As I prepare this post this morning, David is winging his way back home from his month helping his Nepalese friend (and PhD scholar at the University of Newcastle), Binod, with an awareness intervention program to improve maternal health in rural mountain villages in the area of Ramja Deurali and Chitre, north west of Pokhara in Nepal.
I know that David has fallen in love with Nepal and the Nepalese all over again… he worked in Nepal 37 years ago on a tree planting project. He’s sent some more photos of the people and the scenery that he will miss when he gets home to a very different scene in modern day Australia.
Scenery on the walk to Chitre. David was particularly pleased to see the number of community planted trees. These assist with soil erosion around the terraced rice paddies as well providing a sustainable source of firewood as cooking is done on small wood burning stoves. (See video link at the end of this post)
A smiling Hari on the stoney track on the way to Chitre School. Great gum boots!
At the end of the intervention program, items bought for use in the program were handed on to local schools for their use. Here David hands over the printer to the Principal of Chitre School.
Dandapani, who’s been part of the program, poses with David at a shawl embroiderers stall. I know that David will miss all of the team… they have all played such an important part in making the project such a success..
And speaking of the team, here’s a happy snap of them “all tikad up”… David’s description! Front row, Binod and David with Roger (Binod’s UoN supervisor) and his wife Annie.
A path can suddenly become steep, often slippery, steps in this part of the world.
Walking these steep paths is part of everyday life for the locals. here a couple of young men carry ‘dokos’ full of cut herbage for tethered animals at home.
Most of all, I think David will miss the interaction with these hard working women who were so very appreciative of the intervention program. Here, a group sits in their corn field watching an impromptu concert of songs and dances about the importance of their health.
Older women like these commented often that they just wished that a program such as this had happened in their younger days. Too may women and their babies have died from lack of knowledge and assistance. But now they will help the young women of today… mother’s-in-law caring for daughters-in-law.
And of course, he’ll miss the children like these… a serious sister, a smiling brother.
And just as David will miss the people he lived with for a month, I’m sure those like his little shadow, Gani babu, will miss their experiences with a foreigner from Australia. I have a feeling that one day David will return to see how they are all getting on in life.
As David wings his way towards Australia, I’m sure he’s looking forward in many ways to being at home. And being one who loves to cook, he may well appreciate even more his modern cooking facilities. Let’s finish today with a video of Binod cooking his meal in the village in the traditional way on a small wood fired ‘stove’.
More anon Jennie (for David)
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