~ 7 min
Hello from rural Nepal! We’ve spent a little over a month in this country already! I can’t belive it!
It has been a kind of crazy month for us! When we arrived we spent a few days in Kathmandu, a few days in Pokhara, then a week in Pyuthan (here) but staying at the hotel while looking for a house, and then back to Kathmandu for almost 2 weeks! Last week we finally settled in our new home (what we call “home sweet home”) in the town of Bijuwar, in Pyuthan district.
We really like our new place, especially the location. It is a little bit far from the “downtown” area (15 min walk) but it is so peaceful and quiet! Our street is a dirt road where no cars go by, a few motorcicles and sometimes you’ll see a tractor, but mostly just people walking. The neighbors have goats, cows, and chickens, there’s a field full of yellow flowers in front of our house, a little creek in the back and 3 minutes down the road we get to the main river, Ramona’s new favorite spot!
She really likes to play close to the water creeks, pretending she is fishing, following the little paths next to the water, jumping and climbing around. Galileo loves crawling in our front yard, playing with sticks and getting dirty from head to toe! It is really nice to be able to be in nature just stepping out of the house! And our favorite hang out spot: our porch. We spend so much time on it, we even have lunch out there too. And the hammock on it is the favorite of all the neighborhood kids!
About our house, it’s a 3 bedroom house, with a very basic kitchen (sink and portable gas stove, table and 4 plastic chairs), and bathroom with a faucet (without hot water) for taking bucket baths, toilet (which we installed. Before there was only a squat toilet), and sink. There’s a rooftop where we hang our clothes to dry. It is very simple but very nice by local standards!
Typical houses here are made out of mud and wood, with little windows and low ceilings. People wash clothes and dishes outside. They even wash their teeth and hair outside! Homes are basically to sleep.
We don’t have a heating system (nobody does). So what that means is that at night is pretty cold (we have thick blankets and pj’s) and in the morning too, but during the day, luckily, it gets warmer already, so we try to open the windows when it is nice outside so the warm air comes in the house, and basicly just dress acording to the temperature!
Not having hot water is also quite the experience. We warm up water with a big kettle for bucket baths for the kids, and we (the adults) take showers during the day when the air is not so cold! I wash my hair seperatly, with my clothes on, which I’ve learned it is better for me, less painful! Joe times his baths to be right after exercise, when his body temperature is hightest. Washing dishes with cold water when it is cold it is pretty unpleasant too…
The best thing is, we have Suman, a woman that comes every morning, from Monday to Friday, to help us with the kids, with translation, with going to the market, around the house, everything. She is wonderful!! She cooks us delicious lunch, she likes to play with the kids, washes clothes (by hand!!), and is basically our hero here! She knows where to find stuff, she is a mom herself, she anticipates our needs and in general, she and her husband have been very helpful for our family to quickly feel like home in our new house!
Not having a supermarket to go grocery shopping, just little stores with what it feels to us like random stuff, it makes it hard to find what we need. A lot of people have asked about differences on the food here so here is the sum up:
- Fruits and vegetables are everywhere but not a huge variety.
- Fruits in Pyuthan: oranges (delicios but full of seeds), bananas, red apples, grapes and coconuts.
- In other areas you can find more variety. Like Kathmandu had avocaDos, kiwis, pineapple, etc.
- Vegetables in Pyuthan: cabbage, coliflower, broccoli, green beans, green peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, red onions, garlic and sometimes I find zuchinni and eggplants.
- Fruits and vegetables taste and look the same.
- They eat eggs, chicken and buffalo but a lot of people are vegetarian.
- They cook a lot of beans (a lot of different kinds of lentils, black beans, chickpeas, …)
- They use a lot of spices and food coloring in their food.
- They eat dal bhat (rice and lentil soup) everyday, for breakfast and dinner. For lunch they eat some kind of fried stuff like samosas, momos (dumplings), etc. filled with vegetables, chicken, etc.
- Rice is the main food, I would say! And they generaly eat it with their hands!
- We can’t find much refrigerated stuff here… We don’t have a fridge either! So, really missing cheese!!
- You can get milk, but it’s not pasteurized (so you have to boil it).
- We couldn’t find a coffee maker so instant coffee will do for now (with powdered milk!). They drink more tea than coffee.
So, we have been eating rice everyday too! Thankfully, both Ramona and Galileo like dal bhat already, which makes it easier around here! And I have to say, for being a go-to food, it is pretty nutritious and healty!
Somebody asked about the most challenging thing so far. I would say the first days here in Pyuthan were the hardest. We were staying at a hotel, all packed in a room, with no hot water either, sharing one towel, discovering still the sorroundings, etc. The kids where not used to the spiciness of the food yet, the cold nights in the hotel room, and having to get dressed in the cold morning room too, Ramona missed Santa Coloma a lot, etc… Transitional periods, when you still don’t have a proper place to put your stuff and a kitchen to prepare your own snacks, are the hardest I think. Now we kind of have a routine, our stuff is more or less in place (we still have to buy some furniture) and we feel settled which helps with everything else.
The easiest thing so far, which I dind’t anticipated, was actually the food. I thought I (personaly) wouldn’t like it as much as I like it already! It is spicy sometimes, but just the amount of spiciness I can tolerate, kind of! And in general it is very tasty and yummy (altough very repeptitive, I have to say!).
I will share more about our day to day soon (I feel like there is so much to say,but I don’t want the post to be too long!)
Here is a video of our Saturday morning last weekend, when we when down to the river and to eat lunch to our favorite restaurant in town!
Thanks for reading us!!