Visible damage

Posted: April 8, 2017 in Nepal
Tags: , , ,

We’re off to a late start because the water filter is getting clogged, it takes around 20 minutes to fill a bottle, and we’re taking two bottles a person. At the construction site we start our day with moving a pile of rocks from close to the house to further away from the house. Because of the language barrier it’s hard to figure out why we’re doing certain jobs, we just have to trust there’s a reason why it’s necessary.

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When we finish we take a break. We’d like to start work again, but it’s not clear whether there’s anything we can do. We wait around some more, then figure we might as well have lunch. Then wait some more. Just when we decide that if there’s nothing for us to do here today we’d rather wait around at the shack it turns out we can start moving the sand and gravel from the place the truck dumped them to the construction site.

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We meet Pouspa, who lives in the village and tells us about the earthquake. She shows us where her house used to be, there’s not much left now besides the outer walls. When the quake hit she was the only one inside. She got pummeled by rubble from the collapsing roof and the exit was blocked. It took her a while to get outside, but she was lucky to escape with only cuts, bruises and a broken arm. Because her family’s house was destroyed in the earthquake they’re living with her cousin now. Building a temporary shelter costs money they don’t have, they prefer to build a permanent house instead when they have the funds.

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Dinner will be late tonight, Sakina has an ear infection and has to go see a doctor. The appointment is at 4 o’ clock, but as Jyoti says “4 means maybe 5, 6 or 7”. We head into Tinpiple to buy something to eat while we wait for their return. We were thinking of banana’s, unfortunately there are none to be found. Lots of cakes, cookies, chips, chocolates and other sweets, apparently it’s not only the staple foods here that are mostly carbs. We end up buying some carrots, madeleines and something we hope is very small cucumbers. We also get some water, the water filter is in the family’s shack, if they’re not home we have no access to clean water.

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We end up picnicking at the edge of town, with a view of Kathmandu in the distance. The mystery vegetable turns out to be less baby cucumber and more baby courgette. On the way back up the hill we run into Shyam’s uncle. His family is also living with relatives after losing their house in the earthquake. They’re busy collecting building materials and saving up money to build a new home on the hill.

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While it might have seemed like it in the media, KTM was not the epicenter of the quake. Just looking at the damage still visible after two years, and the amount of families here in this region that lost their houses and are unable to rebuild, makes us wonder what it’s like in other area’s.

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