Jonah here: Today we joined Madan and his family to deliver a truck full of rice, lentils, sugar and spices to the remote village of Kavre, his home village of about 500 people up in the hills. We started the day early at 7:00am, piling into a jeep and riding into Kathmandu’s center where there was a truck loaded with supplies waiting to leave. When we arrived, however, there was some sort of disagreement with the truck driver and he unloaded the entire bed and drove off! So we were left with a ton, actually more like two tons, of food and no truck to transport it.
Madan and his friend set into plan-B and drove out to the edge of the city where there appeared to be a row of flat-bed trucks waiting for just such an opportunity. After some negotiations with a few different trucks, an agreement was made and the driver followed us back to the supplies. With a truck loaded up, for a second time, we finally headed out on the bumpy, winding road up into the hills.
In the jeep with me, Norm and Anju, were Madan, his daughter, Pramila, her husband and their son, Madan’s wife and his mother along with his friend driving. About 2 ½ hours later, we reached the village by way of bumpy, winding, washed out roads and found a group of about 100 people waiting for us, standing in the sun at the edge of a hillside. Anju climbed up on the truck and began reading names off a list. One by one, people came up to the edge of the flat-bed, pulled 30kg sacks of rice off the edge, strapped them along with a few other supplies to their heads and headed barefooted or in flip flops back towards their homes.
It was very moving to watch, to be witness to Madan and his friend’s selflessness. We shared crayons and pencils with the children. There were also a few older men who found their way to us, me and Norm in particular, and asked in Nepali if their names were on the list. We did not understand anything they were saying but we could tell they were angry. A young child came up beside me and explained in English what their complaint was. They told us these men had no food and were angry they weren’t on this list. We stood there helpless, unable even to explain that we were just along to visit. To VISIT! To witness!
These men stood in front of us saying, “What about me?”
We stood in front of them saying back, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you.” To say it was heartbreaking would be an understatement. I nearly had to walk away, up the road a little, to break down.