After a very fitfull sleep n our comfortable tents, we woke to a greeting of namaste Didi (hello sister) and a lovely cup of tea, followed by a hot bowl of washing water. It was a beautiful crisp sunny morning as we strolled to the temporary school for our meeting with the local committee which was scheduled to start at 830. We were gathering to decide on how the school would be built.
From our talk the previous day with some of the local men, I had the strong feeling that both the committee and the community were opposed to the earthbag design, mainly due to them not knowing enough about the Earthbag technique, as they are only familiar with their local building knowledge.
After much discussion we came to an agreement that we would build the school with Besser blocks, and the reason for this decision was that out of 105 dwellings in the village the only one still standing was a home constructed from Besser. The building was completed 2 weeks before the earthquake, and experienced no damage from the earthquake. . Another reason was that the design using Besser blocks will only take 2 months to complete the school as opposed to 5 months using the Earthbag method, plus it is more cost effective.
Besser block house that survived the earthquake
After our meeting we returned to our campsite to a delicious breakfast of rice pudding, eggs and toast. Later in the morning we hiked around the village inspecting the damage to each home. We felt very moved and saddened from what we saw. Looking at some of the homes the outside seemed ok, but once you get closer you can see that the walls have caved in and the house unliveable. The community have built temporary dwellings of tin and bamboo, and they are all hoping that with the money they ($2000) are to eventually receive from the government they can begin rebuilding their homes.
This home lost the upper floor, which stored rice for the season, all was lost.
They can still smile after suffering so much devastation
Getting ready to celebrate Tihar Festival
Tomorrow is Tihar a festival celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters, the whole village comes together to celebrate, the sister buys her brother blesses the sister with a Tika of coloured dye and the sister presents gifts to her brother as a sign of respect. They are so happy that we are here to join in the celebration.