Thursday, October 23, 2014

Another long day in Nepal

Thursday, October 23, 2014

We ate breakfast and checked out of the hotel about 7:45 to begin our day.  When we checked out of this nice hotel, we were surprised that the price was about $40, which included our two dinners and a full breakfast, certainly more than I could eat—such a bargain.  Jim felt the water in the pool and said it was like a bathtub, which didn’t make us feel any better about not swimming in it.

Another pool to gaze fondly at, test the warmth, say goodbye, without swimming in it.

Our first stop was to check out a proposed project by CHOICE, a partner we like to work with here.  We said we would consider doing it if they did it in stages as it was too costly to do the entire project at once.  We then traveled to a project that Rakesh has been doing, his first for us.  We were so pleased that he is doing a good job, so much better than our other NGO (not CHOICE, which has a good model).  His project is moving right along and the quality was good.  It was here that we took our first hike of the day, like little Billy goats walking up stone steps.  At one point I asked the man if we were there yet.  He said that we were.  And then we walked and walked and walked and hiked till we got there.  It was actually quite fun.  I think this is when I enjoy it the most—riding around in a car, bouncing over rocks, driving through muddy spots and rivers going across the dirt road, is not very much fun, especially when we start sliding towards the edge. 

Sliding around in the mud, trying to stay on the road and not slip off into the great beyond…

On our last project visit we saw a group ahead of us on this very rocky road.  There were so many people jammed inside of the van that it gave me claustrophobia just looking at them smashed against the back window, and then the rest of the people were perched on top with the luggage.  It was so top-heavy that as we followed them up the road, we saw them tip wildly to one side and we were all gasping as we thought they were going to tip over, but the driver kept going and the car was able to make it.  Our car guests (from CHOICE) said that this van was going home and that it was a 3-hour trip!  These people must be the bravest, dumbest, or wildest people ever.  I would be terrified to drive in the buses as they barrel down the roads and push people out of the way.  Each time we were passed by one going the other way, the road was so narrow that we had to nearly stop to fit through what was left of the road. 

We finally stopped to check into our hotel, one that we stayed on our last trip.  It had freezing cold water showers last time but now they have heat—yippee!  We ate our lunch and began again to see one more project, this one done by CHOICE, which is getting near completion, probably finishing by the end of the year.  Once again we got to hike up stone steps, next to a stream and small falls, to the tank.  This is where last year we walked to the source up those ancient rice fields, but this time it was beautiful and green—magnificent—my camera cannot capture the brilliant colors of those rice fields.

Everyone is celebrating their special  Hindu month and they have this tradition (annoying as all get out) of blocking the street with lots of teenagers, dancing in the middle of them, asking for money, and not letting any of us through until they are done with their dance and/or get money.  We all wanted to just go, but our driver was more respectful of this tradition and as we kept trying to go through the town we kept getting stopped, over and over again.  They were still doing this when we returned to our hotel.  And, when we got there we could still hear the loud celebrating and wonder how many hours this will go on.  But, I am tired and don’t think it will bother me at all.  This morning I woke up with a sore throat but am feeling better now.  I hope to stay healthy

The annoying celebration where they make you stop till they stop dancing, beg for money, etc.  We Americans were very annoyed, but our driver was respectful, waiting till they stopped dancing.  This happened over and over again this afternoon.

At each point today we got our Tikka blessing (red on the forehead) and leis and flowers and this time red and blue scarves instead of the white ones.

We had such a late lunch that we skipped dinner, enjoyed our warm shower, and worked a bit till bedtime.  One more early day, one more site to see on our way back to Kathmandu. 

I hope to send lots of pictures if I ever get the time.  It is so beautiful here this time of year.

Till tomorrow.
Love, Mom & Dad, Jim & Karen, E/S Greding

This is the coolest thing we’ve seen yet.  This is a homemade Ferris wheel!

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