November 9th – Medications… and Boudhanath

In preparing for our trek to the communities, we started the day with laundry… this involved hand washing in the bathtub… which actually lead to Gin doing some bathtub slam dancing (think winemakers squashing grapes) when her hands became tired from squeezing. After the rinsing was completed, the laundry was hung up outside to dry. As most people who have ever hung laundry know, the moisture drips to the bottom of the garment… and given Gin’s hands were tired, the clothes weren’t necessarily wrung out as thoroughly as they could have been…

Now downstairs from us an older Chinese gentleman stays… who randomly goes to the washroom without closing the door, and spends a considerable amount of time snorking (if you don’t know what that is… you are better off not knowing as it causes Gin to retch every time she hears it). Anyway… suffice it to say this individual has not endeared himself to our heroines. As the laundry was drying both Gin and Tonic would periodically go outside to squeeze the excess moisture. However, on one such occasion Gin did not realize that the said gentleman was actually outside under the balcony getting organized to leave for the day. as she squeezed her hoodie, about 500ml of water cascaded down onto his head. She had already turned away as he jumped startled staring at the sky to question where the sudden rainfall had appeared from. Meanwhile on the balcony across stood a Nepali man watching, who called his wife out to enjoy the show of the strange foreigner who was creating localized showers over poor unsuspecting travellers heads… His wife just shook her head, likely thinking that these girls had been poorly trained if they couldn’t even properly wring out a t-shirt prior to hanging it on the line.

While the laundry was drying we attempted to get somewhat organized for the day, however we were derailed by news that Trump was winning the election. This caused a reaction rather like that of individuals watching a python strangling its prey… grotesque but you simply can’t tear your eyes away. Thankfully Sangita arrived in time to distract us, and we headed off to buy drugs (veterinary of course). This lead to a bus ride of epic proportion as rather like a clown car, more and more people ended up sitting on Gin’s lap.

We spent considerably longer at the pharmacy than intended, as they didn’t have exactly what we were looking for to get rid of parasites and so there was considerable discussion regarding what we wanted to teach and how much…. of course it didn’t help that we also engaged in a political discussion with the guys in the shop once they announced that Trump had actually won. Seriously??

Anyway, we were quite excited about our purchases, and even more excited to learn that there was actually a veterinary pharmacy shop quite near where we would be teaching our workshops – so the participants would actually have fairly good access to what we use during the clinics. On the way back to the house we attempted several times to catch a taxi, however none of them wanted to stop as it was such a busy street. This turned out to be lucky for Tonic, as she had the opportunity to see her first free-roaming monkey. Of course it also meant that she had her first opportunity to jump madly out of the way as said free-roaming monkey made an attempt to snatch her hair at the same time Gin was taking a picture. Truly one of those moments you wish the camera had been rolling…

After dropping our packages back at the house we ventured into a different dining establishment, figuring 3rd time lucky. And we were! Almost everything on the menu was capable of being gluten-free with little discussion. A great meal, and then we hit the road to go see Boudha… an older, spiritual and historical area with a large temple and statue which devout individuals circle multiple times while praying. We made it around twice before deciding to wander through the shops in search of buckets.

These buckets had been Gin’s focus for several hours, however Sangita had held them hostage as a carrot for good behaviour. They will be a part of the structure of the water filters that we are providing to the communities due to our sponsorship by the guys at Ritual Energy. After finding the buckets we had wandered so far away that the buses would no longer pick us up and we had to walk back to Chabahil to find one. However the promised 5 minute walk resulted in an hour long trek to a place where a concerned Sangita finally put us on the public transport and hoping we would get off in the right place. Thankfully a nice Sikh lady took pity on us and pointed us in the right direction once we had ridden to the end of the line.

We got back to the news that the driver taking us to our community tomorrow had backed out. Sunisha, her father, and a number of other family members had spent a number of hours trying to find a replacement that wouldn’t cost hundreds of dollars. The problem is that the road is still fairly hazardous, and few drivers want to risk their vehicles on this road. So we are paying “danger” pay to anyone who takes the risk. The upside is that because it is so much more expensive than originally budgeted, an unplanned trek will likely happen next week as we are leaving.

Which brings us to an important point – we will still be writing our blogs while away, but unfortunately will have to upload them as a big batch next week when we have wifi access again. Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well!

lots of love

j&t  xoxo

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