Category Archives: Nepal

6 Tips on What to Eat, What to Avoid, and How to Eat Safely Abroad

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The most common way to get sick when traveling is through food and water. Trying new foods is part of the experience, but no one likes to be sick on the road. Don’t fear! We are here to give you a few pointers to keep your adventurous palate and your sensitive stomach happy. Keep reading to learn 5 tips about what to eat, what to avoid, and how to eat safely in any country.

  1. Cook it, wash it, peel it, or forget it! Boiling a food is the best way...
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So What Do Prayer Flags Actually Mean?

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You’ve seen them in photos, fluttering around in the background. They are attached to temples, houses, bridges, and mountains in Nepal, but what purpose do they serve? Read this quick synopsis to learn the history behind prayer flags and how they are used today.

Prayer flags contain Buddhist prayers or mantras that are printed directly onto the fabric. When the wind blows, the prayers are symbolically carried around the countryside, blessing the people they reach. Often, they are tied to the highest point in the area (i.e. on the...

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7 Tips to Prepare for Your Trek

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Always be prepared! The scout’s motto is simple, but true. Being well prepared for your trek will make your time much more enjoyable, and you can focus on the wonders around you rather than your blistered feet! Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your trek. Starting on them sooner rather than later and doing them in small steps will make them much more manageable and less intimidating.

1.  Buy appropriate footwear and break your boots in.

  • Visit an outdoor retailer and do research to buy the appropriate...
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4 Tips to Survive Trail Food

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When trekking in a remote area, there are certain expectations that will help you make the most of the meals on the trail. Here’s a quick list of things to know about trail food to help you prepare for your expedition.

  1. Carbs, Carbs, Carbs. In most of the areas where we travel, the diet is rich in carbs. When you spend 3-10 hours a day hiking, you need carbs for energy, so embrace it! Nepal is known for its dal bhat, Peru for its 3,800 types of potatoes,...
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Extending the Expedition: Returning to Nepal after OneSeed

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Meet Craig Page.

Craig joined OneSeed in 2012, fell in love with Nepal, and is returning in a few months to conduct research. He is from Athens, Georgia and works as a City Planner for the Athens Park County Planning Department. His research will be about Nepali agricultural infrastructure and he plans on getting his PhD in the coming years.

Last Minute Travel Plans

Shannon, a friend of Craig’s, called him in August 2011 and invited him to join her Annapurna Discovery Expedition. He had 36 hours to decide! Nepal was...

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Just Touched Down: How to Navigate the Kathmandu Airport

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The Tribhuvan International Airport is small but can be surprisingly confusing. Reading this before you arrive will eliminate the confusion and hassle while traveling.

Immigration

This process is fairly straightforward. You’ll obtain your visa upon arrival by filling out the paperwork given to you on your flight. Here are several essential items:

  1. A pen. Pens are few and far between in the airport. Come prepared and avoid having to track one down.
  2. 4 passport photos. These will be used to issue a tourist visa (2) and a trekking permit (2).
  3. Cash. At...
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5 Ways to Offend Someone in Nepal

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To an outsider, customs can seem arbitrary and random. What if a foreigner gave someone the middle finger? They might not have any idea what the implications are. In Nepal, respect is very important and we want you to arrive as an educated traveler. Today, we are going to give you a list of 5 things to avoid doing while trekking in Nepal.

  1. Do not whistle inside. Whistling indoors is said to summon ghosts and cause bad luck. If you can’t live without a good whistle, save...
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Expect the Unexpected: 4 things you may not know about Nepal

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Heading to Nepal? Here are 4 fun facts about the culture and people of Nepal.

  1. Cows are sacred. Within Hinduism, cows are considered a sacred and inviolable animal. In Nepal, cows are not eaten and it is considered illegal to kill the animal. Due to this fact, it is not uncommon to see a cow wandering around the streets of Kathmandu. Because they are holy, all traffic yields to these animals and they can often cause quite a traffic jam when they have decided to slowly stroll down...
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Meet Bishnu and Tek!

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For this blog I was able to Skype with two of OneSeed’s co-founders. I was excited to ask them a few questions in order to better get to know who is behind the scenes on OneSeed’s operations in Nepal. Meet Bishnu and Tek!

How did you first get involved with OneSeed?

B: Since 2000, I’ve been a female trekking guide. After I completed my master’s degree, I met Chris in Nepal through my roommate, who was from New York. I wrote my masters about female trekking guides and the difficulties and...

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7 Questions You May Have About Microfinance Answered

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OneSeed plays a small role in the big world of microfinance. In this post, we’ll give you a run-down of some of the most important questions and issues within microfinance.

1. So what exactly is microfinance?

Microfinance is the term used for the provision of financial services to the working poor. Currently, microfinance loans are aiding 160 million people around the globe. For all the visual learners: Check this video out!

2. What is the difference between microfinance and microcredit?

Getting a loan from a bank can...

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नेपाली: A Guide to Nepali Language

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Worried about the language barrier? Don’t sweat it! All our guides speak English and Nepali and can help you find anything you need. But if you’re ready to take on a challenge, here is a crash course on the languages of Nepal as well as a few phrases that you can put to use.

Nepal is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. There are 126 languages spoken across Nepal, which is about the size of Arkansas. The official language...

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What are the elevation changes on my trek?

So you’ve made the decision you want to go on a OneSeed trek. Awesome! That’s a decision well made. But now might come the tricky part. Which one will suite you best for your next adventure? Our team at OneSeed is here to help make your decision process less stressful.

With our newly developed elevation charts you are now able to visualize our trips beforehand! These charts will help prepare you both physically and mentally for the estimated time and distance each trek requires.

Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp

Total Trekking Time: 55...

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What’s an appropriate guide to tipping?

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The OneSeed blog addresses many issues to help you prepare for your expedition. Today, we’ll tackle the (sometimes confusing) topic of how, what and when to tip your OneSeed guide.

When you set off on your adventure, you’ll be joined by one or more of our incredible OneSeed Guides. Your guides will be your cultural liaison, mountaineering expert, gear fitter, environmental impact consultant, ornithologist, comedian, local historian, and and on particularly steep inclines, your resident motivational speaker.

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Protip: Guides love...

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Yoga For The Weary. 10 Poses for Tired Trekkers

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Now that you’re all pumped up and ready to get going on your alpine adventure it’s time we let you in on a little-known trail trekker’s secret: High Altitude Yoga! While the novelty of striking an expert pose on a big peak to show your physical prowess is certainly satisfying, the ancient spiritual exercise is actually an excellent way to bring relief to achy bodies and weary minds.

Whether you’re trying to get a stretch in during a water break, or ease some muscle tension...

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Readiness 101: Getting Your Rear Into Gear. Literally.

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Alright all you aspiring OneSeedlings, it’s high time for some tough love. Now we’re not trying to scare you off, but the fact is that one of our most consistent topics for post-trip feedback is the physical demands of our expeditions. We plan our trips carefully to make sure that they are accessible to as many people as possible, but if you’ve called one of our expeditions a walk in the park, chances are you were talking about Rocky Mountain National. The fact is, you’ll be hiking at moderate to...

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After OneSeed: Adventure & Service in Nepal

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If you’re using OneSeed to help you get to your adventure destination, chances are you are fully aware that planning any trip, much less one to South Asia, can be overwhelming. While we’re confident that we can make your travel experience as easy and pain free as possible, Nepal is still a long and often expensive flight from the US of A. To fully capitalize on the opportunity your OneSeed trip affords you, consider taking a little extra time to extend your trip and take advantage of the...

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Ratna’s Shop: The Sacred Art of Nepal

Kathmandu’s Durbar Square is regarded by many to be the heart of Kathmandu Valley. The craftsmanship of the Newars has been appreciated for centuries and many would argue that the Buddhist art of Thangka was born here in Kathmandu.

The sacred paintings of Nepal–thangkas, mandalas, and paubas–can be found piled high in the tiny shops that line the side streets of Kathmandu’s ancient royal squares, but wading through this complex world can be daunting.

Kumari Thangkas, owned and operated by Mr.Ratna Kazi Shakya, is one part gallery and one part classroom.  Enter Ratna’s...

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Hiking in the Clouds: What Happens at Altitude

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We get a lot of questions about altitude here at OneSeed. We do play in the mountains a lot after all!

Altitude can effect people differently, but some we’ll cover some of the details here:

  • What altitudes each trip reaches
  • How altitude sickness can effect you
  • How to prevent altitude sickness and monitor for it
  • The signs of altitude sickness
  • How OneSeed handles altitude sickness preparation before hitting the trail
  • What happens on the trail if you are hit with a bout of altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), can be very...

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I arrived early in Kathmandu. Oh no, oh no, what will I do?

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Nepal is a great place, so if you forgot about those pesky time zones and arrive early or want more time to explore we’ve gathered some information that will be helpful to you.

While we are excited for you to join us, we are only able to pick you up from the airport and provide your accommodation on the arrival date of your expedition. If you have further questions beyond our recommendations below, don’t hesitate to call us.

Nepal is the land of Mt. Everest and the other ginormous Himalayan Mountains....

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“You don’t eat no meat? That’s ok. I make lamb.”

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Trying local food while traveling is one of my favorite things about being abroad, but as a vegetarian it can sometimes be difficult. I used to be a strict vegetarian so I know the hassle it can be, but I spent five months in China and survived!

Some countries are extremely vegetarian friendly, as they themselves don’t have a lot of meat in their diet (Nepal), but in others the term ‘vegetarian’ is as foreign to them as you are (Chile).  While vegetarian foods are easily found in Nepal, if...

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From the Whites to the Rockies: Why I Love the Mountains

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OneSeed loves the mountains! Hopefully you do too. OneSeed staffer Cat shares the reasons for her love of the mountains, how they have influenced her life, and why she feels at home among them.

The beach or the mountains? It’s a question that seems to be asked in nearly every awkward social situation, ice breakers at new jobs, school orientations, first dates, etc…, as if the answer tells you everything you need to know about a person. They can make you feel insignificantly small, they could be your life’s calling,...

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Water, Water Everywhere…

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We are all cautious about what we consume while traveling (remember our chat from the Everybody Poops post!), and if you drink as much water as I do, you want to make sure it’s clean! I’m sure your first thought is bottled water, and you may have heard of iodine tablets and boiling water to sterilize it. While their can be benefits to these options, at OneSeed Expeditions, we take a different approach. We use SteriPEN.

What is SteriPEN and how does it work?

SteriPEN is water sanitization system that...

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The Flight to Nepal is Long, Bring a Book!

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Are you about to take a trip to Nepal? Curious about Nepal? Here are some reading recommendations from our staff that you may not have heard of. Grab a cup of cocoa, tea or coffee and settle into your favorite reading spot to delve into the wonders of Nepal!

Touching My Father’s Soul: A Sherpa’s Journey to the Top of Everest
Jamling T. Norgay

Click to read more

“In a story of Everest unlike...

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Staff Profile: Chris Baker, OneSeed Founder and Pizza Maker

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Meet Chris, the founder of OneSeed Expeditions. Over the past seven years, Chris has split his time between Nepal and the US. While in Nepal, he conducted research in Kathmandu and throughout the Khumbu region surrounding Mt. Everest. As a Fellow with Kiva.org, Chris worked closely with local microfinance institutions. Chris founded OneSeed in 2010 with friends Bishnu Thapa and Tek Bahadur Dong. He loves milk and makes a delicious pizza.

What was your first adventure?

When I was 12 years old, I was going to the airport with my dad....

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Staff Profile: Cat Wile – Operations Manager, World Traveler, Mayo Hater

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One of OneSeed’s newest additions to the team, Cat Wile, is our operations guru.  Born and raised in a small town in chilly Massachusetts, she set her sights on migrating south, finding herself down in North Carolina.  Graduating from Elon University with an International Business degree, she then took up employment with a large firm in Charlotte.  Between her studies and demanding career, she still managed to explore the world, spending five months in China learning Mandarin and visiting Mexico, Peru, Turkey, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.  Most...

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Everybody Poops. Now Let’s Talk About It.

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The toilet, commode, W.C., throne room, head, latrine, loo. We’ve got a million names for the bathroom, but it isn’t exactly dinner conversation (unless you happen to be with a bunch of travelers or backcountry enthusiasts). Let’s face it though, when nature calls, it’s nice to know what to expect at the facilities. When you are sneak attacked by a bout of traveler’s diarrhea in a foreign country and are suddenly faced with a hole in the ground and a bucket of water, your uncomfortable experience can become suddenly...

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Packing 101: You’ve Booked the Trip. Now What to Bring?

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Packing for a hike in the Himalayas is more involved than throwing things in your carry-on for a getaway weekend, but it does not need to be overwhelming. OneSeed has provided you a packing list with the basics of what you will need for your trek. Some of you – especially those with outdoors experience – will take that list and run with it, needing no further guidance. For trekking novices, hyperplanners, and the rest of you, here are some tips on...

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Daal Bhat 101

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No trip to a foreign land is truly complete without a sampling of the local fare. While this alone can be the most adventurous part of travel (haggis, anyone?), visitors to Nepal are greeted with a simple, vegetarian-friendly, and tasty national dish: dal bhat.

Behold: Dal Bhat.

The core of the meal consists of dal (lentil soup) and bhat (rice). In the farthest reaches of Nepal, this is as fancy as it gets. Basic dal bhat can serve as breakfast,...

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Picking the Right Expedition

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Expedition difficulty is determined by number of hours walking per day, elevation gain, trail quality, etc.

Intermediate

Intermediate adventures require that you are at the least at an average fitness level. Activities will be mandatory and occasionally physically demanding. Experience in this sport is not necessary.

These are great first treks and a perfect fit for people looking for a challenge without daily exhaustion. Most of our expeditions fall into this category. Typical days (depending on the particular itinerary) range from 3 to 7 hours of trekking. Elevation...

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3 Ways to Change the World Through Travel

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Racking up those stamp-covered passport pages is satisfying, but what if you could bank a little bit of good karma along the way?

OneSeed tries to keep it simple: you take an amazing trip; a local woman launches or expands her business. Through the OneSeed Fund, local microfinance institutions are able to tap into the revenue stream of adventure travel to fund the creativity of local entrepreneurs.

“Doing a little bit of good doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated,” says OneSeed’s founder, Chris Baker. “It just has to make sense.”

His advice...

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Bed, Breakfast, and Daal Bhat?: Teahouse Trekking in Nepal

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What is a Teahouse Lodge?

Throughout the Himalaya, “teahouse” lodges are the standard traiside accommodation.  Somewhere between a bed and breakfast and a backcountry cabin, these teahouse lodges are among the more unique features of any Himalayan expedition.

Teahouse lodges are usually organized around a central room with a hearth and eating area.  These family-run operations serve up hot tea, tasty food, and even cold beer schlepped in several days from the trailhead.  While you’re  able to find burgers, “Tibetan pizza” (cheese and tomato sauce on flatbread), and even spaghetti on...

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The Air Up There: Weather in the Langtang Region

Climate Overview

Temperatures in the Langtang region vary greatly due to the extreme difference in altitude in the region. Most of the annual precipitation occurs from June to September. In fall (October – November) and spring (April – May), days are warm and sunny, and nights cool. In spring, rain at 3000m elevation often turns to snow at higher elevations. In winter from December to March, days are clear and mild but nights cold.

source: http://www.personal.kent.edu/~mnorconk/sayers_ken.pdf


Weather in the Langtang Region

As in all mountain regions, weather is most impacted by changes in elevation and topography.  Expeditions throughout...

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The Air Up There: Weather in the Annapurna Region

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As in all mountain regions, weather is most impacted by changes in elevation and topography. As you begin your expedition in Pokhara, you consistently gain elevation and the temperatures gradually drop with each gain in altitude and warms up each day as you come back down to Pokhara. The days are warmed by the mountain sun and nights get chilly.

Current weather in Pokhara.

 

Weather in the Annapurna Region

The Weather on the trail will vary at different altitudes, but in the town of Ghorepani,...

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The Air Up There: Weather in the Khumbu Region

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Climate Overview

July is warmest with an average temperature of 58.82 °F at noon. January is coldest with an average temperature of 17.78 °F at night. Temperatures at night are significantly cooler than during daytime. Winter can have some frostdays, with the coldest month most often being January. November is on average the month with most sunshine. The wet season has a rainfall peak around July, and a dry season around November.

source: http://www.chinci.com/travel/pax/w/1283199/Khumbu/NP/Nepal/0/

Weather in the Khumbu Region

As in all mountain regions, weather is most impacted...

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The Air Up There: Weather in Nepal

We get lots of questions about weather.

This makes sense.  Our clients fly halfway around the world and they want to know what to expect.  In a country with the geographic diversity of Nepal, this isn’t always the easiest question to answer.  We decided to break it down by region…

We’ll start with the easy stuff:  Kathmandu.

Weather in the capital city is pretty mild with predictably clear fall and spring seasons and a light monsoon season that stretches from May to September.  Winters are cool, but snow is extremely rare in...

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One–Er, Three–Months Down

Chris Baker is the founder of OneSeed Expeditions.


When I first started this draft (on June 27th), I began by reflecting on just how much had happened in only a month since our launch in May.

Time got away from me.

Now, three full months since our launch, I can’t believe how much has come together in such a short time:

1) Redesign and launch of our website. While I’ll always have a soft spot for our iWeb-designed layout with flashing graphics, the new site looks great.  Kudos to our 99Designs...

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Microfinance in Nepal

The study of microfinance is truly a study in adaptation and innovation.

Its the micro part of this field that makes it so particular.  Financial services implemented on a grand scale–think of your own bank–find their success in replication and consistency.  Visiting a bank teller in New York is not that fundamentally different than visiting a bank teller in San Diego.  The services, terms, and basic principles remain constant.  This makes sense.

But what happens when you’re on the other end of the scale spectrum?  What happens when your model is...

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Meaningful Travel

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Emily Cunningham is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns. This is her third guest blog.

Emily is a sophomore studying economics at Harvard University. She is interested in microfinance and social enterprise, and is currently in the process of starting a fair trade jewelry network in Gujarat, India. In her spare time, she enjoys playing guitar and saxophone, surfing, Frisbee, and being outdoors.

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As a resident of Cambridge, I can safely say that, contrary to popular belief, the best thing about my city is not the Duck...

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No Longer Black and White

Microfinance - No Longer Black and White

Suniti is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns.  This is her third guest blog.

Suniti is an Economics concentrator at Harvard University. She has spent her summers working in a micro-finance organization in Northern India and researching the impact of Maoist Civil War on social and economic well-being of Nepali women. Her experiences have strengthened her passion for economic empowerment through enterprise development. Suniti is also...

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Identity, Tourism, and Sustainability

Suniti Thapa is OneSeed’s amazing summer intern.  This is her second guest blog.

Suniti is an Economics concentrator at Harvard University. She has spent her summers working in a micro-finance organization in Northern India and researching the impact of Maoist Civil War on social and economic well-being of Nepali women. Her experiences have strengthened her passion for economic empowerment through enterprise development. Suniti is also working as the Director of Outreach and Partnership (Nepal) with Udhyami Nepali, a non-profit that helps Nepali social...

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Women’s Empowerment – Why?

Suniti Thapa is OneSeed’s amazing summer intern.  This is her first guest blog.

Suniti is an Economics concentrator at Harvard University. She has spent her summers working in a micro-finance organization in Northern India and researching the impact of Maoist Civil War on social and economic well-being of Nepali women. Her experiences have strengthened her passion for economic empowerment through enterprise development. Suniti is also working as the Director of Outreach and Partnership (Nepal) with Udhyami Nepali, a non-profit that helps Nepali social...

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Why OneSeed?

It’s easy to feel like microfinance has lost a bit of its shine.

From the recent travails of Muhummad Yunnus and the Grameen Bank to the “no pay” movements in northern India and Latin America, it hasn’t been a great year for the idea that microfinance can overcome poverty.

And that’s exactly the point.

Microfinance doesn’t break the grip of poverty–people do.  People like Ms. Rita, a Kiva borrower I met and interviewed during my time as a Kiva Fellow in...

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