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Travels in Nepal

Day 3: More digging 🙄

NEPAL | Friday, 17 November 2017 | Views [262] | Comments [1]

It was another day of hard labor in Nepal. We continued digging the foundation, which is now almost complete. Next up is manually mixing concrete in batches to start the foundation. It's clear our team will not complete the houses we've been assigned to and we've been told that local masons (supported by the donations to this project) will complete the remaining work on the two homes within a month of our departure. It's disappointing to not see the project to completion, but heartening to know our families will have safe homes before winter. Our team leaders, Val and Nick, who are veterans of 30+ international builds, said the current build is the hardest they've been on due to the logistical challenges  ( mountainous landscapes, higher altitudes, limited places to move dirt etc) and specs required by Nepal building codes (I.e. having to dig 3 foot foundations for a small one story home). 

Regardless of who finishes the houses, having the opportunity to travel far away for the express purpose of helping a family in dire need has been extraordinary. It is made all the more so by meeting so many good people, both local and Habitat volunteers. Renews a certain faith in the world that has been sorely tested of late. I've featured a picture in today's journal entry  of a man who lives in the village in which we are working. Every day he shows up on site and crouches silently, watching our progress. Today I asked if I could take his picture, to which he readily agreed. When I showed him the picture, he smiled broadly and the shook my hand, which is not a typical Nepal gesture. I've  also included some pictures of school children with whom we play during lunch break. These kids are so friendly and sweet. They ask all kinds of questions and swarm around us, sometimes chasing our vehicles when we head back to the work site.

Now for the not so good news. At the end of today's workday, I rolled my ankle walking down a giant dirt mound. Definitely sprained (hopefully not broken). I'm going to take a day off to ice and elevate. Definitely going to finish this build , though, so will figure out a plan to stabilize the ankle as best as possible. There's no medical services where we are, but luckily I had the foresight to travel with a nurse :-). A couple of other team members are down with GI distress, and many of us, including me, have developed a mild cough, which we are told is due to the dirt/dust that covers everything due to the post-monsoon season dryness and exacerbated by driving on primarily  dirt roads. Many locals wear face masks for this reason. The locals call it "Nepal powder," while our team leader Val said it's called Kathmandu crud .... 

On a positive note though, while today I'm down with this ankle injury, I'm definitely not out with regard to finishing our building project and thoroughly enjoying the rest of this trip, including a flight around Mt Everest on Tuesday on Yeti  air 😜





Kate, thank you so much for the thoughtful journal entries! Sorry to hear about your ankle! Thinking the best thoughts for you!! The pics you are taking are really great!!

  Janine Nov 18, 2017 3:14 AM

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