Travelogue: Cheruy Emmanuelle

A part of us is staying in Nepal with them

We spent 14 days with the team of Global Fellowship in Nepal.

We were the first group to experiment a new project of the society Global Fellowship in Nepal (GFN) : bring a group of volunteers tourists with them to exchange during 8 days in a village where the GFN’s team planed to manage the students of the village’s school.

We were a group of 8 french people:
3 doctors:
-one ENT, the “leader” of french team: Jean michel
-One anaesthetistt: Dominique
-And me, general practitioner doctor, called Emma or Manu.
1 midwife: Isabelle, called Isabella
1 auxiliary nurse: Martine
1 guitar player: called Ge-Ge
1specialist of french cook ( bread, cheese, jam…): Pierre
1 humorist: called easy Max or Beau-papa (because he has a nice daughter!!!)

The nepali’s team was make up with 3 young men (Shailesh, Biplab, Prodeep) and Sanjaya , one young woman ( Ojaswee). And other members who stayed to KTM.
For the second week, , Mahendra, a nepali friend came with us.

SATURDAY (25 april 2015)

We arrived on saturday morning at 7 am. We were collected very warmly by the nepali’s team.
We took the breackfast at the hotel in KTM in the famous touristic and historic district of Thamel.
We had the morning free to recover of the flight’s tireness or to walk on the naze ,,,,,,of narrow streets.
Unfortunetly, 4 hours after our arrival, the Nepal was affect by a terrible earthquake (7.8 of Richter level) during 55 seconds.
All scattered, we lived this scaring moment separed.. After 1 hour of quakes, we succeed to rejoin again together and gave our help in a dispensary in the district
When it was possible, we came out this historic district with lot of old menacing buildings. SHAILESH proposed to sleep near his family’s house. Finally, we slept at Mahendra
‘s house, where there was an openspace aera.

SUNDAY

All of us, we decided to maintain our project: going to a isolated village called SILMI near KUSMA (50??? Km of POKHARA).
This village is at 2hours by walk from the road but for 1 year, a Jeep could drive to connect Silmi .
From KTM, we took a van for 9hrs and because we arrived at night, we took the Jeep.
At Silmi, we were dispatched, in severals family by 2 or 3, but very close together????.

MONDAY

Villagers organized a ceremony of welcome for us with flowers, red and yellow dye on our face, music and dance with all of them especally the children who tried to teach us how to dance like them with nepali’s musik.
The welcome was very warmly. We left already well integrated.
Pradeep taught us some requires of nepali language.
At the afternoon, we went with some of them to prepare a field ( in terrace) to sow wheat.
2 oxen ploughed the very little field. We stroke the lump of ground with a sledgehammer.
During this hard labour, Ge-ge was playing guitar and we all sang in french ( Champs Elysee, Michele, les feuilles mortes, Piaf….), in english and in nepali.
The atmosphere was allready very relax and friendly.

THURSDAY

We wake up early to assist to the milking of buffalos.
Pierre showed to villagers how to make banana jam ( they buy chimical jelly)
Pradeep taught the students some managment lessons and self-confidence tips.
We revised our lesson of yesterday with students like teachers. They were very strict with our pronunciation. It was very funny.
We took lot of pictures because nepali’s people like to pose.
The Biplab’s aunt ( Laxmi) taught us how to make rice’s flour.
After that, we decided to meet villagers of a village at 30 min by walk to Silmi which has been partly destroyed by the earthquake. We could estimate which sort of help we could offer to them.
They need food and the GFN decided to give food for 200 persons for 1 month : 2 tonnes of rice and lentils. It costed around 1000 € which they found fortunetly quickly. Villagers of Silmi gave money and carpets.
Isabelle ( the midwife) was touched by a young mother who lived outside ( under a sheet) with her baby (8days old). She examined the mother and because the baby was cold, she gave the advice to keep the baby close to her and decided to buy some baby’s things ( blankets, clothes…) for 3 babies.
We examined a 15yrs old girl with a huge skin desease. We send some pictures of french dermatologists for help.
The medical team was a bit overflowed by the medical request and decided to come back the day after and organize a consulting room with more “intimacy” and more equipments and medicines.

WEDNESDAY

On morning, we used to wake up at about 5h30, 6h30.
Women offered us a tea or fresh milk from the milking of the day.
They drink hot water too.
It was the moment to spend lot of time with the women, to help them in their kitchen; to wash our clothes or our hairs in a washtub.
We washed ourselves with cold water but we get used to cold water: very good for the skin!!!!
Isabelle, Martine, Max and me went for a walk in the field and forest with Sanjaya and the young Prabeen (14yrs old)
I had the chance to assist at Prodeep’s teaching. He help to speak in front of others and to debate. It was very interesting. I would like they come to France to teach us that!
He informed them which choices students would have after class 10 (16yrs old).
During this lesson, some of us learnt to beat millet with a sticks. They had lot of blisters after onlyc5 min of work!!!
Pierre began to cook french bread and the medical team sorted out the medicines and returned to the neighbouring village.
We found a durty room which has been transformed very quickly into consulting room.
A student of Silmi became medical secretary and we formed 3 teams.
-Isabelle visited the pregnant women and babies, with Biplab as translator.
– Jean-Michel: people with problem with ear, throat and dizzy.
-Domi and me with Prodeep as translator: the others. The health referent of Silmi went with us. He took the blood pressure and explained how to take medicine.
We saw lot of gastric desease, headaches, cought, backaches, knees pain, and a prostatitis.
A nepali’s medical team from Kusma hospiatl joined us at the end of afternoon.
After 95 consultations, we returned to Silmi.
During this long afternoon, Ge-Ge gave a music lesson to the students with his guitar and unfortunatly the bread that Pierrs had done wasn’t enought cooked. Because the oven wasn’t enought hot.
Ge-Ge, Max and Pierre went for a walk on the top of the hill with Sanjaya and 2 young boys.
After dinner, when we were ready to go to sleep, the women insisted to invit us to dance during they were playing music.

THURSDAY

This morning, we were teachers.
We informed the students how to stay in good health with handhygiene, teethhygiene, nutrition. We spoke about the problem with plastic and how to reduce the production and how to manage the rubbish. The traductor was Ojaswee.
The class was very interactiv, it was a great moment of partage for us.
Biplab told a very interesting story of monkeys who enter in a house of glass. This story shows how our comportment influence of the comportment of the others.
Domi and Jean Michel tought the numbers in french. So we could play to the game “seven up” in english, in nepali and now in french.
On afternoon, Ge Ge gave a guitar lesson to the class with 2 traductors: me from french to english and Ojaswee from english to nepali.
After all this teaching, we walked about 30 min to see a man who manufactured pens made in bamboo.
I spent half an hour with Tara, my hostess. She doesn’t speak english ans me only 10 words in nepali. However, we spent great moment together with lot of complicity, by looks, gestures…
For dinner, we ate the famous Dalbhat and we were invited to a ceremony: when boys become teenagers, there is a ceremony where they cut their hairs and if they’re the highest caste (Brhaman), they have to wear a special rope(janai) all their life.
When we returned at home (about 11PM), we ate a cock at BBQ, which we bought one day before at the devasted village. In Nepal, they don’t eat often meat; meat is a gift. So, it’s not included in the meal. As the dessert for us!

FRIDAY

Early on the morning, Tara took Isabelle and me to a shop for buying Nepali’s women’s bracelets. It was very difficult to slip on because our hands are less supple than theirs ans bracelets are made in glass! Lot of breakages and some painsbut with patience she succeed to transform us into Nepali’s married women.

After breakfast, Pierre helping by Sanjaya and Shailesh improved the oven by surround with clay. With that, the oven could stay hot more long time. They succeed to cook a delicious “french bread”.

During this cookwork, the others organized a big rubbish collect in and around the village. With the students, like a team-rallye, the winners were those with biggest bin!
We hope they’ll understand it’s easier to collect rubbish in a bin than collect everywhere in the land!!
After lunch, Jean-Michel and Domi gave a rescue lesson at school and pierre cooked “nougat” in the school playground. They made a whisk with bamboo stick. The nougat was delicious. Nepali’s childen love that…..
Before eating, some villagers come for medical help and on evening, we sang, danced and played music within a great atmosphere.

SATURDAY

We walked during 6 hours on the top of the hill with Sanjaya like guide.
The scenary was beautiful. We could see the Anapurnas, Machapuchare,(sacred mountain never climbed). We saw the village of Silmi by the sky. We crossed lot of villages and we were invited to a ceremony for a newborned baby (Rice ceremony?)

We spent a another dancing evening together. Gé-Gé played guitar, we taught them twist, rock and roll. They taught us Nepali’s dance. Lot of culture exchange too!!!
Isabelle meet the midwife of Kusma.

SUNDAY

We walked early just above the village to see the mountains before clouds coming.
I saw a beautiful blue parrot.
We were invited to an another ceremony: the birthday of a woman (84yrs old, 1000 moons)
On afternoon, we witnessed at a long ceremony at school. Lot of thanks, diplomas, musics,songs, dances by students, a very interesting debate where we could see the progress they done during this week of “GFN managment”.

After that, GFN distributed rice and lentils to villagers of destroyed village near Silmi.

MONDAY

It was the day of our departure from the village. We were all sad to leave our new family.
Tara seemed to be so sad. On this morning, I spend long hours with her in her kitchen.
The women offered us a sari and necklace.
We danced but with lot of sadness in the eyes.

We walked during 3 hours to get to KUSMA, where we ate grilled fish and crossed the river (White river?) by the longest cable-bridge of the world(?): Very upsetting!!!
We took a 4 wheel drive-busto TAATOPAANI. It was a very breathtaking road!

On evening, we took great moment in hotspring.
At midnight, we wake up Biplab for his birthday. Very important in Nepal to be the first to celebrate a birthday!!!! He was surprised, thought it was an another earthquake (we were so nosy????) and we ate a delicious chocolate cake in his room.

TUESDAY

We began to walk for 3 days.
From Taatopaani to Gharepani and to Nayopul.
The landscape was beautiful, lot of stairs, cable-bridges, springs and lot of nice villages.

We stopped before Ghorapani in a nice lodge, because after 8hrs of walk and +1600 slope, it was enough for everybody.
We spend a real great evening with lot of games (with glasses but without drinking alcohol), magic with cards. They want we test raksi. strange!!

WEDNESDAY

When we wake up, there was lot of mules near the lodge.Very affectionate with me….
We got to Ghorepani (one hour and half)
The afternoon was “free”, everybody need rest but few of them prefered to spend good time at Poon Hill, where the view of the mountains were imposing. It was a bit cloudy but we could see the
DHAULAGIRI (8167m)
ANAPURNA I (8091m)
ANAPURNA SOUTH (7219m)
and MACHAPUCHARE (6993m)

We sang lot of Nepali songs (me, I was listening of course). I was very happy to spent this time with the “nepali team” in a teenager’s atmosphere.
On afternoon and on evening: we played at “Sing champion ship” with a great animator (Biplab and Ojaswee)

THURSADAY

We wake up at 4am to see the sunrise at Poon Hill (3211m). Unfortunetly, there was lot of clouds. However, the scenary was beautiful and we could perceive some mountains. We drank a good tea (“Kalo chya”) and came back to the lodge for breakfast.
After 2000m down of variation in level (??), we arrived to Nayopul and took jeeps. We arrived at the evening to Pokhara.
Sanjaya stopped at Kusma to come back to Silmi.

At Pokhara, we ate in a touristic restaurant in front of the lake. There was a show of dance and music.
After restaurant, when we came back to hotel, we ate delicious chicken in BBQ.
Pokhara is a touristic town with lot of giftshops and the second biggest lake of Nepal

FRIDAY

On morning, we navigated on the lake with small boat. There were 3 teams and we did a “worldship race” but all of them were very bad rowers! French and Nepali: the same!!
We had one hour to do shopping before taking a plane for Katmandu.

We chose an hotel near airport because there were still some quakes.
We visited a temple where there were cremations and a hindu ceremony.
Before burning, they purified the dead body by river’s water
We were very impressed.

We met again the “nepali team” very late at restaurant. They spent 8hrs from Pokhara to KTM by car. They seemed to be very tired.
They gave us others gifts: a carved wood frame from the school of Silmi
a nepali hat for men
nail polish and pearl necklace for women.

We were very touched and quite overcome but very sad to leave this great team!!!!
They were so nice with us. With them, we spend a wonderful experience in Nepal.
With humour, with intelligence, they did a great job for their country (and now for tourists too). They have great ideas to help children to become more self-confidence and more “educated”. In Nepal, children seem to be thirsty to learn…
This first experience for them (to come with tourists for one of their projects) was a success for us (and I hope for them, too!!). Although if the earthquake had complicated the organisation.

When we arrived in Nepal, we though to discovered a new country.
14 days after, when it was time to take our plane, we leaved a team of friends and a new family.
We know we’ll come back for a new project with them. We have lot of ideas to share.

NB: 2 days after our arrival in France, there was a another big earthquake. We were very anxious for them , a part of us is staying in Nepal with them. Fortunetly, they are all safe.

Thank you for all this great moments and see you next year!!!!
Manu

Program: Vivre le Népal

Date: May 2015

Traveled to: Parbat

Batch: Batch I