Three Ways to Make in Impact in One Small Corner of Nepal

A woman in Okharpauwa points to the rubble where a woman and two children were buried. (Photo by Bhupi Ghimire/Volunteers Initiative Nepal)
May 3, 2015
A woman in Okharpauwa points to the rubble where a woman and two children were buried in debris. (Photo:  Bhupi Ghimire/Volunteers Initiative Nepal) Nepal Earthquake Quick Facts• Over 8,000 deaths • Total death toll predicted to exceed 15,000 • Over 600,000 homes destroyed • 1.7 million children directly affected • Over 125,000 pregnant women affected • Reconstruction expenses predicted to exceed $5 billion “At that earthquake moment, I was thinking...
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Young Buddhist Monks Pursue Happiness, Enlightenment, and Education

A young monk collects food from devout Buddhists early in the morning in a Chiang Mai market. This act, called “making merit,” is believed to bring happiness and peace to those who give. (photo by Victoria Nechodomu/Nechodomu Media)
February 17, 2015

The Northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai is home to over 300 temples, scattered throughout the old city and surrounding forested hills. Among the more famous temples is Wat Chedi Luang, a 700-year-old temple whose age can be seen in its weathered, crumbled appearance. The temple is a busy location, attracting hundreds of daily worshipers and tourists. However, the temple also lies at the heart of the Mahamakut Buddhist University,…

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The Rose of the North hosts 39th Annual Flower Festival

The details and colors of the displays and floats are created entirely from flowers, grasses, and seeds. This year’s parade contained 28 floats. (Photo by Victoria Nechodomu/Nechodomu Media)
February 9, 2015

Chiang Mai, the Northern Thailand town known as the, “Rose of the North,” hosted its 39th Annual Flower Festival this past weekend, Feb. 6-8. The weekend provided an around-the-clock feast for the senses for tens of thousands of local and international visitors. Weekend highlights included the opening ceremonies, the Miss Flower Blooming Beauty Contest, a parade, concerts, performances, demonstrations, floral exhibitions, garden displays, award ceremonies, and a walking street lined with local food…

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Locals Continue Ancient Tradition at Domnoen Saduak Floating Market

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February 2, 2015

RAJBURI, THAILAND: It’s 9:00 am on Sunday, Feb. 1, and the Domnoen Saduak canal is bustling with activity. Dozens of women paddle wooden long tail boats, heavy with colorful local fruits through the murky water, carefully weaving between oncoming motorboats filled with tourists. Additional boats serve as floating kitchens, a one-man show of paddling, slicing, chopping, and frying. The air is thick with the smell of grilled meat, pad thai,…

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Paper Mache Artist Finds Success in the Evolving Craft Market

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January 28, 2015
Nagoo displays his collection of paper mache crafts, created by himself, his wife, and sons. (Photo by Victoria Nechodomu/Nechodomu Media) It is an overcast Saturday morning at the National Crafts Museum in Delhi, India. The tinkering of metal work, the rhythm of drums, and the singing of folk songs set the backdrop for a creative atmosphere, where over a dozen artists in residence demonstrate their crafts. Mohd Shafi Nagoo is...
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Fishermen take Chances Fishing in God’s Own Country

Rahim is the youngest in a family of fishermen, and hopes to have enough money to buy his own boat some day. (Photo by Victoria Nechodomu/Nechodomu Media)
January 18, 2015

The morning has just giving way to afternoon in Kochi, a small coastal town in the southwestern India state of Kerala. The sun is already unbearably intense, making the tropical air heavy and muggy. The beach here is a working beach, cluttered with nets, plastic tubs, scraps of wood, and sandbags. The massive, looming structures of Chinese fishing nets faintly creek as they are raised and lowered into the current….

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Survival of the Sacred: Monkeys and Cows Struggle in Urban India

Snakes, monkeys, and cows are three of the most sacred animals honored and respected by Hindus. (Photos: Victoria Nechodomu/Nechodomu Media)
January 12, 2015

Jaipur, the “pink city,” is the hustling capital of Rajasthan, the desert state of India known as the land of kings and gypsies, palaces, forts, and temples. With a population of 6.6 million, this city is a mix of old and new, the famed ancient terra cotta colored homes lying at the core of the city. The streets are in constant motion with cars, overcrowded city buses, auto rickshaws, motorbikes, bicycles, foot…

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Nepal’s Musician Caste Adapts to Changing Times

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December 25, 2014
Ramchandra Gandharba plays his sarangi at a temple at the foot of the Himalayas (Photo Victoria Nechodomu/Nechodomu Media) Ramchandra Gandharba is one of a dozen instrument salesmen who can found wandering the streets of Pokhara, a lakeside tourist hotspot in Nepal. They all sell the same instrument: a four-stringed traditional Nepali violin called a sarangi. To the unknowing tourist, this instrument may serve as a simple wall decoration, or to...
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Tibetans in Nepal Seek Economic and Cultural Stability

Prayer flags wave from a stupa near the monastery in Tashi Palkhiel, Nepal. (Photo: Victoria Nechodomu/Nechodomu Media)
December 15, 2014

Thousands of Tibetans have fled their homeland over the past several decades, and sought out life in settlements abroad. Of these 140,000  refugees, it is estimated that 20,000 currently live in Nepal, where they have limited legal status.  With no land to call home, Tibetans in Nepal struggle daily for economic stability, while still trying to maintain and preserve their cultural identities. Refugees in a Foreign Land In 1959, Tibetans began fleeing their…

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Temple Visitors fall Victim to Monkey Business

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December 8, 2014
Visitors to temples throughout Nepal may find themselves overwhelmed by dramatic, ancient architecture, drifting curls of incense, and the ticking of prayer wheels spinning. However, no Nepali temple experience would be complete without yet one more element: monkeys. Accustomed to free handouts from temple visitors, these monkeys have free reign of many temples throughout Nepal. Their role in ancient Hindu mythology has earned them the title of "holy," and therefore...
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