Mahila Shakti

Every day we have been greeted by the warmth of the morning sun, sneaking in through the door, fighting the cold that creates a little misty cloud to every breath. This morning was somewhat different. The sun was hidden behind dark clouds that soon would bless us with a heavy rain. A blessing? Yes indeed, it was months ago it rained here so it was great with some rain to wake up the dry soil and to wash the dust of the trees. Now it's all green and vivid again and we get some office time.

At times here I find myself incapable of keeping a conversation, I stand speechless to everything that happens around me or throw out superlatives as if there was no tomorrow, because wonder and amazement are the only things I can express.

There's so much going on in this foundation and all three pillars of a strong sustainability (economic, social, environmental) are present in everything. The past few days were over in the blink of an eye and it frightens me a bit how time flies.We have been given a lot of insight in the work that the foundation do, yet there's so much left to discover.

This week included a lot of everything. The working days have been really interesting and we were introduced to the cosmic secrets of biodynamic farming, an important cornerstone at KRMEF. We have also had time for great little hangout sessions like dinner on a rooftop restaurant with a neverending stream of Nepali rice beer, playing with the Horac kids and a trip to a buddhist village.

Here's a little summary of some really memorable days this week, that shed a light on the problems that the earthquake caused, and the problem with leprosy, a disease that has been very widespread, but is now more controlled due to efficient, free medical treatment.

Around 35 cob/bottle houses are planned to be built for families that lost their homes in the earthquake. The houses costs around 300 dollars to produce and takes around three months to build. On tuesday we got to paint and put the last pieces of clay on a house that will be given to one of the teachers that works in the school. It was very interesting to learn about the production and the house looks great, with Nepali red walls, shimmering glass bottles and what soon will be a bright yellow foundation. To see how long the process of recovering from the earthquake has been creates a lot of questions. How do you fight a corrupt government? Who will fight it? Where does all the money go? How can you trust that the money goes to the right place?

Leprosy has been a big problem in Nepal for a very long time. The disease often cause severe handicaps like lost vision and infected limbs that requires amputation, and has been known as ”the curse of god”. Only 30 years ago, people that got the disease were sent out to leprosy colonies and were not allowed back to their villages, so they became outcasts. Today, there's free medical treatment and the attitude towards infected people have lightened a bit.

KRMEF supports a treatment home for patients which we got to visit. The goal is to help them back into society since medical treament is only a small part of the recovery, as Krishna puts it. The visit caused a heavy heart, but I'm really grateful we got to visit the patients that now can live a much better life than only a few years ago.

A moment of sisterhood that I will never forget for as long as I live is our very own women's march.

After seeing all those pictures from women's march demonstrations all over the globe, we decided to do our own together with the teachers after a seminar about the visions of KRMEF. These women are truly amazing and powerful, like all the women here, and I'm so happy to get to know them. The photo shoot turned out great and Ursa, who's in charge of the workshop for handicrafts here, told us about Mahila Shakti, which is also the name of their jewellery brand. Mahila Shakti means strong woman and dear god, those words give me goosebumps and nothing, nothing inspires me more than this.

I get to challenge myself all the time here. My knowledge, my capacity to learn, my prejudices, my creativity. At times it all makes me feel really small, but more often it makes me feel like a citizen of the world, a humbling yet wondrous feeling. We are all citizens of the world, a role that comes with both opportunities and responsibilities.

It's funny how fast you can create another home in the world. I wish I could share with you what goes on outside our window right now. You can hear an incredibly smooth but deep chanting from a monastery and anywhere else I think I would have find it quite spooky, but here it makes perfect sense. It's so deep you can barely hear it but it really fills up the cold air. There are also about 30 billion dogs that howl to the moon or whatever it is they are doing, and that makes me miss the Jämtländish forest and silence a bit, but hey, one can't have it all.