On the road again. PFCF Nepal administrator Ishor Bajracharya and myself depart Lalitpur on a rock n’ roll 10-hour jeep ride to remote Tintale village in the Udayapur district of Eastern Nepal. Traveling this route is usually grueling especially when experiencing an Indian-style heat-wave that without any air conditioning quickly reaches the point of being truly unbearable. It’s a nonstop dirty-dusty, sticky-sweaty ride with stomach-churning twists and turns up and down the treacherous Nepali mountainsides. As always, being lovingly greeted by PFCF Tintale Village director Shyam Basnet, the grateful villagers and students makes all this physical and mental effort worthwhile. We immediately consult with our hired bamboo experts on the ground who are designing and helping us build five new classrooms for the school.
These rooms are desperately needed for our village school that now educates over 200 students. In the evenings they will be used for vocational training and meeting and classrooms for the Mother’s Society.
Our team is proud of the accomplishments over the past 11 years in this region, yet the local demand to receive an education has reached a critical point and requires immediate expansion. Thanks to the support of the Playing For Change Foundation, the Aura Imports Sponsorship Project, and the compassionate hearts of the Maurie Stang family we are determined to accomplish this righteous goal.
In the middle of the day people simply cannot work. It’s too hot. Way too phot. Work starts at dawn and ends by 11 AM. The crew picks up the pace in the late afternoon and work into the evening. We are also experiencing an extreme shortage of water in the village. A nearby well, that previously provided water for the bamboo treatment process, has run dry. Shyam procured a water pump and together ran hundreds of feet of hose from the river up to the site.
It’s quickly determined that due to these additional challenges we are obviously behind schedule. Our faithful and determined team will stay the course but safety is first. Heat stroke is common and deadly here. We already have one of our workers that needs to see a doctor today. So Ishor and I join the hardworking crew in the late afternoon to see firsthand how things are going. That evening Ishor and I reluctantly determine it’s best we turn right around and immediately return to Kathmandu to finish our PFCF music program related business there first.
Needless to say, hiring a Jeep 10-hours each way twice to the village is time consuming, physically demanding, and with our remaining schedule is downright unavoidable. We arrive back to the big and quickly become stuck in Kathmandu’s infamous pollution-spewing traffic jams - yet we feel the right call was made. Our brave team needs more time and we have imperative business here in Kathmandu with the awesome folks behind PFCF’s Musica Music Program and other initiatives. Our goal is to return to the village in one week. Let’s do this. Onward and upward!