Paani Ayo - Batti Gayo
Gooooood moooorning CU Boulder!!
Hope everyone is having a good summer back in the states! Your favorite travel team has been finishing up work here in Namsaling. We have been working (and playing) hard this week!
Since we last talked, we have completed hand surveying in Hatitar, handed out 11 quilts to residents of the village, finished water quality testing in wards 3 and 4, and attended a Nepali wedding.
Surveying went smoothly. We managed to collect 5 ground control points within the village to geo-reference data from our hand surveys. Ideally, the winter travel team can use them as their ground control points for drone surveying.
The Hatitar drinking water user’s committee selected 11 people based on disabilities, pregnancy, and financial well-being for us to distribute quilts to. They were all very grateful and gave us big smiles when we handed them their quilts. Big thank you to eQuilter for all their hard work and donations to EWB-CU. They did a beautiful job sewing the quilts and their gifts were appreciated! We hope we can distribute more next winter and summer.
To finish up water quality testing, we went with Bhupal to 4 water sources in ward 4 as a part of his monitoring work for NCDC. It is a good thing we are finished testing new sources because we are nearly out of supplies for coliform and E. Coli testing, and definitely out of patience with the faulty incubator! Bacteria and coliform contamination is generally the main issue with the water quality at spring sources here. When we have electricity we are busy compiling our water quality data into a report for ward 3.
The really exciting part of this week was the wedding we attended. The venue (the bride’s home) was close to our homestay, and it seemed like almost all of Shukrabare Bazaar turned out for the event! The night before, we ate some amazing food, socialized, and danced with the friends and family of the bride. For those of you who are wondering, Nepali teenagers and young adults dance about as well as we do at high school prom.
On the big day, we all dressed in our traditional Nepali clothing and walked down to the bride’s home. Everyone was taking lots of pictures with the bride and her family. After a while, the groom and his guests arrived in a big procession. There was a short ceremony where the bride and groom hung lots of jewelry on one another, and then we all threw rice tikka on them. As is tradition, the last part of the wedding was the gift giving. We walked up to the bride with Bhupal, placed tikka on the foreheads of the bride and groom, and presented the bride with a decorated water jug we had purchased for her.
Monsoon season is in full swing here in Nepal. It hasn’t been sunny enough to fully dry our clothes, so many of our things are growing some delightful smelling stuff on them. Power has been incredibly spotty the past 2 days with outages lasting multiple hours, and a maximum of 5 minutes of power at a time. The Nepal WorldLink telecommunications tower got struck by lightening during a storm recently, so we don’t have WiFi right now, and Eliza’s computer bit the dust for an unknown reason (placing it in 2 kg of dry rice helped for a little while). But we’re nothing if not optimistic, so moral is still high! The team is feeling good about our work here. Things have progressed very well, and the team is still getting along surprisingly well even after living with each other for the past forty days.
All we have left in Namsaling is water quality workshops and finishing up paperwork. Next week we head back to Kathmandu for meetings with KU and perhaps some other organizations.
Thank you to all our readers! Stay tuned for our final blog post of the summer next week!