The road to Aandhi Khola – unsurprising –

Before I hike for another local transport I want to tell you that we are now planning the inauguration process. Can you believe it?

I’ve asked Bishnu ( head of Choice Nepal, our technical partner) if there was anything that has surprised him, he simply respond No No, surprises I have foreseen for many projects and I knew this would be completed.

This experience has been valuable even though I was hoping that I would somewhat break this cool working approach. In the end he added that there has not really been a conflict that has surprised him (well we had few ups and downs, and lately teenage girls fighting ..)

So for this unsurprising news I want to tell you what has been most amazing!

The villagers have been able to learn from the Choice engineer, Anna Prasad. They have done all work except for 5 days of support from skilled labour – all locally sourced. We had only 3 days off since the project has started. We are running under the first estimated budget which means we can set up a cooperative for the villagers and thus really make impact to their lives. The villagers stopped or reduced drinking ( a bad habit ) and managed their own work. They are taking responsibilty! The 4 people who have started this have manged to fundraise the complete project without a line stop! But the most amazing experience has been to be surrounded by people, who sometimes have no rice at home, they have worked for nothing other than simple khaja and we had fun! There was never a grumpy face, or the approach ‘I cannot be bothered’. There were times when starting times took a Nepali style – slow – but then I have learnt that good food is the best motivator.

I have been surprised almost every day! A wise man ( my mentor) told me you need a 3 things to make a project succesfull – passion, experience and money. Then he looked at me and asked what is the most important?

Can you see it too?

Heavy rains ahead! I will stay for a cup of tea before the decompasting path of Kathmandu streets get washed!

Jolana x

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