November 9, 2009: Madi

Our last full day here. Tineke and Gyanendra put the finishing touches onto the design of the report card to go home with each child every month. While doing this another neighbour and his wife and daughter come to the house to use the phone. The man is clearly distraught. His son has been in Qtar for 3 years and the man is desperate to talk to him given yesterday’s news. The connection is made but the man is too distraught to say more than “Namaste” to his son before handing the phone back to his wife. Tears run down his face. Mother and son talk for a long time – maybe 30 minutes which shocks me, thinking of the cost, but I’m told the price is as cheap as 1 rupee per minute so even here, where cash is so rare, it is affordable.

Later that morning after dal bhat we go to the school for our final visit. First we travel across the river to a small shop to buy some treats for the children and a snack for tomorrow’s trek to Gyanendra’s village. On my advice we take a “short cut” which is always an adventure and in this case is particularly steep. Also we end up at the river bank in a place where we have to wade across the river. In the distance we see the bridge that everyone else is using.

On the way up to the center Gyanendra gets engaged in a conversation with a fellow villager about what we are doing. The rumor is that this man is against the project and we want to know why. It become clear that in fact he is fully supportive of the child care center but does have a long standing feud with Megh over local politics. He assures us that despite his differences with Megh, he is 100% supportive of the center and will make sure his neighbors know this. This is nice to hear. At the school we hand out the treats and take many photos and then say goodbye.

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