While I was still outside of Kathmandu at Her Farm (another project here on Global Giving) I received several messages that I simply must come to Kathmandu the next Saturday. The messages came from a couple of young people I knew in Kathmandu but the reason I "must" come was not clear. I wasn't even sure I'd be in the city on that day. As fate would have it, I did need to make a run from the farm to Kathmandu, so early on Friday I made the one hour walk from the farm to the town of Madavbesi where I boarded a local bus bound for Kathmandu.
Saturday morning I had instructions to arrive at a place located near to a prominent government building for an 11am meeting. I set off by taxi for the location and owing to a communication breakdown between myself and the driver ended up somewhere near, but not actually at, the location I was to be at by 11am. As it was 10:45am when I left the taxi, or it left me, still not sure about that, I hurried off in what I hoped was the right direction.
Why I hurried was of course a momentary lapse of memory. There's 11am, and then there is 11am Nepali time, which could mean anything from an hour or two different. I arrived at the destination and entered a room filled with exactly three people. Sure enough, in keeping with Nepali time, by 11:30am the room was full.
I was the only non-Nepali in the room and frankly still wasn't sure why I was there. I did recognize several other people in attendance but before I could speak to them, someone took the podium and starting announcements in Nepali, a language I know only a few words of.
One by one people were called to the stage and given awards for being social contributers. I supposed I had been invited by one of the recipients to witness their receiving this award. I was wrong. My name was announced, I was requested to join the others on the stage as the announcer told the crowd about my work for the past decade in Nepal and my current work at Nepal Youth Network.
It's quite an honor for me to be awarded by the youth of Nepal and be recognized by them. I am certainly glad I made it and made it on-time and on Nepali time. (and yes, it does say for "her" outstanding performance. No, I am not a her, but it's Nepal and that's how it goes)
Only non-Nepali on the stage