MWH's Lucy Conrad is on a placement with RedR and Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) to conduct an impact assessment study into the use of improved cooking stoves (ICS). Pollution from the burning solid fuels for cooking is the fourth-largest cause of death in the developing world.
"In Nepal you work for six out of seven days, so there's only a one day weekend. So far this is how my days are shaping up.
- Get up at 6-6.30am, take down mosquito net and make my way to the bathroom. Go to the bathroom and take a cold shower (the different coloured taps are just for show!). Quickly get dressed before Prabin, my host and boss Balman's five year old son comes in.
- About 7am Balman's wife Pruna brings a cup of very sugary black tea. Really good.
- 7-8.30am seems to be family time, I may get the opportunity to write some emails off line, read a book, but mostly entertain Prabin.
- 8.30am Pruna brings some Rice and Daal [curried lentils].
- 9.30am Balman and I leave the house for the office, dropping Prabin off at school on the way.
- 9.45am catch the bus. If I am lucky I will have a seat... If I am very lucky I have a whole seat. This costs about 17 Rupees (there are 130 Rupees to the pound!)
- 10.15am arrive in the business district of Kathmandu, fight my way through the streets trying to avoid crashing with any motorbikes, bikes, buses and people!!
- 10.30am-3.45pm arrive at the office and work on the questionnaires and efficiency methodologies for the stoves and do some background research.
- 3.45pm head out for a light snack in Kathmandu. This may include Moso or Roti and Daal. I shall explain more about these in the future.
- 4.15pm back to the office.
- 5.00pm fight back through the crowds to get the bus back to Balman's (now it’s a small miracle to get a seat).
- 5.45pm walk back up the beast of a hill that leads to Balman's.
- 6.00pm arrive back at Balman's, where I should have a chance to get my thoughts together...although I realise that giving an inflatable globe to Prabin may have been an excellent idea, he kicks it around the house, predominantly at my head shouting ‘Aunty, Aunty’ and I can see it should have been given as a leaving present!
- 8.30pm more rice and daal.
- 9.30pm truly knackered.
- 9.45pm collapse into bed!
In between all of this I am must write various reports and try and learn some Nepalese!
Future plans are attending a street festival in Kathmandu on the 16 July, hopefully pictures to follow, and then on 19 July I am travelling to a village near Baglung for around 15 days. During this time I will have no internet access, but will provide an update on my time there when I return."