- OK. My laptop is still somewhere in KTM. Anandaban's secretary is probably very tired of me asking about it. The repair shop says they need parts from abroad. Singapore, maybe or maybe not...nobody knows.
- It makes a huge difference when evictions are performed on occupants that you did not know were there. Apparently, I was late for my routine deworming/anti-protozoal. Let's just leave it at that.
- Tihar was an interesting festival. We (Elisa and I) stayed in Bhaktapur with friends for a couple days of it. We'd grown used to the relative quiet seclusion of Anandaban. Sorry, I have. Elisa travels frequently into villages etc to help organize community based rehabilitation groups, so she's slept in many different areas of Nepal. More densely populated village/city life is different from Anandaban.
- On different days of Tihar, people worship the crow, dog, cow, bull and then a day for sisters to worship their brothers. The city shuts down, kind of like Christmas back home. With narrow streets maybe centuries old, there are strings of lights and candles on, around and in front of village homes. The dogs, which are mostly street mongrels (no animal control), are wearing marigold necklaces and have the red tika (dot) painted on their foreheads. Ditto for the cows (which roam free). We saw motorcycle rallies (parades); during which it occurred to me that if I were driving a motorcycle without a helmet, I would not want the guy riding behind me smoking a cigarrette. There is also the wonderful neighborhood vehicle that parks in front of your home at night with large speakers connected to the car battery. This is so the entire neighborhood can simultaneously share in the joys of a bunch of young guys' favorite Hindi tunes. There was one particular song they really liked; but for one or reason or another, the party-mobile moved on around 10pm or so.
- Don't ask me what the dogs did all night. I did get up at first to see. They were acting as if they were on the most important mission in the world - having meetings, conferences and then spreading out over neighborhoods while maitaining communications. It culminated in an early morning (4am) festival in front of where we were staying; which Elisa says finally drew out a neighbor to pitch some rocks at them. People start moving in the streets around 4:30am, ringing the bell at the neighborhood shrine everytime someone completed their morning puja (worship). I recognized some of the dogs the following day when walking the streets. They were sleeping REALLY good. There is also a caroling tradition associated with this holiday, except you're expected to give money to the performers. The second night was much quieter. There were some more carolers that worked the neighborhood; but from the sound of it, the group eventually petered down to one groggy guy. They also had a favorite song (ie, one song).
- We really had a good time and enjoyed the visit. We got to play games with our friend's kids, ate daal bhaat at least twice a day (cooked and seasoned exceptionally well). We walked around and saw places. It was beautiful. We had great company. We did not suffer. :)
- We had another free medical camp last weekend in a nearby village. We had 10 doctors and a couple of volunteer nurses. In roughly 5hrs, 820 people saw a doctor, 500 received medication. Some were referred to surgery. I would love to show you some pics, but you will have to wait with me for my laptop.
- The temps are already dropping. I'm using thermals on some days already.
- Hey, if you read this, drop me a line (or a comment, at least) and let me know how you are doing!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Bits and pieces
Posted by Deanna Hagge at 8:37 AM