Transforming lives on four continents

And...we're back!

Posted by Alan and Megan Barker at 06:20 on 14th June 2017

It’s coming up to a year since we were last in Nepal, and that was only a quick visit to move our things from Surkhet to Pokhara in preparation for our return. That return has been a long time coming and here we are now, in Kathmandu and moving on to Pokhara soon.

Here’s some observations from Kathmandu:

The Good:

Electricity - since we left over a year ago, a new boss in the nationalised electric company has shaken up the supply. For years, people had got used to regular daily power cuts of 12 hours or more. Nowadays in Kathmandu there is a fairly constant supply of power, 24/7. No extra sources of electricity have been brought on stream; the new boss has simply stamped out corruption and stopped power being filtered off to the rich and influential. What a difference to the lives of ordinary people!

Roads - traffic is still generally crazy with buses, cars and motorbikes competing with cyclists, pedestrians, stray dogs and cows but the constant blowing of horns has been outlawed. Amazingly it’s made a difference. When there’s a traffic jam (of which there are plenty) the vehicles mostly are sitting quietly waiting to move, not hooting madly and trying to edge to the front.

 

The Bad:

Air pollution is pretty bad in the city. More and more people are wearing masks to stop the dust and fumes getting in to mouth and lungs. Large increases in traffic over the last few years and a road system that cannot cope (despite valiant attempts at road improvements), only create more pollution and more dust.

 

The Ugly:

Scattered across the city are reminders of projects that were started but never completed: half-finished structures, large or small, private or corporate, that may never be completed because of funds drying up or a vision dying or lack of will to complete the work.

 

But it is good to be back and we now look forward to the next steps in this adventure!  Our next blog will be from Pokhara – watch this space!

 

Megan getting ready to go out in the dusty streets. NOT planning to rob a bank. 

 

And yet...it all works!

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