So here we go. Midterm evaluation in Kathmandu. Tomorrow we are heading back again to our sweet home in Okhaldhunga (yes we kind of feel home now and miss our own room and the morning coffees with Monika). The last almost 3 weeks were rather fun, visiting Solukhumbu, Pokhara, Annapurna region and spending time sightseeing in Kathmandu. So now it`s time to head back mind and body to our projects. Yesterday we went to a supermarket and discovered that we still get crazy when entering the chocolate row in the supermarket and the good old consuming spirit of the western world is still with us. But it is true that by now we learned to live from what we can find in Nishanke, which is not too much but if you are creative you can make a really cosy and comfortable life there too. We have our home made tap next to the toilet for washing hands, our secret cookie store in the room and know where to find the guava and lemon trees around the place. And our family really tries its best to make things nice for us. I was wondering how we are going to have shower during winter (normally we go to the public fountain and have cold shower with clothes on), so I decided to construct a mobile cabin from bamboo with 4 walls. I thought, in this we could have a “real shower” with some jug and warmed water. But after staring at me for a while our Nepali father told me “You make not god, not proper. Tomorrow, day after I make…proper.” So I was kind of put off from my idea but our father kept his word and soon constructed something like a bathroom next to the toilet and we were very happy for it. He also did some efforts to get rid of the rat family, that lives above us (the ceiling is from woods and plastic bags so when they run around during the night they are very noisy). We gave them some rat poison, now they seem to be a little less. With Monika we made the room stylish and nice, washed everything, hang some textiles on the walls, we have our water boiler and a metal can to boil water in, our dish washing and drying clothes. Every morning we would wake one hour earlier than breakfast and have our instant coffee together in her bed which is next to the window, the sun shines in and we can see the mists coming up from the valley, we are reading or planning the day and our work. How could anything go bad if you can start the days like that?
We completed 2 projects from 3 up till now. The first one was a research on women`s health. It was a nice opportunity to get to know the locals since we made interviews with them and visited them in their houses. We learned a lot of Nepali language and a lot of their customs and their daily routine. The second project included training sessions for children in schools where we taught them about hygiene and sanitation. It was a real challenge; neither of us comes from a background involving education skills. So we just made a plan and started in medias res….and then changed the plan a couple of times. I think one key to success here is flexibility. We had to adjust our plan and ways to the classes and almost each class was different from the other. By the end we worked together very smoothly and had a lot of fun with the children, they were sweet although sometimes shy in the beginning. The biggest challenge is still the language since we can not really rely on our Nepali translator. But somehow it always works out well. Now we have to get ready for the challenges in our next project and collect all our ideas. We would like to make trainings for local women on various topics on women`s health. I think we will need all our belief in them and all or positive thinking to succeed. So hey ho let`s go!!!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!