Greetings from the travel team! We have been having all kinds of fun this week!
On Thursday the whole team went down to watch and participate in a second CFLG workshop led by Bhupal. Hayley and Eliza taught another menstrual hygiene workshop at the end of Bhupal’s lesson. All of us are still learning to handle the language barrier, but overall the workshop was a valuable experience.
Later that night we were about to eat dahl bhat when the Vice President and the Chief Admin Officer of the Rural Municipality randomly walked into our homestay. Bhupal was able to talk to them about EWB’s plan in Hatitar and getting permission to fly the drone. They clarified that we need a five year plan ASAP and asked the team to come to the RM office to discuss our plans with the drone and the future of the team in Maijogmai. It was a lucky coincidence he came by, the kind we find seems to happen pretty often in Nepal!
The next day the team went to the final potential spring protection project location, Gadere. We started the morning at a community member’s home. They fed us some really good chicken and “takaree” (veggies and potatoes). On our way up to the spring source, our guide took us on a detour to the tallest waterfall in the Ilam District, Sat Tale (Seven Steps). The whole team agrees that it is probably the most beautiful place we have seen in Nepal. We all jumped in, got completely drenched, and got lots of good pictures. It was quite rejuvenating! Once we left the waterfall, we began the steep ascent to the spring source. It was very slippery and there were some plants that stung like nettles. Our guide used a Khukri (Nepali machete) so we wouldn’t hurt ourselves too much. The last little stretch before the spring source we had to climb up some very slippery rocks by pulling ourselves up with roots on the side of the rocks. It was a little treacherous, but the team miraculously survived!
Saturday was a rest day. We were invited by a friend of Bhupal’s to watch a Hindu worshipping ceremony at his home. After the ceremony, we enjoyed some rice pudding and sel roti (a type of fried donut shaped bread). At the end of the ceremony, they brought out a cow to be worshiped. Cows are sacred in the Hindu religion and she was given various gifts. She was covered in flowers, given clothes, and had her tail dipped in milk. The whole experience was a great cultural insight for the team and was super fun to be apart of!
Sunday we went back to Hatitar and the team split up again. Evan, Cosmo, and Noah were shown around the village to get a better idea of its layout by a local. Meanwhile, Eliza and Hayley went back up to the spring to finish up some hand surveying and get more data then anyone could possibly want. It was also good for us to finally see the whole village. It puts things into better perspective for the project, and helped us get an idea of what we need to do to finish up our work in Hatitar for the summer.
Monday we went back to Hatitar to start hand surveying the town. We were able to get three ground control points finished and a located a majority of the houses in the village via hand surveying. It was encouraging how quickly the work went. It seems like we will get everything we need to done by the time we leave Namsaling, so long as we survive the grueling heat and long walks first! We ended the day back at the homestay and stuffed ourselves with tons of fantastic momos. It was a welcome reward to a long day of hard work.
Until next time!
Much love from the travel team! :)
Bhupal says “Bonut Peter!”