Tuesday, May 22, 2007

In Training

Namaste! Not much to report yet--at least from Sam's House. I'm leaving for Pokhara on Friday, leaving Jen and Priti to their project in KTM. They'll stay here another two weeks, visiting children's homes in Dhapasi and Godavari. After that they'll do research in Pokhara and finally Jen will get to visit Sam's House.

I've been talking to Dinesh everyday. The school strike is still on so all the children have been home all day and it's been scorching hot. Dinesh has been racking his brain to find activities to keep them occupied and without breaking his budget. I think a water balloon fight is in order, but I need to check with the director first.

Yesterday Jen and Priti hit the streets for their research preparation by practicing participant observations. First we went to the Kathmandu Mall (six stories, food court, supermarket, designer clothes on the cheap) but it wasn't opening until 11a and we arrived at 9:30a. Foreigners!!! So we walked back to Thamel (where else?) and they did their observations from a second floor restaurant perched above the Thamel Chowk.

On the way to Thamel, Priti led us along backstreets and pointed out interesting features that we'd never notice without a guide. There was a Hindu statue that was the god of dentistry. It was covered with pennies that had been secured with nails. The belief was that if you nailed a penny to the statue, your procedure would go well or your check-up would be cavity-free. And not surprisingly, around this square, you could see at least eight dentistry offices.

(Speaking of dentistry, Dr. Jeffrey Hauger in Morris donated a box of toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss to Sam's House. Really great.)

She showed us the apartment of an astrologer that her mother regularly consulted. He once told her that Priti would elope at the age of 18. Her mother was nervous about this and kept a close eye on her for the year. Of course it did not happen much to the family's relief.

After the observation practice, Jen and Priti went to Child Welfare in Nepal offices to collecting any existing data on orphanages. And that was pretty much the day. A good day.


The Thamel Chowk

Priti Shresta

Writing up the field notes.

Discussing their field notes.


Ruth and Irwin said...

Hi, Great pictures-keep them coming. Chris, get those leadership skills ready-to keep 16 kids happy! You can do it. Sounds like you could use an experienced elementary teacher... Priti is a gift- so glad it worked out that she was available. Good Luck to everyone. Greet Dinesh and Rekha. Thinking of you each day!

Jells said...

I second, great photos.

Good luck with your trek to Sam's House. I'm sure everyone there looks forward to your arrival.

Cavs are down 2-0 to the Pistons. Game 3 is Sunday night at home.