Outreach clinics to other wards occurred during the last couple days, but I only went to one because one of the ladies thought I would be tired after only just coming back from the city. The one I went to though showed me that it would be more useful for me to go if I used the time to share information with them. I have things to share, but I want to formulate my Nepali in my head a bit better as more often than not - I won’t have a “Nepali translator” around. I’m referring more to someone who is able to translate my Nepali into something that is able to be understood by others.
Today I am going to make the hole in the wall we made for the chimney smaller. It also sounds like another family that mentioned they wanted an improved cookstove is taking initiative and asking when I will do it. I will try to do both today, but if not - there is always tomorrow! I know of 2 other houses that have expressed interest and at the outreach clinic - more people asked about what was needed, expense, and etc. This has shown me that I will need to train at least one other person to do it with me because if it ends up being quite a bit of cookstoves - volunteers won’t be able to come every single time.
That is the catch 22 of making cookstoves. As volunteers, we don’t charge for labour so the cost of us making it is only the cost of the materials. For sustainability, it is better for us to train others so they can do it themselves after we are gone. However - they would not be volunteers and the cost would be more for them to make it. Great for a little income generation for them, but not so great for those who want them made - although it would still not be a whole bunch.
After talking with another volunteer that thinks of trainings like I do, I have decided what I’m going to end up doing. I will write out the materials I need to make a stove and have one of them be a person to help me make the bricks and the stove. I probably have the Nepali to communicate how to make the chimney, which is what I’ll have them do while I make the actual stove part. It is important that they invest work into the stove because it is more likely that it will be used.
This way, even though I will end up making a lot of stoves - it still is sustainable because everyone I help make a stove for will be “trained” in how to make one. It is a much less formal way of doing a training as well as inexpensive. Now I just need to somehow write out that paper in Nepali…and make enough copies so I can give it to others that express interest! Even though I am nervous that this seems to be taking off, I keep in mind what another volunteer friend of mine told me when I expressed that to him. “It’s just mud.”
It’s just mud that people use to make food on, which makes it all that more important and intimidating. However, he is right. It’s just mud. You can easily change mud to do what you want it to do. He also reminded me of a quote said in our swearing in ceremony. “Nobody really knows what they are doing. Even the experts.” I forget who said that, but it helps keep things in perspective. I can have all the training in the world for how to do something, but it is not going to apply to each and every situation that comes up. Except for accepting Jesus as your Saviour!