Journey to Gaati, Sindhupalchok

To our schedule making, timetable obsessed  pre-planning Western minds, Nepal is a country of contradictions. Things seem to move at a snail's pace, until everything's go and suddenly, you're rushing to catch up!

While we had waited weeks to be able to visit the earthquake areas with an official team, rucksacks packed everyday asking the same question, "Are we going this week? are we going today?" and everyday getting the same response, "Soon, maybe today, probably tomorrow" The day we finally left I didn't believe we were going until the engine followed by myself was running, (without having time to do my laces done up on my army surplus boots).

This modus operandi can lead to feelings of intense frustration and frankly bemusement, until one settles into the fact that in Nepal,  things will happen when they happen! This may be an example of reverse cultural colonisation as I have yet to meet or speak to anybody in Nepal at the previously agreed time! It's attribute I love personally and vent over professionally.  While we in the West may sometimes feel that we have been turned into mere economic units, the Nepalis simply won't be having any of that. Finding a match between the two is half the challenge in the work we're carrying out...

A late night phone call the day we met Yogina set us up with our contact and transport. After spending ten minutes wandering around a suburb of Kathmandu following a man who insisted he was our contact, but quickly turned out to be a very opportunistic business man we hooked up with Beebal, hurried into the jeep and set off.

The journey through showed us more and more of the destruction and challenges ahead, though the scenery is was stunning the myriad of tents and shelters lining the roads became a pang in the heart for the plight of the families trying to deal with the situation...