my Kathmandu friend, Jaya Ram. He is happy and well. Tomorrow we are going to Pokhara together by bus. Peace Corps would pay for me to fly back, but only for me, and Jaya wants to see Pokhara, so we are busing it. I think he?ll stay for a week.

Lots of people have been inquiring about my health. My health is very good. I have completely stopped losing weight. My host family monitors my weight carefully and overfeed me if I lose even one kilogram. I think I have no intestinal viruses or bacteria that don?t belong there. I only drink boiled or bottled water, pretty fastidiously. Stress is much less of a factor now that I am used to my school, the language, and the culture in general. It is good to remember that I am just a volunteer, and there is no overtime pay.

I am still pretty busy, but I am sure that after the western regional conference things will be more quiet. I am a little nervous about the conference because I think I have to lead a couple of workshops, which is not exactly my specialty, but I think the expectations are not super high, it being a PCV led conference.

My host family was very upset that I was leaving on Tuesday. My friend Jane-Erie had begun spending the week in my village. We ate with my family a couple of times, and they were so excited for her to stay for the week, but because of the meeting, she had to go to Lydia?s while I went to K?du. But Jane-Eire promised to visit them during the big October holiday, Dashain.

A friend, who will remain nameless until he purchases his/her ticket, is planning to visit me for a couple of weeks during Dashain. All the schools close for various lengths of time. I get 2 full weeks off. My headsir said I could go to Kathmandu a day early to pick up my friend at the airport. I'm very excited to show someone this country that I now consider my (temporary) home.

My CD player was, sadly, stolen on the city bus in Kathmandu. I was carrying all my bags, and I could not keep an eye on all the pockets, and the bus was EXTREMELY crowded. That was all that was stolen (along with my Enrique Iglesias cd), but it was a nice CD player and I was sad to lose it. Jaya took me to New Road in Kathmandu and I bought another one, which is even nicer that my old one. It was at least as expensive as it would be in the U.S., so that was a bit of a hardship, but I just got reimbursed for the money I lost way back in May, so that softened the financial blow. I was kind of sick of the Enrique CD, so I don?t know if I will buy it again.

And while in Kathmandu, I had a medical officer look at the mole on my lower neck, on my back, which was right where the labels on shirts are. The shirt labels would rub against it and it was irritating, so they removed the mole the same day. So convenient! They will send it to Washington D.C. for a lab test, which is standard procedure. The health coverage here is better than I have ever had it, honestly.

I still have a few last minute things to do here at Peace Corps, and people are now coming back from lunch, so I will send this off.

All my love,

The week before the conference 26 Aug 2002

My tv stopped working a few days ago, and I took it to get it repaired yesterday, which the guy did while I waited for 300 rupees, parts and labor. Not bad. It needed a new transistor or something like that. Now it works better than it ever did, but then today BBC went out. So now there is one English channel. I hope this is a temporary thing and not a cutback by the cable company. I love watching the news and I will be sad if it is no longer available. I still have my shortwave radio, but the reception is not great.

The peer support western regional is in 3 days in Pokhara. I have some preparing to do this week. Most of it is done, but I have to buy supplies and make copies mostly. I am planning on doing that tomorrow in Pokhara. After this event is over, I think I am taking a step back from everything for a while. The Peace Corps is extremely concerned about rules, safety, agenda, procedures, and so on, and I am not sure an event like this should even be run by a volunteer. There is just a lot involved and it has been a little overwhelming. If I lived in Pokhara, it would be easier because I would have copies, printer, and supplies available, but I have to do most of the work on weekends. In other words, I will be glad when this is over.

I had gastrointestinal issues a few days ago, and today is the first day I feel normal again. I carry enough body fat that one time does not affect me much. My medical officer said I am at a good weight, and to not lose any more weight if possible. Well the food I get is really good, and I could gain weight if I wanted to, but I don't think it is necessary.

Michael, Audrey, and Alicia all sent me care packages from San Francisco and I got them on the same day. That was so great. I got some power bars, some cd's, some "This American Life" tapes from Audrey, some SF newspapers from Michael, and so on. Alicia sent me a big pack of Raisin oatmeal cookies, which I ate in 24 hours. That was post-diarrhea, so I felt like I needed the calories.

My sandals were stolen in Kathmandu, but Jaya Ram and I tracked down the guy who took them and I cursed him as well as I could in Nepali and took them back. It was kind of funny in retrospect. I went to the hotel restaurant, which was so bad that I would only eat there if I was starving to death, where he was eating and told him to give them back and I told him he was a bad person and stuff like that and then I flipped him off the Nepali way, but it is not considered vulgar here, it is more like saying "you are worthless." And some guy who was not paying attention, but he saw a foreigner (me) and asked "where are you from?" which of course I hear all the time. I was mad so I said "from HELL!" Then we left. I was happy to have my sandals back. I need to remember that Kathmandu is "the big city" and to watch my stuff more carefully. I let my guard down and something disappears.

The weather here is changing a bit. The nights are cooler, the rain does not last as long, the morning shower is much colder. It still gets very warm during the day, but that will be ending soon too.

When Michael gets here in October the weather will be perfect, and the rains will be over. I am really excited to see him and to show him the Nepal I now know.

I better get some work done.

All my love,

first night at my new place (5/18/02)

Today Lydia and Monica helped me move into my new home. I have three big rooms. My host family are letting me use a desk, 2 chairs, and 2 beds. A teacher at school is letting me use his stove. It is gas. I bought a gas cylinder today. I also bought a bunch of cleaning supplies and kitchen things. I spent about 3000 rupees. Right now I am boiling about 2 gallons of water so I can have drinking water for a while. I am having dinner with Shiva, an English teacher at school. He said if I like their food I can have dinner with them every night.

Right now my room is set up. I put up my mostquito net and everything is pretty much unpacked. It is a little freaky. I won't see any other PCVs for a week. Lydia and Monica left several hours ago. Shiva showed me where to get drinking water for boiling and showed me around the village a little. He speaks English well, which is great. My Nepali is improving daily, but it is nice to be able to ask him questions in English.

My host family speaks very limited English. This is probably good, my Nepali will improve a lot while living here.

I feel like my apartment is so empty. I have these 3 rooms and so little furniture. It is cavernous. I think this week I will try to get some things like rugs and pillows for sitting on the floor, a common Nepali custom. We eat while sitting on the kitchen floor on pillows. At my old host family's we sat on the couch and ate while watching tv. No tv here. But I do have electricity and my computer.

I admit, it's a little scary, but I think that after I have dinner I will go to bed and probably sleep well. It has been a big day. Tomorrow is school. We only have Saturdays off. Fridays are a half day. I don't have a lesson plan for tomorrow, but school does not start until 10am and it is a very short walk to school.

There are lots of kids in the neighborhood. I have the 2nd floor of the house pretty much all to myself. THey have a storage room, but I don't think they will be coming up here much. I am about 200 meters off the highway and I can barely hear the road noise at all. The school is between my house and the highway. There are not really roads back here, just paths and dirt roads. I have no curtains, so that will have to be on the agenda tomorrow. On the other side of the highway is my host family's shop. They sell fabric, bedding, and pillows. They have an in-house tailor who can make just about anything. I want to have him make curtains and pillows at first.

This is kind of a big night for me, the first night at post. Scarey and exciting.

Dinner is soon. Better run.

All my love,

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Nepal; PCVs in the Field - Nepal



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