Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Returning to Kathmandu

After a rather long winded but pleasant journey I have arrived at Uma's.

Qatar Airline is a better flyer than Gulf Air in every aspect. Food and seating were good. I had the best lamb biriyani for lunch yesterday while in the air. To top it all I was upgraded to the bussiness class on the second leg- Doha to Kathmandu. Its the fourth airline I have had the good fortune to experience how the other half live or rather fly. Do you know the reclining chair is actually a massage cum sleeping chair ? I think I was the last to leave the plane on arrival at Kathmandu! The Doha airport is everything I imagine a wealthy Arab state would be--new, spacious, shinny and modern of international standard. It is so different from Abu Dhabi last year.

The children have grown taller and prettier since I was here last. The 2 new ones appeared to have settled in well with their new siblings. They were doing the skipping rope routine this afternoon. It was hilarious to watch some of them trying to hop on one leg. Sitting on the steps with the sun going down behind the trees, Uma and I talked about the children's needs and how she sees their future developing. I have a real sense that this is where the children belong. The thing which struck me is that they seem to have an almost normal childhood as most children. All things being equal,I don't think we could ask for much more.

I am back to the same room, but a lot more furnished and somewhat cleaner. There are 2 young volunteers placed with Uma One is from Canada doing her gap year before uni, and the other a Korean American doing a similar thing having finished uni. They go to school with the children, then help with their reading and homework in the afternoon.

It may not have been a good idea, but I walked to the hospital this morning to see the 3 nurses in the HIV/Aids clinic. They are on national strike. They have 12 demands, some of which are pretty basic like the specialist nurses should be remunerated accordingly; and that their uniform allowance (they have to buy their own uniforms ) should be increased by ? 2000NR
I found them sitting with their senior nursing colleagues in front of the Emergency department.
The paramedics are in charge of the emergency department while the strike is going on . They are doing 2 days' sit- out(or sit-in ) until the government gives in to their demands. I did ask what will happen if the government refuses their demand. They muttered under their breath that they hope it won't.

I feel shattered totally. I suppose the body clock has not quite adjusted yet, first day following the long journey. It was a bit silly to to the 3/4 mile round trip to the hospital. Oh well,,,,,,,

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