Feeling tired today but still so much to tell.
I have decided today to talk a little about the excitement of food or not. At the beginning of my arrival here at the school, I joined the residential staff in the evening meal. The rest of the time I had breakfast in my room, originally Weetabix that I found in Kathmandu. When I ran out I ordered Weetabix from my project manager Binod when coming from Kathmandu as there was no sign of Weetabix here in Besishahar he arrived with a large bag of toilet rolls, I gave up on the Weetabix. Eventually I found some Cornflakes, some of them flavoured with fruit cordial, they are imported from Sri Lanka. Then things got even better I found a shop that sold reasonably tasting bread, so the next adventure was to find a toaster and that was found on a visit to Kathmandu. So with all these wonderful things including marmalade, peanut butter and honey, well happiness just overcame me.
Milk was difficult, although in Kathmandu you can get long life, and there is fresh milk here, but it has to be boiled, so that was difficult. In the end I settled for dried sweet milk, I make it up every morning as it goes off by the end of the day. Butter had to be sent from Kathmandu, all these things I spent day after day in the market here asking for only when it was really impossible I got Binod to bring the stuff from Kathmandu. I also suddenly remembered curd (like yogurt) and asked around for it, has been an amazing enrichment to my diet. With banana and honey as a dessert or on top of my cornflakes absolute heaven.
Well the evening meal, after so many nights of rice, and curry which is normally vegetables in season at the moment it is cauliflower and potatoes. After about 3 weeks of cauliflower and potatoes and cloudy dhal I gave up. So now and then I go to dinner to just be sociable. I discovered Yum Yum noodles and snack pots that can be made with boiling water, so now you know my staple diet! Oh I forgot to mention the daily tiffin which is very acceptable samosas which are cooked every day.
I have also had meals with different families especially the Headmaster here his wife is a great cook. So roti bread and chapatti have been a great experience and homemade mo mo.’s. The other evening I was asked to a mo mo dinner watching the preparation that took so long was fascinating. Every meal like this has an accompaniment of pickle made up of tomatoes, onions, garlic and chillies it is really hot, oh and one herb I detest coriander. Yes I have had to suffer that so much during my stay and it has not enticed me to like it. The other evening at the mo mo session I was given a berry that was from some tree which helps digestion. Whatever it was it was repulsive and I had real trouble getting rid of the taste, it was not just hot but so strong. But it did make me burp, so it worked. This was being put in the pickle needless to say I avoided the pickle.
I now have to say I really miss meat, if there is ever an opportunity to have chicken it is just wonderful. But it is very rare. When I get home the excitement of bacon or a steak will just be amazing. These people though are happy to have food, our western diet full of variety is something we come to get used to. But I have spoken to many of the teachers and they could not cope without their rice and feeling completely full. Many of the Nepalis over about 20 get tummys they are thin in arms legs but the tummy is pronounced.
There is also a lack of protein which must lower their resistance, here at school the children have so little protein just once a week either meat or egg they get a choice, and there is no morning milk.
Noodles for me tonight, and some bread and butter, not the bread that we are used to but it is passable when there is nothing else.
More news on the way.