A well prepared tourist would carry rain gear, mosquito repellent, something for the inevitable diarrhea, and salt or chewing tobacco to smear on their bodies as a defense against leeches during the monsoon. I have never bothered to try to hike in Nepal's Monsoon season, but I have heard some harrowing tales. Up in the Rasuwa district, my friends told me that the path to their village would be slippery with leeches. I wasn't sure if those were separate thoughts. Slippery paths I have seen. A sudden downpour can turn a former path into a river. However, I have heard tales of hundreds of leeches popping up from the ground, blindly waving back and forth as they sniff the air for their next bloody meal, or dropping from the leaves of the trees onto passersby. It is not too hard to imagine slipping on the leeches themselves.
Landslides and floods are frequent during the monsoons in the mountainous areas of Nepal. Last year I traveled a road that is closed for months every year because of the regular monsoon landslides. This problem grows worse year after year as deforestation leads to more erosion. Landslides can be deadly, killing several people every year, but even more deaths during the monsoon season occur because of the poor water quality and lack of sanitation.
The water is absolutely necessary to bring out the lush greenery and the fantastic orchids. It is what clears the winter dust from the air and makes the rice grow. But it is also an extremely difficult time to accomplish anything in Nepal. Before my friends in Nepal can begin to build their library I have to raise another $1,200. The hope is that I will be able to send them this amount by the end of April so that they have a chance of finishing the building before the rains come. I will continue to raise money for the books and the laptops after that. This Sunday, I have another opportunity to raise money for the project at Plymouth UCC. Wish me luck!
|This spigot which is completely dry in the Winter will be gushing water during the summer months. The creature with what appears to be an elephant's trunk is actually an opened mouthed crocodile.|