The return of the Budol 6…

So, here I am, back in Kathmandu, along with the rest of the Budol 6 as we will henceforth be known!  The bandh was called off by the Maoists on 8 May, although they will continue with ‘peaceful protest’ against the current political situation.

Road sign outside of Panaute. John Callaway 2010

Road sign outside of Panauti. John Callaway 2010

In Banepa and the surrounding area it was therefore largely business as usual, although the picture from Kathmandu was a little less clear. The press contained reports of continued pockets of agitation as some of the Maoist cadres felt that if the prime minister was not going to leave office, that their efforts had been in vain. In the light of the changed security situation, VSO have decided that they will resume our language studies in Kathmandu, rather than return the remainder of the group to Budol. The rationale is understandable: there are a number of upcoming events that would require our attendance in Kathmandu, and with the relative uncertainty about the immediate future, the logistics are easier to manage if we are all here. There is a real disappointment amongst the six of us however, as we have all felt welcomed and accepted into the community. The goodbyes bear testament to that, although I have the good fortune of being able to return there once again when my placement begins.

Threshing Corn. John Callaway 2010

Threshing Corn. John Callaway 2010

The lifting of the bandh did allow one last trip to another part of the district, and the opportunity to see King Harvest in all his glory. Whole families at work lifting potatoes, cutting and threshing grain, and preparing the ground for the next crop. Outside of every house a tapestry of various grains, pulses and garlic bulbs being dried in the sun.

Old town, Panauti. John Callaway 20190

Old town, Panauti. John Callaway 2010

…and finally arrival at Panauti, a town blessed with an array of temples and buildings whose bricks and mortar are a slowly crumbling time capsule of its history. Once a major trading centre, Panauti sits at the confluence of the Roshi Khola and Punghamati Khola. A third ‘ invisible river’ called the Padbamati is said to join the other two rivers at Panauti, making it an especially sacred site. The Indreshwar Mahadev Temple was founded here in 1294, although was rebuilt in its present form in the 15th Century.

Indreshwar Mahadev Temple, Panauti.

Indreshwar Mahadev Temple, Panauti. John Callaway 2010

6 responses to “The return of the Budol 6…

  • Pam Bush

    Hi John
    Mum and I have been really interested to read of all your experiences – what an eventful initiation into your new life! I’ve tried to replay to you after each posting but am having a lot of trouble accessing a reply opportunity on the school system so will wait to see if you receive this attempt before going into any more news!!
    Take care
    Pam x

  • Pam Bush

    Me again! I still seem to be having trouble sending you a reply (replay as badly spelt last time!!!) The ‘moderation’ (I don’t really understand what that is!) is taking a very long time
    Hey-ho – I don’t know about VSO – yet again, I need Help the Aged ICT!!

  • Pam Bush

    This is crazy – I’ve just looked at the time records on my replies – I wrote them hours after they are logged at!!

  • johnnyc1959

    Hi Pam
    good to hear from you. The “moderation” is that I need to approve your comments before they go on the blog. As you can see/read, power is a bit intermittent so I can’t always go online to approve!! Now that I’ve approved your comments, you should find that anything else you post appears pretty much straight away.
    John xx

  • June Robinson

    Hi John,
    You don’t know me but I work with Marilyn (your friend). She’s told me all about your exploits and as I have just been accepted as a VSO volunteer I’ll be following your adventures closely.
    Just doing my first online course and then off to Birmingham next weekend for my P2V course, haven’t found out where I’ll be placed yet.
    Sounds like you have landed in the thick of things. Love the pictures.
    All the best.

  • johnnyc1959

    Hi June

    Good to hear from you and well done on getting accepted. Enjoy P2V and the next round of training SKWID(!). You ‘ll undoubtedly be asked to contact other VSO volunteers at some point, so feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. good luck.


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