Some times people ask what life is now like for the Samunnat ladies. Kopila sat down with the ladies recently and chatted with them about their lives – what a typical day is usually like for them. We hope you find our answers interesting. It is worth remembering that most homes have no electricity and do not have a tap inside so water has to be collected from a nearby tap. Some are simple rooms. A usual day starts with a cup of chiya (sweet spiced milky tea) when you wake and then dal bhat (rice and lentils) is served mid morning before coming to the office. There may be some snacks, maybe some corn or potatoes, in the afternoon and then a second serve of dal bhat is served around 7 or 8 for dinner. Many of the ladies live with their own parents or alone which is VERY unusual in Nepal but shows how things are changing. Apart from Pramila and Kumari who live in a village a long way from town, the other ladies walk to work.
Each of us spends our time in our way. We each want to do something which gives us satisfaction and meaning to live our life. Now we have meaning for our life and we are living with happiness.
When our life was covered with darkness we always look at others life and want life the same as them. Now we are living with brightness and people are surprised and curious about what made this change.
We love every morning to get up early and finish our household work. We all have a fixed time to leave for our office, which we love because there we share good and positive things and mix-up our fingers with polymer clay.
This is Kumari (left) and she lives with her 5 yr old son. Her day starts at 5.30 in the morning. She does some yoga and meditation, cleans her rooms, washes her clothes and makes her son to do his school work. She makes lunch for both of them to take with them. Her son goes to school at 9 .00 am and she leaves at 9.30 am to the office. Kumari rides 17 kms on her push bike to come to work. Rain, hail and shine. At the office, Kumari makes the jewellery and runs our cooperative. She does our book-keeping now that she has done a course to learn these things.
After she rides home at the end of the day, she starts making dinner, washes dishes, cleans the kitchen and, later in the night, if her son is awake she tells him a story. She is enjoying her every moment with time.
Gita (right) is living with her 9 yr old daughter and she loves to make what her daughter wants to eat. Some days she even makes curry and dhal for our office lunch for other ladies. She wakes up at 5.00 early morning and, like the other ladies, she cooks and cleans, but she washes her clothes after her day at the office.
She also like to visit some friends house and shares with them what she is making or doing.
Sarmila (left) and her mother live together and her mother makes morning chiya for her when she wakes but Sarmila makes lunch for them both. (Sarmila’s mother is not well). She leaves at 9.00am for office because she is appointed as the office assistant. This means she opens the office and is in charge of the keys. She starts the morning cleaning at the office and she and Kumari and Kopila manage stocks.
Mankumari (right) has 5 members in her family: as well as herself there is her mother, two brothers, and a sister so she has to work hard at home washing, cleaning, cooking. She is the elder among them and her mother sells vegetables so every day she have to open her shop and brothers never cook. This is our culture and her sister also work away as a housemaid. So Mankumari has much work. Beside all her house work she love to come to Samunnat and she is very regular.
Rita (left) is our new bahini (little sister) and she has two sons – 2 years and 5 yrs old. Now she is also living with her mother. Each morning she wakes up at 6.ooam which she thinks is late but she feels very tired from feeding her baby son. She does every household work, cooking, cleaning and washing. Her mother helps look after her sons. She says, After the office my sons sit with me and want to talk and play. They don`t let me do any work so my mother makes dinner for us all.
Sita (right) has three goats so every morning she have to take them out from the goat house and she has to cut grass for them and feed them too. She also has a son who is 5 yrs old. (Sita’s son has some special needs so she works very hard caring for him). She cooks, cleans and washes. Also after she sends her boy to the school, she come to the office.
Parmila (left) lives with her mother and father and they have milk giving cow. She has to cut grass and feed her. She also look after her parents who are not healthy. So she cooks, cleans, washes. Every work she do. If some thing remains after office she will do it. She forgets her home situation when she comes to Samunnat.
Ambika (right) lives with her mother and father and 10 year old son and her day begins very early. She wakes at 4.30 as there are milking cows to be fed and tended as well as all the cleaning, washing and cooking. She tries to fit in some yoga but is not always able to manage this. She walks her son to school and then comes to the office at 9.30. Sometimes Ambika takes on the office assistant jobs and she is always so timely. She loves so much to come to the office. After her day at the office making her jewellery, she comes home and talks with her son and has some chiya with her mum and dad and then as usual for us all makes dal bhat for dinner. She likes to go to bed around 9.00. She says when she had a difficult time it was very hard for her to get goodnight sleep. Now none of the difficulties comes between her goodnight sleep.
These are some of our stories. We are so happy for the people who buy our things and make our lives so happy.