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Johan’s Diary – 25th of January 2016

6:30 I wake up to some noises outside, and it is beginning to become normal, so I go back to sleep.

7:30 I wake up by myself, and slept really well last night. I fell asleep around 10 last night. I lie in my sleeping back and doze a little, thinking about the day. I look forward to distributing rice and continue with construction.

08:00 For breakfast it is rice porridge with raspberry’s and coffee. I cook all my meals on the open fire, as it can easily be started back up again from the night before. I only use a few dry corn stalks and a stick of bamboo to blow through, to get the fire going hopefully it catches soon. It is a really nice morning but it looks overcast in the distance.

09:00 Thought about going to wash myself and some clothes but then it got cloudy and cold, so I will have to do that another day.

09:30 The first worker shows up, along with Shyam. The others come one after another and work will start on the rivers today. The last worker arrives at 10:00. Everyone that worked yesterday is here again today.

Shyam and I talk through some practical things and placement of walls and I realize that they forgot to put the drainpipe out through an exterior wall.

10:15 I go and make me a cup of coffee while Shyam goes home to have breakfast. It is decided that the villagers from lower Ratankot will come and collect the rice around the 11:00.

10:45 I go for the distribution of rice sacks, Shyam managed last night to acquire 1800 kg of rice at a really good price from the market.

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Including transport, it costs about EUR 550:- and will last for roughly 90 families until they can harvest the first potatoes in about three weeks.

11:30 The rice sacks are distributed, and two families share a 30 kg sack. Shyam organizes the distribution and posts exactly what, how much and to whom we give to in his notebook.

I find it hard to imagine how it feels to not have enough food to last until the next harvest, and to top it all off freezing at the same time. It must be terrible and when I see the enormous amounts of gratitude and relief in their eyes, it is hard to keep the tears away. It feels fantastic to be able to help with this!

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14:00 I go up to look at the building of Home of Hope, and it is shaping up quite well, the walls are slowly growing upwards, and I make little corrections and take more measurements. I go for lunch, and it is a little cold so I start a fire. The workers also have lunch.

14:30 Work starts again, and I try to measure the window height, which did not turn out to be so simple because no one seems to know where the starting measurement for the floor is. I may take it to Shyam tomorrow to help me figure this out. The inventory of wood looks promising for my rafters that I am going to build.

I walk around in the village to document everyday life in the neighborhood. Several people are working on their houses, and planning for the reconstruction of new houses. Not as much work like this was carried out when I first arrived, so hopefully the rebuilding of Home of Hope has inspired them.

16:00 I sit by the fire and draw the design for the roof trusses, it looks like it will turn out great!

17:00 It’s starting to rain and cold wind picks up.

17:30 I cook over the fire, making pasta with chicken casserole that tastes good, since I was so hungry. I take inventory of my food supply to see how long I can stay, looks like 28 days with little supplementation of egg noodles, rice and coffee should I cope. Following consultations with Sophie, we decide that I will stay longer, so I have time to get the rafters up before I go home. So I will be back in Sweden on 22/2!

It has stopped raining now and there is no wind and about 7 degrees.

18:00 I just sit down and start writing my diary when some new “bonfire friends” pop up and keep me company. To my surprise and great joy, one can speak a little English so we have a really nice chat!

19:00 It starts to rain a little again and my friends set off for dinner. It’s just a short rainfall, so I sit by the fire and write my diary. It’s now dark and colder, the calm settles and you can only see just small points of light on the other side of the valley.

20:00 Time to crawl into the tent, it’s drizzling a little bit now and is much colder, not many degrees above zero now. Good night and thank you!

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