Yesterday with a dear friend I walked across a section of Kathmandu…and oh did I see things while breathing in air like petrol flavoured dust. Shit and dirt and rubbish and oily flithy water ran past in the broken up road and gutter…the streets in Kathmandu are paved in dust and the disinfranchised. I saw a boy with no feet and atrophied arms drag his body through the dirt and mayhem begging for food. A man with no legs floundering banging his metal bowl against the pavement while making a low musical howl.S uch was his desparation. But most disturbing is the children…young from the age of perhaps seven..even younger probably but I don’t really want to engage with that possibility…huffing on plastic bags of glue. These dead eyed children are horrific to witness, slacked jawed, glazed over fetid lives. These children,mostly boys walk the street like old men, carrying their smoking ciggerrettes with a notchlance I find chilling. (Homeless girls don’t really feature in street life as far as I can tell)
Walking along the edge of a public park space yesterday I noticed the park is teaming with young men passed out in the grass, sniffing glue and waving there arms in this flacid manner that can only be attributed to being completely wasted. I could feel the despair rolling from this place…as a mother sat selling peanuts and cloves with her young children by her side. This is life on the jagged sharp edge. Brutal and unforgiving.
But in a positive vain this afternoon I get to meet some children who once lived on the street but now live in a proper family home and are financially supported by NZ organisation Orphans Aid International. It should be a fun afternoon! Nice to have alittle hope after viewing the ravages of some of Kathmandu life in such rawness yesterday. But I do love this city, the people the country. I feel blessed to be here but also glad to be taking a few weeks in India in January as it is politically pretty tetchy at the moment with Bandha’s ( General strikes where everything in the country closes and you can’t leave your guest house) declared for five of the next 10 days..so far. It is pretty harrowing to experience for the first time..shop owners that open get dealt with by the Maoist’s who declare the strikes… and things seem to be heating up as the 22 party coalition government struggles to function and the Maoist’s flext there people power…..blessings x