There is so much to write about and not enough time. I know that I promised to write about emigration and migration, culture, life in Nepal and more but I would like to write to you about some of what I learned today. I also want to share my debate of where to choose to volunteer for the next three months.
Today we visited the Mahadabesi village about a 2 hour drive from Kathmandu to the west. Mahadabesi is one of the volunteer sites of TBT.
I witnessed such a wonderful thing while visiting the village that I felt I had to share with you. TBT has invested in infrastructure to create bio gas. The bio gas created allows the people of the village to cook their meals over a gas stove instead of cutting down the trees in the area and cooking over the fire.
The way it is done is that all the urine and dung of the cows and buffalo in the village is collected and then dropped into a special well which has a small hole at the bottom. Water is dropped in, the dung is mixed together and then it seeps down into the hole in the well. The gas produced is released into an additional tank which releases gas directly into the stoves in the homes. is this not genius? not only are they not cutting down trees, cooking over the fire, getting sick from the smoke but they are also using up urine and dung to create gas. environmental engineers out there please bring this to Israel it is such a miraculous tool!
I was also amazed today by the vast organic farm in Mahadabesi that TBT has established as a model farm to the farmers in the area. All urine and dung from the bathrooms is used as compost and an irrigation system that comes down from the mountain straight to the land. additional, papaya trees grow together with tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, onions etc. and we got to plant okra (my favorite).
What was tough today was to meet the community of stone quarry workers. These are people who were caught up in debt, and moved to the stone quarry on the river to work for a “broker” who gives them food and shelter and they in return work for 14 hours a day breaking up huge stones into gravel! 14 hours a day, along the river in the hot sun. It was hard to watch these people whom are in “debt bondage” and are in a sense not “free” and cannot make their own choices. How can we make their life easier? How can we help?
On to my personal debate: where to choose to volunteer?
I have narrowed down my choice to one of the two villages: Sundrawati- 6-10 hours from Kathmandu, a beautiful village on the mountain side, a strong and happy community, clean air. TBT is new in the village and there is lots to do with the youth, women’s group, schools and agricultural. My other choice is Mahadebaesi, much closer to the city, more built up, less community and TBT has been there much longer. At first I thought I would rather be in the far away village, in the peaceful atmosphere far from internet and phones. But today at Mahadabesi I visited a school for blind children that has recently been established. A girl from the last session at TBT planted a kitchen garden with the blind children and they enjoy working the land. I was also told the last session began a special ed. class in the primary school for the disabled children.
The big debate is between the actual projects I can be part of where I will be able to contribute some of my knowledge with the blind population, and OT to the local Nepalis. However, I want to be far from the big city, in a quiet atmosphere, less hot and contribute in other ways as well.
The choice is going to be tough and it has to be decided by tomorrow!
Let me know what you think, especially those who think they know me….
Love, Harki the Nepali