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main blog0014 : the new norm

krishna bikram shah june 30, 2020; tuesday 20:00 nst (nepal standard time)


so how was dahi-chyura yesterday (ashad 15)? i really wonder how much rice planting actually happened during day #98 of lockdown in nepal, with the lockdown rules having changed maybe two dozen times over the last 98 days with the "shoot first, think later" approach of the nepalese government. but anyway, let's stay positive. with only 12,772 cases in nepal when the world is already over 10 million, we may be doing all right, regardless of how these numbers are compiled.


whether we like it or not, the average worldwide curve does seem to be getting steeper. june marked lockdown days #70 through #99 in nepal, with the lockdown being relaxed starting june 15 (ashad 1), after 84 days of full lockdown. we can now drive our cars every other day according to our number plates, not that i am dying to get out of the house. we humans have a way of adapting, and after 84 days of being couped up, i have found my way to make myself comfortable inside all day and all night. it's the new norm. i guess i am now ready for 6 months on the iss (international space station). ;)


this is my 4th blog entry written in lockdown. for context/buildup to this blog entry, if you have not already done so, kindly check out my last three blog entries:

  • 2020/05/31: blog0013 : life during lockdown

  • 2020/04/30: blog0012 : the covid-19 relief fund

  • 2020/03/31: blog0011 : corona lockdown

again, a lot has happened over the last 30 days or so. just like in my last couple of blog entries, let me try and present these happenings to you in an orderly fashion, perhaps by organization that i am involved in...


 





sarlahi


the government has not given the green light to open schools, and hence we are officially not open yet. but we cannot stop students and teachers from coming to our school premises, as we neither have a compound wall nor a gate. we do not have guards to stop anyone from entering our school premises. enough said. like i mentioned in my last blog entry, our non-profit free-for-all community schools are still officially "closed", but some teachers and some students continue to visit the school premises and "talk" to each other with social distancing measures in place. i would like to stress on the fact that the villages in sarlahi where our schools are still have zero coronavirus cases to date, although the overall region (province #2) is highlighted as a hotspot of nepal thanks to the cities and towns close to the indian border. the majority of coronavirus cases in nepal are imports from india.


2020/06/30 COVID-19 Informal Class at Shreepur School
2020/06/30 COVID-19 Informal Class at Shreepur School

i don't know how much longer we need to keep our schools shut, but we are ready to re-open tomorrow and catch up on lost time. i am happy to see students and teachers proactively coming to school even though they know the risks involved, and even though they are not mandated to come. we will keep an eye on things -- if there is an outbreak of cases in the villages that our schools are in, then we will take action accordingly.


once again, and i can't stress on it enough, to learn more about our sarlahi schools, please visit the project 3k page...

project 3k


p3k continues to be our flagship crowd-based fundraiser even during lockdown.






project 3k

more info @








the 2077 academic year would have been in full swing by now, 2.5 months into classes. i personally would have made a trip (or two by now) to sarlahi to take photos of children, make new registration forms, and get them ready to email out to supporters. but alas! everything is on hold. i can't wait to get down to sarlahi. i really hope i will be able to soon. we normally request our p3k supporters to renew their support after we have sent them the updated registration forms, but this time around since we have no idea when this can happen, we are pondering about the idea of asking supporters to renew their support in advance, even before they receive the updated registration forms for 2077. what do you think we should do? let us know by emailing us at [ office@hostehainse.org ]. thanks! :)

recycle/reuse for education


was finally able to update the web pages for "recycle for eucation" as well as "reuse for education" with numbers for the lockdown period. as you may have guessed, the numbers look really bad as we could not really hold any garage sales or actively venture into recycling pickups. but there was some activity. and now that we're in semi-lockdown, i hope these numbers will pick up.



if you have recyclables and/or old clothes and household items to donate, please call us at 01-5550700 or email us at [ office@hostehainse.org ]. thanks!


 




quick reminder that hoste hainse is a member organization of both ungc as well as iucn. you might already know the u.n. global compact is the voluntary wing of the united nations which urges businesses and organizations to embrace social responsibility. iucn, on the other hand, is all about the conservation of nature.


hoste hainse is constantly involved in both ungc as well as iucn activities. in addition to being the executive director, pro bono, for hoste hainse, i am also the executive director, pro bono, for global compact nepal. what i constantly try to do is put all these hats together and make them synergize for a greater good. one major ungc activity that happened in june was the virtual leaders summit...

virtual leaders summit


due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual united nations global compact leaders summit went online this year for an even bigger as well as more inclusive audience (approx. 23,000 attendees). the event would normally be held physically in new york mid-june every year. in a nutshell, the summit "brings together thousands of leaders to decide how business can support countries and communities around the world to recover better, recover stronger, and recover together from three global crises - health, inequality and climate." more info. here:


closing remarks were given by german chancellor, angela merkel, and the program boasted quite a few high-profile speakers, such as al gore and then-advisor to president obama, katie fallon, who was also part of the session co-hosted by nepal:


UNGC VLS South Asia Regional Session

the nepal session was part of the south-asia regional session co-hosted by bangladesh, pakistan and nepal. i spoke/presented for about 5 minutes before the interaction started between the speakers from bangladesh, pakistan, nepal and one international speaker from the u.s., ms. fallon. nepal was proudly represented by global compact member, chandni joshi.


here's a screenshot:


2020/06/16 Nepal Session @ United Nations Global Compact Virtual Leaders Summit

the biggest takeaway was networking of course, and we hope to synergize with the new connections made.

the covid-19 relief fund


"the covid-19 relief fund" via global compact nepal is still in full swing. it was the topic of my blog entry two months ago. please refer it to for more information:

  • 2020/04/30: blog0012 : the covid-19 relief fund

hoste hainse is working with global compact nepal on covid-19 relief efforts, both immediate as well as long-term. i had posted the draft proposal in my last blog entry already, but here it is once again:

2020-06-06_Research_Laboratory_Concept_N
Download • 668KB
 



in my last blog entry, i had written that we were busy putting in applications for funding at the rotary club for the covid-19 research laboratory concept paper above. i had also mentioned that the rotary rota year ends on june 30 every year. i have both good news as well as bad news on this front. the good news is that we have completed our "global grant" application to double our global compact nepal funds (the goal was to double it from usd 30,000 to usd 60,000). the bad news is that it was not approved/authorized by the district (rotary head office in nepal) due to a technical issue. the technical issue that was uncovered at the last minute on the last day was "research projects are not supported by rotary."


if you've read the concept paper above, you know that this laboratory project is much more than just a research laboratory and goes into both diagnostics as well as surveillance. but it's the title of the project "covid-19 research laboratory" that ended up being the nail in the coffin for this year's application deadline. since this technicality was uncovered by the district on the last day, we did not have enough time to re-write the proposal, but we will in due time and see how we can re-apply in the near future.


here's a screenshot of how we got stuck at the last minute:


2020/06/30 Rotary Club Global Grant Authorizations Page
 

prakrity sessions


yes, we're coming toward the end of this blog entry. as you know, i like to end my entries by pointing you to my radio shows for the month. needless to say, they are fundraisers for hoste hainse. again -- no, i do not have a page dedicated to them on the hoste hainse website yet, but i promise i will do that soon. i hope that soon will happen soon. :)


a fundraiser for the education of underprivileged children in nepal

more info @ www.prakrity.com


 

wrap-up


time to wrap up! let me see... what else happened in june? i got my first corona haircut two days ago. :) did it out in the open... in my garden... mithun thakur, my hajam (barber), has been in kathmandu all this time... and after four months without a proper haircut, finally took my chances... with proper protection and all. feels really good to have a haircut after four months. like i said earlier, and also hence the title of this blog entry. this is the new norm. we need to learn to live with corona.


nothing else happened in june. ;)


references to previous blog entries for 2020... in case you have not read those and would like to:

  • [ blog0013 : life during lockdown ] - may 31, 2020

  • [ blog0012 : the covid-19 relief fund ] - april 30, 2020

  • [ blog0011 : corona lockdown ] - march 31, 2020

  • [ blog0010 : german ambassador sarlahi visit ] - february 29, 2020

  • [ blog0009 : hh blog reloaded (again) ] - january 15, 2020

thank you for reading; take care and stay safe. if you have any questions or comments on anything that i wrote about, please feel free to reach out: [ office@hostehainse.org ].


until next month.


cheers, krishna

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