Who knows where the time goes…

This week seems to have passed in a flash. I know that there’s quite a lot going on work wise at the moment, but I think that it’s much more to do with the fact that day to day living here is much more labour intensive, and nothing happens at the flick of a switch. A pretty obvious statement really, but arriving back in Banepa a day later because of a bandh which closed the roads, I’ve been chasing my tail…

Street vendor, Banepa. John Callaway 2010

Street vendor, Banepa. John Callaway 2010

Sometimes you don’t feel like cooking!

Maize is in plentiful supply at the moment and there are a number of street sellers who dry roast maize over charcoal. It’s pretty much a meal in itself…. I particularly like this shot which is the aftermath of a discussion where the woman was trying to sell me the maize at a price that clearly was for non-Nepalis!! I reminded her that I was living here for two years and that I could get the same food cheaper just up the road.

The smile tells you everything…and yes , I did get the Nepali price….

I’ve sorted out a water filter now, and twice a week ‘vaguely drinkable’ water gets piped in to the bottom of my building. Along with everyone else, I fill every available container and carry the water up to my kitchen. A ‘rolling’ boil of around 3 minutes tends to deal with most of the less desirable content, after which I then filter everything before using it for cooking and drinking. So roughly 20 minutes for a saucepan full of water!!

Washing clothes is an exercise in military precision but it requires my physical presence throughout the entire process, although I do love my Zanussi bucket!! No point in washing everything in one go, as there is nowhere to dry it all in the monsoon season. So, little and often…

…and despite the maize story above, I’m really enjoying cooking, but boy does it take time, even though I’m only cooking for one.

Lest any of you think that this is a tale of woe…it’s not. It’s just worth noting that I’m fit and healthy, and only have to look after myself. I also don’t grow my own food. Factor in HIV and the equation becomes much more complex. HIV infection is likely to reduce labour availability in the household. This in turn often requires a substantial time commitment from other household members and caregivers, and households face competing demands on time for food production, day to day household tasks and income-generating activities….

I’ve been posting a daily photograph on Blipfoto,which has allowed me to indulge in my love of black and white photography, as well as record a daily ‘event’. Its an interesting challenge, but one which I intend to carry on with. Selecting one photograph has sometimes been quite difficult, but its a good discipline, and I still have the opportunity to post here…

Local Tea Shop, Banepa. John Callaway 2010

Local Tea Shop, Banepa. John Callaway 2010

So….my local tea shop after dark. I quite like the lighting in this and in a somewhat pretentious moment thought of Caravaggio

In the scheme of world-wide events, the monsoon rains don’t appear to have had the same catastrophic effect here as they have elsewhere. Last night brought a torrential downpour, so this morning, once the rain had stopped, I took a walk into Banepa. Below  is the Arniko Highway, the main road that runs from Kathmandu to China…a six lane highway it’s not!! Self evidently not impassable, but enough of a hindrance to traffic. And it does give you the opportunity to see goats riding on the top of a bus…I suspect it’s not their choice. (I’m experimenting with photographic processes, and the image below is hopefully akin to that of bleach-bypass).

Goat on a bus... John Callaway 2010

Goat on a bus... John Callaway 2010

Oh and just because I appear unable to write anything without an oblique (or not so oblique) reference to music, the title of this entry is cribbed from Fairport Convention’s song of the same name. Sandy Denny’s singing is sublime…check it out here.

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