|A farmer arriving at a collection centre where his milk will be added to the produce of hundreds of others before being moved warm, to a central milk chilling centre.|
|Warm milk on the move.|
The end of the after shocks has been marked by the removal of most emergency aid tents. Many not so official structures remain where families live out their daily lives, and the future looks grim. The biggest areas of tents are now on the cities outskirts, where at least the flood risk bought by the monsoon rains is receding.
|This encampment for wheelchair users has gone.|
|Temples were a favourite site for temporary housing but most of these have also decamped.|
|Some tents remain along with their beleaguered occupants.|
|Washing facilities are still very basic.|
There seems to be money available for the repair of new buildings that were under construction at the time of the quake. Rebuilding in the damaged rural villages is painfully slow. Here in the city construction projects grind slowly on. Rebuilding collapsed garden walls seem to be a higher priority than shelter, but at least the labourers are able to earn a wage.
|A common site, two people on one shovel, and a woman at the driving end!|
|Unusually a man doing the carrying.|
|Beads of sweat but the smile shines through.|
|An all women team this time.|
|Very pleased to have a photo taken.|
The markets for agricultural produce were all but destroyed by the mass migrations from the city, during the earthquakes aftermath. This is slowly reversing with increases in the consumption of vegetables, milk and meat. Early one morning not long after the quake, whilst walking through the narrow once crowded streets of Patan, I managed to track down the source of some freshly slaughtered meat. I briefly chatted to the owner. Before the quake he was driving ten buffalo each day from an out of town sorting and marketing area, through the streets to his slaughtering yard. These livestock movements were carried out under the cover of darkness and all butchering completed by 7.00 am. That daily demand of ten fell to two as his customers either fled the city or lost their appetites. I found an improved market situation on a more recent visit, the heady heights of ten animals per day was still some way off.
|What is this chain of workers up to? Carrying rumen contents from their slaughtering area to a nearby waste truck.|
|Meat being delivered. No prizes for guessing what sort.|
|How to slaughter and butcher a buffalo when there is no means of hoisting it on a hook. A very basic but not uncommon set-up.|
|Lemons make appealing structures.|
|Stall holders have a quick cuppa at this early morning market. By 9.00 am all these stalls |
will be cleared to reveal one of Patan's busiest thoroughfares selling anything from pans to pants.
|More early morning temporary street vendors.|
The nose dive in tourism has come with devastating effects. The tourist industry is as one of the top three currency earners for Nepal. Livelihoods such as home-stays, tea houses, trek guides, and all the associated support structures are having a torrid time. Judging by the empty tourist buses here in the city, and a nationwide fuel strike that just began, things will not improve any time soon.
|A local tailor, Chandra Bahadur Nepali|
Popping around the corner from my rooms in search of a tailor to alter my trousers, for my ever deceasing waistline, I met up with Chandra Bahadur Nepali. His name gave away his cast as being the lowly Dalit group. As expected the shop owner was a much wealthier Muslim. Chandra's son is also a tailor but his son in law had managed to make a life changing transition. He had trained to be a teacher despite spending a number of years as a tailor. The first years had been really tough since he was forced to hold down two teaching posts, in different schools, to make ends meet. The story ends well as he had recently secured a full time post in a Government school which provided a good pension.
|Chandra's boss, Ali Akbha|
To escape the dusty, car filled streets I've taken a 50 rupee bus ride to Pharping where earlier in the year Jude and I had visited its Tibetan Buddhist monastery. This time I'm intending to climb a local peak Champa Devi (2300m) to visit a Hindu mandir that perches at the summit. I'm delighted by the forested landscape of the upper slopes and after a only a short time communing with nature my faith in Nepal as a beautiful country, is restored. A chance meeting with a large throng of very young trainee Buddhist monks also restores my faith. These young impressionable lads seem to be leading more than a spartan monk's life as their football ricochets around the trees together with peals of laughter.
|Prayer flags seem at one with this wooded landscape.|
|Young Buddhist monks enjoy some R and R.|
|The conifer woods of the upper slopes come as a pleasant surprise.|
|Natural flower laden pastures under the trees.|
|More woodland beauty.|
|Even at 2300m dragon flies are common.|
|Not so well camouflaged.|
|Pairs of spiders cast dense webs between the trees and wait. The span between leg tips is 10cm.|
|Amazingly the city lies below.|
Walking back through the scattered rice paddies, vegetable plots and modern concrete dwellings that surround the city I puzzle over how our work will fit with all of this. I guess my milk project tells some of the story. The simple technology we are trying to introduce is based on good science and is certainly not earth shattering. The real challenge is creating a sustainable model to implement these simple concepts. The key to success will be the use of existing structures for the essential training, manned by locals who already play some sort of mentoring role in their communities. The next few months will be spent finding and developing these essential entities.