Dream house
Dream house

Way up on the Tibetan border, Lapa is one of the most remote places in
Dhading district. You can’t get there by road. The only way is a long
walk, about five days, from the end of the road. The country is
incredibly steep and unstable. People work hard to scratch a living –
corn, potatoes – from their hilly, sloping fields.

Harka Bahadur
Ghale is no stranger to hard work. When he retired from the Nepal Army,
he saved his pension, and took on daily labouring jobs in the district,
like carrying stone, to support his family of six. But he wanted more
than that. He wanted to provide them with a really strong, comfortable
house – one that would keep out the pounding rains of the monsoon and
the icy cold of the Himalayan winter.

His “dream house” is now a
heap of stone and broken timbers, destroyed in the earthquake of 25
April. And worse, now Harka Bahadur owes NRP 600,000 (USD 6,000), an
enormous amount for a Nepali villager. He doesn’t know how he’ll repay
it; the interest rate is 30%. It looks as though his son, Dil Bahadur,
will have to leave the small tent which is now their home, and seek
laboring work in the Gulf.

Harka Bahadur had been looking
forward to a second retirement, handing over the family fields to his
son and taking it a bit easier. Now it looks as though more years of
hard work lie ahead.

The Ghale family outside
the tent they now call home

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