6:00 I am awakened by the alarm clock, the sun rises and I hear Nepalese music from a radio playing somewhere nearby. The water buffaloes grunt, the chickens are eating their corn breakfast beside me and everything feels very harmonious despite all the misery. I eat oatmeal with raisins and I have coffee and lime juice to drink. I think a lot about what this day will bring!
7:10 Going down to Shyam now and the day’s first patient is already there, the man with the cut under his foot has come back for diversion. It looks much better today and he is feeling better as well. Shyam says he had two children with fever who arrived last night and got medicine.
7:45 We begin to divide the sleeping mats in to 2 meter long pieces that will be enough for each family. The mat is about 1.5 cm thick, waterproof and much warmer than the rugs that they sleep on the ground on now. We get a lot of help from some of the villagers. We use my knife and my yardstick, the knives in the village are very poor quality so I have decided to give Shyam my knife when I go home. One of the men that are helping us, was with me a lot when I was here last winter. He says that he can take a left over piece that is not so big. I say that I think it is a bit small for him and I wonder if he does not want to have a bigger piece. But he has no wife, he says, and lies down on the ground on the quite small sleeping mat and shows me that it certainly fits well and they say that there are many others that are in great need so this will be great for him!
11:10 Going back to the tent and I begin to cook lunch, there will be freeze dried pasta Bolognese with coffee and water.
11:45 Now the villagers are starting to come to pick up their sleeping mats. Shyam holds a speech in which he speaks about the Home of Hope and the Lööf Foundation’s commitment in the village, as well as having the cooperation of Green Tara (village council) and me being here as the Lööf Foundation representative. After this they will all receive 2 meters per family. It is full speed ahead and many villagers help to distribute. Shyam takes out a book so they can sign that they have received their sleeping mats, everything is very seriously implemented. Many shows gratitude and it feels great to be able to contribute.
15:30 One of the village’s male teachers passes by with two ox, he is on his way to the rice field and he asks if I want to come and watch how it’s done, and I was very happy to accept his offer. Shyam continues to distribute sleeping mats while I follow the man and the two oxen. It is a 20 minute walk to get there and I get to see how they plow the rice fields with the oxen. I am so fascinated with how all of it is done. They are about to make a rice field nursery at some of the terraces which will give many small rice plants as one takes about a month to plant out in several other terraces. The terrace is filled with water and when plowing with ox it becomes a big mess and then they sow small rice grains which look much like wheat grains. In a months’ time the seedlings are ready to be spread out in several other terraces. Growing rice requires enormous amounts of water so it is important to pinpoint the monsoon because then it’s “free” irrigation. They do not yet know how the rice harvest will be this year because it is still uncertain as the terraces are dense and will be able to keep the water in. They will first know when the monsoon comes, but it feels good anyway to see that they have started the work with the rice!
17:00 I go past the waterfall on the way home and wash myself. Karma would come with a new load of goods today, but he should have been here at 14 o’clock but there have apparently been problems with the truck again.
17:30 I continue to distribute sleeping mats, today we have distributed sleeping mats to a total of 700 people in the village. Shyam was very happy and pleased and said to me -Oh, how wonderful that so many people in our village will be able to sleep better at night! Sophie calls and we talk about our common book project, because we have decided to do a book on our charity work here in Nepal based on my travel diaries and pictures. Both Sophie and I have long wanted to make a book so we really look forward to this common project! We discuss what languages, paper selection and other practical things. We totally agree upon that we want the surplus sales income from the book to go to the Lööf Foundation’s work to help others.
18:00 I cook pasta with chicken. I have four little girls sitting with me and they follow everything I do, they sit in a row and talk a bit with me – one of the girls can speak a bit of English. Also this fits in with a little diary writing time. I eat my food and drink some rehydration drink. It was 35 degrees today so I think I need some extra nutrients. Martin, my son, is calling me! It’s really good to talk to him, he wonders how it has been so far and he says that many people in his school are asking how things are going for me. I write the last bits in my diary, there are some mosquitoes in the tent and that is a little bit annoying. It is about 25 degrees in the evening.
19:25 Karma and the truck finally arrive! We help each other to unload about 420 kg of rice, about 560 kg of sugar, 150 kg of salt and 40 liters of oil used for cooking. It is for the orphan children so the children and their present caretakers will have full supply now that the monsoon will be coming soon. It feels so bad that they cannot move into Home of Hope yet but at least we are giving them good shelter and food in the meantime. Then we unload all of the 70 teddy bears in all sorts of colors, they are about 25 cm high and all children up to two years old in the village will get a teddy bear! We have also managed to get hold of two footballs as well as shuttlecocks and lots of tools. When I saw that there were so little tools in the village, I asked Karma to buy some. Karma has bought five saws, five spades, a bunch of wrenches and five hammers with him. They will be available at the Home of Hope and Shyam will keep a record of who borrows them so that they are accessible to the entire village. We have also bought a big cupboard that you can lock where we will store all medications we bought. The cabinet will also be available at the Home of Hope and you will have to go there to get medicine in the future. So the Home of Hope will be like a small medical center as well as a workshop! It is so wonderful how “our” home will fill more then one important functions within the village.
20:45 Back to the tent now, waiting for Sophie to call. It takes about 1 hour per day to transfer the diary over the phone. Sophie writes it down in note form and posts the full diary on facebook. The text is translated into English and then posted on www.looffoundation.org.
Sophie gets very happy and excited when she hears that the Home of Hope will also be a small clinic! Besides, she wanted to start an orphanage, she has dreams of starting a medical center and a maternity hospital in a poor country. So with the news today she is a bit closer to her dream! We reflect together on that so little can make such a difference, imagine that 700 people will sleep a little better tonight, thanks to new waterproof mattress! So big thanks to all who helped and contributed. Every little helps and in the right place it can make a very big difference for many people!