So I had rubbled in Kathmandu and then I moved to the Melamchi region about 3 hours from Kathmandu to rubble some more. When I switched from the Kathmandu valley to the Melamchi valley the building material switched from bricks and mud to rocks and mud. Small rock, big rocks, and f*cking huge rocks. My body went through a major physical shock for a second time as it adjusted to digging up and moving these heavy stones. Also the work days were longer because the works sites were closer and there were no day volunteers to collect.
Getting to the sites was always an interesting adventure. We were getting deeper into the monsoon season and road altering landslides became more and more common and the roads themselves became mudpits. Even on dry days there were many obstacles on the road.
On our Saturday off, I was usually bleary with exhaustion and didn’t go out and explore much at all. The Melamchi crew has a fun tradition called Saturday Feast where everyone kicked in some money and cooked a huge dinner together. It was an all day affair. The master chefs’, Rhys and Nick, got pretty creative with what was available locally and some impressive dishes came to the table.
I haven’t shared the emotional side of working in Nepal yet and I don’t know if I will be able to. I had to separate myself from it to get through the day. In the evening I was too physically exhausted to process what I witnessed each day. Each morning as we drove out to our work sites, tears started to build up, but I never could let them fall. I didn’t know if I’d recover if I went down that road.
Somehow the hardest part of my stay in Melamchi was getting back to Kathmandu. Between two bruising bus rides we had to get out and hike, carrying all our gear, for over an hour straight up a mountain, from the valley floor to the ridgeline, to avoid a landslide. It was a rough trip and I have never been so happy to drop back into the smoggy Kathmandu valley.
My 5 weeks in Nepal is up and I am heading home today though my heart tells me I will be back very soon.
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