SPONTANEOUS DecisionsJuly 20, 2017 in Nepal ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C
It's actually the 21st July right now, and we are actually en route to Pokhara (damn, I've already ruined the surprise of our spontaneous decision!!!!).
So yesterday we had our normal morning routine (but with an added bonus of unblocking a hole in the ground toilet as someone had put toilet roll in it .... never a dull day here guys!). But our class wasn't until 1, so we had a nap after the kids went to school, then were woken up by Anita at 11 as she thought we had overslept for work (bless her!). Then we walked to the same cafe as yesterday, and ordered veg phakauda (which was SO GOOD I CAN'T EXPLAIN!!!! Like spicier and nicer onion bhajis. However Hope loved the first one but then realised it was too spicy for her). Then we ordered a random dish off the menu, which turned out to be like hard corn- not ideal! But Martino tried it when he got there and liked it (though found it too spicy!)
We had a couple of drinks (as in Coke and Fanta, sadly not alcoholic!), and went over todays lesson which was on 'Public speaking and assertive communication' ... but because the women wanted to know about entrepeneurship, we wanted to try and link it more to business.
We met Om at 12.45, walked to the house, and then Shweta met us there. At 1.15, there were no women there, so we were slightly worried but it turned out they had a community meeting before. At about 1.30, there was about 6 women, and we started the class. However today we had a different girl translating, and she was literally doing the lesson plan word for word so we really did feel pointless. However, we were still doing the class and it was fun, and the women were telling stories about themselves which they wanted us to hear. One of the activities they had to stand up and practice 'public speaking' by giving some information about themselves. One of the women was married at 9 years old (we thought Anita marrying at 12 was bad!) and another woman told us about Kabesthrali 10 years ago when there was no transport. She said that they would have to walk all the way to Thamel to sell the cow milk to make money (which is a long and very bumpy journey that takes 45 minutes in a bus, and would therefore take HOURS to walk it!!) ... its crazy! Most of the women were uneducated, bar one who was grade 7 which is good here. But this lady was only 23 years old so it's no surprise that she had some education. She looked so young though, and already had 2 children.
The women are all so smiley and lovely, and we can tell that they are proud of their culture and telling stories. And they do recognise that it is changing example through increased women's rights, which they are happy about.
After the class, we had almost a wedding ceremony between Nana and Tobias (the danish couple). They saw Nana's wedding ring, so then when Tobias came over, the women did a ceremony type thing for them (it was so cute but so funny as Nana and Tobias were just standing there unsure what to do!). One of the women put a necklace round Nana and they were all clapping and chanting. It was so cute though.
We had a very spontaneous decision to make there and then. We asked Om for next Monday off so that we could spend Friday night in Thamel with everyone to celebrate Sheri's birthday and go for food and drinks, but this is our only free weekend to go to Pokhara so we wanted to get the 7.15 am bus Saturday from Thamel, and come back on Monday. However she said that we weren't able to get the Monday off as she had already arranged classes with a new community and she wouldn't be able to let them know. However, she said that we could have Friday off (tomorrow) if we were to re arrange the class with this community to next Thursday.
We had to decide on the spot what to do. We really wanted to see everyone and celebrate Sheri's birthday, but this is our only weekend in Nepal and may be the only chance in our whole life to go to Pokhara (and Immy has told Hope how we cannot miss out!). So we felt sad and guilty, but decided that we couldn't miss the opportunity to go. So we rearranged the class until the following Thursday, and had to quickly walk back to the house to pick up our stuff. It was 3 pm and Sumira said that we had to get to the office for 5 pm to book the bus (and although it was more expensive booking with VIN, we wanted to book the bus with them in person to make sure Sumira rang Anita and explained where we were going!).
We got back, packed our bags in literally 10 minutes flat (so obviously we forgot a few things!), and waited for Sheri and Melanie so we could explain. I think they were sad, but they completely understood.
We walked as quickly as possible to the bus station (Anita wasn't home but it was a good thing as it would have been so difficult to explain so would have been easier for her to hear from Sumira), and we got the bus to bus park, near the office. It was crammed as per!!
When we got off the bus, we had our massive bags and it was raining, so we decided to get a taxi. Just our luck ... we are talking to the taxi driver negotiating a price ... and bam ... the Granddad taps us on the shoulder. It was so awkward as we had our big bags on us, but he wasn't able to understand what we were saying. And then he said 'Anita anita' and started pulling us over to a tea shop ... and there was Anita! It was a very difficult 5 minutes trying to explain to Anita, so in the end we rang Sumira and passed the phone over. At first she looked confused but then she understood so when she hung up she was aware of where we were going. At first she looked sad but then her face lit up when we said 'present' and she had a big smile on her face and kept shouting 'GIFTS gifts' haha!!
When we got to the office, we booked our bus ticket (1300 rupees each), and we gave in some charity money from home. The taxi driver that took us from the bus stop waited outside for us, then took us to Hotel Pomelo, Thamel.
We chilled for a couple of hours, then went for dinner. The hotel was amazing - and only five pounds each! We had great wifi, a big room with big beds (we were so excited to go to sleep in it!), and a proper toilet!!! Bliss.
We went to an Italian restaurant, Fire and Ice. We had garlic cheesy bread for starter to share, both had pizza for main, and Hope had brownie for dessert. However when the bill came - we were shocked! There was an extra 23% added on top of everything (VAT and service charge) and the bill was over 4000 rupees!! We were both guessing 2500 maximum just 2 minutes before. It was mad! It's only approx £30 BUT we are in Nepal and meals are supposed to be like a fiver each !!! We then realised we would have to withdraw more money :(.
We walked back to the hotel (in the pouring rain), and chilled out at the hotel. We didn't end up sleeping until 2 ish as there was a group of dogs outside barking at full volume!!! But luckily the beds felt so comfy in comparison to the wooden beds.
Overall, it was a great day (but very stressful when we had the 2 hour rush!!!)Read more