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Travels in Nepal


NEPAL | Tuesday, 14 November 2017 | Views [179]

There is a lot to report on over the past 24 hours. There was a Habitat team dinner last night in Kathmandu and I got to meet my 20 fellow volunteers, our 2 team directors, and the 2 Habitat Nepal program coordinators. I was so impressed with the entire crew. Our team ranges in age from 23 to mid-70s. We are a diverse group in terms of our backgrounds, but definitely all share a commitment to Habitat's mission. There are several on the team who have done other Habitat builds so we should be in good shape in terms of skills. We found out that we will actually be building two houses, splitting our team into two groups, but in the same community. We also learned about the two families we are building for/with. One home is being built for a disabled single mother of three children, who currently lives in a temporary  makeshift shelter. She subsists on $30/month ($360/year) mostly earned by her eldest son. She was identified as a particularly vulnerable person/ family in the community after the 2015 earthquake. The other family consists of two parents and seven children. Their home was destroyed by the 2015 earthquake and they have essentially been living in a leanto since then.. Their income is from seasonal crops with an income of $50/month ($600/year).  I don't know which family I'll be working with, but excited to help them both :-)

To get to the community that we are working in required a bus trip from hell. We were supposed to leave Kathmandu at 8:15 a.m., but our first bus had a flat tire. Our replacement bus was pretty sketchy and lasted for about 5k before being replaced by our 3rd bus. This bus sounded like it had no break pads and a questionable life expectancy, but it made it to on current hotel (Hotel Water Tower - very descriptive 😀). Along the way we stopped at the Monkey Temple (picture included with journal entry). This temple is hundreds of years old and as the name (and pictures) suggest has hundreds of monkeys....(see pictures n Nuwakot gallery). Total travel distance was 78 kilometers, which our team leader suggested would take 4+5 hours. This amount of time seemed ridiculous to travel 78k, however, total travel time wa actually 8 hours due to extremely poor road conditions, high level of traffic and motor vehicles accidents. The roads were mountainous switchbacks, half of which were dirt and all of which were big enough for one car comfortably, although they were considered two lanes. There were no barriers between the vehicle and an often steep drop off of  several hundred to thousands of feet. We did see one 18 wheeler at the bottom of a River gorge unfortunayely. Add to the road conditions are insane drivers passing at high speeds and motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic and it was quite harrowing. But we made it :-) 

I fell asleep before sending this post last night. It's now 5:30am and our team meets in an hour for building orientation and then we are off to the worksite for our first day on the build!!

More to follow...


Of, forgot to mention that we had amazing views of the Himalayas during yesterday's bus ride (definitely one bright spot to that particular adventure😸)







. Today we departed for our build site in the Nuwakot region of Nepal. 

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