Nepal day 4

So today was the first day of the conference, when my alarm went off this morning at 6:45 so I could be at breakfast for 7 I laid in bed and thought to myself "my body is still on UK time" as such I've been yawning all day and apologising for doing so.

Never the less after breakfast the day commenced with a procession from all the delegate countries (again pictures to follow I’m afraid) we then headed into the main hall where we had an opening ceremony and worship. We then broke for tea and then everyone gathered together again for Bible Study. Everyone then broke for lunch and as John and I are facilitating a workshop on Wednesday we met with some key people to tell them what our needs were for this.

After lunch everyone got together again to go to workshops. Chris and I attended the Social Media workshop which was about exploring what social media could do to aid the young people of south Asia in their mission work. after the workshops we had a bit of down time so both Chris and I decided that as it was so warm we wanted to get a shower, so both headed up to our rooms and got a shower and freshened up. We then headed back downstairs and after a few minutes talking with people went back into the main hall for a few more sessions.

This just about takes me up to this moment besides leaving out another delicious meal

So that’s me signing off for another day

Speak to you all tomorrow

Pete

Nepal

Some of you may ask yourself why i am blogging about Nepal – well to answer the question I am here with John Boyd one of our Youth Participation Project Managers (for the north east). Last year before John and I were in our current roles we were asked to go to Sri Lanka to assist in the planning for the South Asian Christian Youth Network. As we were involved in the planning for the conference the World Church asked both of us to attend the conference which is in Nepal between the 16th and 21st of May. Whilst I’m here at the conference I’ll be blogging about my experiences here and the amazing things I’ll be seeing.

Day 1 – Friday 14th May 2010

I flew from Manchester to Heathrow terminal 5 – a flight which is supposed to be 1 hour long (more like 20 minutes) and then headed over to terminal 3 to meet with John. After checking in rather than hanging about we went straight through security in order to get something to eat before we flew. We managed to find a restaurant which was showing the Australia vs. Pakistan cricket match so with several hours to kill in there we made ourselves comfortable and began to watch the match. Before we knew it, it was time for John to head to his gate as his flight to Doha was an hour before mine. I spent the next hour having a wander around the terminal before it was time for me to head over to my gate for my flight. Luckily my flight to Doha was particularly quiet so I managed to sit on my own allowing me space to spread my legs out a bit. Once I had landed in Doha and gone through security I set out to find John and luckily enough he was at the top of the first escalator that I went up. We decided with a couple of hours to kill it would be a good idea to get a drink as we were both thirsty. I got just a simple water, and John went for watermelon juice (this was the most expensive round of soft drinks I have ever seen) the round was the equivalent of £8 for 2 drinks!!! After killing sitting around for a couple of hours we again headed to our departure gate in order to commence the next leg of our journey which was Doha to Kathmandu.

Day 2 Saturday 15th May 2010

Upon landing in Kathmandu we were greeted by a friendly taxi Driver and an old friend in Jessie Annand who we had met the previous year at the planning meeting in Sri Lanka. We shared a taxi out to the hotel where we were staying over night before we headed out to Pokhara. As we were getting out of the taxi we were again greeted by some old friends Vinod Victor, Jacob Isaac and Shemil Matthew (again people that we met in Sri Lanka) who were heading out to the Fulbari Resort in Pokhara. We headed inside to meet the rest of the Delegation from the UK Chris Hoskins , Suzie Shortland and Joanna Ramsay and Chulli Scarfe. We sat and talked for a while and then John and I decided to head up to the rooms to freshen up a bit before we went out for something to eat and a walk around Kathmandu. We headed out of the hotel and started walking up one of the main roads (it seemed) in Kathmandu and headed up to the shrine in the picture’s below – seeing the crowds gathered around the shrine receiving blessings and lighting candles at it was really overpowering as the shrine was in the middle of a main road with cars going past it in every moment. It wasn’t hidden away inside a room, or down a back road it was there in what seemed like one of the busiest main roads around. Chris and Joanna decided to head back to the hotel and eat there as they had both had upset stomachs following eating Buffalo MoMo’s . So myself, John, Chulli, Suzie, Jessie and John headed to find a local resteraunt to eat in. After we had eaten we headed back to the hotel and sat and talked for a while before heading to bed.

Day 3 16th May 2010

Today was the day we were heading from Kathmandu to Pokhara on the coach. We got up early and headed to breakfast at which point we decided it would be a good idea to head to the supermarket for some bottled water before embarking on the mammoth 7 and a half hour journey. So Chris, Suzie, Joanna and myself headed out to the local supermarket and stocked up. We then headed back up to wait for the last few members of our party then headed out to a meeting point for the coach where we were yet again greeted by some old friends in the Sri Lankan delegates to the conference. We Shared the coach over the incredibly long coach journey over to Pokhara which is 203km.

During the journey the scenery that we saw can only be described as Amazing as im not amazing at taking pictures and I only have my Iphone to take them with Chris has his camera with him and is truly a gifted Photographer so Chris set to taking plenty of pictures of the scenery we witnessed while passing through. Once i get the pictures from Chris ill upload them to my Facebook account and maybe set up a Flickr account for everyone to see the pictures on there. Words cannot describe how beautiful the scenery was – an absolutely dramatic change to the fast paced bustle of Kathmandu to the slow steady going of the countryside. After 7 and a half hours since departing with 2 stops one lasting an hour and the other 20 minutes we arrived at our destination “the fulbari resort” in Pokhara where the conference is being held. We caught up with old friends, met some new friends then headed to our rooms in order to drop off our cases and freshen up. We then headed down to dinner and then took a stroll around the grounds and then that brings me up to this moment right now where i’m writing out this blog (which ill now be posting in the morning as its 00:10 here so time for me to head to bed)
More to follow over to coming days so keep your eyes out for new updates

So depending on what time you read this good morning, good afternoon or good night

Pete

Youth Assembly

Hi everyone,

Sorry that it has been a while since I have posted a blog, things seem to have gotten busier and busier. With Youth Assembly coming round again we have been looking at the content and arrangements for this years Youth Assembly. Part of doing that has involved looking through various parts of feedback and reports that have been sent into us. I came accross this report to Synod from Cumbria district and wanted to share it with you all.

The Youth Assembly was at Ushaw College: a nice place, though it was a bit creepy having a statue of some saint with someone’s head under his arm in the dining room. You weren’t bored – there was always something to do – even at 2 o’clock in the morning. They only had rooms for 300, there were 50 more young people than that, so they put those aged 18 and over (including Rachel) in two hotels down the road. The hotels were posher, but not as much fun.

The main lounge had X boxes, giant Jenga, magazines, Wii equipment, and there were graffiti boards in most rooms: some had questions on to answer, others were for comments on the topics we were discussing. There were sweets inviting us to take one and think about where the sugar came from. There was an amazing band: “Lifecolour” – 4 16/17 year olds. People were chatting about everything.

Everyone was really friendly – at the beginning, one girl walked up to us, and asked if we wanted to join her group. She turned out to be Ellen’s room mate. We were both sharing double rooms. People came from all over the country. It would have been good to have had a big map to show people where everyone lived. People were asking us if we lived near Sellafield.

We got there about 7 on Friday. It started at 9 after we were offered sandwiches on arrival. There were tons of groups discussing things. On the Saturday there were 4 seminars – more fun than school workshops – with discussions and activities. One of the things we both did was youth violence: one of the starting games was putting a big rope down the centre of the room, and you were asked about a topic – starting with whether you preferred shoes or trainers, and ending up with serious questions such as “how much youth violence do you think there is” (you had to position yourself along the rope according to your opinions.

We both did “Youth Violence” and “Equality and Diversity”. Ellen did “God and Me”, and “Self Esteem”. Rachel did “Me and my rights” (talking about voting ages, discrimination, drinking rules), and “Sexuality”. You could change seminars if you didn’t feel comfortable in the one you were in, but we were quite happy with the ones we chose. In “Know your rights” one of the girls was very anti-government – she was quite a formidable opponent. It was good to see people from different races there – there were quite a few people from Nigeria (now living in London), a couple of French people, a New Zealander, an Australian, and people from other African countries.

There was a fair bit of reading to do for some of the seminars. At 8 o’clock in the morning there were informal prayers for the people in the college (optional, but Ellen and her room-mate went anyway). You’d do things like writing prayers on paper aeroplanes and flying them, and writing regrets on bits of paper, scrunching them up, and throwing them in the other direction.
The food was good. On the Saturday we got breakfast at half past eight, bacon butties at 11, and soup and sandwiches at half past 12. You had a big dinner – and we didn’t even have take our plates away to wash them up. The vegetarian options were good, too.

On the Sunday we had the main assembly for the voting process, and to tell our conference representatives what we wanted them to report from the assembly. After every seminar you would have “My Challenge” (something you wanted to do), a “Team Challenge” (something you felt your church or youth group ought to do), and a “Conference Challenge” (for the Youth President and other conference representatives to take to the Methodist Conference). The voting was very formal. The people wanting to be elected had posted messages on the Friday evening. One very nice Northern Scottish girl had the surname “Haggis”. We had to vote for the next Youth President. The new youth president is a nice guy – he’s quite funny, but serious at the same time.

The Assembly was good. It was run by the oldest young people, and people were able to express all sorts of views. We went straight from the Assembly to Sunday morning worship – it would have been nice to have a break. For worship people sat in a big rectangle with big screens for the words, and a huge stage. Because there were so many of us (some came from the community round about) people were sitting on bean bags, and on seats upstairs which were full. The band did all the music. Most of those leading worship were from the Newcastle area.

The next event is Breakout. We’d love to go again.
Rachel and Ellen Watson


These sort of reports are what helps us to create an amazing event for everyone. While we are talking about Youth Assembly, You may recall that at Youth Assembly there was a lot of talk about the Methodists ‘going Generous’.

Generous is an online community actions site that we want to be the platform which we deliver and follow through on the resolutions we made at Youth Assembly last year. We want Generous to work so that young people right across the Connexion can engage with those resolutions on an ongoing basis, rather than leave them as a fading memory back at Youth Assembly itself. ]

It also provides a great way for you to commit to actions that are all about treading more lightly on this precious planet we share and living more generously with all the people we share it with.

From the Generous actions page ( where you can commit to actions and leave comments) to the chat room ( where you can have online conversations about the issues that are important to you), Generous provides:.

• a great way to keep in touch with the people you met at Youth Assembly;
• the chance to share things that affect you on a daily basis in your lives and churches;
• the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process emerging from the Youth Assembly that will then play its part in re-shaping the Methodist Church

You can find Generous at http://methodist.generous.org.uk. It’s easy to join and the more of us leaving comments, signing up to actions, meeting in the chat rooms, the more dynamic content we’ll generate and the more chance we’ll have of really influencing the shape of things that affect us all.

So, I look forward to seeing you on the site soon.

Go on: be Generous!

Pete