My name is Mary Shin, and I am currently on placement in Kathmandu, Nepal. I am working as a Marketing and Networking Intern at Organic World and Fair Future, which is a small, for-profit organic organization that specializes in the production, processing, and marketing of organic products based in Kathmandu. For the most part, my job entails working closely with my organization to create marketing materials, including labels, brochures, information packages, etc to update and improve the marketability of the organization to a wider audience. However, I also get the opportunity to take part in observing the value chain, from the planning process, to the producer, and to the consumer who consciously chooses organic. Quick fact, you would think that most farmers in Nepal are organic, but the organic market is rising quickly in popularity because many farmers actually use an excessive amount of improperly applied pesticides. My organization works with small scale farmers, which I will hopefully be able to accompany a new project training session that my organization will be running with the local farmers. Keep in mind my silly smile and inability to speak Nepali well, but so many Nepali people are kind and welcoming.
This placement is not only about the working experience, but I am able to have the privilege to observe the cultural richness and diversity of Nepal, which has over 102 ethnic groups and castes. That's why sometimes people accidentally mistake me for being Nepali! Not only is the culture diverse, but the landscape is incredibly varied as well. I cannot deny that the city is hectic and on a daily basis I have someone's sweaty armpit in my face while I'm squished like a sardine in a public bus. But most of all, Nepal has some absolutely amazing natural landscapes and scenery to offer. I cannot believe my placement is already half way over. I could go on and on about the politics, the social structures, the food (dhal bhat power, 24 hours and MOMOs), etc but you will just have to come see Nepal for yourself. I can't wait to see what these next few months bring, and I will surely be sad to go.
Until later, here's some pictures you can enjoy!