Jean-Francois and I had a spurt of packing energy last night and got me set up with an electronics and emergency overnight bag for the Nepal trip. I will be transferring my “office” to Nepal, so I need to have all the essential elements of an equipped set-up. I’ve done this once before, when I moved my office to Puerto Rico for two weeks last January.
I used this bag for the Puerto Rico trip, too. Packed, it stands upright. It has MANY MANY pockets and crevices and can hold a wealth of stuff. The last trip, I took my Lenovo laptop, which I’ve just replaced with a MacBook Pro. I found a very lightweight second screen. I’m hoping it is going to work with the Mac. It’s too late now to order another one.
Here’s the electronics section…Notice there are a couple of FlipCameras– now out of fashion but excellent little machines in their time. I’m thinking that my client in Nepal will have somebody who can make use of them. I also will be looking for something to deal with the possibility of electrical surges and sudden interruptions in current. I’m also taking a battery pack so that I can charge my various devices even if the electricity has been interrupted. They call it “load balancing” in Nepal. One night I watched the rolling blackouts from the roof terrace of the hostel where I always stay.
Below: The two-screen setup with the Lenovo. The little plastic pink electronics bag — once was some sort of cosmetics bag. The new Mac finding its place in the sturdy backpack. Also not shown: An emergency clothes cube with a change of clothes, a raincoat and a a light shawl. A little toiletries bag with meds, toothbrush and paste, and soap.
Entering a new era here at Worldstouch! I have had international projects before and have even blogged about them, but it has been nearly 7 years since I’ve been on my own, doing this work I love as WorldsTouch.
As I ramp up for a November 9th departure for two and a half months in Nepal, I’ll be blogging here and posting photos of my gear, my packing process. I’ll link back to Facebook, for my friends following this thread.
I’ve been thinking about what I’ll take on this trip and decided I needed a new laptop, one that was lots lighter than the Lenovo ThinkBook I’ve got. I bought a MacBook Pro after having considered the Air. I wanted a LOT of Ram– got 8GB– and a zippy processor (2.7 GHz) so that gives me a good solid workhorse machine for many miles on the road.
I’ll have more on the technology toolkit as I get it together.
I just checked today, and here’s the lowdown on what to expect in terms of weather:
November Average in Kathmandu: 60 degrees Farenheit – 47-72 range
December Avg: 52, with 38-65 range
January Avg: 49, with 36-62 range
Clearly not frighteningly cold, but provision will need to be made for the chilly nights. It’s also important to keep in mind that rolling blackouts of electricity mean that whatever heating might be available is probably subject to sudden shut-offs when the electricity goes out.
When I lived in Alaska in 1972, a young woman hitchhiked down to our homestead, offering to barter her labor for room and board. At the time, I was a neophyte writer, so came up with an essay I eventually submitted to the Mother Earth News. I’m not 100% sure what ever happened to it. This idea of bartering work in exchange for hospitality has intrigued me since.
The idea that God somehow supports the project of amassing wealth, even for the purposes of investing and growing a business, has just never really forged a route through my solid 60s, counterculture mentality.
The podcast featured here fired my determination to leave the for-profit world and offer what I know and can do to others in exchange for hospitality. That is one of the central principles of WorldsTouch.
Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectualness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too: all sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Geothe’s couplets:
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius Power and magic in it.”
–from W.H. Murray, written on the West Ridge of Mt. Everest
In November, two of my friends and I will head to the country of Nepal, where we will find opportunities to work in fields where we have experience and expertise.
I’ll be working with my client (and I WISH I could get them to change this name…) Community-Based Rehabilitation/Resource Center for Rehabilitation and Development (CBR/RCRD). They’ve been clients of mine since I first went to Nepal as an exigent volunteer in 2004.
I let them know when I’ll be coming, how long I’ll stay– typically a month, sometimes longer– and the first day of my visit we decide together how I can best help them this time. On my last visit in 2010, I conducted tech training (Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Docs, Skype and WordPress.com) for a national audience and I worked with their IT guy on problems with his Access Database.
As with all my Worldstouch international technology projects, I work for hospitality. CBR/RCRD provides a room in their hostel and meals on the rooftop dining hall. I have early-morning yoga with my hosts as well, and participate in festivals and gatherings when I’m invited.
This time, I’ll bring two friends–one a lifelong international teacher, trainer and community organizer, the other a highly trained psychologist. They pay their way, as do I, and we’ll find ways they can use their skills to help out while they are there.