Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ms. Leah Learns to Use the Phone... Keith Goes to Work... Ezra Gets A Cast... Josh Plays Basketball & Shaku Creates A "Namuna Nepal"

leah's on the phone now; it starts early! nicole, her teacher, has the kids practicing their numbers by offering them the chance to do what they love to do best: chat with their friends. leah likes it so much she's whooshed past the three kids who she was supposed to call for her 'homework' and is now moving on to choying, one of her other buddies. i believe that this is a red letter day, as it's ms. leah's first official, individual, personally-made calls. she's a bit shy (not much actually...), but she's leaning against me as i type seeking bodily reassurance as she sallies forth in the world of disembodied poetics. now, isn't homework FuN??!!

i'm back from another day in the orifice, which was mainly out in meetings with our key colleagues and government counterparts. i had a couple of hours in my room before we also 'sallied forth' with lances in our hands to tilt at the windmills of our minds. in this case, we are still working to ensure that the clauses in the interim constitution (which is overdue to be promulgated by the seven party alliance & maoists as part of the initial phase of this peace deal). there are some serious questions regarding the independence of the NHRC (national human rights commission) as it is currently written in the legislation. according to the 'paris principles' that define the basic ground rules for such national institutions, they should be fully separated from the executive branch in order that they are not influenced by such political considerations in order to fulfill its mandate of protecting, defending & promoting the human rights of its citizens. there are other aspects of the new constitutional clauses, as well, that we are seeking support on, e.g. a broader & more diverse membership of the commissioners, greater powers et al.

in this sense, my new work is more political than being director of an ingo and more involved in the political transformation of the country, which, of course, is fascinating. there appears to be an effort to make truly historical changes in the composition and structure of the nation during the coming year. it's impossible to know how successful this will be, given the profoundly status quo nature of most politicians and the many unknowns about the maoists, including their sincerity to participate in a multi-party government, rather than a revolutionary one. peace agreements have been signed in the past week which is a positive sign, but also, in another sense, merely the starting gun (at least less threatening the actual guns they have been carrying for years...) for the new games to begin. how well these disparate parties learn or desire to work together will go a long way to determining how well this peace process goes in 2007...

as for the home front, ez has a cast on his left ankle/leg after tearing some ligaments around his ankle in a basketball practice on the w/end. it's rather a drag as he would have played some in the upcoming saisa (south asia international schools association) tournament at lincoln school this coming w/end. but, at least he's only in 9th grade and has some years ahead to play. josh is the starting center (at 6'3") so we'll still be there when the games begin.

and, shaku is out finalizing her new social activist organization, "namuna nepal" (model nepal) to advocate for greater proportional representation for the disadvantaged groups, particularly the 'janjati' ethnics and the dalits (former untouchables) of the country in the new political process. she has a great group of people w/ her and they are soon going public with their ambition... move over politicians, there's a new wind blowing...

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