Monday, November 26, 2012

All about Rithepani Village

Typical houses in the
lower caste area of Rithepani
Rithepani  is the village where Meaningful Volunteer will build another solar powered school dedicated to Andy ManleyHeather and I travelled to Rithepani for the weekend to learn as much as we could.

Here's what we learned.

Three Villages in One
Like many villages in Nepal, Rithepani is divided into sections according to castes.

The upper caste area has houses that would look fine in any neighbourhood in the world.  They are often multi-story  have wifi access, a flush toilet, backup batteries for power outages, and other modern conveniences.

The middle caste area is a step or two down: Single story dwellings with iron roofs, simple bedding and furnishing, an outside squat toilet, and at the mercy of the two-hour-a-day electricity grid.

The lower caste area is another step or two down: Single room block dwellings housing entire families, with no power or running water.

We were welcomed as family in every one of the areas.

Internet
There are phone lines running into Rithepani, so we can get internet for our school.  The costs will be $US 100 to set it up, and $US 10 for all-you-can-gobble Wifi.

Cell Phone
Cell phone reception is great.  There is a cell phone tower atop of the Veterans Hall.

Accessibility 
Rithepani is 20 km from Pokhara, where we can get all the supplies for the school.

Water
Bottled water is available al local convenience stores.

Sources of income
  • WSDO
    Many of the women we met in the village were actively working for WSDO.  Either organizing the yarn, or weaving the yarn together into cloth

  • Farming
    Rice is the main crop in Rithepani

  • Making Aggregates
    Many people come from outlying villages to Rithepani so that they can make aggregates.  Aggregates are small rocks that are mixed together with concrete to make the expensive concrete go further.

    The aggregates are made by bashing big rocks with a hammer (or another rock) until they become small rocks.  
Education
There is a primary school in Rithepani, but no preschool.  

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