Saturday, August 2, 2008

Office pictures installment 1

Here are some pictures from where I work. More on the way - still missing some key characters!

This is the IRC building, where I live from ~ 9:10 to 6:30 most Monday through Fridays. My office is on the third floor.

Neelima is the first person I see when I walk in. “Good morning Rosie” she says, while she’s stuffing an envelope or un-jamming the printer or dialing a phone number. She is efficient and always busy.

25 years old, Neelima recently finished 3 years of college in Bangalor, India. One year during college, she worked at a phone bank selling credit cards to Americans. They taught her how to speak with an American accent and told her to never talk about the weather. If asked, she was to say she was in Texas.

Neelima is becoming a good friend. Unfortunately though, she lives an hour and a half from the office/my house. Tricky. We're planning a sleepover next week so there’s time to do something fun after work.

This is my roommate Jenny, from the UK. Jenny is the IRC’s "Child Protection Coordinator." In a typical week, she’ll have three donor reports to write, a teacher-training curriculum to design, a government coordination meeting to attend, and 5 or 6 other things to do. She easily works 75 hours each week and still comes home smiling.

At work we help each other edit tough emails and at home we cook pasta together and make fun of each other’s accents. This week she is on vacation visiting her Fiance in Chicago. She comes back today – I’m excited.

This is my other roommate, Tienle, from China. She was a journalist for many years, but is currently doing a Master’s in New York in International Relations. She’s in Kathmandu for the summer as an “Information Intern.”

I learn alot from Tienle. She answers my (many) questions - about Tibet and Mao and Chinese dumplings - with patience and clarity.

At home, Tienle is a bit more private than Jenny and I – she spends a lot of time behind her computer and in front of the TV (often both at the same time). And she’s less vocal about her frustrations, fears, excitements. But she definitely joins in on communal house dinners, outings and movie-nights.

I'm not good at sitting at desks. Instead I like to lie on my back (pictured), lie on my stomach or sit cross-legged on the floor. Thank goodness for laptops and wall-to-wall carpeting.

This is the view from my window. Day-dream friendly.

This is the view from the 3rd floor balcony. (On clear days the mountains are drool-worthy.)

The office vehicle. It needs a name - something cute, small.

I don't have any more pictures from the office. But what follows are pictures of office-people at a going away party for Christina, our former Country Director.

Christina has been IRC's Country Director Nepal for a year and a half. Yesterday she moved to Australia with her husband and 2 1/2 year old son. (Her husband is Australian and was offered a job there.) She seems sad to leave Nepal. But family is important.

Pictured above is Christina giving a goodbye speech at the party. She said goodbye and welcomed the new Country Director, Denise...

This is Denise! Denise arrived a week and a half ago. Before that, she worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for a year. She's lived in more countries than I've been to (including Rwanda, Liberia, Jordan, Malawi and a bunch of others.) I like her ALOT. She confessed to having a dance party by herself the other night and sometimes has lipstick on her teeth. When I tell her about the lipstick, she laughs and thanks me.

This is Deepak, the Deputy Director. I wrote about him in an earlier post.

This is Reese, Christina's son (tickle-friendly), and Mira, the office cook. Mira is always smiling. She has become my unofficial Nepali instructor. Every day she gives me one food-related word to learn. I repeat it to hear ad nauseum until it sinks in. Last week she taught me the words: tarkari (mixed vegetables), alloo (potatoes), kankro (cucumber), gorbera (tomato) and bhat (rice).

I hope to post pictures of the rest of the people I work with - Rita, Shivani, Sanjay, Bagwan and Birball - in the coming days/weeks.

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