The visit to Dhading Besi continues.
#1 Saturday late morning and we move on from the Biogas viewing to walk through the woods surrounding Dhading Besi and down to the Thopal Khola river;
#2 The water was raging down from the hills thanks both to monsoon rains and snow melt. The torrent was definitely too much for even the bravest in our group to attempt actual swimming. However, sitting in the shallows, cool water, hot sun, views of paddy fields and wooded hills with buffalos and goats being grazed around the edges and a picnic on the shore to top it all off; what an afternoon.
#3 The water is also being cleverly siphoned off to keep the paddy fields well watered. The new shoots are such an amazing, vibrant colour;
#4 The walk back to the village took us over a number of pedestrian suspension bridges. During much of the year the river can apparently be easily crossed at various points. During the monsoon season however, i.e. when I visited, these bridges are absolutely essential for movement of people, livestock and goods around the valley.
#5 Walking down the main street of the town heading back home we met many of Mandy and Wil’s local colleagues and it was great to meet so many lovely people, try to understand a few words of the Nepali conversations and eat the fruit we were offered as hospitality. Luckily we made it back to the apartment in time for the aforementioned monsoon rains to put in an appearance. Fun (from the dry) to see the sun shining through the downpour;
After an evening of al fresco dining, star gazing (including a view of the Milky Way between clouds…) and even glow worm/fire fly spotting, Sunday morning rolled around. By 7:30 we were already up the hill in the middle of the town ready to visit the newly built school buildings of my Biogas champion’s school. These students aged approximately 16-17 had been there since 5:30 already – and then they had to listen to us!?
Chris, Mandy and I all introduced ourselves 3 times to separate classes. Stating our names, nationalities and professions – the fact that I even managed to do mine in the Nepali language was somewhat of a personal achievement 2 weeks in to the language lessons. We then opened up the floor to questions from the students (who all learn general English and some classes had selected advanced level) on education (Mandy) IT/systems (Chris) or Biogas (me). It was an amazingly uplifting session for me, as the majority of questions were related to Biogas and the level of interest was extremely encouraging. I was even asked to come back and teach a class on the subject – we’ll have to see about that… Plus by class #3 I managed to elicit some questions on Biogas from two of the girls in the class. Otherwise the girls seemed generally to be exceptionally shy – one of the challenges of girls education in Nepal;
Finally, I would like at this point to reference Mandy’s own blog here in case you would like to know more about the Dhading district, the Sisters for Sisters, Girls Education Challenge or generally volunteering in education; meadowswarwick.wordpress.com Thanks to the whole Dhading Besi VSO team for making me so welcome on my first foray out of the big city – you live in a beautiful place!