A Travellerspoint blog

February 2008

Thursday 28 february 2008

Cloudbuster!!

sunny 23 °C

Pokhara

Breakfast at H.E. The children were very late, towing the line to school and then running back to H.E. for the paragliding. With a bus of Blue Sky Paragliding to Sarangkot.
Gurash and I were the first to go.
Gurash was gliding with Patrick, French, with his own school in France. I have to mention from her that she made a perfect take-off AND a perfect landing.
Just because I -with Pascal, also French - had a terrible first take-off. The glider did not catch enough wind, Pascal said to stop, but I was with my legs in the air, so how to stop?
We slided a bit down the hill, before we really came to a halt. Climbing back up and there we went:
CLOUDBUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pascal had his photocamera with him and was sometimes almost hanging upside down (in my eyes) to get good pictures. From another company there was one paraglider who goes flying with his hawk. When he whistles the hawk is supposed to land on his arm. Today the hawk decided different.
Our glider had the same colour and at one point the hawk was following us. Pascal told me to take over control of the glider, he was making pictues.
Scared to death following his instructions, but it started to be fun watching the hawk playing with us, Pascal enthousiastic shouting look Rita Rita, the hawk! I forgot my fear.
Although I did a cloudbuster before, it was still magic, fantastic!!

The landing was a bit clumsy, as I am. I landed on my bum, Pascal trying to stay standing up.
A big hug from Pascal for the great flight and back with the bus down to Pokhara. We walked the last bit to Lake-side to have a well deserved lunch.
After lunch it was shoppingtime. Great shopping, that needed a drink.

But then the man of the photoshop called us: pictures leady!
They were brilliant, even the enlargement ordered for the headmaster. Searching for frame; they found one.
Have to come back and pick it up later, dustied, fixed, and probably looking great.
No drink, rushing first to the toilet, then to the school.

At the home a few tickle-atacks, teatime, homework-time.
After all the excitement of earlier this day we were watching the clock.
Thanks Buddha, there she was: a teacher to help the children to prepare for the exams. Of course we did not want to be in her way, so freedom, here we come.
Again it was the plan to have now the celebration drink, but there was a pashminashop on or way.
Just have a look and 45 minutes later we were getting on our way, running to the photoshop to get the frame, my watch. I left that in care 3 years ago with Sofia and got it back yesterday. Dead. Battery? No, even with a new battery dead!
What can you expect, I bought it in Kathmandu for 300 Rs 3 years ago!!

Oho, run, run, 18.30 Diner at H.E. A nice meal with lots of vegetables and something crusty, fried.
Coffee and Gurash chocolatecake (again trekkers came back).

To finish the day finally to TeaTime to have that glass of wine.
James- who we met in Bandipur - joined us. Later Internet and then to Busy Bee for a nightcap.
Never made it to the internet, but straight to Busy Bee.
Escorting James home, so he would not get lost again or attacked by Djangila, the dog of H.E.
We got him safe to his room, but then we faced a problem: all the shutters of the hotel entrance were closed, locked!!

Ringing the bell several times, finally someone came down to let us in!

Another great day to remember, more to come!

Suba Rathri, Peri Betaunlah,
Sanghita, Gurash

Posted by Sanghita 21:15 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Wednesday 27 february 2008

We got tika'd

sunny 23 °C

Pokhara.

Problems waking up, although we went to bed early.
After breakfast with Pashpathi and the truck from Mountain Villa to Mahnedra Pool, me in the back. We collected the cupboards and went to the school to deliver them.
The headmaster came to us saying that this was a big surprise. After we gave them the books, he did not expect more.
At 13.00 sharp (English sharp) we have to be back at school.
He wants to do a small ceremony, me handing over the keys, because very rarely something like this happens at the school.

To Lakeside to have an early lunch.
In the truck Pashpathi asked Gurash about paragliding. She made an appointment at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Another Cloudbuster coming!
Although I have done it before, still it is as scary as the first time.

In the afternoon we will go with Thak and Mongol to his musicteacher. We found out that he is not that much interested in computerlessons. He wants to become a singer!

13.00 Sharp we were at school, but the headmaster had to go somewhere, for 20 minutes he said.
So, at 14.15 the schoolcommittee was there, all the teachers and finally the headmaster came.
An official meeting in his office. Love milk tea with sugar and biscuits (brrrrr) and I held a small speech about the Friends of Nepal in Elounda. Some questions about how we thought about Nepal and the school.
The accountant and administrator had a speech how pleased the school was to meet us and thanked for the love and support.
Then we got Tika from 7 men, so we ended up with one hughe red forehead and nose, we could even taste it!
Flowers were given and we got a present each (a traditional oillamp).
Lots of pictures were taken. The headmaster asked for an enlargement in frame, which will be hung in the office.
They will write on the cupboards "Donated by the Friends of Nepal in Elounda - Crete" with the date. (27.02.2008).

Around 15.00 we could leave, wash off a little bit of the Tika, relax and back to school again.
With Mongol and Sudeep we walked to the musicschool, close to the home. We (Friends of Nepal) paid 5 months singing and guitarlessons for Mongol. Again a very happy boy! Thank you!!

Back at the house again helping with homework, until the children started to make drawings (which is supposed to be a surprise for Gurash and me).
To H.E. for a coffee and diner.
After diner straight to our room, loading the new pictures (another 180!) on a cd, to get them printed tomorrow.
21.30, after scrubbing of the Tika, lights out.

Suba Rathri, Gurash and Sanghita.

Posted by Sanghita 21:01 Archived in Nepal Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Tuesday, 26 february 2008

Back in Pokhara and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAM!!

sunny 24 °C

Tuesday, 26 February 2008.
Pokhara.

A lazy day today. We did not wake up before 11!.
Ordered some coffee on our Penthouse terrace, just lazing around.
I finished reading the book “Palpasa Café, a book written by a Nepali and translated in English. A very good book, describing the Nepali life in Kathmandu and the hills in the time of the Maoists.
Catching up with our travel blog, putting it now in the USB stick to download it in the Internet café to get all of you updated.

Going to Lakeside for lunch and then it is time to go and get the children from school, to go with Kamal and Arjun to Mahandra Pool to buy the paint material and to collect the cupboards for school.

After our talk with Pete from Trisuli centre we have decided to leave Pokhara a few days earlier, going to Chitwan as planned, but on the way back to Kathmandu we will make a stop for 2 days at Trisuli centre to go rafting there.

Take care, because we care.
Many greetings, love, hugs and kisses from derai derai kushi (very very happy) Gurash and Sanghita.

(P.S., our email is working, so you can also let us know how you are)

The children were happy to see us waiting outside the school. As the good kids they are, in a nice line marching home. After the tea we went with a taxi to Mahendra Pool with Kamal and Arjun.
First they were very careful with choosing the materials, after a bit of pushing them they came up with all the things they really needed. Gurash and her parents paid for the painting lessons as well as for the materials: brushes, sketch pads, oilpaint, water colors, pencils and lots of paper.
From the Friends of Nepal I paid the metal box they choosed to keep their materials away and safe from the little ones.

Again two boys very happy! Back at the home we were overhearing the children for their exams. They just now the answers if you ask the original question. Are we changing the question, then they first correct the question and follows the right answer. Sometimes I wonder if they really understand everything they can say.
But, for sure, most of them will pass the exams in a few weeks.

Suddenly we saw it was already 18.30, so we had to run to H.E. for our diner. As usual having a fun time there, joking with the staf. Tomorrow Pashpathi will come with Gurash and me to Mahendra Pool to collect the cupboards for the school, today I could not find the shop again.

Okay, that was our update so far. As you all can see and read, we are having a fantastic time, thanks to the wonderful people here in Nepal AND of course the children. Everybody makes us feel so welcome, part of the family. It will be hard to leave again, but this time I know it will not take 3 years! before I will be back.

Suba Rathri everybody, sweet dreams,
Hugs and kisses from
Gurash and Sanghita

Posted by Sanghita 07:05 Archived in Nepal Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Monday, 25 February 2008

Bandipur - Pokhara

semi-overcast 22 °C

Monday, 25 February 2008.
Bandipur – Pokhara.

A warm, hot day. Full sunshine.
First sunbathing and reading in the garden, then a stroll through the village.
A talk with the volunteers and we met Lee, another volunteer. He is going to a remote village in the hills of Bandipur to start a project there. I still have to take a look at his website, to see what this project is and maybe what is needed. You will hear more from this later.

After lunch around 13.30 we got in the jeep again to go back to Dumre, after promising to come back sooner then 3 years later.

Just getting out of the jeep there was just a local bus (foto) leaving to Pokhara.

Cramped we started the way back. Half way the bus gave up.
We had to get off and were ‘stuffed’ into another bus, which was already full.
The Nepali are very conscious of taking very good care of foreigners. The bus-boy ordered two men to get up, to make their seats free for us. Checking if we were okay, while the men had to stay standing the rest of the way.

Around 17.00 we were back at the hotel, running to the shower to get all the dust and dirt of.
To H.E. to let them know we were safely back home.

Tea Time was already waiting for us. We had a lovely diner of Enchiladas with salad. Sometimes it is nice to eat something else than Dahl Bath or rice, although we are not fed up with it (yet).

Walking a bit around and then we saw James (the traveller from Bandipur) and joined him at Maya Café.
Again it became later then planned. We bought some C.D.’s and have been listening to them on the laptop, but soon I had to close the computer, my eyes were falling.

Suba Rathri, Gurash and Sanghita

Posted by Sanghita 07:05 Archived in Nepal Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Sunday, 24 February 2008

From Pokhara to Bandipur.

sunny 26 °C

Sunday, 24 February 2008.
Pokhara – Bandipur.

We packed our small backpacks for Bandipur. I even took the pictures and my photo-album with me to work on it in Bandipur. (which not happened, too many other things to do).

After breakfast at H.E. we took at 9.00 a taxi to the bus stop. When we got out of the taxi we were “attacked” by the ‘bus’boys.
They are hanging out of the busses, whistling to the driver when to stop, knocking on the bus when to move on again, jumping on the roof of the bus like monkeys to tie the boxes, bags and everything that has to come with the bus.
Dragged into a bus, hoping it was the right one going to Dumre, where we had to take a jeep to go up in the hills to Bandipur, Mountain resort.

As usual the bus was packed. From Pokhara to Dumre took us 2 hours for 300 Rs for 2 persons!
Made pictures on the way.

At Dumre we had the same theatre with the jeep ‘boys. Luckily we knew that the price was 20-25 Rs per person. The first clever boy took us to a jeep and asked 250Rs!
We took the first jeep in line with more foreigners already sitting inside: 20 Rs each.
45 Minutes later we were in Bandipur.

There is a lot changed since 3 years ago. More hostels, rooms, restaurants. The Old Inn has now also a café on the other side of the square: Ke Gerne Café (what happened-café).
The terrace overlooks the fields and the mountains.
We got the same room at the front and Ramsaran was happy to see me again. What took you so long?
H.E. has now 10 staff members working in Bandipur. Out of the season they are renovating a hughe house on the square to make it into a 5 star hotel (Ramsaran said).
Siam, one member of the staff, took us for a walk through Bandipur. To the temple, to the “5 taps”, a place where water is coming from the mountains and never stops running. If the villagers have no water, everybody is going here to get water.
The walk passed a monument, raised for the casualties, died in a fight between two parties. The fight was about the cast-system. The party that wanted equal rights no matter from which cast you are won, and since that day there is no cast-system in Bandipur anymore.

Following the path we came to the hospital (photo). All people of Bandipur support this hospital with blankets and means to make it able to work.

A viewpoint of the Annapurna Range, unfortunately it was too misty to see the mountains.

There are now 4 schools in Bandipur. Since July the first volunteers of G.V.I. are working here.
We met Jolana and Rosanna, volunteering here at the moment. They are teaching English, give dancing and singing lessons and every Friday they have a creative day in the room of H.E., where they also give computer lessons to the locals.
I think they are doing a great job there.
Jolana mentioned that there was a big need of teaching the local teachers.
At this moment the children are just copying everything. Slowly the volunteers get them to use their own imagination.

We also met Pete, volunteer in Trisuli and James, a traveller.
There was a retired couple staying at the Old Inn as well, who came to Nepal to work here for 2 years. They had to leave the Terai region because of riots. They are now working in Kathmandu and needed a break from this busy town.
In the evening we had diner all together in the garden around the wood fire. I started to feel sick, so went up to bed. Had fever and the runs, but next morning I woke up feeling fine again.

Posted by Sanghita 07:01 Archived in Nepal Tagged bus Comments (0)

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