By Emma Fingler, MAGG Graduate (2018)
When I started writing this month’s post, it was quite a shock to realize I was fast approaching my three-month anniversary as an intern in Kathmandu. November has truly flown by, and before I know it, I will be on the second half of this adventure! As the office’s fiscal year is quickly coming to a close, no new projects have been initiated. However, that doesn’t mean there is not a lot to do! I once again worked closely on the Field Liaison Officer’s bi-weekly reports from the field. With local elections in just a few days, these types of reports assess the ways in which the elections have affected the local population, particularly those still receiving humanitarian assistance from the August 2017 flood. The UNRCO disseminates these reports to humanitarian and development actors in Nepal in order to provide a greater understanding of the ongoing recovery situation in five of the hardest hit areas. These reports have also helped me to understand the style of language that go into this type of reporting, which has in turn helped me to become more adept at concise and neutral reporting.
I have also continued to support the Inter-Agency Common Feedback Project with its bi-monthly reports. Here, my main role has been to write the base narrative taken from the findings of the community perception surveys. Adding a narrative to the collected data helps the reader to gain a better understanding of the development challenges facing affected populations. Because of the success of the original earthquake community perception surveys and reports, the project has now expanded to include flood-affected districts. Due to the elections, our reporting is on hiatus until mid-December; however, the October reports are available online.
My project on the Grand Bargain commitments is ongoing, and I am now shifting the focus from interviews to research on what else is being done in the region. A large portion of my day is spent reviewing and analyzing reports produced by other agencies and organizations in the region. Luckily, I enjoy research and it has had me reminiscing of my times at BSIA researching late into the night in the common area with my classmates!
Finally, I attended my first Humanitarian Country Team Meeting. While I can’t say too much about the contents of the meeting, it was very interesting, especially since Nepal is currently undergoing a political transition to federalism.
Last month I promised myself that I would attempt to be more of a tourist in Kathmandu and in Nepal in general! Well, I lived up to that promise and spent a fantastic weekend away hiking to Namobuddha, a Buddhist Monastery just outside Kathmandu. Since we were at the monastery on Sunday at midday there was not too much activity, but the views alone made the hike worthwhile. That morning in Dhulikel before hiking to Namobuddha, we woke up extremely early to watch the sun rise over the Himalayas. The sun rose over the mountains, including the Annapurna mountain range and in the distance off to the right, Mount Everest. Far below us, the city lay covered in a layer of clouds and we watched in silence as the sky grew light and the clouds burned away. It will be a view that I remember for the rest of my life.
I also had the opportunity to meet up with a fellow BSIA student, Hari KC. It really is a small world! I’m looking forward to spending the holidays in Nepal, and while it may not be my normal, snow-filled, Eastern Canada Christmas, I know it will definitely be one to remember.