Another rainy Saturday morning in Kathmandu, a troop of 12 hard working individuals set out to Pharping. About 19km south of Kathmandu, Pharping is a thriving Newari town that is widely known for having mothered the second ever hydropower in all Asia and the biggest of that. Most of the water supply in and around Kathmandu happens from Pharping. We had planned to make our hiking to be an equally cultural day in terms of what we were to explore. We took the bus from buspark straight to the place and got down just in time as we had expected. As green and serene as ever, Pharping was all set to give our interns a fresh kick into starting the day.
Firstly, we saw and studied the Pharping Hydropower premises. Then we moved on keeping the landscapes and paddy fields to our sides. Since June is just the time for rice-plantation in Nepal (“Ropaayin”- as Nepali people call it), our program and field coordinators decided to directly engage interns in rice plantation. For this, we had prepared them because that particular task requires some physical strength. It is never on Earth an easy thing to do what farmers deal with everyday. And boy oh boy, aren’t our interns any less Audacious!
They stood upto the task and every one of us went into the muddy crop field with our shoes off and pants folded. Felix, one of our very hardworking interns later published an amusingly lucid article “A Dutchman in Nepal: So this is where rice comes from!” The article and a news photo of our interns with the plough saw a wide number of shares here in Nepal, considering a foreign guy writing so enthusiastically about his agricultural involvement. The local men and women in the fields really enjoyed our presence and were actually surprised at the humbleness and sincerity of “foreign people”.
After having our lower bottom all covered in mud, we washed our feet and thanked the villagers. But enough physical stretch for a day deserves some tasty food, doesn’t it? So we looked around for a good place to have Nepali food. Let me tell you, we really know how to enjoy our food. We sat around, sang and danced. Interns were tempted to taste the local Nepali rice-beer Chhyang since they’d heard so much about it from us. Then we had to explore the monasteries and Buddhist culture of Pharping that’s so highly spoken of. Indeed, Kathmandu is blessed with a dynamic diverseness that makes it so unique from other cities. Then we visited the wood-carving city of Bungamati, one of the most earthquake affected areas of Kathmandu. Interns were informed about the post-quake situation and how people there were keeping upto it.
The clock stroke 4 and we set off to the bus station of Pharping. From there we caught a bus straight home. Next Saturday, probably calls for another interesting hike! Stay tuned!
Report By: Rajat Acharya