Nepal

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“One Monsoon” by Don Messerschmidt (Nepal)
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“The View from Birauta” by Don Messerschmidt (Nepal)
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This article about Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2001-03) Written by Peter Hessler (China 1996-98)
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In Laurence Leamer’s (Nepal 1964-66) Library
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URGENT LETTER FROM Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65)
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D.C. NEPAL FUNDRAISER–WEDNESDAY, MAY 27
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Helping Nepal After Earthquake
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T.D. Allman (Nepal 1966-68) A Town in Nepal Teaches a Young American How to Live
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Robert Warren Hugins (Nepal 1984-86)

“One Monsoon” by Don Messerschmidt (Nepal)

  This essay by Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65)  appeared on December 2, 2016, in The Common, a print and digital literary journal published biannually, in the fall and spring. Issues of The Common include short stories, essays, poems, and images that embody a strong sense of place.  The Common Online publishes original content four times per week, including book reviews, interviews, personal essays, short dispatches, poetry, contributor podcasts and recordings, and multimedia features. Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, the magazine is supported in part by Amherst College and The Common Foundation. •   ONE MONSOON Don Messerschmidt December 2, 2016 One Wednesday morning late in the rainy season of 1964, I sat at the open window of my room overlooking the tiny hill town of Kunchha, Nepal where I lived. I was watching huge clouds expand overhead, upward and outward across the blue Himalayan sky. I knew that by noon the temperature and the humidity would rise proportionately. . . .

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“The View from Birauta” by Don Messerschmidt (Nepal)

  When Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) graduated from the University of Alaska/Fairbanks, cass of 1963, he was only vaguely aware of the Kingdom of Nepal. With a degree in education he thought he’d become a teacher in the Alaskan bush. But, by accepting an invitation to join the Peace Corps that summer, his life changed dramatically. By September he was in Nepal doing development work in the (then) remote central hills. Since 1963, Don has lived and worked in the Himalayas as a development advisor, anthropological researcher, teacher, and writer/editor. The epicenter of Nepal’s April 2015 Gorkha Earthquake was very near Don’s Peace Corps village. After the quake, he returned twice to help with the recovery work and documentation, under auspices of the all-volunteer non-profit Gorkha Foundation. As a member of the Board of Advisors, Don helps raise funds for rebuilding schools destroyed in the quake. Don can be contacted at . . .

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This article about Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2001-03) Written by Peter Hessler (China 1996-98)

David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker emailed this morning, December 20,2015, about The Business of Giving and remarks in his Introduction to a series of articles on ‘giving’ about Peter Hessler’s article on the Peace Corps, writing, “a volunteer in an eastern part of Nepal later becomes an expert fund-raiser for the organization, and within ten minutes at a dinner on Long Island raises eighteen thousand dollars.” That ‘volunteer’ was Rajeen Goyal (Nepal 2001-03). He then publishes (again) “Village Voice” an article written by Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) about Rajeen that appeared in the December 20, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. Here it is again, if you missed it the first time the piece was published. A Reporter at Large DECEMBER 20, 2010 ISSUE Village Voice The Peace Corps’s brightest hope. BY PETER HESSLER Rajeev Goyal in Namje, Nepal. Instead of introducing American values abroad, Goyal aims at the reverse. . . .

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In Laurence Leamer’s (Nepal 1964-66) Library

The New York Post, Sunday, November 22, 2015, has a one page book section and this week they featured Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1964-66). Here’s what writer Barbara Hoffman had to say about Larry… Antioch College was a liberal-arts college – liberal, period – when Laurence Leamer went there in 1960. John F. Kennedy was running for president, “but they didn’t think he was liberal enough,” Leamer says of his classmates. Leamer, however, supported JFK and wrangled a job in DC just in time to see the newly inaugurated president pass by on Pennsylvania Avenue. Decades later, after serving in the Peace Corps and writing for magazines, Leamer wrote three books on the Kennedys, including the bestselling The Kennedy Women. Now there’s Rose, his play about the Kennedy family matriarch. Starring Kathleen Chalfant, it’s playing at off-Broadway’s Clurman Theater through Dec. 13. . Here, 52 years after JFK’s death, are four . . .

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URGENT LETTER FROM Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65)

Friends: Shortly after the Nepal Earthquake of April 25 2015, Peace Corps/Nepal withdrew all 53 volunteers and 32 trainees and sent them home, out of concern for “Volunteers’ health, safety and security.” See peacecorps.gov/media/forpress/press/2548/, and peacecorps.gov/resources/faf/nepal/. I am seeking to find out who among the almost 4,000 volunteers who have served in Nepal, have either returned since April 25 (or were there at the time and stayed on) to help in earthquake relief and recovery, and any others who have been working from home on Nepal Earthquake relief, fund raising, etc. I am preparing to write an article which touches on PC and RPCV response to the crisis, and I need their stories and perspectives. If you are one of them, or know of one or more, please contact me by email at dmesserschmidt@gmail.com. I, too, am going to Nepal, arriving in Kathmandu on June 13 for about a month. . . .

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D.C. NEPAL FUNDRAISER–WEDNESDAY, MAY 27

I received this information from a dear friend, Busy Graham, who is a Takoma Park, Maryland resident and the daughter of  Dick Graham one of the early Peace Corps Country Directors (Tunisia 1963-65) working with Sarge at HQ from 1961-63. Busy’s mother later worked at the Peace Corps, recruiting CDs, and was responsible for hiring many of the first women directors for the agency. Busy is now involved with hosting a fundraiser for Nepal this coming Wednesday, May 27 in the DC area (Takoma Park/Silver Spring) — she is trying to reach as many RPCVs and Staff who live in the DC area to let them know about this event. Wednesday, May 27, 7:00-9:30pm NEPAL EARTHQUAKE RELIEF — FUNDRAISING CONCERT Seekers Church 276 Carroll St. NW DC (across from Takoma metro & BusBoys & Poets) Featuring the BlackJacks band, LEA, Mary Amato, and friends — plus Nepali singer, Ramesh Pariyar and . . .

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Helping Nepal After Earthquake

‘If you want to see a bit more about the earthquake in Nepal  go to these sites: http://gorkhafoundation.org/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gorkha-Foundation/191426006477?fref=nf http://www.wehelpnepal.org/ http://icimod.org/?q=17851 https://www.facebook.com/liesl.messerschmidt https://www.facebook.com/hans.messerschmidt.3 https://www.facebook.com/don.messerschmidt.5 https://www.facebook.com/andrew.manzardo.1 After the earthquake, the Peace Corps and Embassy evacuated all PCVs from Nepal. The Embassy and the Peace Corps did not give the PCVs the option to stay and help in the relief efforts, and provide them some subsistence to do so. The PCVs, with their fluency in Nepali, could have been assigned to work with international relief organizations, to assist in the effort, especially in the more remote communities near the epicenter. But, to simply route them out of the country – done! – doesn’t seem very much in tune with the Peace Corps ethic. I am sure that Peace Corps/Kathmandu had their reasons. Maybe the Staff wanted to go home.

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T.D. Allman (Nepal 1966-68) A Town in Nepal Teaches a Young American How to Live

“What I learned in Nepalganj” in the Peace Corps, “has kept me alive in situations when I might have gotten killed.” By T.D. Allman National Geographic April 12, 2015 NEPALGANJ Nepal-I met my first untouchables in Nepalganj, a writhing market town on the Indian border where living gods and human feces are scattered all over the place. I also became acquainted with my first prince there. He and his wife received me in their small palace, a whitewash-streaked ersatz-Palladian structure with a tin roof. Over tea we discussed defecation. It was a perplexing and important topic for a cleanliness-obsessed young American like me. For the first time in my life, I was living in a place where almost everyone was not white, and not prosperous, and not one person in a thousand had ever used toilet paper. My house had no toilet, only a circular cement hole in the floor. Daily-and . . .

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Robert Warren Hugins (Nepal 1984-86)

Monday, November 21 6:00 pm THIS IS AN EXCERPT from a letter home. I am living with Ram Krishna Shrestha, his wife and three sons. As usual, I’ve been up since 5 a.m. when Aamaa (the mother) woke me yelling for her boys to get up. I heated a kettle of water on my kerosene hot plate and had coffee with a snack of glucose biscuits and peanut butter, which will keep me going until I have daalbhaat (lentials and rice) with the family at 9 a.m. Since my Nepali language is pretty bad, I have been asking the students to read the explanations in the textbook before I show them how to do the problems on the blackboard. I’d tell them, “Timiharu, yaha bistaari parda,” which means, “Children, slowly read this.” There would be tittering and bad smells. They read loudly because they don’t know how to read in . . .

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