Indo-Nepal border blockage

The demonstrations in the south part of Nepal have now increased to block the borders to India and it's a disaster for the whole country.
It's petrol shortage so vehicles are only allowed to drive every other day depending on the number on the license plate. If you have an even number you are only allowed to drive on even dates.
The cooking gas is also finished in Kathmandu. Maya came to our house today and she was desperate since she can't cook food for her family.
Of course we gave her money so she could buy an electric cooking plate, but there are power cuts several hours a day, so it's not the best solution even though it's the only solution at this time.
About 5000 vehicles were stopped at the customs yesterday and the queue was 30 km long. You can read more about it here.
A committee has been put together and people are waiting for the Indian prime minister Modi to come back from his visit in USA to solve the situation.



Congrats Nepal for finally getting the constitution everyone has been waiting for so long!
The constitution was presented the 20:th of September by president Ram Baran Yadav and we had two public holidays to celebrate. (Like there is not enough holidays this time of the year when we have a lot to do before Christmas).
And there was a big firework to give this happy event a little extra attention, even though fireworks are illegal here in Nepal.
Read more about the constitution here.
But there is still problems in the district Terai and the people of Madhesh. It's difficult for us to fully understand the problems, but about 40 people have been killed already and that is just horrible.
Since Terai is the most productive area in Nepal the prices of vegetables and other domestic products have increased a lot.
Yesterday there was a rumor that India was going to block the border so people went to the petrol stations in panic.
We are depended on so many things that are imported from India, so I really hope they will solve the situation fast, in a peaceful way.
Read more about it here and here.



Yesterday was the festival Teej when the women are fasting and dressing up to honor their husbands, but like I've said previous years.
They have so much fun getting together without their spouses, meeting friends and dancing, I think this special annual day is for the women.
Before it was only the higher casts celebrating, but now everyone is taking the chance to have a great time. Even men!
There was a party dancing in the street near our house.
We went to one of our favorite restaurants in our neighborhood and had a yummy Teej dinner. Fasting is really not my cup of tea, to put it mildly in words.
The kids were free from school so Eva had come to play with Leya.


A meeting meant to happen

When we left the airport and Mom Sweetie we went to the dentist, I'm in the middle of the process of a root canal, and suddenly I heard a happy voice in the waiting room calling my name.
Three years ago we met Minna Raj at Pashupathinath, the historical Hindu temple where they do the cremations, (see a post from that meeting here), and we met once more at Boudhanath, the Buddhist stupa.
For all these years I kept her number in my phone, but you know what it's like. Time is passing and so many friends to reconnect with. You can always find a bunch of excuses not to call someone.
Our meeting a few days back was just a coincidence meant to happen. We were stuck in traffic, but if we had come earlier we would have missed her. Thinking back it was a matter of seconds. Things really do happen for a reason!
After our visit to the dentist we drove her back to her newly opened local restaurant and had a quick chat and a cold drink.


Mom Sweetie in New York

Mom Sweetie is one of the first persons here in Nepal, who took us to her heart and gave us a Nepalese family.
Throughout the four years we have known her, her children, grand children, sisters and brothers, we have always been included in their celebrations.
Mom Sweetie is a true village gal. When we first met her she had never seen a tea bag or went in an elevator.
The first time we took her down an escalator we were three people pushing her because she had no idea how to do it.
One day I will write a book about Mom Sweetie in New York. If you have watched Crocodile Dundee it's nothing compared to what I believe she will come up with if she is left by herself in the big city. She is like a mischievous Pippi Longstocking.
Mom Sweeties oldest son Bikram and his family are living in New York and they haven't been to Nepal in 4 years, so when Bikram got citizenship in US she decided to go there.
For the last months she's been applying for visa and finally she got it. (The US embassy is always rejecting the visa applications a few times. I believe it's to earn money, since the applicants show the same papers over and over again.)
Tuesday she finally went and it was so sad to see her leave because she will be away for 2 years or so.
I was also very worried that she would end up in Australia or somewhere else, but the family was considerate and booked a wheel chair for her transit, even though she is fully capable of walking on her own, so someone could at least wheel her to the right gate at the huge airport in Dubai.
Mom Sweetie reunited with her son Bikram and his family in the Big Apple.


Supreme's birthday party

Sunday evening we had a small birthday party for Supreme, the cutest 1 year old ever.



Nepal is in a phase of strikes, or banda as we call them here.
Building a democracy takes time and writing the constitution from the scratch isn't easy.
There are about 30 different parties involved in this and any party can at any time use strike as a power tool.
The last two weeks it's been strike Sunday and Monday. The kids are home from school and all government facilities are closed.
Like the customs for example and that is a problem when we have shipments leaving Nepal.
The last strike was about what religion to put as the state religion and that is tricky in a country with many religions. Everyone wants a saying about this.
A bigger problem is the violent situation in the district Terai. It's next to the Indian border and the problem is apparently caste related and they have a curfew day time right now to calm things down. A lot of people has been killed in the riots already.
Rumors say it will be a longer strike next time, like 2 weeks or so. This is just insane!
The kids have already been out of school for a long time after the earthquake and people really need to work to get back on their feet.