Volunteering - Week 3
Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
151Trip End Nov 01, 2010
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10am - Rachel and I decide to go for a walk in the National Park.
I made the mistake of not asking much about what she had planned. I find out at the last minute that the walk through the park is 12km, the walk to get to the park is 2km and the walk to the nearest town on the other side is 6km…
I thought, ok, its a lot of walking but I'm sure it will be nice.
We took 6 hours to cover the first 14km walk - I figured we do in 3 ½. When it came time to do the last 6km, I told her this wasn’t going to happen and we found a bus
I didn’t know this at the start, but Rachel had a problem with her knee and could only walk very, very, very slowly.
8pm – After a quick stop off at a Pizza restaurant in Thamel, Rachel and I make it back to the host families places at Dhapakhel.
There were 2 ways to get back. We could catch 2 buses, they would take about an hour and cost 20cents; or we could take a 15minute taxi ride that costs about $4.
Rachel wanted to take the bus, but since we’d taken a boring14km at a snails pace, I was tired and we had hot pizza to deliver I talked her into sharing a cab.
I bought 3 pizzas back for everyone. Everyone’s surprised and happy to try it. We sit around the table and dig in.
The host father and mother start eating the pizza and say thank you, a lot
The kids, who were the ones who really wanted it, tried the pizza and hated it. Every bite they took was followed by large gulps of water.
The host father got a kick out of this and told me he had some special Nepali style pizza.
It was goat stew and rice. He goes into the kitchen, sneezes a lot and then comes back with a big pot of goat stew.
I say I’m very full because I’m nervous as hell about what could really be in the pot.
I take a small spoonful and pull out a goats hoof and ankle bone with some skin and gristle on it.
I puke into my mouth a little, wait a while and then walk off with my plate looking for places to hide the trotter.
In the end I gave the goat foot thing to Manisha
Everyone’s taste is different!
Day 15 – Sunday = Workday
Booooooo, have to go to school on Sunday!!!
Day 17 – Walking Excuses
3pm - Rachel asking me if I want to go on another long afternoon walk after school. I think no way – totally nice girl but she walks insanely slow because of her bad knee.
I also think it’s nicer to hang around with the family in the afternoon, hang out with the lodgers who spend most of their time in front of the shop or read just read under the tree for a while
7pm – I show Rachel’s host father a couple of pictures on my camera. The first question – nice camera, how much was that? I tell him $150.
This is part of my new plan to answer any "how much did that cost" questions with ridiculously low prices that are 'just’ believable enough so they don’t think I’m taking the piss.
For a few days in a row, the power has been on nearly all day. I never thought I’d appreciate 24/7 power so much.
Day 18 - Success!
I have my first normal bowel movement in almost 2 weeks. It was a near religious moment.
Day 19 – Bad students and giant carts
I sent my first student to go and stand in the corner of the class today
4pm - Rachel and I went to a festival after school.
The festival is to bring good luck for the upcoming monsoon season. A couple hundred guys drag 2 large carts around Kathmandu with very wobbly 12-15m high wooden towers on them.
These towers look like they’re about to fall over any minute but a couple of special people climb up each one to toss off coconuts to the crowd below.
The legend says that whoever catches the coconut will be very lucky.
However, in reality these guys are in a crowd that’s behaves like the first 5 rows of an AC/DC concert, there are coconuts being thrown from a tower 15m above you and if you catch the coconut, without breaking your fingers, you get immediately attacked by everyone around you who’s trying to grab it off you.
I reckon you’re luckier if you don’t go near the coconut.
Day 20 – Buddah’s Bday
I’m so damn tired
I had a terrible nights sleep. Some mosquito was doing laps around my head. I covered myself with insect repellent and eventually got back to sleep. The funny thing was that I must have breathed in a little too much because I had the most screwed up weird dreams after that.
The school joins in with some other schools on a flag waving parade up and down the main street of the village.
I was one of 4 teachers controlling about 200 students – was a little worried to start with, but it all turned out to be a great time. Check out the photos.
Day 21 – Games in every class
I’m loving Fridays as a teacher. I can just turn up and ask the kids what games they want to play and I don’t have to do anything – it’s great.