Photo by Jeff Clark for Apolis Activism
By Shea Parton
After yesterday’s five deaths, the country-wide ‘Bandh’ strike began, forbidding all transportation for the day. Nepal is the world’s youngest republic and with Ram Baran Yadav being selected president in July 2008, a transition from monarchy to democracy in the third world has been a rocky road. We thought that four tourists with bicycles and Jeff's motorcycle could fly under the radar until we came across a couple of angry protestors waiving sticks in our direction. Cole reached for his frame pump while the rest of us rapid fired our kindest ‘Namastes’. We managed to get up into the hills, away from the strike, for a ride to remember (35 mi.). With the ongoing petrol shortage, Jeff kept an eye on his fuel and we stopped halfway at a village for open fire curdled milk and cookies, sounds like a real Himalayan December. We made it back for dinner and a Christmas presentation from the kids at the Haven (Source: Dec. 5th). At dinner, the Mendies's emphasized today’s gamble of using a motorcycle and with the potential of Bandh tomorrow, we are trying to maintain a smile with an unpredictable third world schedule.