1. When planning to paint a mural, make sure you have something to clean the brush and remove paint from your hands.
2. Alcohol is an excellent paint remover.
3. During monsoon season, to get to and from the health post - I need to go up or down a river.
4. Bandhs are NOT fun.
Things have picked up a little bit as my friend Krishna and I have been working on our Moringa project for our VDCs (Village District Committee - about the same as a county) and another one next to us. It worked out so that what we have been working on for the last month, we were able to take to the FCHV (Female Community Health Volunteer) meetings that happen once a month. We designed it so it would not take long, but we would be able to get information from the FCHVs as well as be informative.
Ultimately, we wanted to tell them about what we were wanting to do and get feedback from them if they liked the idea, had any thoughts of how our idea could be better, questions, and etc. Krishna’s VDC meeting went well, but when we went to the next one over one of the workers there made a “na ramro” comment. He told his FCHVs that we were only giving them an hour, but they worked many more hours. I wanted to inform him politely that we had done quite a bit of preparation for this hour that we needed of their time! Other than that, it went well and everyone is eager to begin.
The health post in charge in my VDC decided to “assist” us. Basically, he spoke for us instead of letting us run the meeting ourselves like we did in the other meetings. What he “translated” was different than what we were communicating, hence the “” in assist. The paper we passed out to the FCHVs was taken from some of them by the health post in charge and he answered for them even though Krishna told him we wanted the FCHVs to be the ones to answer.
The result of that meeting was not as enthusiastic as the others, though I’m sure my VDC is interested in doing it. Having the health post in charge “communicate” for us probably made it complicated to understand what we were trying to convey - thus, not as much reaction to bringing more nutrition to our communities. We at least have the initial surveys completed now and have begun to write the grant for our Moringa project!
Yesterday, Krishna and I went to the capital so we could meet with our supervisors and get what we need for our visas to be renewed another year. At the time, there was not a bandh but as we were on our way the driver got a call that one had been called so he dropped us off just before the main road. Thus, we had to walk the rest of the way which was about an hour. A bandh is a strike. This can mean that either no vehicles are on the road or in addition to vehicles, schools and stores are closed too.
When we arrived at the capital, we realized that the bandh was not just vehicles on the road, but included schools and stores. After talking with others, we discovered that today was going to be one too and more than likely tomorrow! It has been frustrating having everything closed, but we were at least able to get done what we came here for in the first place. We will just need to get to the other capital near us to do a little more of what we need. The bandh is only for our district at the moment (though there are others going on in other districts) because what is being proposed in the government will cut our district in half. Many people do not want that to happen.
As best as I can figure out, it would essentially be like the U.S. deciding instead of 5 regions - there will be 3 regions: eastern, midwest, and western. States like Louisiana and Alabama would be considered eastern instead of southern. Other state borders would split in half - one side being midwest and the other eastern/southern depending on where it falls. I’m not explaining it well, but I think my district being split in half is similar to another state being split in half. Needless to say, people at not happy with that idea! Please don’t quote me on this…lol I am still trying to figure out what is going on!
Hopefully tomorrow won’t be a bandh, but we don’t have much hope. This is why most of the volunteers PC has instructed not to travel. Travel is difficult during bandhs and depending on the people involved - things can get violent and unsafe. My area is ok so “pir na garnus” (don’t worry). I will continue to update as I can! Please continue your prayers for Nepal as they work things out.