Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nepal - Day 19

After a brief interlude of good health yesterday today I was feeling less than perfect again. Thankfully it was just the sniffles so it was more of an annoyance than discomfort.

Work itself was more of the same: mixing cement and passing it to the skilled worker. We finished early today and played badminton with the children.

On my return from badminton Guy greeted me with an uncharacteristically serious tone and advised me that I should 'check my wallet'. I did so and realised that I was missing 5000 rupees. Guy was missing 2000. After a brief discussion it became apparent that we had been stolen from.

Given my tight budget I found it rather irritating (and a little stressful) that I would now have to re-budget and my - already tightly monitored - expenditure; however it is hard to remain angry when you realise the circumstances in which we (and by 'we' I am generically referring to westerners) live in comparison to the vast majority of Nepali people. I read in the Kathmandu Post (which is, by the way, a terrific newspaper) that the average Nepali lives on about $1.97 US dollars a day. This means that if our stolen 7000 rupees are put to good use it could feed a Nepalese person for a month. Given that all I lose in the equation is a) trust in my host family and the students of the school and b) some extra souvenir shopping at Kathmandu it would be hypocritical of me as a vocal consequentialist so condemn such a theft were I to be sure the money would be used in such a way.

Despite my initial frustrations I can't help but feel like I've been 'Robin Hood-ed'; which is something that - although it isn't the perfect means of wealth redistribution - I feel that I should accept.

Nevertheless I can't say I terribly enjoy harboring a suspicious and incessantly accusing inner dialogue. "Was it him? I did humiliate him at the table tennis. . .Nah. Or maybe it was you Ansita, I do complain about your daal baht being too spicy. . ."

     ^ This photo has no relation to the blog entry. It's the pump. Where the children wash and where the vegetables are prepared every night. Every afternoon the girls prepare the food. They spend hours chopping and washing potatoes.

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