Some of you may be wondering if we are still alive. Yes, we are and doing quite well. After Nepal we went to Thailand, then to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. We are now back in Thailand, this time in the south on an island. Our schedule through the other Southeast Asian countries has been intense and now that we have stopped we realize how exhausted we are. Everyday here we figure we'll go explore somewhere, or see something but all that our kids want to do is just play on the rocky beach, swim in the little pool, and swing Tarzan style from coconut fronds. Fine by us. They have been troopers! Maybe it will even give me some time to update my blog on our adventures, no promises. :)
BACK TO NEPAL
Another day hike from our homestay was to a local brick factory. Just traversing the 30 minute walk to the Brickyard is full of interesting encounters. Everywhere we go the locals stop and stare. They are so friendly and they question Babu asking if it is possible that all five kids belong to one family. When he confirms it's true they laugh, look at us in disbelief, laugh some more, and quite often give a little round of applause. We smile, laugh along with them, and give a gracious "Namaste", hands centered together with a little bow.
The kids are taking a little refuge in the shade of a chicken house. At this particular hen house there was a women there watching the birds constantly. In some hen houses we've seen radio's playing all the time to keep the birds from getting scared from loud noises. But either way the survival of a flock is so important, and labor so cheap, that a person will spend their whole day just sitting with the chickens to ensure their safety. The chickens stay fairly well contained, but other animals along the way, not so much. On the way there Eli was butted by a goat and on the way back he was charged by a sacred cow. He doesn't much care for the animals.
A huge kiln, (small door) where they fire the bricks.
Two boys walking hand in hand through the brickyard. It is very common to see young men holding hands, nothing queer going on here, just good friends. It always takes us a little off guard just because it means something totally different in our culture. They have other gestures that are different as well. If you motion someone over by curling your pointer finger towards you it means your ready to fight. To tell someone to come towards you curl all your fingers towards the ground in a little bit of a scooping motion. But the one that gets us the most is to indicate "yes" you don't nod your head up and down. Instead you kind of bobble it in a little side to side wiggle motion. Cracks me up every time, because it feels like it should mean "I have no idea" instead of "yes".
Area where bricks are hand cut from the clay soil.
The best guide ever, Babu Marharjan.
Max, "Today was a sad day. We saw the brickyard. We walked an hour to the brick factory. We saw little kids 10 and up with donkeys and sun dried bricks walking to the hot ovens. People in shacks of stacked bricks like child's playhouses. Lots of dirty kids molding and making clay. We walked around the walls of millions of hard red bricks. The system was that for each 1,000 they earned 10 dollars in rupies. There was so many bricks! the whole boundary was a huge mound of bricks that even without mortar would hold off a army. It was incredible and sad that small houses and hauling bricks all day is what these people have to do." May 18, 2016
The kids were eager to show us some well practiced dances.
Aaron is a master at entertaining the crowd, magic or
seeing their own photo is equally mesmerizing.