We were a bit late getting up and breakfast took an age to arrive but we eventually got out and met the rest of the group. Steve had a special day planned today.
We met with 4 local young adults. 1 boy aged 16 and 3 girls aged 20. Our whole group was split into 2 and we had Koral (the boy) and one of the young women to show us around. We walked through a maze of leaning back streets and tunnels for about 20 minutes until we arrived at Koral's house. He showed us the well in his courtyard and then took us into his house. It was very humbling. His bedroom was not dissimilar to what you would expect for a 16 year old but more rustic. There was a bed with a TV opposite and 2 windows without glass. Although he lived with his aunt, parents and grandparents, he had his own cooking facilities which amounted to a gas canister and a 2 ringed stove.
His grandfather lived above him and cooked on a traditional fire because he couldn't work the cooker. We shared a little joke about old people not being able to get in with the new technology!
Stopped for a drink to wait for the other group. I bought Koral and I a Lassi and he explained what the symbols on his currency were. When we'd regrouped and had a rest we all walked out of the city through the farmlands to the place where they make bricks.
The 2 brick makers were actually the parents of one of the young girls who was showing us around. They make 250rs/day and are expected to make 1000 bricks. During my up bringing I was taught how to make things from clay (and throw pots etc) so I had been watching them with interest while Steve was giving us the low down.
Steve asked for 5 volunteers so I and 4 others stepped forward. We were shown how to make a brick by the mother. During the day I had built up a rapport with the young lad, he was very interested in computers, so in order for there not to be any favouritism all 4 of the young adults were asked not to watch us make the bricks so that their judging would be fair. I went first and I effectively made my brick in about 30 seconds. It popped out and I was extremely pleased with it. The 4 bricks that followed were terrible and ranged from a slightly collapsed brick to what could only be described as a splat of clay. The kids were called in to judge, their deliberations took less than a second as they all pointed to my brick. Steve announced that I was brick champ and all the kids cheered and whooped. The person they had wanted to win, had won! My prize was a Nepal tourists t-shirt with Brick Champ 2070 embroidered on the front.
Nepal works on the lunisolar Hindu calendar so the current year in 2070 (at least it was on April 16th 2013).
After being named Brick Champion the mother brick maker told Steve that my brick was good enough to join her bricks and would be sent out with the rest to form a new building. I am the first Angel Holidays person to have a brick accepted. Props to me!
We header back through the farmlands towards the town. The kids showed us that we could eat some of the wild peas so we munched as we walked.
When we got back to the town we had a whip-round for the kids. The girls were at college and could use the extra money. We had a chat with Koral earlier in the day where we asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. "A Dealer", he replied which made us all laugh. We explained that if someone said they were a dealer in the UK it meant they were a drug dealer. The translation for what he actually wanted to say was "Salesman"!
Got back to town and Pabi showed us a good place to buy silver jewellery. I bought 3 sets of locally crafted silver ear rings at a very reasonable price; about a third of the price of what it would have been in England. Strangely the item's price seemed totally dependant on the weight of the item and not how much time the craftsman had spent making it! The opposite of what it would have been in the UK!
The final souvenir was a Thanka from a traditional shop filled with master craft's men who painted them on site. Steve knew a good one which he took me too called Master Pieces Thanks Treasure. After looking around I settled on a Kalachakra Mandala because I liked the concentric squares and circles and I thought the orange colour would look good in my new terracotta bedroom.
Did a bit of shopping for my trip to Chitwan showered and met 2 others for dinner. We ate in the same place as last night but this time I had Neapli Bati (non-vegetarian) which was lovely! Got back to the hotel for 9.30pm and had a night cap before hitting the sack.
Photos on my FaceBook page.
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