There have been many occurrences since my last blog, needless to say not really disastrous.
I have been ill as many of you know as detailed in my last blog. The cough has only just died off. But during that time my laptop died, the night of an electric storm here, not sure if that was the reason. My dear partner Richard has assured me that somehow we will get the stuff on it back, he gave me a few tips on revitalising the machine but none of them worked. Luckily we had a new laptop donated by one of our trustees and Binod our project manager brought it to Besishahar as he was due for another trip here anyway.
I never realised how I depeneded on the www. The day before the laptop died I submitted my TMA to the OU on line. How lucky am I! That was another reason why no blog. I had to get that essay done and out of the way. I am finding it pretty hard to do that stuff from here, but I managed it and feel a bit free of that pressure for a few weeks. Just doing the reading and note taking now until my test paper which I intend to do when I get home.
To fill you in a bit about life here. Teaching is very different and very repetitive.The resources are short and so is the imagination. We know that they have to stick to the curriculum but so do we in the UK, but imagination is something that is not natural here, also of course resources, but even if you give the teachers resources they do not see how they can fit them around the curriculum learning. I keep teaching and explaining and working on this, but it is hard.
If I repeat myself at anytime I apologise, but it is difficult to remember what I say from blog to blog. I have seen more and more of the way people are in this country, I am sometimes shocked and saddened by the daily stories that I hear, and see. Children are regularly beaten here, I see this on a daily basis. Small tiny children are hit with hard sticks, they are pulled and pushed. Sometimes for as little as not being able to answer a question. I have to turn away when I see it as it is the Nepali way of punishment. I have asked teachers why they have to hit the children so violently. They tell me that this is the punishment that they are used to, and their parents use this type of punishment at home. I do see a lot of children around with sticks and they also hit each other with them. They also treat animals like this that is also awful to see. It is all so everyday, you never ever know when you are going to encounter yet another act such as this, but I will not get used to it. I think for me it is not just the smacking it is the using of a weapon quite often a thick stick.
There are many other things also which I think I may have mentioned before. Nevertheless I will point them out again. It is so very common to leave your children and wife and have another women. Men go off and never come back to support their children, there is no help for the mothers that are left alone. We have one such family at the moment, and the child is at this school. How do the children feel to be completely abandoned like this.
The problem is most of us when coming to Nepal do not learn about these things. We see the charm and the grace of Buddhism and it’s passiveness, but we do not learn about the real stuff. Nearly all the children here are from Buddhist families. How is it that, they are believed to be passive and against violence, the world takes a lot to understand. So many famous celebrities in the UK practice this peaceful practice, do they know anything of the people that are born to it. Come live here and understand the people, the lack of education and the hard graft to live. There is no other way to understand but to become part of their community.
The people are charming to me so kind and obviously fascinated by this odd Western lady that sits outside here room at various times of the day and works on her lap top. That takes snapshots of odd things like my neighbour ploughing his field with 2 Ox’s. Such everyday things to them such wonderful experiences for me to see.
Yesterday the school was visited by a young man from the British Army, he is here with his regiment for 10 weeks intensive training, with the Gurka’s in Pokhara. This gave me an opportunity to mention the years that the Nepalis have been supporting and fighting for the British army. Most of the Gurka’s come from the area that Hi-Cap supports, it is the Gurung caste. Many of them have spent their lives fighting with the British army, only to be insulted by receiving less pay in the UK poor living conditions and horrifically low pensions. About 18months ago Joanna Lumley visited Kathmandu being cheered for her accomplishment of equal pensions being paid to the Gurkha’s. Let me tell you that this did not happen the Nepali’s get a very small pension very much less than the British. It is about £50 a week it is nothing like the UK pensions. It is no good anyone saying that is is cheaper to live here, because actually that is not the overall case, and also many Gurkha’s and their families live in the UK. Nepalis cannot afford cars, as they are 3 times the price of our cars, as the import is controlled from India. Motorbikes are also much more expensive. Houses are dreadfully expensive, that is why they are more likely to buy land and build their own homes.
I did manage to say all this to the young ‘Regiment Commander’ of 24 he knew nothing about all this of course. It was his first visit to Nepal and after his intensive language training could speak reasonable Nepali but he know nothing about the country or the history of the Gurka’s youngsters a or rather the system!!!
So guys I am off after a long blog. Will be updating more often so watch out for even more news.