Kathmandu with Children

Topics: Nepal, Tourism in Bahrain Pages: 10 (4434 words) Published: December 2, 2011
Kathmandu with Children This is some information, hopefully useful, for those coming to live in Kathmandu. We arrived in July 2004 with a daughter aged one (she had her first birthday in Nepal) and a son aged two and a half. We had spent previous Christmas holidays in Pakistan so were aware of some of the difficulties of taking children to the third world, and had also been working in Bahrain for two years. We came out to Kathmandu as soon as term ended in Bahrain. This gave us a very useful month to settle in. Our previous experience and familiarity meant we had few real worries – I very much had the attitude that we would get by, and so far we have. Different people you ask will tell you different stories and give you different advice. This is just one personal view on things and how we have settled in. It’s what we found and did, and why – it is not definitive advice! Concerns The most serious concerns for me were malaria and air pollution. The Anopheles mosquito is not present in the Kathmandu valley, as far as we know, so malaria is probably not something to worry about. There are however, some pretty big mosquitoes around, and our son does occasionally get bitten quite badly (he insists on being outdoors as much as possible). We don’t use antimalarial drugs. We sometimes use mosquito repellent cream, which is available here (children’s version), but it doesn’t seem to work very well. We’ve tried citronella with limited success. We don’t use mosquito nets but all sleep with a fan on at night, which the mozzies don’t like, and stay indoors when they’re biting (dusk and dawn). We've been told that this is the worst time of year for mosquitoes and things will get better as winter approaches. I've heard that some families in Nepal are being advised to inoculate against Japanese encephalitis which is also mosquito born: it's something we'll look into. As far as vaccinations go we're all for them, and if it's advised we tend to favour any jabs available. There's much angst about this in the UK, especially MMR, but I believe that not vaccinating your children in countries like Nepal is rather foolish. Two books we find useful are the DK Family Medical Encyclopaedia and Your Child’s Health Abroad by Wilson-Howarth and Ellis. We bought them through Amazon and brought them with us from Bahrain. I’ve heard mixed reports about the post to Nepal, and am reluctant to use it for anything important or valuable. I could be wrong. Our home The air pollution is dreadful along the main roads. Take a stroll up Pulchowk and you can feel the exhaust fumes lining you throat. We decided to live outside the ring road at Bhainsepati, a small village south of Patan. I expect the air quality is still fairly poor here, but it's on a hill and compared to the city it seems much better. This area is increasingly popular with expats and has plenty of good walks in the paddy fields. A car is highly desirable if you live this far out but not necessarily essential: getting to work is a 10-15

minute walk downhill to the taxi rank (and 50 rupees to school), a 20 minute bike ride, or an hour's gentle stroll. Coming home is harder as it's quite a steep hill. We have a very grand house which costs 40,000R a month (300 pounds sterling) but we also have to pay 15% tax on top, so it comes to 46,000. We have a full time Didi (Hindi for big sister - a maid) and a night watchman who also does the garden. They don't live in and cost 5,000R a month each. They both get on well with the children - my son's at an age where digging in the garden is heaven. Our daughter does eat the soil at times, but we're divided on that one, my wife doesn't like it while I'm of the opinion that it's good for the immune system. The Didi picks up fruit and vegetables on her way to us in the mornings, and we send the gardener/watchman down to pay bills. I was unsure about having staff but they have been a big help, and you are putting money back into the local economy at a level where...
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