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Springtime in Kathmandu

April 20, 2012

in Nepal

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Springtime in Kathmandu is a life lived in flip-flops. The city is warm, dusty, and dry. Rain hasn’t come in months but starts to appear in short showers that stir up the dust more than wet down the earth. I slip on my sandals the second morning and feel that not unpleasant ache between my toes…and an ease in my body that comes from consistent warmth through the day and night.

 

Springtime means water and power shortages, means sunshine and haze, means ripe papayas, and…road expansion?? At major intersections, roads are torn up and houses are being torn down. It’s a shock as I ride in the taxi through town. Infrastructure improvements have been nearly nonexistent in the last decade. What really astounds me, however, is the force of political will required for this work. Numerous houses have been illegally built on public land over the years. Evicting people and ripping out the houses in order to widen the road requires a level of government potency and authority that we haven’t seen in years. I feel a bud of optimism sprouting in me. What’s happening here?

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A road is widened by hand

 

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