Back home from a 3 weekstay in Kathmandu were we took care for the 3th block of the 1st year.
Our several trips for this project make that we discover the country in different seasons. We were here in the rainseason, in spring and now it was a like a late summer with cold nights. The sky was clear. So finally the Himalayatops were visible in Kathmandu. Beautyfull!! Normally the KTMvalley is covered by clouds and smog.
This is the touristseason, time to go to the mountains.
We get used to the chaotic traficsituations of 30 years old taxis, bycicles, motors, cows and tractors.
The road is a cakewalk, the buildings are often very dilapidated. Sometimes it looks like a real warzone and than in the middle of this chaos a brandnew building arises.
It’s still confronting, the poorness and degrading lifesituations, the ecological disaster. We are often perplex and than again we smile about the creativity of the people. They find there ways to make small shops on the street to sell vegetables, drinks, clothes.
It was the time of the Bika festival. Brothers and sisters give blessings to their younger siblings. All over the place we saw mandalas, made from seeds, flowers and colourfull pigments.
People are gathering on the street in the evening. They sing, dance and play their typical instruments.Of cause of this festival we had to postpone the training a few days because they have to travel to visit en receive the family. This time we had the training room on the roof (5th floor) of a big building. Superbe view over the city and the mountains in front of the great budhastupa.
There we meet our group, 8 women, 8 men. I admire the motivation of these women. Before they arrive with the old busses, they took already care for the household of all the family (in law).There eager to learn and there committment is huge.
It’s a special group of people from different casts, which happen to be not a problem here. Bhopal (Brahman) and Lachman (Gurung) are laughing and touching each other. It would have been a problem for there grandfathers at that time. They didn’t dare to be in the same room. The theme is bodily oriented work. That is challenging but finally they happen toe be very free in talking about it as well as in actions. Only man and women don’t touch each other.
We experience a big need for dialogue also between man and woman.
Learning by experience is becoming familiar for them. Used as they are to sessions with their clients of 2-3 hours and rather gathering information, they told us how tired they became of working. Now they discovered the process orientated approach and they often feel releaved. The big issues in their personal life are the tension between parents and children, the daughters law in and the parents in law; the expectations of the parents to hold the traditions alive, to take care for the family an to get involved in an arranged marriage.
From there professional life, they tell us about the childeren in the homes they work with, the political fugitives, the people in hospital.
S. told us about her dream to build an hospital for elder people. It was very moving to listen to her. M. works with young people with traumatic expeariences. What an engagement they have.
The 4th day we had a dialogue with the group about money and creativity, about the balance between taking and receiving , autonomy and dignity, about the rich western and the poor eastern. We discussed the issue What can we do? What can you do?Their enthousiasm and joy to be taken seriously was touching. They came with ideas and the next day, they brougth food and things we could take with us to sell.
It’s very clear they really want this project to work!