December December

December December! It’s been a busy few weeks and the month is still far from over…

#1 The Christmas card marathon which began in November crescendoed in December culminating in my mailing approaching 100 cards out across the globe. They were sent I assure you so apologies if yours did not arrive… However, all is not lost as this year’s annual summary is still in the making and will be uploaded in a future post here before the year is out…

cards

#2 Also towards the end of November I had the chance to spend two lovely Saturdays crafting. We were helping out fellow VSO volunteer Tina and her husband trial and perfect new felt kits to be sold at the upcoming Christmas markets. Their organisation offers employment opportunities to disadvantaged women through felt making. VSO volunteer Daphne and I were only too happy to have such a worthwhile excuse for crafting;

craft

#3 Every year December 5th is International Volunteer Day and for 2014 I attended a joint event between VSO and other national and international volunteer organisations. Then, especially exciting for me personally, in the afternoon I got the chance to contribute to our very own street mural organised by VSO and Sattya Media Arts Collective whose many murals I have been admiring around town and plan a future post on – whenever there’s a lull!?;

IVD Mural

#4 December 5th is also a very important date for the Dutch nation as they celebrate Sinterklaas. I have had the great joy to meet a fantastic group of Dutch nationals here in Nepal and on December 5th was honoured to be asked to join them for their festivities (after a quick carol singing performance at a local Christmas market as part of the Kathmandu Chorale – more on the Chorale below…) Sinterklass festivities include everyone writing a poem ‘from Sinterklaas’ for a randomly pre-selected person in the group. The poems were amazing, especially those in English or even English and Dutch rhyming together, and mine was my entire life story in 2 A4 sides of fantastic, rhyming English – well done ‘Sinterklaas!’;

sinterklass

#5 Since September I have been rehearsing as part of the Kathmandu Chorale preparing for the winter season finale – an hour long concert of chorale music including ‘A Christmas Cantata’ which took place on December 6th. Through joining the chorale I met some fabulous people, challenged my brain to learn complex harmonies and got my first trip to Naomi’s ecohouse in Godavari for a wine fuelled Alto’s rehearsal. Roll on next season!;

chorale

#6 December 10-12th saw the Annual Volunteer Conference for VSO Nepal taking place in Godavari. A great chance to get all of the long term volunteers and staff of VSO Nepal together to discuss achievements, challenges and future plans. Lovely to rise up above the smog of the valley. Team photo – that is a lot of pink! And some interesting artwork from the hotel that I somehow identified with…

AVC 2014

#7 Last but not least in the final preparations for Christmas I was very pleased to know my family’s Christmas parcel made it to the UK in good time. Though this photo has sparked some discussion as to the Nepali adorable approach to stamps and just exactly where did they leave the address showing?

ecollis123_63

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