Johan’s Diary, Thursday 21/1 2016

6:00 I wake up to the monks’ drums but quickly fall back asleep.

8:00 I wake up the clock but decide to go back to sleep, since I was up late yesterday. There was a malfunction with electricity and Internet access so I could not get the diary up. The electricity came back at 23:30 but was gone when I woke up. Sophie & Morgan help from home in Sweden, so we got the journal up anyhow!

10:30 Karma and Shyam turn up at the hostel, a happy surprise! We talk through the situation in Ratankot and Nepal, it seems that no one in the village has started with the reconstruction of their homes due to the lack of funds. Each household has received approximately SEK 2500:- from the State (read the United Nations or other countries’ aid shipments), in total, they should get about SEK 20,000:- sec, but this is not enough since a small house of two rooms, is estimated to cost SEK 250,000 to build. The state chooses to pay in small amounts because there is a food shortage, and the people tend to spend the small amounts of money on food etc., instead. Unfortunately, even alcohol consumption has increased significantly due to the increased feeling of despair amongst the people in many cases.
Some positive news is that a project to rebuild the school in Ratankot has started since they will receive funding from some Swedish organizations.
Home of Hope’s reconstruction seems to make great progress, as tomorrow the first lap with reinforced concrete walls will be put in place and the goal is that we will have enough time for lunch tomorrow depending on how fast we work! I am hopeful that our family home will be both good and finished as planned!
We decide to buy rice and medicines/medical supplies for the villagers, plus better shoes and gloves for the construction workers. The workers currently work with their bare hands and flip flop.

12:30 Karma and Shyam go to purchase what we will bring to the village tomorrow. I eat a little lunch, and work to put out the blog post on Lööf Foundations website now that the internet works, however my emergency batteries die.

15:00 I go away to the Stupa (a Buddhist commemorative monument used to house sacred relics associated with the Buddha) which is next to Karma’s shop where we will meet, but Karma is not there, he’s off on some other mission. My Belgian friend from the hostel is also there waiting for Karma, so we have a very interesting conversation with Karma’s relative that is in the shop and he offers us tea. When we sit and talk, we feel a small earthquake that lasts about 15 seconds.

16:30 I go to the hotel Hyatt, and thought about eating dinner there, partly to save some of my freeze-dried food, but also to get a proper meal, as I do not know how many days will pass until I get to eat a proper meal again!
I will also go and see the tent camps, built in May, where there still live a lot of people. The sight makes me sad to see.

18:00 I walk home quickly to beat the darkness after a very tasty and filling dinner. Today it seems that electricity is back on as a few streetlights are lit along with some shops. However you never know how long it could last for! I buy 12 bottles of water on the road to have with me when I go to Ratankot tomorrow.

18:30 I get back to the hostel, and Choedak who received the e-reader asks for help to change the language of it, as it is in Swedish and not easy for him to understand. I solved this issue for him and that made him very happy! I message Sophie a little and make myself some coffee. I write in my diary and hope to have time to publish it before the electricity disappears again.
What I hope to achieve in Ratankot tomorrow is to make sure that there will be proper roof trusses at the Home of Hope and help with the practical construction. I will supply rice and medicine, hand out jumpers for the children that I have with me from Mariestad, and meet with all the orphanage children. I shall also document everyday life in the village.
I am not sure how long I will remain in Ratankot, but I have food for roughly 25 days. Any longer than that and I will have to go into Kathmandu at least once to buy food.
I am a bit worried that I will not be able to publish the diary entries when I am in Ratankot, so you might not hear from me for some days. I will put them up as soon as I am back in Kathmandu again.

That’s all for today!

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