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Mamkha Mooncups, (sounds similar but it's a different place...honest)

On the way in to Mamkha we hitched a ride on a school bus from Okhaldhunga to Rumjatar. Sitting at the front, balancing between children's abandoned bag, an elderly lady's plastic jerry can of Rakshi, (strong local liquor) and being fed fruit, Yogina sensibly sat on a seat near the back of the bus, albeit without any fruit. Getting chatting with the lady whose armchair seat I'd initially stolen, it turned out we were both working on development in the area. Bitng the bullet, after explaining about the Community Building, Computer Lab I dove headfirst into Mooncups. Hand gestures only get you so far so I shouted back to Yogina to pass the Nepali instruction leaflet up the bus to us. This, was a resounding success. After the women at the front read the 3 pages, (at least twice) they began photographing it for reference,. Not an easy teavelling in the equivalent of a Theme Park stomach wobbler. The document was then passed from person to person, women and men reading and re-reading, until it finally got back down the bus to Yogina. So Technically I guess our first orientation on Mooncups took place on a school bus...

The day we'd scheduled the Mooncup workshop was, unfortunately, the first Saturday after long awaited heavy rains, coincidentally also the birthday of Lord Buddha. With both these things in mind the evening beforehand was slightly fraught with concerns that the Mother's Group and young women would be busy in the fields. Tired, stressed and worried that we'd dragged Yogina out to Okhaldhunga for a low or no turn out led to a few less than diplomatic insistence on my part. Being woken up the next morning by the host family ringing around, making calls and visiting people to gather people began to alleviate the fears. Half an hour into the arranged time with no shows yet put us right back to concern central. However the host family's hard work and community links paid off and one and a half hours after the scheduled time we had the largest turn out yet for any of our Mooncup workshops, nearly 40 women, (and a few men and boys we had to er...shuffle along). We started off with a focus group discussion of the women's issues, then the Mooncup orientation and inevitably a further elongated discussion on issues and plans for the future. Livelihoods and the poor water supply dominated these discussions, all aptly led by Yogina.

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