tom is travelling

So Sainji is cool

There's quite a lot of things about Sainji and the surrounding area that I'm finding totally new and awesome, the locals don't seem to think everything is as notable as I do. I'm probably the only person in about 20 square miles to get excited about seeing a goat. Below are a few of the coolest things I've found about Sainji since I got here last week.

Everywhere is scenic

I'm waiting for the moment when it gets old to look anywhere outdoors and always see the mountains, frequently with a garnishing of parrots, eagles or perhaps a goat in a precarious position.

The people are exceedingly nice

Children are happy to take you on walks to new places like other villages and this is extremely useful. If I tried to visit another village on my own I would be an unwelcome visitor. I was told a story of a previous volunteer who went wandering off on his own, he stumbled into another village where women were working with their crops, upon seeing him the woman began throwing rocks at him and he had to run away. I should note that throwing rocks at the volunteer was actually justified, unfortunately strangers kidnapping women and children from rural villages is a thing.

Today I was walking back from Kempty falls today and a dude on a moped stopped, looked at me and said "Sainji?" then gave me a ride all the way along down the mountain to Sainji picking up another person on the way (3 on a moped is nothing).

People keep on giving me food which is awesome, I've got a stash of walnuts in my room I've had a fair few corn on the cobs and the kitchen staff at the school often cook something extra special for the staff. There is little chance of me losing weight while I am here.

Lori and Kunwar have also been super kind to me, they got me a sweet as room in the village, I'm getting fed here way better than I managed to feed myself in London and they've given me so much useful advice. As a guest in the village Sainji I couldn't have been made to feel more welcome.

There are animals everywhere

Animals are just part of life out here, wild and domestic alike. Nobody here seems to think too much of it, for me this is very new.

Everyone here considers monkeys a nuisance. Right now, during harvest season, a lot of Sainji villagers are sleeping with their corn crop to stop monkeys eating it all in the morning.

This week a 6 foot snake was found on school grounds, some of the teachers chased it into a nearby cow shed. Because no one really fancied going into the cow shed the snake was left in there, later on that day the snake was smoked out of the shed. This wasn't even something the children were talking about a lot this week.

Goats defy the laws of physics on a daily basis, on the walk back from school you will tend to see at least one goat standing on the branch of a tree, the tree's branch is hanging over a sheer cliff face. 2 things confuse me about these goats:

  • How does a goat get up a tree when it has hooves?
  • Why does the goat always choose the most dangerous spot when there are perfectly good leaves in non fatal locations?

On the subject of goats, baby goats are rather cute and the school children took me to see a few:


It's corn season. Most of the corn has now been harvested. A lot of it will be sold in markets to buy other types of staple food, as corn can also be ground down into flour, a lot of it will be stored here (hung up on the walls of houses in bunches) for winter and ground down to flour as required

Farming on a slope is called hill farming, to make sure all of the crops are properly watered the hills are altered to better suit farming. Basically they'll straighten out a patch of hill and then let the hill drop down and then straighten out another patch. There is an irrigation canal (I may have just made up that term) which flows down the hill making sure everything gets watered. As you can see, large patches of hill farmed areas look very pretty.

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