Saturday, October 20, 2018


As expected, October has been a slow month so far. Fever and flu kept me out of action of nearly 2 weeks and I'm only now really recovering my stamina. For someone used to running almost daily, 2 weeks of inactivity has a very noticeable effect.

It's now Deshain time in Nepal, which is the biggest festival of the year for most Nepalis. Shops are mostly closed and schools are on holiday. Yesterday I celebrated the main day of the festival with family, receiving tikka and barley to wear behind my ear. Nepali Hindus believe barely was the first food, given by god, so it has a special significance for them.

On Wednesday I will travel to Pokhara, to take part in what will be the by far the hardest race of my life, the Annapurna 100. This is a 50km trail race in the Himalayas, with more than 3kms of vertical ascent, and reaching a peak altitude of around 3500 metres.  It's completely unlike anything I've ever run before and large sections of it, i.e. those going up!, promise to be physical and mental torture!

So why am I doing it? Well, apart from the fact that I like a challenge (you have to if you want to work in Nepal really!) I'm trying to raise money for Manisha UK's Learning Resource Centre. So please, click the link below and sponsor me to support a really amazing cause. Just a pound or two goes a long way in Nepal and every donation really does make a difference.

Friday, October 05, 2018


I've been back in Nepal almost 7 weeks now and if there is one word that the describes that time, it is most definitely frustrating. 

My focus is on getting the Learning Resource Centre set up but despite lots of talk we still don't have a site. We met with the mayor again at the end of last week to submit a formal request for a particular site and although he took the request positively, we still have to wait for it to be submitted at another meeting, which will mean we won't have a decision until, at best, just days before the main Nepal festival season starts, meaning we won't be able to start any serious work until November.

I was gearing up for a busy week visiting schools this week, but these plans were struck down at the weekend when I got a bad fever. I've spent most of the past week in bed, not a good cure for frustration! Hopefully we'll have better luck next week but many schools are now doing exams and will then be stopping for the festival season.

Even my running training has been hit by my fever although that at least I'll be able to start again properly next week, unaffected by exams or festivals! At times running seems to be the only thing keeping me sane here!

We'll keep plugging away an hope for better progress after the holidays but October promises to be a very slow month.