Further extracts from Eleanor’s blog, describing her experiences in Kathmandu at the Humanist Ambience International School. “During our school’s open day the children put on a show for their parents, which included acts such as singing, dancing and drama. Along with some of the senior students, myself, and one other teacher hosted the show. One of the acts was a karate demonstration, which left broken pieces of brick all over the stage. Naturally, this horrified the dancers who were supposed to be performing next. So I quickly grabbed a broom, rushed onto the stage and swept the floor, trying my best to keep my sari all in place. When I first jumped onto the stage, broom in hand, everyone seemed to fall into a shocked silence, and after I swept the floor I received a round of applause. I thought the applause was strange, but then I find plenty of things strange in Nepal; so the incident was quickly forgotten. However, last week the students in Class 9 informed me that their parents had been shocked to see a white woman sweeping the floor. I asked them to explain why it was shocking. “Ma’am, because you swept the floor so quickly! Our mothers didn’t know where you learnt to do that!” I started laughing and said to them that “Dirty floors are a universal human problem. If you go to any country in the world you will find women and men who know how to sweep floors.” The class nodded, till one boy put up his hand and said “But Eleanor ma’am, don’t you own a vacuum cleaner in New Zealand?” Kathmandu does not have enough electricity for the whole city so it is rationed with areas having two periods of 10 hours of electricity a day. These periods have a different schedule each day.

Load Shedding is a big deal when trying to live a normal life in Nepal. I’ve mentioned load shedding several times in my blog already, because like I said it’s a big deal. Even for the locals the problem of loading shedding is a big deal, so I don’t feel bad for finding the whole thing to be disruptive and trying. People in Nepal don’t complain about load shedding but I know they find it a trial because it comes up in everyday conversation the way the weather does at home. At home (NZ) we might commonly ask “what’s the weather like outside?” when making small talk. Here people ask “is there light? If there is no light the next question will be “when will there be light. Then when there is power, lots of time has to be spend deciding upon all the tasks that need to be completed before the power goes off again, phones and computers charged, washing, watching TV .”