Yesterday was a productive day as I traveled on a local bus with Mahindra to visit a friend in a local school. We discussed in detail the best way to go about working with the local community in which we will build the school. Rudra was a wealth of information and is hoping to help us establish the school in the Okhaldhunga region. He has also invited me back to talk with some of the students in his school and answer some of their questions about Canada. I look forward to this unique opportunity.
As well, I was invited to Mahindra's home in Kathmandu to enjoy some lunch (Dal Bat) with his roommate Arjun. This was quite the experience, as they share a single room (about 10 feet by 12 feet) that contains two single beds and gas stove for cooking. It is very basic, and I feel honoured to have been welcomed into this intimate aspect of their lives. We spent time sharing stories, talking and laughing. Most of the laughing was at my expense while I sat on a cement floor trying to eat Dal Bat with my fingers ... of my right hand. Quite the sight I'm sure.
Perhaps the biggest difference that I was witness to yesterday was on the bus. Many people were crowded into a tiny vehicle while the conductor hung off the edge of the bus telling people where it was headed, trying to attract more business. About 45 minutes into the trip, he fell off and was run over by the bus. We were ushered off the bus immediately so that it could take him back to the hospital, and a crowd quickly gathered around him while he lay in the street so as not to let any other vehicle hit him. When I saw them pick him up and put him on the bus, it appeared that both femurs were broken and he was bleeding heavily. This is not a good situation anywhere in the world, let alone in a developing nation that has extremely inadequate medical assistance. I'm not sure what his fate will be. Once he was put on the bus, people left and went on with their day - this occurance is not uniqe - it happens on a fairly regular basis. I don't think that life is less precious ... it's just different.