First off, we're feeling much better today, thanks to helpful friends and antibiotics. We were a little sluggish getting started today, but we're miles ahead of where we were over the weekend.
We just came back from a great meeting with Kamal Shrestha, who runs the Fair Trade Group Nepal, which acts as a fair trade membership organization here, much the same way the Fair Trade Federation operates in the US. Basically, organizations apply for membership, get examined by FTGN, and are then approved or denied. If an organization is approved, it means they meet the essential criteria of fair trade, so seeing that FTGN label (or FTF, if in the US) saves lots of time in investigating their operations.
We also took a tour of the Nepal Leprosy Trust, where people with leprosy are able to have dignified employment in fair trade standards. They make excellent leather and felt products. Some pictures to come. We're not sure whether we'll carry products from here, but if we do, I'm pretty sure we can get them through a representative in the US, so we won't be bringing anything back with us. That's a good thing at this point because I think the extra bags we brought to bring inventory back home in are already over the airlines' weight limit!
Off to rest up now, since we're still not 100% and are tiring out quickly.