Friday, October 24, 2014

Home At Last (in Kathmandu)

Friday, October 24, 2014

We ate at 7 AM and checked out of our hotel and departed about 8 AM.  I was very pleased this time with the hot water shower, which makes anything else seem quite insignificant.  There were a few things that needed fixing.  The Internet was very slow, but I attribute that to the fact that there are so many people visiting the country, that so many are visiting relatives in their villages because of the holidays, that this hotel is the best one in Besishahar where many might want to stay.  The place was nearly deserted the last time we were there so the Internet was fast.  This time it was only fast in the middle of the night, but since I often wake up then, it is a good time to get some work done, but I don’t recommend it.  What I do know is what a bargain both hotels were that we stayed at out of town.  The food was plentiful and cheap at both hotels and any eating establishment away from this big city.  For the cost of a fruit drink here, you could have a grand meal there.  The room costs were a fraction of what it is here.

There is always a fantastic view of the Himalayas at this hotel, but this time I decided to send one with the clouds on it even though earlier I have pictures of it without them, but I have in the past sent those, and I still thought it was so beautiful.

Our first stop of the morning was to look at another CHOICE proposal.  We thought after looking around, that they were not needy, and not needing water either.  Their tank that captures spring water was perhaps a little bit too small and it had a couple of gaping holes in it—one was towards the top edge, but the other was lower and man-made, so that’s how people were getting water somehow or other, taping here and there to capture what they could.  The pipe coming out of the tank set below the edge was leaking badly so that a good deal of water was going into the river instead of into their pipes to get to their taps.  Their homes were large and we saw water points everywhere, and many had water tanks on their roofs.  Jim told them to order Thorough Seal to stop up the holes in their tanks—perhaps they could order it from the UK.  It works amazingly well, but on the other hand the tank probably needs to be larger.  However, we certainly have seen much needier communities than this.  In all of our travels we have someone extra with us, and sometimes three more people, stuffed like sardines in the back seat with no legroom, but then they are used to it and generally have shorter legs for just such traveling.  I don’t think these people have claustrophobia or a fear of heights.

Jim, Kiran Neupane (CHOICE) and a local water committee member check out the old tank.  You can easily see the hole at the edge of the tank, and just below it is a man made hole with a pipe stuck in it that leaks badly, but they manage to get some water where they want it.  They want us to replace the tank and give them private tap stands.

The best part about today was our hike up to the water tank.  I needed a little help from time to time since we were walking through stream beds, trying not to slip on the rocks and climbing up the hills, a bit steep.  We came back sweaty and feeling good.

That was our last stop other than to eat, coming back to Kathmandu.  On the way we saw the results of two awful accidents—one van smashed all the way to the back seat; one truck over the side.  This is so common that you’d think they’d take notice and stop driving so crazy—just like home, everyone is always in a hurry.  There is no such thing as a straight highway unless you count the ones in Kathmandu Valley.  Every road out of town is a curving mountain road, narrow, with no place to go but down, a long way down.  And many roads are about one and a half lanes so that trucks and buses cannot be side by side with any other car unless the smaller one moves over to the edge or onto the dirt.  They drive like they aren’t going to meet any vehicle coming the other way.  They are skilled drivers but there is no way to always avoid accidents when they have the habit of passing on curves.

This is not on a side road but on the main highway.  They are hanging onto the back of a small pickup, and what you can’t see is how many are jammed into the bed of the truck.

Everywhere we look we see people all over the streets of any small town, many wearing traditional clothing, getting ready to dance and sing, and celebrate.  We came back to a colorfully decorated hotel, lights everywhere.  I think someone said today was the day of the ox.  The whole month of October is celebrated.  They love to party so much that they even celebrate at Christmastime with the Christians.

There are so many people walking around celebrating that they create their own traffic jam, as if Kathmandu needed more congestion.

Tomorrow is the Sabbath here , Saturday, so we’ll be going to church, eating with Wasuita’s, writing reports.  They are going to show General Conference, so we’ll get to watch it again.  We meet with Rakesh on Sunday, finish reports on Monday, and head home that evening, arriving on Tuesday.  So, the hard part is over with, and who knows--we might find time on our last day to work out in the gym and use the pool; we can only hope.  I am happy that I might even find time to send home some pictures.  We really have so many to share of interesting or just beautiful things. 

Love, From Weary Old Travelers

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