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Travels in Nepal

First Day on the Build

NEPAL | Tuesday, 14 November 2017 | Views [229]

Today was our team's first day at the build site. The team leaders divided us into two groups to work on two home builds in the same community. We loaded into four SUVs and begin the 12 kilometer drive to the community we were building in. Like the bus ride the day before, today's drive was a dirt road that went up in switchbacks te entire drive and again was considered a two lane road despite barely having room for one vehicle. Needless to say it was quite harrowing and slow going up and coming down. 

I was assigned to work on the house for the disabled mother who has been living in a lean to since the 2015 earthquake I learned some more about her story and worked along side her sister, Sabita, whose picture is featured in today's journal entry. What I learned is that Sabita was married to a man but was ultimately unable to bear children, and thus he left her and married her sister  (while not divorcing Sabita). They ultimately had two children, but her spouse then left her for another woman. Sabita's sister was born without use of her legs and when her spouse left her, she had no way to support her family. The dire situation was compounded by the 2015 earthquake when the family's home was destroyed. Since then, she and her children have been living in a leanto with two walls and a roof, surviving on the generosity of the community and on Sabita's care giving of her disabled sister and children.  Today I saw the lean to and it's a tiny structure occupied by four people and some livestock! Truly hard to imagine how anyone could survive in such a situation.

Our work task today was to dig a 30" wide by 3 foot deep  trench for the home's foundation. Our tools were 8 shovels, 4 pickaxes and 2 wheel barrels. Prior to starting work, we had a ceremony at which Sabita blessed us with tikka, a red powder apploed to the forehead, and gave us small bouquets of marigolds, which are used in Hindu ceremonies. Then we got to work. It was slow going given the  terrain and limited tools we were working with, but there was visible progress by day's end. Sabita insisted we accept peanuts and banana-s as a gesture of thanks at the end of today. This seems to be the way of people in Nepal, which is really beautiful 😄

Lunch was at a Habitat regional office in the area and we were joined by hoards of curious elementary school children from across the street, who weren't sure at first what to make of these srangers in their midst, but quickly became joyful little souls eager to interact. I've included a picture from this encounter from photo gallery for today. AND in bigger news, , I used a tradional Nepali toilet (a ho!e in the floor with a bucket of water to wash away the event). When in Rome....

I'm sure there is more, but I'm really tired and ready to call it a day.. I did hear that we can see My Everest from our build site on a clear day, so hopefully this might happen tomorrow...








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