Today is the first day of Dashain, one of the biggest Nepali holidays. I have the day off from work, so I finally have time to write a post 🙂 In other news, I have diarrhea 😦 I promised myself when I started this blog that I would write about our nepali jiwan (Nepali life), both the good and the bad, so I guess here’s a post about the bad.
The World Health Organization estimates that diarrhea causes 4% of all deaths every year, killing mostly children in developing countries. If not treated, diarrhea can get very serious very fast. Mine has not gotten to a critical point yet, but I have started taking some medicine to get better. To deal with my stomach issues, I have to drink lots of jiwan jal, which means “life water.” It’s powder full of electrolytes that must be mixed with water. When I lived in a Nepali village for about a month, we didn’t have anything sweet to eat, so I used to mix this stuff with water and drink it occasionally when I was having a sugar craving (I know, it’s a little gross). This morning, the only problem with the jiwan jal was that I couldn’t read the directions on the packet! Here they are:
Tri, his brother, and bua are all at work, so I don’t have anyone to translate the Devanagari for me (the script in which Nepali is written).
It’s not that hard to make the jiwan jal; you just mix the powder in with hot water, as the pictures show. But I couldn’t figure out the proportions, so I ended up winging it. It tasted alright, though, so I think I did okay.
People are very open here about health issues, especially when it comes to stomach problems. In the US, I wouldn’t discuss the state of my stomach with anyone but Tri and maybe my parents, but here, everybody knows. Tri, his brother and father, their friends, even the neighbors sometimes know. I used to be embarrassed about it, but I realized that this information is shared for a reason. The more people know about it, the more likely you are to get the medicine and help that you need.
That’s all on my health issues for now. We’re heading out of Kathmandu next week, though, and traveling can be the easiest way to pick up bugs, but hopefully I won’t have anymore problems for a while…