Induction pt 2 and our new home

Posted: April 4, 2017 in Nepal
Tags: , , ,

Day 2 at the office featured a lot of waiting around. The construction project in general was explained to us some more, with examples of the type of work we could be doing. We got our VIN t-shirts and volunteer passes and grabbed some lunch. After a bit more waiting we were given a presentation on health tips (don’t drink the water the locals drink, make sure it’s filtered, boiled or bottled water. Don’t eat unpeeled fruit if you don’t know how it’s washed etc.). Though there was a slide about STI’s, it was glossed over pretty quickly. And then we waited some more (we’re obviously not very used to the relaxed timing of Nepalese office life yet, and were itching to get started).

Eventually we set off to visit our building site, cramming 4 volunteers, a driver and a coordinator, plus luggage for 4 travelers into one Indian Tata SUV. En route to the highway we stopped to put some more air in the tires and were shown the bus stop at the bypass for when we want to travel independently to Jithpurpedi/Tinpipe. And off we were, onto the highway to China…

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After navigating past a lot of muddy pools, potholes and hairpins in the road we stopped at a bend in the road next to a muddy slope. This is were our project is, or at least, as close as we can get with a car. We continued on foot, up the steep muddy slope along the hill, then followed a path through the trees. Passing cows, shacks made of corrugated iron and amazing views, the path getting steeper with each step. At the top we found the building site, were a crew was busy building the brick walls of the new house for Modan and Santa.

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It’s going to be quite a climb to get to work in the mornings, but the view is amazing. The house is being built on top of the hill, and looks out on a national park (a nature reserve). Nothing but hills full of trees as far as the eye can see… Besides the ruins of the old houses destroyed by the earthquake.

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We were introduced to the crew working here, Modan is the head of the household and was busy working on the masonry, while his wife Santa washes and soaks the bricks. There’s a few more men busy with masonry, but it’s unclear (to us) whether they’re relatives or hired hands.

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The sky turned darker, the rain was coming in, and we quickly descended. Trying to get down a muddy slope in a tropical downpour didn’t seem very appealing. Down by the car we took some pictures of the muddy slope, we’d have to be able to find it tomorrow to be able to get to work.

We piled into the car again and continued down the highway to China, once again through the muddy bends, while passing mopeds and trucks. After half an hour we reached our destination, a pink concrete house by the side of the road. Some confusion though, weren’t we staying in a shack?

While unloading the car Shyam and some of the local kids came out to meet us and help carry the bags. We refused, they insisted, we refused some more, but ended up handing over some of our luggage, and up the hill we went. Past the pink house and up a some steps in the mud of the grassy hill. Then up a muddy path, some carved out steps again, some more mud, up and up we went. We stopped on a level plain high above the road. This is where Shyam will build his new house once he has the means. His old one was destroyed in the earthquake and for now he and his family are living in temporary shacks made of corrugated iron. And we will be staying there as well.

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This is ‘our’ shack.

Their temporary housing is situated little way down from the level plain and consists of two little shacks. Shyam, Jyoti (his wife) and their 4 year old daughter live in one of them, the other consists of two rooms and a little hallway which we share with the tiny chicks (it’s too cold at night for them to be outside). One room for our fellow volunteer Andre from Switzerland, and one for us. There’s running water outside behind our shack and a kitchen in Shyams shack. A little way up from the shacks there’s an outhouse with a squat toilet and a little shower, and that’s about it.

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The star is above ‘our’ shack, to give you an idea of how high we are from the highway.

We sleep on mats on the floor and hang our clothing from ropes along the walls and the ceiling. A tarp has been put up between the roofs of the shacks so we have a little place to sit dry and/or out of the sun.

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Shyam shaving in the morning before work.

We installing ourselves in our rooms, enjoyed the mountain views and did a little exploration, though there’s not much to see besides mountains, rice fields and shacks, with a concrete multiple story house here and there. Supposedly there’s a village with a shop and a pharmacy a little way further down the highway, but we haven’t spotted it yet.

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After dinner in Shyam’s shack we headed off to bed. Dogs, chickens, cows, dogs, passing trucks, dogs, rain and other unfamiliar noises kept us up for a while, but eventually we dozed off.

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Comments
  1. Mam says:

    It’s so very beautiful and fascinating . Bless you for going to help. Thank you for sharing and writing, the wonderful photos
    Much love and admiration

  2. peter says:

    I’m very impressed with you story. Good writing. Seems like beautiful peacefull place to be. Do find it fun the thought of Devie sleeping next to some (noisy?)chickens.

    • jadeontour says:

      It’s extremely beautiful here…. once you get out of the dust clouds 😉
      The chicks in the hallway are two weeks old at most, they don’t make a lot of noise, just little chirps. The big chickens outside… that’s another story!

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