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Trip Start May 28, 2010
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Trip End Aug 02, 2010


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Where I stayed
Mountain Fund House

Flag of Nepal  , Bāgmatī,
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The past few days have been almost uneventful. Things are settling into a routine, which is both good and bad, I guess. Rachel, the girl I work with at the day care, ran into some appendix trouble and had surgery. I think she is going to be headed back to the States when she is ok to fly. She's had a rough time. =( So it's just me working at the day care of the Mountain Fund volunteers...there are a few other people there, however...a girl from Holland and a guy from Germany. They are fun to talk to, especially in light of the World Cup, which is a big deal here in Nepal!

That lady who talked to me on the bus last week must be getting the word around about respect. I have been offered seats within the first two or three stops so far this week! One man said something to me in English about treating a guest in his country to the very best...which made me feel a little awkward. But I went with it.

I'm trying to think of all the funny little snapshots of the past few days that I wanted to share with you. Oh! The cow! Cows just roam the streets here...people let them eat grass and garbage on the sides of the roads...they are pretty respected as animals go. I walk a little ways from the day care to the bus stop...the road is narrow, and in some areas has little shops that open right onto the sidewalk. One man had a shop selling vegetables, soda, candy bars, and that sort of thing. Right when I drew level with this shop, a giant bull cow rambles up to the shop. The guy gets out of his chair because the animal is right next to him. The bull then sticks his head halfway INTO the shop, and gets his nose in a bag of potatoes. The man flips. He gives the bull a good smack on the tush, but I don't think the beast even felt it. He slapped the bull harder, and the animal turned his head, gave him a good, long, slightly indignant stare, and then ambled off with a few potatoes in his mouth.

Of course, this whole time I'm attempting to figure out the best way to maneuver around the bull without getting in his way or the way of the cars, buses, and motorcycles that are driving by at a healthy clip. Fun times. =)

Let's see...what else. I walked to work today, which was different. It is about 4 kilometers. Most of it has sidewalks...but there were some areas under construction that required my walking on the side of the road, which was a bit scary at times. But I followed the native pedestrian traffic and was well warned by a cacophony of horns and bells when I meandered too far into the the stream of traffic. Construction here is a bit different than at home. These are the trees my bus lady was ranting about. They basically wrapped ropes around some giant trees and sawed/pulled them down by hand. Some of the branches caught power lines and pulled them down too. They didn't seem too worried. Now, the biggest branches and tree trunks are lying on the side of the road...a.k.a. what WAS the sidewalk. Also on the sidewalk are piles of sand, brick, and gravel...which I am assuming will eventually be used to fill the big holes and pits in the road left in the aftermath of the tree toppling. In any case, the bus ride through there is bumpy.

One more observation I found entertaining and then I'm going to do some work for grad school applications. Lunchtime at the day care. There are a lot of little kids...I'd estimate 25 at or below the age of 2 perhaps? They don't feed themselves well, anyway. So they are fed by the two ladies who work there. The get the majority of the kids situated in two semicircles, one within the other, around them. They hold a giant bowl of mashed up dhal bhat (a lovely dish of rice and lentil soup that everyone here eats just about every day...) and a spoon. Then, they proceed to stuff the kids full. They go back and forth in the lineup of sitting children, giving each kid a huge spoonful of the yellowy goop, cramming what spills out back into their mouth with the edges of the spoon.

The kids get fed well. But the result of this feeding method is dhal bhat EVERYWHERE. I don't even do the feeding, and I constantly find little yellow curried somethings all over me. It's wonderful. =) And funny. The kids aren't concerned about being dirty...most of them wear the same clothes for several days at a time....so it's all good. I get a little twinge of eww whenever one of them finds a chunk of food on the ground and gets it into their mouth before I can stop them...but I guess they have the immune systems for that, if anyone does...

Well that's all for now. Hope this finds you well wherever you are. Love from Nepal!
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