Well, times have changed, we are writing the year 2020
I already named it „the year of good byes“.. (luckily to every good bye there is a hello!)
Year of changes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl3vxEudif8)
Corona has proven the world that we, here, are as fragile ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLLg9ssYrkY) as people in other places. Human kind is just NOT master of it all. We are after all „one world“. One thing which has changed is, that we hear nothing much from the outside world anymore. Well, of course the presidental election, and covid numbers of the „more important“ countries… It has become very quiet around countries outside of Europe or the „western world“.. although Corona has arrived there, too.
So it is in Nepal, too. NOW the numbers are exploding. They have been alright for a long time trying to follow the example of the other world countries in strict lockdowns and hygiene rules (where possible…). The problem has just been that somehow there were other problems connected. Workers from abroad brought more infections, and therefore the fear of people returning home from abroad. At the same time nepal tourism has desolved into misery for this year. Having prepared for the „Visit Nepal in 2020“ Year of Tourism lots of people have invested in building a little bigger and nicer… making loans with the bank or family. Loans for the rich are always possible, loans for the poor are with 25%/20% interest on top of the amount. So being stuck in misery the nepalese can just wait until this nightmare moves on.. and changes shape.. whichever.
During strict lockdown a lot of people in KTM were sitting in their rooms with family.. and another family living next door. Happy times for a virus which should be fought by keeping distance.
Needless to say the health system is a disaster in Nepal and noone has any kind of insurance. Any kind of medicine or hospital bill has to be paid cash.. if you have some. Simple rules apply: no money, no treatment. Which comes back to the fact that people do take loans and need to take loans but the price which has to be paid for getting a loan…. is outrageous. I assume the amount of intensive care beds and breathing machines (no idea what it is called in English) equals about the amount of political leaders and their families… and will most probably be reserved for them.
Good to know thou that there are many, many good people in Nepal, too and they do try hard to help others. In all the places where the government is not very capable there are really positive movements of good people. Nice outcome of bad stuff.
Our Godchildren in the village are as far as we know fine. Village life has not changed too much. People are dependent on the harvest and are working in the fields. Most people had to return to their villages in the beginning of our Corona era. A lot of people are not registered living in KTM and therefore would have just simply would have starved. Schools were closed and the ones who have a chance to use modern media go into home schooling – even in the villages. Unfortunately there are still some villages – like our „Hill“ that have such a bad net, that Kandi can‘t attend any of the classes. After one year of Kailash Bodi she is back in the old life in the village. We hope she can return into some kind of study, soon. Nima will soon go to Hill, to get one rice sack a household to the people. Unfortunately the virus has just started spreading in the valley.. so.. yes we do worry.
There were some national catastrophes along with the world wide ones… they had the „grasshoppers“ from Egypt eating their crop, too, heavy rainfalls led to landslides and flooding in many areas, China pushing the border line a little further, …
and needless to say NO tourism this year!!!
(www.theporterfilm.com/film – if anyone is interested in a good little documentary about what being a porter means.
We were quite lucky concerning Nima‘s stay in Germany. He had arrived 14 days prior to the complete lockdown in Europe. Unthinkable at the time but all borders were closing to other nationalities but their own.
And he got stuck in Germany until the end of September. The safest place which he had during 2020 was definitely his room in Germany in Rottenburg. Unfortunately he had to return to Nepal mid October. His flight had been cancelled (until further notice) in May and the airline offered the first regularities in flying to KTM again in October. Then with masks and one seat inbetween passengers to Istanbul, afterwards packed with people to KTM. After first only 5 days home quarantane he developped a little cough which brought people into panic and now he has to be in quarantane for 14 days. No fun! Of course we are now hoping that he has a chance to look after the children in Hill. Sometimes all they need is someone who still brings hope. That‘s why my intention is to return to Hill as soon as travelling is possible again.
Get in touch if you have questions on anything. There are some more informations in the German report which I will try to translate when back to a bit more time.
We really hope Nima can return to Germany soon so that we can actually meet some families and get some things organized.
Anyhow.. you all stay safe and healthy and SANE!
Brighten the corners where you are!
We need it more than ever!