A typical day at work

In our Christmas holiday spent in Norway we received a lot of questions about how our days look like and what we normally do - the first answer to this is that our days never looks the same and they vary a lot.  Some days we have school visits, other days we travel further away to observe or hold Red Cross activities and then there are the days we stay at office to have meetings, prepare activities and writing reports - and that’s one of the reasons why we really enjoy our work - it is varied and often quite active!

We normally start our day in office at 08:30, and luckily it is only a short ten minutes' walk from our home. Since our arrival in Putalibazar almost four months ago, many of the children that we pass on our way have started to learn our names, and we often hear "Gauri" and "Susmita", followed by "hello and goodbye". We think this is the best start of the day!

When we arrive at the office, we use the initial time on social media, answering questions about Red Cross from youths all over the world on Facebook and working on upcoming blog-posts. We also plan our day and divide up the work using our planners, and usually spend some time on e-mails as well. In the middle of the day its tea-time, or tiffin-time as they call it here. Prem, one of our Co-workers make delicious tea that we often bring with us outside, because its warmer outside the house this time of year!

Prem Rana Ji, our co-worker, serving Nepali black tea Photo: Svanhild Gjeraker

Prem Rana Ji, our co-worker, serving Nepali black tea
Photo: Svanhild Gjeraker

We conduct Red Cross activities, and planning these takes quite a bit of time, and is always improved with the input of our co-workers and the youths. As you already know it’s a lot warmer outside then inside at winter-time and therefore we tend to move meetings outside. We often talk and discuss with our co-workers while sitting in the sun - much nicer than sitting inside, and we also get a refill of vitamin D.

Our door is always open for youths to talk or plan and discuss Red Cross activities, and right before Christmas we were lucky to receive a poem about Red Cross from a kind Youth Volunteer. One of our regular activities is to take part in Youth Team meetings in our office, where a group of youths work towards strengthening the participation of young volunteers and their activities.

Red Cross poem by Arjun Kumar
Photo: Svanhild Gjeraker

The last hour of our working day is spent learning Nepali from our teacher Baburam. He is most patient, works in local schools and used to work for Syangja Red Cross - that makes him the perfect teacher for us! He also kindly teaches us about Nepali customs and traditions, such as explaining that we should bring scarfs as gifts and give them as blessings when attending our neighbours wedding.

Our office time ends at 5pm by saying "pheri bhetaula" (see you again) to our co-workers and heading on our walk back home. Passing by what has become familiar faces, telling "namaste" once again and receiving the warmest smiles in return!

We have captured a day at the office in the video below, enjoy!

We hope you enjoyed this insight to how we experience a day at the office, as well as seeing how things are done here - maybe quite different from where you are from?

Kāryālaya - office - kontor


Gauri & Susmita