“…he said that he would help me get a better job… I didn’t believe him at first. But the situation got worst, I couldn’t take it no more… so one day I believed him…and I went with him”
After that, it is when it began… the chapters of Munas life that could be called the rape, 25-30 men a day and I couldn’t even stand up.
Muna, a women currently 22 years old, was rescued when she was about 13 years old by a NGO called Raksha. She had been working as an prostitute since early age, she can’t say exact time since nobody ever told here when she was born. Mona is not a fictive person, she is a real women that has experienced what will be shared in this post. She is a women that aren’t afraid to stand up for girls that is in the situation where she has been in. She gave full approve for me to use her story for this blog post, and she was the one to say that I should use her name. She expressed that before it was hard for her to tell the story, but now she feels that the story needs to be told otherwise people won’t know and can’t understand what truly is going on. Her story together with inspiration from conducted interviews from my studies has inspired me to write this blog post. It’s a long post but take the moment to read it. Please, take the moment to see another way of growing up… a way that should not exist.
When we talk about prostitution, and the victims of this industry, it’s often focus on the amplitude of the problem, we try to seek statistic (which is also so hard to estimate) because we live in a world that is measured by numbers, and at times we seem to forget about the souls that are being destroyed. Souls that slowly and painfully withered, until all we have left is a shell, a shell of something that one’s used to be a girl. A girl filled with hopes and dreams, just like any other of us. Prostitution is for me the surface of the problem, it’s just a part of trafficking and it is organized in ways I still found hard to believe. There are cases where these young girls, regardless the reason they have ended up in prostitution also are given hormones in order for them to develop faster. To get them bigger breast and asses so they will be more appealing for customers. And if you think that’s insane, then what about how they can take a 22-month-old baby and her steroids and then trafficking these babies to India. This, so they in the earliest age as possible can form this person, both physically and mentally, to become a good sex worker. I don’t know what to say about that, it just breaks my heart that a precious baby’s life isn’t grievable. Where are the human values and the human rights?
Muna was very small when she and her brother moved to Kathmandu, their parents had died when they where young, so it was only the two of them. They had an uncle that helped them to move into the city, where the brother got a dissent job and could take care of them both. But after he got married, everything changed. His wife started to treat Muna worse and worse. Muna got blamed by her sister in law for being a burden to her brother and the sister in law started beating her often, and then frequently, and her brother didn’t stood up for Muna. One day Muna didn’t see any other choice than to run away from “home”. She ended up living on the street and eating food from the garbage. She tried to find a job for herself, but whenever the people hiring asked from which cast she was from, they closed the door in her face. Muna was born in a cast where they are consider untouchable, which means that no-one want to touch them or be near them. One they though, Muna lied about which cast she belong to and she finally got a job. However, the job wasn’t good. By the end, Muna was sleeping 2-3 hours a night, she got to eat food that was 3 days old, she had to clean for 20 people living in that house and the son in the household started to touch Muna in a sexual way. Have in mind, that we are still talking about a child, that is around 9-10 years old.
Often, there was a man coming to this house. He used to say to Muna that she doesn’t have to have it like this, that he could help her get a better job. She didn’t believe him, she already have been so disappointed in her life and let down by people. But one day, when it a came to be too much, she decided to go with him. She hoped that it could become better. But sadly, she was wrong. After just a few days living with this man, owner of a massage parlor, the nightmare truly began. The man that promised Muna a better life, had her staying in one room all the time and one day he sent a man into her room. This man forced himself over her, and she tried to get free. He pushed her back in the bed and she hit her head on the edge of the bed, still she tried to get away and she screamed. She couldn’t understand what’s was going on. The owner came and she thought he would help her, but the opposite, he help the man. The man pushed her down again so she hit her head once again, and the owner hold her legs spread wide while the man hold down her arms… and slowly she started to lose conscious. When she woke up she was covered with bite marks and the white sheets were covered in blood. She managed to get herself out from the room and she asked the owner what happened but she didn’t got an answer. A woman working there helped her to get cleaned up, but neither would she give Muna answers of what has happened to her. Nobody told Muna, that she just got raped… and she, only being a child and also not educated about these matters, just couldn’t understand what has happened to her...
Some girls actually might get a job at a restaurant, but in many cases when it comes to girls from rural areas that are trying to find a life in the city, it escalate to working in the entertainment sector, like dance bars, massage parlors and dories. And in many cases, these places are just covers, they are a two-faced organization, that offers the normal services and then offers young girls for sex.
From the outside, it might be hard to understand how girls can end up in this situation, and at times it feels like they shouldn’t be naive and believe the promises of a better life. But understand, that so many girls are living in a home where there barely isn’t any money, or they are being abused and even raped by family members. So many girls are being neglected and no-one pays attention to them and they haven’t been given proper education, so they lack knowledge about trafficking and prostitution and how the path down this road can look like. So all together, they become an easy target for boys to lure them to the city with fake promises, like I’ll help you to get a job or even telling her that she is beautiful and he will provide a future for her and that he will marry her. In the end of the day, we all have hope and dreams, and we all want to be seen and appreciated. So imagine yourself being at the lowest point possible, having a life where you feel that you are not worth much more than the trash on the side of the road… and then someone comes and gives you hope, hope that it can become better. Wouldn’t you believe them…
It’s also easy to stand from the outside and blame it on the system, blaming government, blaming whomever is in charge and asking why they don’t do anything about the situation. Certainly, they should work harder and put more monitoring on this case. But what about the men who is buying sex and justifying their actions. They are all someone’s father, someone’s brother or someone’s son. That means that the responsibility lies with all of us, both men and women, if not by influencing the justice system we can influence each other by teaching and raising or sons, as well as our daughters, to respect women and not consider them as an object. We can all help out by creating awareness, to enhance moral and ethical values in our thinking about that this is wrong. It’s downgrading and inhuman behavior to think, to stand behind and to let it go on… let a 13-year-old being sold for sexual activity. “I had about 20-30 customers a day…. Sometimes the owner told me to go in to a room and that it would be one man in there waiting for me… but it wasn’t. There were several men. And they tossed me around like a doll… you know how kids play with a doll and they toss the doll around each other and they drag in the doll. That’s how they did with me. Afterwards… I couldn’t stand up…”
The work to help these girls is difficult in so many ways, since there is so many factors that has to come together in order to change the situation for the girls. It’s not just about reaching out a hand to help them, you also need to be able to help them empower themselves, rebuild their confident, help them find another way of earning. Because in then end if the day, we need money to feed ourselves and put a roof over our heads. And also, so many of these girls have become addicted to drugs. “He used to give me drugs, so I would be more relaxed for….” This way, the girls would become more relaxed for the customers and it would be easier to have them sexual exploited. And then it comes down to the factor of trust, to get the girls to trust that we will help them get a better life. Have in mind that it’s not a choice to end up in prostitution, even if someone says that they’ve chosen this. Ask yourself why and how they needed to end up in a situation where they were forced to make this choice. Yes, they been forced, sometimes by threat, sometimes by lies that they would be offered a better future, but often by the social, economic and/or by family situations. When a girl have been given many promises about a better life but ended up in an even worse situation it becomes hard for her to trust anyone…. even the good guys. So when professional from NGOs comes and try to offer help, they have a hard time believing them. And sometimes they respond with that it’s waste of time trying to help them, and instead they wishes for easy solution on how to kill them self because the pain they are carrying is just too painful. After a while the owner started to trust Muna, and he could leave the house without having her supervised. He knew that she didn’t had anyone or nowhere to go. During the time Muna had lived in the house she had observed the owner using the landline and a women doing the economics, so Muna had learned numbers and how to use the phone. So one day, after hearing a radio broadcast… she took the step that changed her life. “I like to listen to music on the radio, and then I heard this broadcast.. from Raksha. About that they could help girls like me, help them get an education and help them from their situation. I made the call to them, and this women said that she would help me. But you know, I didn’t believe her…. But somehow she found me. I don’t know how she found me, but she did”. These words, this material and these thoughts are written from the experiences and collected data from Nepal mostly Kathmandu and surrounding area. But it applies in another context of the world as well. No matter if the situations has reasons in economic instability, dysfunctional families or drug related factors, the fact remains: How did we end up in a world where it exist people that think that the human being can be sold and used, over and over and over again, for sexual pleasure for the buyer. Where the life of someone’s doesn’t have human value, where they can be sold for an amount such as little as 50 dollars. These children are being taken from their villages in the believe that they will do household work in the city but then ending up being sold to restaurants and other places that offers sex for money. And to be honest, I didn’t even want to share the price tag of some of the girls. Yes, it’s shameful that for 50 bucks you can buy a girl and then use her for profits, use her as a product that can be sold over and over again. But you know what, I wouldn’t think it would feel any better if she was sold for 50,000 dollars! Because the fact remains, she shouldn’t be sold in the first place! This is the reality, this isn’t fiction or a story plot for a movie. Stories, similar to Munas is taking place while I write this post and as you are reading this while sitting comfortable in your sofa or on the subway on your way to work. To a work with regulations and to a work where you might get a customer that screams to you out frustration. But he most likely won’t bite you, he won’t beat you unconscious and you will be able to leave your work place to maybe go and have dinner with friends, while these girls might not even be able to stand up to go to the toilet…
And then it comes down to the factor of trust, to get the girls to trust that we will help them get a better life. Have in mind that it’s not a choice to end up in prostitution, even if someone says that they’ve chosen this. Ask yourself why and how they needed to end up in a situation where they were forced to make this choice. Yes, they been forced, sometimes by threat, sometimes by lies that they would be offered a better future, but often by the social, economic and/or by family situations. When a girl have been given many promises about a better life but ended up in an even worse situation it becomes hard for her to trust anyone…. even the good guys. So when professional from NGOs comes and try to offer help, they have a hard time believing them. And sometimes they respond with that it’s waste of time trying to help them, and instead they wishes for easy solution on how to kill them self because the pain they are carrying is just too painful.
After a while the owner started to trust Muna, and he could leave the house without having her supervised. He knew that she didn’t had anyone or nowhere to go. During the time Muna had lived in the house she had observed the owner using the landline and a women doing the economics, so Muna had learned numbers and how to use the phone. So one day, after hearing a radio broadcast… she took the step that changed her life. “I like to listen to music on the radio, and then I heard this broadcast.. from Raksha. About that they could help girls like me, help them get an education and help them from their situation. I made the call to them, and this women said that she would help me. But you know, I didn’t believe her…. But somehow she found me. I don’t know how she found me, but she did”.
These words, this material and these thoughts are written from the experiences and collected data from Nepal mostly Kathmandu and surrounding area. But it applies in another context of the world as well. No matter if the situations has reasons in economic instability, dysfunctional families or drug related factors, the fact remains: How did we end up in a world where it exist people that think that the human being can be sold and used, over and over and over again, for sexual pleasure for the buyer. Where the life of someone’s doesn’t have human value, where they can be sold for an amount such as little as 50 dollars. These children are being taken from their villages in the believe that they will do household work in the city but then ending up being sold to restaurants and other places that offers sex for money. And to be honest, I didn’t even want to share the price tag of some of the girls. Yes, it’s shameful that for 50 bucks you can buy a girl and then use her for profits, use her as a product that can be sold over and over again. But you know what, I wouldn’t think it would feel any better if she was sold for 50,000 dollars! Because the fact remains, she shouldn’t be sold in the first place!
This is the reality, this isn’t fiction or a story plot for a movie. Stories, similar to Munas is taking place while I write this post and as you are reading this while sitting comfortable in your sofa or on the subway on your way to work. To a work with regulations and to a work where you might get a customer that screams to you out frustration. But he most likely won’t bite you, he won’t beat you unconscious and you will be able to leave your work place to maybe go and have dinner with friends, while these girls might not even be able to stand up to go to the toilet…
The children in the picture has no direct connection to the story in this blog post. However, they are children that I’ve seen walking around by themselves in Thamel and could just as well be like Muna and her brother...
As I like to be productive and make plans in order to make things go as efficient and smoothly as possible, I have to learn to be patient here, very patient. The wi-fi here is as usual not the greatest everywhere, well at the most places its's slow, and it comes and goes. Only at my favorite café it's pretty good, but I can't spend all my time here. Sure, who needs to be connected all the time, a internet detox would be good for anyone and I am all up for that. But when you are trying to contact people, do research and organize trips, ya kinda need the internet. So it's going forward, but everything takes like seven times longer than it would. Also, I have yet only managed to hold two interviews, and only have one more planned for next week. So, I do feel a bit stressed but I'm learning how to handle that as well. People here isn't so responsive on e-mails, so on Monday I'll just have to pick up the phone and be like "Namaste, I wish to interview you.. so I'm heading over". Ok, maybe not that forward in my approach, but honestly, my friend that is from here, he told me that Nepalese sometimes don't respond or even check all the e-mails so he said that I should just go to their offices and present myself and have the interview on the spot. So that will be my third option. Adding to this, it's so hard to sleep here, because I live on a bar street and the music is crazy loud, it even manage to get through my earplugs. Yeah, kinda have myself to blame myself for that, I could have picked a better located hotel. So, I hate sleeping with earplugs, so sometime in the night after the clubs have closed I take them out. But then, as soon as the sun gets up I have this big family of crazy pigeons living outside my window. And my heart is to soft to do everything in my power to have them removed, because there is two baby ones that haven't learn to fly yet. The stress combine with lack of sleep do take a toll on me, but my motivation and the reason why I'm here keeps me strong and keeps me in a good mood tho.
My savior in all of this is the gym, which I have not much to complain about. I've already been there three times and I will keep going regularly to keep me not only fit, but also stable in all of this. OK, enough with the complaining, but that's how it often is for me until I adjust. But now to the positive parts. I have many nice and fun things in the planing, so that makes me have other things than studying to look forward. AND, as a mentioned I did have two interviews already with two women that are working in an organization that work against prostitution and trafficking. It went very well and gave my more motivation and energy. The interviews took place at one of their locations where they have girls coming to learn handicraft and tailoring. In this way the girls learn new skills which they can use to get new jobs, in order to build a new future for them that doesn't involve selling them self and being exploited for sexual activities. Everything the girls do are being sold to benefit them. So of course I wanted to buy something, not only to contribute but also I was amazed about the bracelets. The small pearls, are actual paper from magazines. They cut out small stripes, and they don't use any color afterwards, the colors of the pearls is the original that the stripe had. Then they roll it up on a toothpick, glue it together and then dip it in a liquid to make the little pearl waterproof, and then it just dries and become a pearl. This is not only so creative, but it also has such an environmental aspect to it. So I bought some bracelets and also a bag which will be so cute for the beach. All the bags are tagged with the name of whoever made it :) I got to meet some of the girls, and it makes me glad that there is people out there working to help the girls in to get a better future.
With that being shared, this post ends, and I wish you all a great weekend!
So far everything about this trip have gone quite smoothly and it has been fun. The plane ride was fun cause I meet some friendly people, but the consequence of that ended up with me not sleeping on the plane and I stayed up for 30 hours straight. However, I didn’t stop me from studying as well.
The hotel is just good, of course not high standard but with a garden where I can tan, friendly and helpful staff, yoga classes and great located close to some of my favorite restaurant and the supermarket. And also I’ve already found a great gym. And even better, it’s sunny and warm and I’ve already got some tanning done.
In the beginning I won’t be doing much more then focusing on my report, so I’ve wont be blogging much since it won’t be anything fun to write about. But as soon as there is, I might let you know ;)
After having on hour of sleep between Friday night to Saturday morning, somehow I managed to go up, get ready and get myself to the airport for a weekend in Pokhara. I knew that the airplane would be tinny but I wasn't so nervous about being in a small aircraft. Maybe because I knew it would only be about a 40 minute flight. But I was at the airport in good time as usual to not increase my nervousness, which is not needed at all here. Because everything went in under five minutes with checking in and security check, so there I was waiting for two hours in a tinny airport and it also got to be one and a half hour delay on top of that. I could have used those hours for some sleep. Anyway, once I sat down on my seat I felt asleep and woke by the flight attend saying that we were landing.
I decided to walk from the airport to my hotel to sweat out yesterday's intake. Also, that way I got to experience more of Pokhara. This city was so different from Kathmandu, which so many had told me. The traffic was less and more structured, the nature was stunning and the atmosphere here was so harmonic. It felt like I was in another world. And the hotell I picked was so great, I really have the talent for picking them. Big, clean room with a view to the mountains and a roof top facing the lake. The only thing is that I once again got a room on the 4th floor, as I also have back in Kathmandu. Is the universe telling me that I'm getting flabby maybe.
Saturday's sightseeing got to be a visit to Devi's fall and a cave near to it. The waterfall it self was cool since the fall just went down in a big hole in the ground and disappeared. But the fences around it took away the experience of the waterfall. But it was still a nice sightseeing spot with some funny figures to photograph with and some shopping. At one place where I bought some bracelets I thought that one of the sellers looked liked Jackie Chan, or that he could have been his father, so I just had to take my photo with him. Everyone laughed when I screamed out "Oh my god, you look like Jackie Chan".
On Sunday I wanted to go paragliding, but the weather wasn't so good. So the agency said they would call me once the weather cleared. So I went to a restaurant with a lake view and had an early lunch. I sat there for a few hours just watching people passing by.
If your ever travel to Nepal I highly recommend to go to Pokhara. I felt so much tranquility here and also so much inner peace. And just sitting enjoying the nature and watching people was so calming.
Around lunchtime I got a call that they were ready to take the car up to the top, so I headed over to the agency. About an hour drive later we were on the top getting ready for running of from the mountain out in the air. The instructor asked me if I was ok and that I shouldn't be nervous, because I was so calm and wasn't saying much. But no, nervous or afraid isn't something I get. I was just taking the view in and was glad I was doing this.
Up in the air is was great, the landscape and the feeling of just floating in the air was magical. However!!! I get emotion sickness for just sitting on a normal swing, so with all the swinging to the right and left really made me nauseous. I didn't at all think this would bring out emotion sickness.
And when the instructor asked if I was doing fine and if I wanted to do some tricks, I said "yeah I'm fine, yeah of course". And I just kept on chewing my gum intensely and focusing on my breathing, because no way I would puke up in the sky all over us nor ask to go down. "If you gonna take Vienna, take Vienna".
After the paragliding I got back to the hotel to get some sleep, struggling hard not to vomit. I crashed and slept for some hours.
In the evening I forced my self up and I went to the lake and got a boat for myself and of course a guide that row the boat. Mostly I just sat and enjoyed the moment and we stop at a little island with a mini temple, but when the guide told me about this waterfall nearby I asked politely if he could take me there. He said it would get dark in half an hour, but I just smiled so big and said "pleeeeease". And so I got to see another waterfall. Not a big one, but not less beautiful because of that.
I ended my weekend in Pokhara with dinner and live performance with cultural dancing and singing. I really like Nepali dancing, it's so subtile.
When leaving the restaurant the rain was really poring down. So far I haven't witness the heavy raining so much, because it usually take place in the night when I'm already asleep. But now I got the see how much rain that can come and how it just drown the streets. And my roof top had kinda turned into a pool. It was an cool experience, however every time this happens it causes damage to the street and the people living here.
What I had planned and wish to do on Friday couldn't take place, so I took the opportunity to visit the big Boudha stupa and do some shopping. I am starting to get a bit tired after three intense weeks with not sleeping well, there are so much noice in this city 24/7, so I needed this day. I started by having a massage, my shoulders and arm was killing me. The trekking took a toll on me and day by day the pain had just gotten worse and so intense. My arm started to feel numb at times. But after the massage, it's all good tho.
After the massage I took the cab to Boudhanat to see the stupa. It was really big and amazing. And the peacefulness you got by walking around it was just what I needed. After that I had lunch on a rooftop in the burning summer sun where I had one of the best nacho plates ever. I've been craving it for so long and never would I thought I could find it in Kathmandu and if I would, I wouldn't expect that it actually would taste good. With some food in my tummy I went shopping for the first time here. I found a few nice things and my favorite purchase was a singing bowl. They are so cool and I think that I haven't even heard about them before.
In the evening my plan was to go to "Cafe with no name", to see live music with Aidan and have a drink or two. There wasn't any live music tho, but that was ok. This place is highly recommended to go to if you are in Kathmandu and wants to escape all the noise, the intensity and the crowd. They have cheese platter, cold white wine and jacked potatoes among many other things. And all the profits also goes to orphan children. It can be a bit hard to find tho, since it's located in a small alley. But defiantly worth finding.
Next day, Saturday, I had to get up at 6 am, so I wanted to take it easy that night. But Adrian had told me about this cool place called Buddha bar, so I thought we could check it out for just one more drink. However, one to two turned to four. Buddha bar was sooooo cool! Great variation of good and fun music, cool atmosphere with couches where you had to take your shoes of and climb up on. I just love that, it makes you feel more relaxed and really gets you into a chill mode. The bar closed quite early tho and by now I should have gone home since I hadn't even packed yet. Can you believe that! Since I usually pack weeks before flying some where. This country have changed me, as I was hoping and expecting it would. I feel so much more relaxed after being here, less worrying and less controlling with plans.
I was in such a good spirit and enjoying the night, so we found the English pub where, once again I said "just one more drink". But not so surprisingly, I happens to become more than "one more". Until 5 in the morning we stayed up, drinking, laughing, being silly and just having a blast. When we finally decided to get going we stopped for a wrap at the only place that still was open on the street. We sat down just at a random place on the street and that moment was so interesting. The street of Thamel was almost empty, however a few people was up. Some just walking their morning walk, some fetching garbage and some maybe also on their way home. Even tho I only got to sleep one hour, it was so worth it.
Through out these weeks here in Nepal I got to visit so many places, meet so many people and learn tremendously many things. There hasn't barely been any time to rest, so therefor not enough time to write on my blog after each happening. And also, the internet isn't working whenever I wish too. So my blog posts will come a bit delayed. But now I'm sitting in a restaurant in Pokhara, a city that's about an hour flight distance away from Kathmandu, and having some chill time. I am about to go Sarankot, a mountain are, to paraglide. But the weather is not so good so I'm waiting for it to clear and get a call from the agency to see if the activity will take place. I truly hopes so, since that's the main reason why I got here.
Anyway, here's a post about the visits I made to the children's home that "Gatubarn i Nepal" have and are supporting so they could be founded and exist. Eva, one of the women in the Swedish organization, whom I'm only met once so far is such an amazing woman as well as an inspiration. Not is she only inspiring me but also the people who works here and all the kids that has a better life thanks to her big heart and her dedication to make sure that these children gets a better life.
In the second week I visited the girls home in Gokarna. The place is run by Julius and to his help he has his wife CinniMaya and as well Basanti, whom takes care of the household and the cooking. I spent a few hours there to get to know the girls and to hear about their home. I must say that the hopefulness and dreams these kids have is fantastic. They all study so hard, now have dreams about what they want to become in the future and are talented in singing, dancing and music. Just being here with them gave me so much hope for the future, because they all had an auro that for me said that life can be good and life is a gift.
The house they live in is has several floors, a big garden where they plantvegetables, rice and have chickens. They also had two cute rabbits that ran around in the garden. One of them wasn't that into having it pictures taken tho. And the view they have from their home was mind blowing of course, since I could see the mountains.
In the third week I went to Nayabasti, Jorpati, where there is an orphan home for both boys and girls. There I got to meet Dolma. I was blown away with her dedication, knowledge and motivation as well as her hard work. Not only for the children but also how she tries to inspire and educate teachers and parents to make a difference in the way of educating and raising.
In the beginning the children were a tad shy but once we started to talk they loosened up and after a while we were dancing and singing together. Just as the other children at the previous home, these smaller once also inspired me and brought so much joy to my soul. If I would ever have a doubt in my life that I've choose the wrong education or wrong track in my life, children like them will verify that I'm on the right path.
The girls were just amazingly good at hola hops. But this little kiddo just blow me away! I only filmed her for a few minutes, but honestly she went on for about 20 minutes without dropping it once.
On Tuesday before I went away to the mountain village Maghi Gaun, Bimal whom organized so I could go there, asked me if I wanted to come to a wedding reception the following day. I was honored to be invited to an occasion like that, so I said yes. I've only met Bimal twice at that time, but from the very first moment when we shock hands he has been friendly, welcoming and forthcoming. Meeting people like that means tremendously when being alone in a country so different from yours.
I went to the wedding along with a few people, and among one of them was Adrain from Australia. We had such a good time, we ate and drank and had so many interesting conversations. I also got to meet Bimal and Madhus family, so many friendly souls that was glad to have us there and of course got to see so many beautiful women. With their dresses, sparkling jewelry's and charismatic looks they all looked like princesse from a Disney movie.
When the reception was over around 11 pm, Adrian, me and this local guy walked back to Thamel, the tourist area where I'm staying. We felt that it was too early to call it a night and I wanted to have just one more drink.
I spotted a bar that had karaoke and I wanted to go there and sing. This place had the coolest walls I've seen in a bar, a bit psychedelic. The picture doesn't make it justice tho. Lucky for everyone, there was a pool table there as well and I forgot about the karaoke. I like to sing, however I know I'm a terrible singer. Can't hold a tone even to save my life.
This night ended up that we stayed to closing time and Adrian and I kicked as and won both games we played against Nepali people. We were the pool champions! Didn't think I would go out partying here, but it's a pretty cool party life in the alleys of Thamel.
Tuesday I got to visit the mountain village, Maghi Gaun, in a rural area. In distance it's not so far from Kathmandu, but because of the bad roads it takes a while to get here. But definitely worth the trip. The landscape is beautiful, magical and contained views that I've so far only seen in movies. I just got blown away by the mountains, the river and everything that grow here. To get to the village itself, we had to cross a long bridge. And that was an experience itself that made me feel alive.
I've been trying to find a spot in Nepal where I could do my "natasha pose" but haven't found a god spot until now. It wasn't optimal, because I couldn't lean my back. But this had to due, because the surroundings were just perfect.
I went to this village with Madhu. He's the brother to Bimal, whom a man that the organization have worked together with in order to support the village in its development. Once we arrived we got greeted by their sister, her husband, their two daughters and grandma and grandpa. Just after we had been there for a few minutes, one of the girls came and she was bleeding much from her hand. She had cut her self previously that morning when cutting grass. And when she now had pumped some water, she triggered the bleeding in her hand. While we were patching her up I saw something on the roof, a snake. The snake was just laying up there having a rat for lunch. It was so uncomfortable to watch, but I made myself watch it all. Facing your fears it's the only way to get rid of them.
The nature here, as I mentioned, is just amazing. The fields of crops, the nature and the humbled people living here truly lifts the village despite their simple houses and lack of material things.
Gatubarn in Nepal has provided with many goats for the village and it was nice to see with your own eyes how money have come to good use.
Despite that the village was simple, the homes was poorly build and the accessibility to water, electricity and so on was limited... the people I met was still so humble, joyful and appreciating. Everyone I met was smiling and welcoming. And the children were just too adorable. It makes you stop for a second and look at what you have, and start to appreciate your life instead of always striving to have more.
Nowadays the village have a well and a waterpump system, thanks to Gatubarn in Nepal. That way children doesn't have to go far, several times a day, down to the riverside to fetch water. This also means that they now instead, have the time and opportunity to attend school. However, due to electricity shut down that happens, the water pump isn't always working. But it is a big step forward.
When going back home the traffic was terrible and we had to walk some. And we had to walk over this bridge that was a bit broken. Of course I stumbled in the beginning at a broken part and my hurt jumped up in my throat. All went well though, but it was a bit scary. But a bit of danger just gets the adrenaline going I guess :)
Today I got to hang out some with the children which are sponsored so they can attend school. Tomorrow they will have an exam, so I help them studying and questioned them. I'm so impressed with their memory and their English.
Afterwards Bijaye showed me to Patan, which is the third largest city in Nepal. We walked around by the temples that where still intact. As many other buildings, even this area got destroyed from the earthquake. But they are working hard to build it back up, like it looked before.
I got so impressed to see how hard they are working to make the temples look like they did before the earthquake. By hand they're carving every small details. The will to hold on to cultural and historical aspect is infinite.
This morning I had another walk around the village to see how the "solar safe water systems" that had been donated have been used. SSWS, solvatten "is a combined portable water treatment and water heater system that has been designed for off-grid households use in the developing world. It is an easy, innovative solution that gives access to clean, hot water to impoverished people throughout the world. Thanks to its durable design it is also the cheapest method to obtain clean, hot water". http://solvatten.org
These are some of the children that gets sponsored so they can attend private school. They were supposed to have a big test today, but it got cancelled because the teachers had went on a strike. So they all went back to church, and had a class in the Sunday school studio.
After being in the village in Shantinagar, the church group was going to another town to a family. They often go to family's home to have a mass if the family's are unable to go to church. While they were having mass, Bijaye showed me around in the mountain of Nagarkot. Stunning view! I could see the Himalayas mountain from here.
Before we headed back to Kathmandu, one of the guys from church took me to Bhaktarpur. I actually had no idea where or why we were going there when they asked if I wanted to go. I just said yes. Which I often do here, I found it easier to just go with flow and just have half plans. Bhaktapur is an ancient city next to Kathmandu. We went here to see temples. However, this area got destroyed a lot during the earthquake in 2015 and you could still see the aftermath of it in the city. They are still working hard to rebuild the city and the temples.