Nepal Energy

What is life like when there is not enough electricity to go around?  We found out in Nepal where the load sharing schedule means everyone from homes, big hotels to government buildings have the power turned off for 8-10 hours a day.  How do the people cope?a town in Nepal

Refrigeration-  The main dish in Nepal is Dahl Bhatt , which is rice and lentils with a few curried vegetables.  Where we were staying in a monastery in the small town of Besisahar, if they were eating meat, they butchered and ate a rabbit on the same day.  There is no need for a large fridge because they just harvest the vegetables as needed or buy them from the local vender a 10-15 min walk away.  Fridges are luxury items for the well off or the street vendors selling cold drinks.  Dairy is not  a big portion of their diet.

Nepalese with a candleLights – There is usually electricity available at night but if it goes out, we just lit a candle.  At the monastery we went to bed a nine pm and woke up with the sun and Tibetan chant music at 5am, getting good use of natural light!

TV – The monks loved watching wrestling on TV!  Dave and I were usually very thankful if the power went out while a particularly bad drama was blaring at the kids sitting too close to the screen.  We had much more fun when we played music from their IPODs and showed off our dance moves, traditional Nepalese and modern and don’t forget air guitar!

Hot water – It’s a hot climate and we didn’t have hot running water, just a gravity fed tank feeding from a river.  I preferred to wash in the afternoon when the sun was warm.

Cooking – meals were prepared on wood fired stove.  It took at least an hour to prepare any meal.  They had some gas for cooking as well but used it mostly for making tea.

If there is a global oil crunch as the International Energy Agency predicts could happen by 2014, ( these rural poor people will be in a fairly good position, mostly because they have so little to lose.  The rural Nepalese people don’t have much money but they live a slower more relaxed lifestyle.  They were smiling and friendly and very healthy from so much mountainside trekking!

But if the climate continues to get drier for them as it has in the last decade, they will have everything to lose because their agricultural and living water flows directly from the great mountain rivers.Nepal mountains

It really makes me think about how much water and energy I waste and how my carbon emissions effect people on the other side of the world.

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