After a frustrating break over New Year which in Nepal extends for a further 4 days, each group celebrating their own New Year (which does not exclude them from celebrating other New Years – patience patience patience Cathy) we finally started building the new kindergarten at Kalimati.
At a meeting earlier in the week the School Management Committee convened. It is all very formal, a second committee is convened – the Building and Measuring Committee… hhmm. Devi Lal is the chairman. Dandapani, the headmaster is the committee secretary. All in all it includes about 10 people including representatives from the Mother’s Group. Dandapani is recording minutes of the meeting.
We agreed the positioning of the new kindergarten on the ground already cleared and determined more ground needed clearing. Space on what was previously stepped rice paddies is at a premium and the school has nowhere to expand. The number and positions of the windows has been hotly debated – two or three (two large ones agreed rather than three small ones). The positioning to gain maximum sun also thought through, but impossible to get much sun given the steep slope above.
Everything agreed, the minutes are passed around to be signed by all, including myself.
The Building and Measuring Committee are keen to have a Ground Breaking Program, which I have decided to dodge with a trip into Pokhara tomorrow morning (staying for the ‘Program’ means losing another day and getting my face plastered with red powder and drowned in chrysanthemums). I need to source suppliers for the cement (15 bags), the roof (3 bundles) plus four skylights to improve the
light in the kindergarten. I have been advised to buy fibreglass windows rather than window panes – windows in themselves are a total luxury here and the chances of them being broken by stone throwing children high. I was a bit reluctant but the fibreglass turns out to be perfectly clear and I am told totally unbreakable.
Shiva, my very friendly debating companion (capitalism versus communism – he is a staunch Maoist, losing in the elections last month) is in charge of stone breaking. We have had a couple of deliveries, courtesy of Sudip’s tractor. Not sure how much stone breaking is needed, but I am assured there is plenty, the main issue is labour to break and carry the stone. No sight of the wood yet, but I am leaving that to the Measuring Committee who are charge of finding labour amongst the villagers.
Santosh, the jeep driver, is coming in to pick up everything for delivery tomorrow and I have been assured actual work will start whilst I am away in Pokhara picking up other supplies for the school.
Next task on hand for me… a hot shower, the first in two weeks and a visit to the Pokhara Steak House… drool.