Johan’s Diary – 23rd of January 2016
6:30 I wake up this morning and it is much quieter at this campsite than where I had the tent before, so I go back to sleep.
8:30 I wake up to my alarm, and have planned a little lie-in today, as there will not be so much activity around the building where it’s a day off. We also did curing the concrete yesterday so the concrete needs to dry another day before the laying of walls can begin.
I slept ok, considering I was on hard ground, but I have not been very cold, so I feel quite well rested.
For breakfast I have oatmeal with tropical fruits and coffee, which tastes delicious in the morning. The sun is up and begins to warm up the day. Today feels like a really fine spring morning in Sweden, the birds are singing and two squirrels join in, even some hens come to visit. I get the morning chores underway, and can hear the villagers and some buffalos that grunt from a distance. It’s quite cozy in my opinion! I look forward to the day. I take some photos of everything happening around me!
09:30 The carpenter shows up, only he will work on the Home of Hope today. He has to finish some doorframes before embarking he is going to start brick laying. I inspect the building by looking at some technical amendments and some smaller floor plans.
10:00 I head down to the outhouse, and then to see Shyam to say good morning and plan for the day. Efforts are being put into making rice beer that is in a huge copper kettle over the fire. It is very interesting to see how to make it. Offering rice beer to the workers seems to be common practice. According to Shyam, rice beer usually has between 13-15% alcohol content and it shows in some of the workers.
Shyams family spent the night with seven baby goats and had to keep baskets on top of them so they wouldn’t disappear or get taken by predators. They are so loveable and Shyams father let them out so I would be able to take pictures.
Their puppy tries to wash and play with them, what a wonderful sight. Brecht now emerges. Shyam and I talk about the day. We will hand over the medicine we bought for all village people. There is a small health clinic.
We notice that there are no shelving units in the health clinic, so we ask the carpenter to build one together with me. The health clinic has opened since I was last in Ratankot. I think they have been inspired by me and Shyams medical work!
11:00 We go to the small health clinic to take part in a village meeting discussing the continuing work with the health clinic.
If they could get the suitable land to build on, then the health center will offer a little more advanced medical care such as maternity and birthing rooms, and it will be manned by at least two medical professionals, including housing for these days and times, as well as doctors that will be on hand.
13:30 I go to fix a small lunch with bar and coffee and receive a visit from one of “my” teens who says in broken English that he has two months left of grade 10, and then will start college in Kathmandu. He dreams of becoming a soldier in the British army, when I ask why, he says it’s for money. I think it’s a shame that they cannot see or appreciate to develop their culture, they just want to be like us Westerners.
I sketch some of the construction.
Suddenly three monkeys visit us in a tree not far from me, they feast on some fruit and I manage to get some pictures before they sneak off into the trees!
15:00 The shelf for medicine is finished and we carry it to the small health clinic.
This health clinic fills a very important role here. The nurse says in January she treated more than 100 patients, most with respiratory infections, pneumonia and fever. She has the ability to stitch wounds up to 5 stitches long and give vaccinations as well as distribute antibiotics. She is very happy for both the shelf and the medicines we contribute. We get invited to tea and biscuits. It is very meaningful and significant that we can contribute to this.
As a nurse in the village she earns approximately EUR 130:-/month and it includes accommodation consisting of a room of 12m2 with a bed in which is located next door to the treatment room.
16:30 I go to my tent and need to do some planning for the building, Shyam follows so we can collaborate, and we come up with good solutions. My first and biggest task tomorrow will be to make new drawings.
17:30 I fetch wood to start a fire and begin to heat water for dinner. I am tidying up in my tent while the food cooks. Today it was pasta with meat sauce, coffee and licorice dumle toffee for dessert. It was yummy and much needed.
18:30 I sit in front of the fire with my computer in my lap, and write my diary. I tried to write in the tent but the screen doesn’t work in the cold so I tried this instead, which turns out to be successful as the screen works great.
19:20 I have a brief visit by one of my “bonfire friends”.
20:00 Now I crawl into the tent, and message Sophie a little. I solve some crosswords before I go to sleep. Tomorrow I will be up with the sun at 7.
That’s all for today, I feel happy and privileged to have the opportunity to be here and help.