Monthly Archives: December 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2009 Summary

Only 8 hours left of 2009 and it’s time to reflect on the year that was. I thought 2009 would be a big one for me, but I don’t think I realised how life changing some of the events would be. When you face the year ahead you make goals, plans and set targets for yourself, having direction is a great thing. Often though, it’s the unexpected and the changes, the things we never could have foreseen that really make us.

I’m not making any really big new years resolutions. I made a list of plans and things I would ‘like to’ achieve as I feel this is a much more flexible and approachable way to look at our future. The list of resolutions can often be reflected upon at the end of the year as a list of failed attempts. We shouldn’t feel discouraged and let down if we don’t get to do everything that we set out to do. So I’m saying for 2010, give it all you got, have a blast and make mistakes, it’s the best way to learn. Most of all, enjoy! Nothing is a waste of time as long as we learn from it and at differently in the future.

These are of few of my highlights from 2009:

  • Ringing in the New Year in London and spending New Year’s Day in Mexico
  • Spending 4.5 months in Monterrey, Mexico on Student exchange
  • Losing my Grandmother and having a tattoo done as a memorial to her
  • Doing an 18 day road trip from the Cancun – Oaxaca, Mexico with 3 Aussies and a Belgian
  • Visiting the incredible Mexico City, not once, not twice but 3 times!
  • Facing a pending Pandemic (aka swine flu) and fleeing Mexico for the United states In April 2009
  • Attending the Indy 500 qualifying weekend with my Cousin Bill and big brother James, May 2009
  • Sitting on a crocodile and riding an airboat in the Everglades, Miami, USA with my new German friends
  • Visiting all 4 Disneyworld parks in Orlando as well as the 2 Universal Studios parks over a period of 2 days.
  • Attending the FAPAA 36th Consecutive Council meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, for my work in Freight Forwarding.
  • Competing in the Easter Uni Games, Australian University Sports Competition in Soccer for UTS, and getting the Wooden spoon. Bathurst, NSW, Australia
  • Attending the UTS Ski Trip in Thredbo, Australia
  • Competing in the Australian University Snow Sports Competition at Thredbo Australia.
  • Breaking my back at the Australian Snow Sports Competition. Successfully fracturing 2 vertebrae, spending 1 week in hospital and 9.5 weeks in a back brace
  • Starting my blog – https://lovellyinc.wordpress.com
  • Attending my friend Khushboo’s wedding in Delhi, India
  • Riding an elephant in Chitwan National Park, Nepal
  • Visiting the charity www.roomtoread.com based in Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Seeing the Taj Mahal for the Second time in my life. Agra, India
  • Achieving my 5 yr dream of taking a vacation to the beaches of Goa, India
  • Returning to my beloved Mumbai and learning about the great history of India
  • Making it home in time for Christmas in Australia with family and friends

What a great year! 2009 has taught me a lot. I just can’t wait to see what 2010 holds.

HAVE A FANTASTIC NEW YEAR EVERYONE!


Return from India and Nepal

Another trip over and another return to Australia. My fourth visit to India and my second visit to Nepal have yet to satisfy my cravings for these cultures. It appears that each time I return to this great country I call home, I am instantly ready to turn around and visit the foreign lands that I love.

Well for now, I am back in Sydney and enjoying the time with family. I will keep my love affair with India and Nepal going through my writing  for the time being.

28 days, 2 countries, 1 wedding, an elephant ride and a multitude of beds. This doesn’t even come close to summarising the great trip I have just had. I’ve been driven through mountains and laid on beaches, I’ve danced on river boats and sung with children, I’ve washed clothes by hand and eaten the finest Seafood of India, but still there is so much Iam yet to see or do.

Over the next month I will be reflecting on this trip with many stories, tales, recounts and tips, but for now here are some of the highlights:

– A fabulous 4 day wedding in Delhi, India

– 1 day trip to Jaipur with spur of the moment dance in Wedding Procession to finish the day off

– Return to the Magical Taj Mahal for my twice in a lifetime experience

– Flying into Nepal in the midst of Maoist Strike mayhem and a 6 day hold on Petrol across the country

– Visiting the most popular sites of Pokhara, Nepal, on the back of a motorbike

– Watching the sun go down at the serene Lake Begnash, just outside Pohkara Municipality, Nepal

– Taking a riverboat ride to the Elephant Orphanage Chitwana nd naming a baby elephant, Malachye

– Riding an Elephant through the Jungle of Chitwan National Park

– Making Momo’s and washing my clothes by hand in a real Nepalese home

– Learning to count in Nepalese from a 3 yr old and practicing the alphabet in English

– Taking the morning Everest Flight past the mystifying Himalayas

– Visiting two community schools built by the amazing organisation Room to Read, http://www.roomtoread.org

– Cruising the Bars of Baga Beach, GOA, India

– Staying with an Indian Family in the South of Goa, friends of friends I met in America- small world!

– Taking a tour of the senses at the Tropical Spice Plantation, Goa, India

– Being treated like a movie star on the Swastik River Cruise near Panaji City, aka being asked for many photos by Indian Tourists.

– 12 hour train ride on the Indian Railways from Goa- Mumbai. A meal and 4 cups of tea will cost you just over $1 and for less than $20 you have a sleeper in an AC compartment

-Watching a friend’s friend in a  Stand up Comedy club in Mumbai, only to be the butt of the Australia Jokes, thanks Rohan Joshi!

– Eating Seafood at the famous Apoorva restaurant, a favourite in Downtown Mumbai

– A weekend in Daman with a group of 5 young Indian Professionals

– Sailing at Sunset in front of the Gateway to India and Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai, India

– Visiting the World’s largest Laundry- The Dhobhi Ghat, Mumbai, India

A fantastic trip with many more highlights to come. Please visit India and Nepal. You will not be disappointed by the diversity, beauty and interesting culture of these 2 great countries.

Please post your requests for stories below in the comments section and read about the destinations you most wish to see!

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STOP MELTING LIFE, SAVE THE HIMALAYAS

Today is The Global Day of Action on Climate Change, and we should all be standing up and taking notice.

With Climate Change at the top of the World agenda, it was of no surprise to find a group of youths in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square promoting the cause. The people of Nepal are proud of their famous Mountain ranges but all could be lost if things don’t start to change quickly. The young students have realised this and are standing up for their beloved natural beauties.

A group of 10 young people had set up their banner and display on one of the temple monuments in Kathmandu’s most prestigious and cultural centre of Durbar Square. In a peaceful and friendly way they were approaching passers-by to ask them to sign post cards which would be sent to the National Newspaper and the messages printed for the Prime Minister to read. The youths were shouting messages, talking to passers-by and playing gentle music. A very polite and unoffending way of raising awareness about an issue close to their heart and of National concern.

A concert is to be held all day today, 12th December 2009, in the Durbar Square in promotion of the efforts to Stop melting the Himalayas. No easy feat admittedly but the first step is awareness. The concert will again spread the word and hopefully get more people interested in the topic. The concert will be held in Basantapur.

With the Nepalese Government paing special attention to this issue in more recent times, even hosting their meeting at Everest Base Camp, changes should start to occur in Nepal. The strong focus and movement has been taken by the Nepalese representatives to the World Summit in Copenhagen and the message from Nepal is clear, they care.

Climate Change Network Nepal has initiated this campaign in order to highlight the plight og the poorest and most vulnerable communities of Nepal. This campaign is intented to raise the profile of an issue affecting the country and taking voices of the poorest and most vulnerable population int he global platform to make a sustainable deal which will benefit them.

The group is urging people of the world to stand up and take notice of this epic campaign and actively take part in making changes in our world. The message from Nepal is ‘STOP MELTING LIFE, SAVE THE HIMALAYAS’. Let’s help to spread the word and really make the change.

See Climate Change Network Nepal’s website for more information:

http://www.ccnn.org.np/


Room to Read, Nepal

Room to Read is a fantastic Charity initiative which is helping to change the world through education of children in third world countries.

The program runs in various districts and towns throughout Nepal and since 1998 has been changing the way people view education. Through sponsorship, scholarships, educational facilities and helpful teachers, children are now gaining the valuable knowledge to help them change their future.

Education is vital to the progression and development of countries such as Nepal. Educational and literacy programs are opening doors for these young people and giving them opportunities they may never have dreamed of.

The team at Room to Read are particularly concious of cultural differences and practices and they work hard to understand the best methods of implementation for each region. The organisations states ‘our team on the ground decides what programs Room to Read will focus on there, as they know the communities needs the best. They only work with villages that seek us as we want to know that they are committed enough to be proactive.’

After being contacted by the organisation directly, I will be lucky enough to experience this program first hand when I visit on the 10th December 2009. I hope to learn more about the efforts in Nepal and ways in which the group can be helped.

Room to Read Nepal – In Detail

Established 1998
Country Director Mr. Pushkar Shrestha
Number of Employees
(as of 9/29/2009)
35
Office Location(s) Kathmandu
Pokhara
Chitwan
Regional Presence Baglung, Bara, Bardiya, Bhaktpur, Chitwan, Dhading, Dhanusa, Kaski, Kathmandu , Lalitpur, Lamjung, Mahottari, Makwanpur, Myagdi, Nawalparasi, Palpa, Parbat, Rasuwa, Rupandehi, Sarlahi, Syanjha, Tanahu
Key Partners ASMAN Nepal, Global Action Nepal (GAN), Lions Club of Kathmandu Down Town, Nijgadh, Lalbandi, Butwal and Urlabari, Local Women Groups, Moti Pustakalaya, National Library Associations, National Society of Earthquake Technology – Nepal (NSET), Nepal Education Support Trust (NEST), Nepalese Society for Children’s Literature, READ Nepal, Rodec, Student Worldwide Partnership (SPW), Youth Clubs

Learn more about this great program at:

http://www.roomtoread.org/Page.aspx?pid=413

More information from a first hand experience to come soon after my visit in Nepal on 10th December 2009.


Natural Nepal

Here I am in the beautiful, natural and picturesque Nepal. I’m visiting friends and will only be in Nepal for a total of 10 days, sadly it’s already halfway through the trip. Time just goes too quickly when one travels. This is a quick summary of what I have been doing so far with many more detailed articles and tips to come from this interesting and dynamic country.

2nd Dec

  • Delhi- Kathmandu flight delayed 1.5 hours, arrived 9.30am.
  • Quick stop to the house I would be staying in with my friend Sundar.
  • Drive to Pokhara, approx. 5 hours. 200km from Kathmandu.
  • Drove through Dhading District, famous for supply of vegetables of all varieties.
  • Malekhu- Famous for fish, also a spot for young Nepalese to come and party.
  • Manakamana – 10 minute cable car to the top where there is a temple which is said to make all your dreams come true. Very Holy Place.
  • Arrived Pokhara 6pm. Walk to Lakeside.

3rd Dec

POHKARA

  • Western Region.
  • Lake Fewa, boat rides and temple Talbarahi.

  • Breakfast at the FEWA LAKE RESTAURANT.
  • Motorbike is a great way to get around the Pokhara and really see the 360 degree great view.
  • Devi’s Falls.
  • Gupteshower Caves (no photos allowed).
  • Bindabasini Temple – Saw a wedding take place.
  • Seti Gorge- See the raging river coming under Pokara from the melting       glaciers
  • Mahendra Caves.
  • Lunch at Thi’k Tha’k. Located in the Tourist Area. Great Nepali and western cuisine.
  • Saw Disabled Day March through a town of greater Pokhara.
  • Lake Begnash – Most serene and calm place with boat rides and fish farms.

  • Dinner at our lovely little hotel, HOLIDAY POKHARA HOTEL.

4th Dec

POKHARA – CHITWAN

  • STRIKE in Damauli.  2 hours, no cars allowed to go through – UN arrived   and only ambulances allowed through. Regular occurence in Nepal these days.
  • Drove through Muglin, main HUB for bus and car transportation to the       rest of Nepal and the divide for Pokhara to the Southern and Western part of Nepal.
  • Souraha, CHITWAN. Chitwan National Park is a tourist hot spot for the       elephant riding, river activities- canoeing, fishing and boating, jungle treks and relaxing.
  • Boat ride in canoe down the river to ELEPHANT BREEDING CENTRE. Less than Aus$1 entry and I got to pat and name a baby elephant, Malachyte.

  • Cocktails at the riverbank – SUNSET VIEW RESTAURANT & BAR.
  • Tharu Culture Program at night. Stick and peacock dance which is specific to this region and the ethnic group of the Tharu people.

5th Dec

CHITWAN – KATHMANDU

  • Breakfast in our hotel,  RIVERSIDE HOTEL, next to Budagandaki River
  • Go to Baghmara (translation Tiger Killer) for Elephant Ride, 1450 rps           (Nepalese rupees) for 1.5 hours through Jungle. We saw deer, peacocks,     kingfishers, 2 x rhino plus a baby rhino and more birds.


  • Drive back to Kathmandu at 12pm.
  • Noticed NARANYAN GHAT, this is where the road divides to lead to the  Western part (Lumbini, birth place of Buddha in this direction, road to        Kathmandu and the Southern and Eastern part. Interesting and busy section of the country.
  • Lunch at the lovely RIVERSIDE VILLAGE RESORT. Luxurious hotel on the river bank with white water rafting nearby, trekking, swimming pool and relaxation.
  • Return to Kathmandu 4.5 hours from Chitwan by car, perhaps 6 hours in   the bus with no strikes.
  • Dinner in the home of my friendSundar with wife, daughter and two nieces.  Amazing experience to stay in a real Nepali home.

6th Dec

HOME DAY, Kathmandu

  • Typical Nepali day at home\due to STRIKE. No cars, bikes or buses               allowed to move. Most shops closed. Cars were burnt in the centre of            Kathmandu in the morning as they were breaking the rules of the strike,     according to the Maoists.
  • Walk around the local area to visit the carpenter who is making the               families furniture.
  • Washed my own clothes BY HAND. Now I am true Nepali women. Washing  the clothes on the rooftop with the Himalayas in the background.
  • Made traditional Nepali food, Momo’s, in the afternoon with all the girls. Delicious!
  • After 6pm, strike lifted. Went to Thamel, the main tourist area, to visit my  friend from Australia, photographer Krystle Wright                             (www.wrightfoto.com.au)
  • Dinner and drinks at the famous RUMDOODLE 40,000 ½ feet. Trekkers   can right on giant foot placards and stick them all over the restaurant

The adventures in Nepal continue. Stay tuned!

NB: Strikes are currently occurring on a regular basis in Nepal due to the Maoist movement. The UCPN Maoist ‘political’ group plan the strikes across the country, stopping most trade, all transport movements and bringing the country to a practical standstill. Tourists and visitors from other countries should know that it is still safe to be in Nepal at these times and flights will still be operating out of most airports. The strikes are more of an inconvenience to tourists for transport reasons and lack of opportunity to see sites, rather than a threat or danger.




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