Friday 16th March was our last official day of the field trip. After two weeks of intense meetings with people from all kind of levels, from the beneficiaries in Dhungetar to experts of big influential NGOs we had this last day with 4 meetings scheduled for the day. Due to the tight schedule with a need to travel across Kathmandu in the crazy traffic, we split into two teams. One team went to have a meeting with Lucky Gurung from Association of International NGOs in Nepal (AIN) and Jyoti Tiwari and her colleagues from the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal (ACORAB).
On 15th of March four of us headed to the headquarters of Nepal Red Cross Society early in the morning. We had gotten a possibility to meet Manish Raj Timsina, a technical supervisor who would then take us to Lalitpur district office to meet more people and show us their projects in Bungamati.
We spent the day in Bungamati learning about reconstruction projects and the history and architecture style of Newar people, who were the native people of Kathmandu Valley.
We started our day with an excursion to the Center of Resilient Development, a non-governmental, non-profit organization. They are focused on research about the sustainable reconstruction technologies in Nepal. But also do trainings and have built their own demo-house for other NGO’s who are having reconstructions projects.
The real start of our second week! Since we used the first week to get some more grassroots level insights from the field, we are now trying to gather information from a top down level: NGOs and different other associations.
First free day for over a week! Nothing is really planned. We have occasional hangouts, casually discussing our experiences and making some plans for the next week. But basically, we just enjoy the comfort of good coffee on demand, access to water and toilet facilities and co: Back to our everyday life in the cities. With a slight twist of course, since we are still in Nepal.
The driver picks us up at 10AM and we have to say goodbye to our new family. It feels weird that we are most likely not seeing the people of Dhungentar in the future again, especially since we spent the last days with them. Eating the same food, drinking the same water, living in the same houses, being a community.
Is it seriously already Friday? It feels like we just arrived here but today is the last day before we must head back to the city …
The morning starts with some preparations for saying good-bye. Even though we don’t have too much special to give, we prepare an oversize thank you card and our obligatory Finnish candies for the ICIMOD guys before they arrive for the day.
Today is a special day: After months of preparation, a long way and the first contact to the society of Dhungentar village, we finally start with conducting interviews. And lucky as we seem to be, we start with the perfect opportunity: The ‘mother’s committee meeting’!
Today was our first full day in Dhungentar and it felt like we gained a good overview of the village and ongoing projects.