19 May, 2010

Welcome to Dokhari

Anil and I took a bus from Ghorahi and headed south for about an hour, then in a small town, jumped on another bus to take us to his home town (where Bhola and Chandra awaited us).  The words of Bhola “Dokhare, is hotter than Dang” is the biggest understatement of the month!  It is like when you drive from Austin to Galveston and all of a sudden it like you drive through the entrance to a sauna and the door slams shut –it was like that here.  I was totally soaked in my own sweat on the bus. 

When we arrived in what I presumed to be Dokhari, (I was wrong) it was the nearest town on the outskirts of where we were to end up.  A friend of Anil’s was on the bus and walked with us

And walked…

And walked…

And walked…

We then parted ways as his destination afforded him a right turn.  Anil and I walked on and finally the village was in sight!

…of course I had no prior knowledge that we would be walking for over 30 minutes in the stifling heat! You know it’s hot when you drink 2 liters of water and don’t have to pee since it has all made its way out of your body from your pores!

We finally made it to his family’s house along the way stopping at his “sister’s’ house (although he only has one sister, Satyata’s mother who lives in Butwal) and then another stop at his ‘brother’s’ house (although he has no brothers)  When I finally mentioned the discrepencacy, he asked what I call my sister’s  husband, to which I replied “brother-in-law”.  He said, yes, my bro-in-law, that’s where we stopped at, which made even less sense to me and just added to my confusion.

We sat in the house and I was very happy to be sitting down, but the heat was even worse in the house.  I just looked out the door and pretended to be somewhere else, somewhere with a bit of a chill in the air.  Chandra then said we could go to the water and swim. 

THAT’s what I had been waiting for all along!!! 

We got to the little stream and after confirming that yes, I have another set of clothes, I waded in and waited for the refreshing water to cool me off….I would have had to wait for winter though, as the water was very much on the warm side.  But, it was water nonetheless and refreshing in it’s own way. 

The men who were in the water all waded over to watch the foreigner swim while Chandra snapped a couple of shots.  After a while, I left the water (to let the men bathe) and gave Chandra a big wet hug!

I actually shivered a bit as we walked back to the house.

The next morning we headed back and I was able to catch a ride on Bhola’s motorcycle (instead of waiting later in the day to go back with the others).  I had had a terrible night’s sleep as I was in a room with others and the heat was overwhelming.  We headed down the road around 6:30am and it was already getting warm, but we had the wind in our face!

As we drove along, I kept noticing women (who by and large are culturally responsible for gathering firewood which they use to cook and collecting water) by the side of the road with large bundles of sticks.  Bhola mentioned that it was ‘stick cutting season’ and as I pondered that for a while, he then added “the government has a set time when the people can clear out the wooded area.” –I guess it’s like hunting season for dead wood! The very large bundle’s are then tied together and strapped to the head and back of its collector to be taken back home. It looked pretty funny, like right out of the “Lord of the Rings” walking trees everywhere!

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