6:00 awakened by the alarm clock. I slept well even though it rained heavily last night. I’ll probably start getting a little used to the life here. It’s a lot nicer now as dust was washed away by the rain. Sunshine and completely clear sky means it will probably be hot today. I make oatmeal porridge with apple and cinnamon along with coffee and water, but I need to ration on juice.
6:40 Now the mothers with children from the obliterated village we visited yesterday, five in total, get their blankets, teddy bears and even two sacks of rice, oil, salt and sugar to share. They are all very grateful and laughing mothers and children warms my heart a lot in the morning sun. At the same time, we have two sick visits, Shyam and I treat along side on another. A man has an injury in his left eye and a girl (about 10 years) has cuts in her right big toe. She got it in her sleep, as she happened to kick on a sharp metal edge in their shed. I gave her my second sock as protection against dirt after cleaning and dressing.
8:30 Some children come running and shout, they have seen a snake. Shyam and I accompany to watch. It is a “spot-snake”, I do not know what it’s real term is, but the name it has received is for spots on the skin. It is toxic and behaves like a cobra and it can kill a water buffalo. Shyam and I try to move the snake but many villagers want to kill it and they do. I cannot blame them, the last thing they need now is buffaloes, goats or kids who die because of snake bites. Villagers clearly have enough misery to handle.
9:00 Taking a cup of coffee and water while I write a few lines for the diary in the shade to the sound of aid helicopters. It has not been as intense traffic for the most recent days.
9:30 I go down to “my” waterfall to draw water and I also like to wash some clothes. Today we would actually have gone up and met orphans at the top of the mountain but plans had to be changed. Shyam has got hold of the people who can help with the temple so we will continue to visit the orphanage children tomorrow instead.
10:00 I am taken up to the Home of Hope and the community hall (People’s House). Work is underway for the temple, and it will be built with better protection around the temple and the gods. I think a lot about the Home of Hope’s reconstruction, the order in which everything should be done, etc. It’s all the same as some plans begin to fall into place. I help a bit at the building of the temple.
11:00 Going back to my tent now to eat some lunch. I have a blueberry bar that tasted really good with some water. When I sit and eat the young people walk by, those I played football with the other day, and ask if I want to come to the rapids and go swimming.
12:00 I think to myself, it will be nice to swim in the heat. Just that it is about 350 meters of climbing down to the falls. But it is not too far and it’s fairly easy downhill. There is not much water in the rapids because it’s dry period. But there is a small lagoon where the guys jump in from a ledge, it looks a bit dangerous but they’re accustomed. I jump in along with them and it feels really nice to cool off and even wash myself thoroughly. But I think it’s a little dangerously shallow and I see opportunities to make it much deeper. Quite simply I tell them about my idea to dam up between a few large rocks but the guys look very skeptical about this. I start to work and one of the guys is helping me at first, most dutifully I think, but when they begin to notice that the level rises and it gets deeper in their lagoon it becomes full of activity and happy shouts. We make it about half a meter deep and it feels really fun and meaningful. Then we go up to start going home again.
14:00 Now it’s not so steep, lactic acid in the legs and a pulse at a safe 155-160 beats per minute. I get through sensibly and I should go and wash myself (again ..). It takes about 35 minutes to walk back.
15:00 I boil a cup of coffee and take a blueberry bar. I begin to send over today’s diary to Sophie via SMS and it goes okay. Some texts come through and some do not.
16:00 The sun is now in clouds so I take the opportunity to go up to the Home of Hope for wearing away rock. We need to sort and move all stone that crumbled down to start work on preparing for construction. I am helped by Shyam and a man joins soon after. Pottering till just before 19.00, any muscle tomorrow morning will tell me what I have been doing today.
19:15 Back in the tent now, and I get happy when I see that I have a luxury dish remaining as I have just a few of them. I start my cooking, and it will be pasta with tomato sauce and garlic.
19:40 The food is now ready, and it tastes so good! Crawling into my tent and I continue the diary and send text messages to Sophie. Unfortunately it is still difficult for an SMS to be received. I think about how some of the day has been and it was very enjoyable to hear that the young people asked if I wanted to go and swim. It was really great that they wanted to show me their everyday lives. I do not think they are so used to having adults that joins in here as they are so busy trying to cope with everyday life, providing food and now building up some provisional homes for themselves.