One purpose of my visit to Nepal this time was to meet my old friends in the Steering Committee of JOMPOPS – the multiparty dialogue platform that has been supported by the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy since 2011.

I visited Pokhara with the DIPD staff, who used the opportunity to do some team building and planning for the next year. Once again I was struck by the beauty of the Himalaya mountains.

During my meeting with the members of the JOMPOPS Steering Committee, I was asked to provide an update about Danish politics, which they continue to follow with great interest – how the BLUE and the RED blocks of parties are doing.

The Communist and Maoist parties had invited me to speak at the celebration of the 200 year birthday of Karl Marx. The party leaders were present. This was particularly interesting at this point in time, because the two parties were discussing to merge.

My good friend Shrishti Rana had told me that there would be a small crowd of people present to listen to me. I was surprised to find 1.600 people from the two parties crammed into the large and hot hall!

Despite many visits to Nepal, I fail to master any of the languages spoken. Normally I can manage with English, but fortunately this time I had my trusted interpreter with me, with so many people listening carefully.

Shrishti Rana from the DIPD office has been part of the JOMPOPS journey since 2011, and as always she was extremely helpful in making my visit enjoyable and productive. Here she is at the Communist meeting with some of the members.

Having lunch in a restaurant in Pokhara, with the electricity lines behind me. Amazing that it works! This has interested me ever since I started to travel in Latin America. I remember taking photos of the electricity lines in Mexico City 40 years ago.

Here they are, some of the many friends I have been fortunate to get to know through my work in Nepal 2011 to 2016. They are staff from the powerful DIPD office, and members of the political partie.