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Counting Lives...

The day started with 6 lives, just arrived we were given 6 pieces of paper these were our lives. There were two different colored papers on the floor, Blue (was clean water) and Yellow (was polluted water). To begin everyone stood on the blue paper. As the music started we began to move around the different papers. Gradually the some blue papers were replaced with yellow papers and as the music stopped, a person left standing on yellow paper lost a life, if you were left not standing on any paper the loss was 2 lives, if you decide to share your clean water then you 1 life each.

As usual we then sat in a circle and saw some slides of water of Patan, The stories, experiences & memories of water by different people through science, everyday life and artistic experience. We also heard of some art projects. One was a story of a woman who turned a phone box into something innovative and special, by putting some cushions and flower for times of sad phone calls. The theme was how we can appreciate little things and make small changes. We thought that one could make some beautiful bowls for birds to drink water during hot summer. This idea was written on our creative ideas wall.

The talk continued on water and we raised two topics, water pollution and water scarcity. The team members were divided into two groups to brainstorm on the topics. We used Problem river (like a problem tree) to find the root causes of the problems. We found it was a ‘Wicked’ Problem for both the teams. What’s a wicked problem? (this was video posted by Devashree on our facebook page ) To find more and know about these problems and the consequences we went to meet with scientists at Patan Hospital.

It had been a long time since I had been to Patan hospital. A few of us had been born there. I only remembered the structures of the buildings. We went to a conference hall, rearranged the tables and chairs and divided into 3 groups. We met Dr. Abhilasha. She did her PhD in Patan Hospital and did research in Lalitpur (Patan where our project Jeewan Jal is focused). There was another group of people involved in research from the Nepali Family Development Foundation (NFDF) and Dr.Mila Shakya. We all sat randomly and discussed on the topic of Typhoid. Dr. Abhilasha shared her experience of doing research in Patan. There were few questions and answers session regarding the problems faced by the scientist during the research such as: Why are we seeing more disease at lower elevation? And Why are young men getting more ill than other groups.

Mapping of Typhoid cases and type which came to Patan Hospital in 2008
The Wards of Patan where researchers have been studying

I was really surprised by the knowledge about the community, engineering of stone spouts, waters in different climate, and elevations of water and activeness of our team members. In the end we all returned with a little bit new knowledge and joy of meeting the scientists.

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