I arrived back in Pokhara yesterday. It was a very memorable time in the mountains visiting Kamal's village in a very remote area. here there are no other trekkers, no tea houses or lodges. The village is called Chimkhola, meaning dark river, and was perched on the side of the mountain. It was a very steep and rugged climb to get there and took about 7 hours. We stayed on the way up at a Nepali home and reached the village in the morning. I visited the school and enjoyed a night of dancing and music that they put on for me and it was great fun. The school was a bit of a diaster with many broken desks. I had a donation from a lady so decided to repair 20 desks with her money and they made her a nice certificate and asked me for her photo to put in the office. The people of the village were quite amazing but I really got to see how the caste system works in remote areas. After we left the village Mann, Kamal's brother, and I trekked deeper into the valley and came back on the other side of the river. He took me to see a very poor family who live in a bamboo shelter with their animals. The children were extemely beautiful with green eyes which I have never seen before here. They invited us in and gave us bowls of fresh cow's milk. This was creamy and lumpy but good. I usually am given buffalo milk which is creamy and slightly sweet. The family was very low caste and the five year old will not go to school because he was beaten by the other children because of his caste. The oldest girl though was in class 8 at a local school. We stayed in another poor home on the way back and I slept in a room with a mother and child while Mann slept on the floor. It is a time I will always remember and now cannot stop thinking about it. The family that made me so welcome. In fact I began to wonder whether I could do anything for myself. Funny their own women do so much hard work and I was allowed to do nothing. I did try grinding corn into flour with an ancient milling stone which was extremely hard and they thought it was very funny as I struggled with it.
Mann is now working in the charity and I will put his photo here when I can. We got off the bus in Simpani and I showed him all the families. I will go back there tomorrow to help the kids with thank you letters and do some more school uniforms.
The weather is extremely hot and sunny. I will try some photos later, very slow here.