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SELF-RELIANCE

There is one village in Nepal that encapsulates so much.  Riepe is mellow in its way of rhyming with the seasons (five of them, including the monsoon).  Here indeed are simple examples of self-sufficiency; what with ploughing, planting, irrigating, cropping, winnowing and milling, and what with bee hives and the births of chicks, kid goats and calves.

 

From Riepe’s basic harvest comes simple food.  For most of us most of the time the staples of rice and roti, of root-vegetables and lentils and pulses and green vegetables and dhahi (curd) are acceptable - but thank goodness eggs and honey and poultry are also on hand.  Riepe produces its share of nature's bounty, and one can add fruits, berries and spices, millet too for ‘rakshi’...booze to you and me.  Home-grown food is perhaps the best example of Riepe’s self-reliance.

 

All the materials for building the homes in the village have been quarried (stone) and cut (wood) and gathered (thatch) locally.  Even the traditional ‘Nepali red’ mud stucco is close at hand as is a slate quarry for tiles, while most building methods are from a long local tradition.

 

Riepe is a reflection of its surroundings and of its weather – and all the while the villagers probably still view every blessing and every curse as heaven-sent.