Traveling to Padma Kanya Campus the next morning by rickshaw meant that we all arrived in time for our interaction session where staff and students from both PK and LJMU shared presentations on their research interests and took the opportunity to meet new people.
Talks ranged from the topics being studied on gender education as women’s right to child maternal mortality and uterine prolapse. It was excellent to see everyone present their ideas so clearly and thanks is due to all the staff and students at PK who,attending making the morning a great success.
Whilst visiting the Hindu temple and cremation site at Pashnupathi Nath some of the students took the opportunity to visit the Bidra Ashram – Old People’s Home close by. Whilst a peaceful location the home is in need of having the rooms and facilities upgraded but the activity and energy of the residents the gave the students food for thought as they compared them to those back at home.
The peace museum at Patan dhoka, established by Kundan Dixit, was a sobering reminder of the conflict and its impact Nepal and serves as a reminder as one of the books by Kunda is aplenty named .. Never again. http://www.apeoplewar.com.np
Following in from this an impromptu visit to Sattaya Arts collective and the amazing graffiti gave us the opportunity to experience the Kolor Kathmandu project in action details of which are found here and on facebook http://kolorkathmandu.sattya.org/
In keeping with a peaceful end to our hectic day a sunset visit to Swayambu was squeezed in before once again heading back to Thamel.
Making the most of my time in Belgium to scope out other places for field trip destinations so headed off to Ghent with my Use It map and camera. Rather then head into the centre on a tram or taxi I decided to walk taking in the suggested highlights on my map made by local young people linked to Use It (more on that in another post). First impressions of Ghent – graffiti churches and coffee bars …. And Monday is not the day to go as many of the cafes and shops are closed. It’s definitely a place I’d come back to though lots of interesting things to see and places to visit so need too come for longer next time.
The main thing i wanted to see was graffiti street – which the volunteer in the use it office in Brussels had told me about – as anyone who knows me knows I love graffiti and I love how it is so different everywhere you go. Graffiti street is an entire alley linking two shopping streets that is just covered in graffiti, colourful vibrant artwork that is constancy replaced building up layers and layers of graffiti over the years. The alley has been designated by the local government as a legal spot for graffiti to try and keep the rest of the city free of spray paint. While there are some splashes of paint in other parts of the city, the best work seems to be concentrated here. Compared to other graffiti I’ve seen this was more colourful than political and leaves me thinking is legal graffiti the same as illegal graffiti and who does which where when and why ! Now that’s food for thought.
Just off Groentenmarkt one alley had such enticing artwork on the walls that it led me down a small alley that led to a great little bar – with live music at night and no wifi (pronounced wiffy in Belgium!). Quite refreshing in today’s wifi obsessed society – meaning I couldn’t blog from where I was but had to instead …. actually chat to the local bar man and a very interesting guy who has a keen interested in Liverpool. Didn’t catch the customers name but he was wearing a long doctor who type scarf and knew a lot about music. Stephen, the bar tender, makes a great coffee and is in a band called Sherman who are quite good as I googled them later when wifi was available ! The bar was called Hot Club de Gand and is well worth checking out – down the alley near the bridge just after the Nepali restaurant (which is closed on a Monday!)
Overall Ghent looks like a much nicer place to be a student and in some ways reminded me of York – very pretty down by the river at night… I’ll definitely be back !