Savage is the word of the day, or at least the word of the morning. We were leaving Nuwakot district at 10:00 a.m. and had a large list to accomplish before doing so. We started the day by randomly stuffing belongings into our hiking packs, hoping we were leaving out the materials needed to finish the morning’s activities (because being bin-less for the last few days we have started to become somewhat OCD with nothing to rearrange or pack).

At 7:00 a.m. we began the assembly line shot gun approach to medicating every animal related (not related by blood, since that would be a Disney movie) to our host family. This group of outstanding animal individuals included about 15 goats (blaaaaatt), 2 buffalo, 2 cows, and 3 calves (2 bovine and 1 buffalo – to our surprise they listened to us!! And the calf not only survived but is thriving!). Of course to Tonic’s dismay, there was no time to treat the chickens and roosters. However, the chickens and roosters looked the healthiest of them all; ignorance is apparently bliss as well as health. We finished all of those treatments in a record time of 1 hour, possibly a veterinarian Olympics record. Suddenly… just as we were prepared to raise our arms in triumph… there were two more buffalo to be examined and treated, each in different locations living on the hillside. We knew there was no time to do the sudden buffalo vet work and catch our ride back to Kathmandu, however there was also no way people would understand that explanation. So we explained the situation in English, so no one could understand, then hurried away down the hill… sliding down the very steep parts on our bums like any good Canadian tobogganing in the winter. No wonder we are known as the weird foreigners.

In true savage fashion, we prepared for our showers at the communal water pipe and packed up our garbage from the week to burn on the way to the water. A hole was dug in the soil, the garbage was placed in the hole and a fire was lit. We felt guilty using that method to get rid of the garbage, but the locals said they often just throw the garbage in the river. Gin also burned all of her clothing, except the clothes she would wear after the shower. She had to get rid of the clothes anyway before flying to New Zealand, and it made sense to burn them rather than carry additional weight in her pack during the hike to catch our ride. Hesitantly, we listened to the locals as we left the unattended fire to clean up in the outdoor shower and finish packing – this went against every instinct Gin had, given being raised in the mountains with fire awareness coursing through her veins. Sometimes however, it’s really fun being so irresponsible, especially when you can blame it on cultural differences.

Yet again, we left for our ride before Sudarshan and Rabindra did, and showed up at the school (the location we were supposed to meet the driver) unsure of what time the driver would show up. After the heavy lifting and reorganizing of the bins had been completed, the boys appeared… acting as though they had planned to arrive at that time. Being polite, unassuming Canadians, we finally realized it was time to start assuming. The boys never did intend to help us, and spent the entire week conveniently avoiding any physical labour required to help out. At least Sudarshan’s youngest bro was very helpful with the farm animal treatment, and very polite.

Had we known what the ride back to Kathmandu would entail, we may not have been so eager to catch it. We may have done more than dilly dallied on our way. We thought we had experienced it all in Haiti; however we had some harrowing adventures yet to be experienced. Too many sharp corners and steep cliffs with shifting sand dunes for roads brought a whole new meaning to the phrase, “arrive alive”. Since when is it a full body workout simply being a passenger? At least our driver was a rock star, and received more phone calls during our 4 hour, 35 km ride back to Kathmandu than Justin Trudeau did after Trump won the election… (Did that really happen or will we find out it was just a really bad dream? For both of the previous comments.)

On arrival, we discovered that not only did we not have a key to the house, but we didn’t have a key to the main gate. Sudarshan had left his motorcycle in the yard while we were away, and was somewhat dismayed at the idea of having to come back for it. So after Gin manhandled the motorcycle through the narrow human gate, with Tonic giving directions regarding the angle for the front wheel (seriously who are these guys?) so they could leave, it was time to begin the overall disinfection process. This occurred out in the front yard in full view of the boys hostel next door, where a number of the residents have taken up hanging out on the balcony and watching what the crazy foreigners will do next.

In the week since we have been gone, the house has become a haven for opera singers fronting as folk singers, and loud mouthed gypsies practicing yodeling in the middle of the hallway. Our excitement about empty and clean zip lock bags continues, however they may be used (not for their intended purpose) to suffocate loud people over night. On that note have a great sleep. We hope you trust your neighbours.

P.S. We learned today that a woman was the first person to climb Mount Everest. Apparently she was Nepali. Unfortunately, she died on her descent due to bad weather and never had time to celebrate.

Love Gin and Tonic


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