A Travellerspoint blog

Lost my Goat

overcast 22 °C

The day after Sam was taken to hospital, I had been invited for breakfast at the home of the Joshi family. The husband, Pudma Nidhi is the Secretary for the Orphanage and his wife, Arya Tiwari is the assistant director for the Nepal Bank. Pudma comes to pick me up with his motorcycle - and I am thinking - this will be fun. My cold is just starting and I do not feel well at all but I go as they are really nice people. The thing about motorcycles here is that only the driver wears a helmet and you hang onto this little bar on the back of the bike. So off we go. It is not that bad except the pollution and smells are even worse. We finally get to his home - a lovely home. His four year old son is a real treat and we did review I am sure every animal in the animal kingdom. His wife gives Pudma and me some eggs and toast - they tasted so good. In Nepal the hostess always eats after the guest - so Pudma and I finish our breakfast - so I thought. About a half hour goes by and I am invited upstairs to the dining room - now we will have breakfast. I can't eat anymore but I do not wish to be rude - so bring it on. In my big plate there is rice, pumpkin shoots and two other things I am not sure what they are. Anyway I am eating and I taste the one thing - it has parts of bone in it and a lot of fat or something. I am thinking to myself this is not good. I think I know what it is - but don't say it or I will be ill. Pudma gets up and brings this little plate to me of brown type meat and says - goat and grave is good but fried goat is better. Now I am not well - but I smile. I try to eat as much as I can and I say I am sorry I am not feeling well. They are very nice about it. After we eat Pudma and Arya talk about Nepal - it was very interesting. They spoke about the Maoist government and the issues of how Nepal is losing it's young people to Indian. They get 32 hours of power a week - they do have hot water and a fridge - this is rare in Nepal. They do have TV as well but with only 32 hours of power a week it becomes very difficult and often the power is off before the end of the week. However they are a lucky family as most do not have control as to when their power will be shut off which is the case where I am living. They are wonderful people and invite me to the big festival in a few weeks time - this is the festival when every family kills a male goat. It is considered to be an honour to come and watch this event - I am thinking how do I get out of this one? This is the second time I have been invited to this type of event - I think I will be sick that day !!!! Arya says she will make me fish instead of goat - I don't know if that makes me feel any better.

Before I leave Padma gives me a book on Buddha that he bought it Japan - it is a very cool book and Arya gives me a bead necklace. It is all good except for the goat that is making strange sounds in my tummy. Padma says to me - let's go see Prakash = Prakash is the Treasurer for the Orphanage as well as owns a trekking business and a tea shop that sells tea gifts to visitors. So off we go - we have a nice visit and all is good except for that goat. After about an hour we leave for home. By this time it is mid-day - and very hot and humid - smells - riding on the back of a motorcycle (I just about lost half a leg at one point), my head is swimming from my cold and that darn goat is really picking up speed. At last we are home. Yes !!!

I had booked a room at of the local hotels in order to get a hot shower - well as soon as Padma leaves, I race to the hotel. I must of ran the whole way - I am excited. I get to my room - it looks just wonderful to me. It really isn't but it has a flush toilet, a bathtub, shower, a bed with sheets and most important hot water. So I take a shower and then a bath - and feeling good after taking the layers of dirt off - but that darn goat. I try to forget about the goat and decide a glass of wine would be nice. That would be nice - so I settle in and have my glass of wine - but that darn goat - I am not well - but I am going to finish that glass of wine. After finishing the wine - I ran back to my room and lost my goat so to speak. After that all I could eat was clear soup. Even when I think about it 5 days later - I can still taste that goat.

The upside was that I was able to sleep on a sort of real bed and have hot water - oh and let's not forget the flush toilet (my def'n of happiness has changed a great deal) I know that it will not be until Sept 26th until I see hot water or a bed again.

I get home the next day and Madame tells me that Sam had to go back to the hospital last night as he was very sick again - they gave him different medication but he still does not seem to be doing better. She ask me to take him back to the hospital with Sir (once he comes home) - she also tells me that it is OK if anything happens to one of the children I can decide what is best for them as they trust me - that really scares me a lot.

Anyway after the 3rd dose of medication Sam started to feel better and his fever dropped from 102 to 100 - so there was no need to take back to hospital.

Time to go power is going off again. Have a good weekend!!!

Posted by LiseD 22:00 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Shyam Kumar - Part 2

overcast 22 °C

I have had a cold so it has taken me a few days to get back to my blog.

When we arrive at the hospital - the first thing I do is give a sigh of relief - I thought we were going to all die. Anyway the taxi driver is wonderful - he helps Sir get Sam into the hospital - they find a wheelchair and put him in. We get into the emergency room and Sam falls to the floor - he is still is jerking his legs and arms. We pick him up and place him on a bed sort of upper body on the bed and legs on the floor. This emergency room is very packed with people - two or three people per bed - the beds are those very old hospital beds - like WWII beds. The smell is of a mixer of body fluids, sickness and the smell of a lot of people packed into a small area with no ventilation. The bed that we have Sam on has this woman that does not smell to nice. Sam is jerking around and one of his arms hits the woman's IV - which pops out the tubing and liquid starts to come out. On the bed a pool of liquid forms. At first I think it is the IV fluid - I quickly realize it is not IV fluid when the smell hits me. Sir and I look at each other - he shakes his head and tries to move Sam over.

The emergency room doctor in training comes over - and basically starts to shake Sam - when he does not respond he slaps him across the face three or four times (hard). Still no response - so he makes his fist into a ball and starts to push into Sam's chest - Sam moans. The Doctor says something to Sir - he needs to fill out forms. This nice man helps me when Sir leaves to fill out the forms. A bed becomes free so we move Sam onto it. No one else whats to sit on the bed as am is still kicking his legs and arms about. Sir comes back with a bag - in the bag is two bottles of intravenous fluid. A lady comes over - I think a nurse and she puts things together and starts the IV for Sam. We sit and wait.

This hospital is a government hospital and is less expensive then the private hospitals. There are about 5 doctors per 100,000 people in Nepal so combined with the cost a lot of people do not seek medical assistance. To see the Doctor is free however you need to pay for everything else. For example Sam required two intravenous bottles and medication - the cost was about $15.00 Canadian - very expensive for most people. What happens here is that the Doctor writes a note - you run outside to the open air drug store and buy your intravenous bottles and any other medication and bring it back into the hospital. You also take all your blood test to the lab and bring back the results to the Doctor. A simple operation in Nepal would cost about $70.00 - $100.00 in a government hospital - in a private hospital the cost would double. The equipment is very old - and not very sterile. The big room is very dirty with bugs flying around and offers no privacy at all. When the doctor comes to talk to a patient - everyone gathers around to hear the diagnosis - if it looks like it will be an interesting one - more people gather around. It is so odd !!! They examine people right there in the open. One young lady who was very ill was examined right on the bed where Sam lay - (Sam had settled down by this point and was on his second IV bottle and was on oxygen). The doctor who was examining her was annoying more then anything else - he is examining this young lady while talking to me - he is showing me her X-rays and explaining what he thinks is wrong with her. He is checking her heart and taking her pulse while talking to me. Finally he leaves - poor lady I think to myself - I would not trust that doctor.

Sam finally opens his eyes - it has been 4 hours since this all started and I am so happy - he looks better and is calm. He has infected tonsils - this is good with medication he should be good. Sir says it is getting late and appears to be worried about the time - I am not sure why. Madame and a friend come in. She takes a look around and goes to the front desk - Sam is good to leave so she ask they remove the IV. So they do - and off we go.

It is about 9:30 at night - Sir and the friend take the motorcycle and Sam, Madame and I take a cab. It is really odd to drive on these streets at night - very few cars and people on the street which are usually packed. The taxi stops suddenly - the Army - it's a check point - Sir and his friend have been stopped - Madame explains that they are with me - they look at me and wave them on. I am unsure what that was all about. But off we go again. There are no street lights and I am just happy that the power is on or otherwise it would be very dark.

We get home and all the children are very excited. Sam is alright and that is what is important - all is good.

Posted by LiseD 20:58 Archived in Nepal Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

Shyam Kumar - Part 1

overcast 21 °C

This may end up being a 2 or 3 part story. Everything started on Saturday and it does not appear that things are getting any better. Saturday did not start well - I knew I was coming down with a cold and was not feeling my happy little self. Rekha was very upset. Today was her 11th birthday and her wish was to speak to her father. That was not possible as her father is being held by the Maoist for politically speaking out. I explained to her in Canada when it is someones birthday we buy a gift - this concept is not one she can understand. After trying to explain and with the help of the other children she finally understood. So off we went to the market place with two other children in tow. One needs a bag to put his clothes in and the other needs shoes. So we shop for the boys and send them on there way. K and I shop and look at everything. She decided to get a watch that lights up at night. She gets a snack from the local bakery and we stop to buy headbands for all the girls. We return home and everything is good. Later that afternoon, Madame and Sir are both out - one to the temple and market- the other is working. A fight breaks out between the girls and boys. At the end I hurt the pride of the boys - they broke up the fight quickly and were not happy with me. I was trying to calm down the 4 older girls - there was major hair pulling going on. I had just calmed them when I heard 20 odd children running and very excited yelling "Mother, mother come quick" They were grabbing my hands saying "come quickly". My biggest fear is that one of the children will fall off the second story (you will understand once I get my pictures up). I go over to the boys side and it is Shyam Kumar (Sam for short), Sam is older then the rest of the children - he is between 19- 20 years of age. He ended up here as the village he lived it was politically suppressed and many things happened in the village that were pretty ugly. He is missing part of an index finger and he does not talk about how he lost that part of his finger. He is a very serious boy and studies hard at school. The other children view him as the older sibling and show him a lot of respect. Anyway I get to Sam's room and he is not aware of his surroundings and his body is jerking around. He has a high fever - it turns out he has had a fever for 5 days. I am unsure of what to do - I have no phone and all I know this child (young man) is very sick and needs medical help right away. The next door ladies are getting water from the tap outside and I try to ask them - I am really not sure what I was trying to ask them come to think of it - they do not speak nor understand English. I tell one of the children to go get a taxi (this takes about 15 mins as they have to run to the main road) - I ask the children where a doctor is - they tell me at the clinic in town. The ladies come back and start throwing this stuff around - it is something that will protect you when you are sick - I thought to myself - that's helpful! The taxi comes and we try to get Sam in the taxi - he is a tall boy - skinny but solid. He can not really use his legs so we need to lift and carry him. We get him into the taxi and I ask Doma (one of the girls) to come with me. So off we go - we arrive at this place and I am unsure as to where this clinic would be and the taxi driver is not helpful at all and even overcharges me for the taxi ride. As Doma and I are trying to get Sam out of the taxi - these wonderful people appear and help us. They know where the clinic is - it is down these stairs, down a dark hallway that opens up into this little room. We lay Sam down - he is still jerking about and his eyes are still closed. The man - I am not sure if he is a Doctor or not gives Sam a pill. I don't know what it is and this man does not speak English. He tells Doma something - Doma tells me Sam needs hospital - not good. So I tell Doma to go get a taxi and then to run and get Madame who is at the nearby temple. She leaves. A few mins later Sir shows up - he has heard about Sam - he will go to the hospital. Thank goodness he showed up - we get Sam up - it takes 3 men to carry him into the cab. Sir and Sam get into the back and I am thinking this is good. Sir says to me to sit in the front and to come to the hospital with them.

So off we go to the hospital at neck breaking speed with horn just a going.

I have just been told I need to get off as the power will be going out at 10:00 a.m. hopefully later on today I can come back and finish this off.

Posted by LiseD 20:18 Archived in Nepal Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

Kathmandu and Patan

overcast 21 °C

This enter is a little late I stayed in Kathmandu for about 24 hours at this point however, I will be in Kathmandu for the month of Oct. My first impression of this city was one of shock more then anything else. I have since found out that the area we were in has the worst urban poverty in Kathmandu. When Tina and I arrived from the airport we decided to go for a walk to one of the temples. It was to be a 20 min walk one way which really was more like 40 min walk one way. One of the things that is interesting is that people actually drive on both sides of the road - they go around what ever is in their way. As there are no sidewalks and we are walking along the side of the road - it is a little dangerous. As most cars, trucks and mini(mini -they are small) vans are over 20 years old - pollution is really bad. Most of the motor cycles are newer so only the real old ones leave a cloud of black smoke. At times you do have to cover your mouth and nose. Cows, goats, chickens and dogs were every where. The smell from the cars, pollution , heat, the number of people in a small space, rotting debris all over the side of the road - is overwhelming. Someone told me that once you have the smell of Kathmandu on you it takes a few days to wash it off. As I found out - that was correct. I could deal with all of that but what I saw was something like I have never experienced - the depth of poverty - I can not even explain it still. I was glad that Tina was with me because I would have turned around quickly. To balance all the negatives - the people were really respectful. People looked at us but did not approach us. A few children did but that was it. One of the things is that begging is frowned upon in this country - the only people that really ask for money are the 'holy men' - as people really like taking pictures of them as they are very interesting to look at.

When we reached the temple - it was amazing - three very big golden gods. Trees, flowers and just a general sense of peace exist here. It is interesting that just outside the door of this temple it is a totally different world.

All over this country you quickly see that health and safety standards really do not exist. You see all sorts of ways of carrying propane tanks - for example some one on a bike carrying 3 tanks. You see people sitting on top of the mini-vans or buses - this was outlawed a few years ago but it still happens. Most people buy their food from the various market places - the veg part of the market is not so bad however I would recommend to stay away from the fish/meat/chicken part of the market. We saw all sorts of things floating in the river - this would be the water that people drink - I am sure they clean it some what - however I am not sure. We can not even brush our teeth with it or eat anything that you would eat the skin of like an apple - so it can not be good.

The following day (before leaving for the orphanage) we did go to Durbar Square to see all the temples - that was interesting. We did not go into any of the temples but just looked around for a bit. We then took a Rickshaw to Thamel - the trekkers area - it is geared for the tourist. It is very interesting that the country is about 80% Hindu and a very small percentage are Buddhist. However when you walk around Thamel a lot of the shops and bookstores carry things that are Buddhist. While Buddhism has had a kind of a re-birth (that's kind of funny) due to the Tibetan people that have been exiled to Nepal - Nepal people are hard press to find something written in Nepali regarding Buddhism. But this is what tourist want and so it is certainly a big thing in Thamel.

Tina and I also went to Patan about a week later to visit some temples. Most of these temples were Hindu (you learn quickly that at some Hindu temples you can not enter unless you are Hindu - I am unsure as to why you can go in some and not in others) but at least one temple was a Buddist temple called the Golden Temple. There is certainly a big difference between Hindu and Buddist temples. It was an amazing temple - I do have pictures. We then went to a Hindu temple - a wedding was taking place so we watched that for a bit. Oh by the way - I have pictures !!!

I did get taken in by a street vendor - I bought a singing bowl at some high price - but because I did not know any better I paid the price. We stopped into a shop - with some wonderful things including a large collection of the singing bowls - when I asked the price of the bowl that was exactly like mind - it was much cheaper. The store man went on to say that the street vendors buy from him as he is a wholesaler. The good part is he taught me all sorts of things I could do with the bowl for the different body parts - which sounds odd if you know nothing about singing bowls. At one point I had a bigger bowl turned upside down on my head and he was hitting the bowl in various places - this was to help with getting my energy fields back in line as well as to help with headaches - if I had them which I didn't - but I did by the end. So it was a lot of fun and I will return once I am back in the city.

Many of the streets in and around Kathmandu are pretty good - not like the streets we first walked on - however the pollution, smell and poverty is still really at a whole different level. It is amazing how quickly you get use to things - I have a whole new def'n of "bad smell'.

Posted by LiseD 02:11 Archived in Nepal Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Washing Clothes or Bucket wash

sunny 30 °C

Washing clothes is tricky - there are no washing machines and dryers here - as well don't forget no hot water. You do your wash outside in a little cement watering thing (pictures speak a thousand words !!!) So first you need soap for 'bucket wash' - which they actually make to my surprise. You put cold water in a bucket - you actually put soap on your clothes as well as the bucket. You let things soak for a bit and stir it around. You then take a piece of clothing out - put it under cold water and try to get the soap out - you squeeze and put it on the cement and push water out - if there is still soap in it you need to put it back under the water and start the process again.

This takes a long time - well for me anyway. Some of the older children do the wash and they are really good at it. Next week when I write about the children I will talk about what their role and duties are here.

After you finish - you hang the clothes on the line - (who ever gave me those clothespins - thank you - they are being used a lot.) And then they dry - that is if it doesn't rain.

My clothes are soapy but dry and very wrinkled - it is very humid here so at least I can get some of the wrinkles out

Again I hope I don't get caught in the rain !

Posted by LiseD 16:17 Archived in Nepal Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (0)

(Entries 11 - 15 of 23) « Page 1 2 [3] 4 5 »