It is just after 9am and still slightly cold. The sunshine has not yet completely broken through the mist which lies like a veil across the countryside giving everything a slightly eerie, smudged effect. It’s been a bumpy, noisy, take-no-prisoners ride from our hotel in Biratnagar, Nepal’s second city, to a tiny rural community not far from the border with India. The community where we are being hosted is home to people from dalit indigenous backgrounds such as Pasman, Sardar and Chaudhary; people who are doing it tough, most existing on the equivalent of just a couple of $US a day.
As we drive we transition from teeming dirty, chaotic city to a vast sprawling patchwork quilt of small cultivated fields that sprawls far into the distance. It is stunningly beautiful but behind the beauty lies a hard daily reality.As we crunch and crash along the rough dirt road that gets narrower and narrower until it is little more than a track, the incessant bark of the horn clears people and the animals tethered to feed. Occasionally we screech to a halt as the driver’s mate ushers a baby goat or hen with her new baby chickens to safety. The world