Life in Bihar is a little different than life in Muuratsalo, Finland. Most of all I miss the exercise. Even though Alankrita and I have taken walks in the evening also, it is not possible in this town of Katihar. Street is so busy, that you do not feel safe even the two of you in the dark. So, our room turns into a gym.
Here is no sauna, and students have not even heard about sauna. Shower room has a little bucket and a scoop. I use them for washing. Shower head there is, yes, but the water temperature changes so much that you might boil yourself. So bucket is the best and saves water. Toilets do not have paper, so I have even learnt not to use it. It saves paper. Very ecological.
I can tell there is some iron and arsenic in the water. My cheeks started looking red after washing with the local water. Now better since I use the tablet and filter cleaned water to my face also (same as I drink).
Water is a big issue here. And Yle just reported recently about the difficulty that is ahead in the Himalayas (this is very close to that), when ice and snow are going to melt. More floods coming up. The good news is that local government radio AIR, All India Radio is starting to broadcast 5-minute educational daily program on disaster preparedness. One of their basic reminders to the households is that keep a disaster kit ready in your house. That kit must contain some eatables, matches, candle and radio with new batteries. AIR is not giving out radios, they ask people to have one radio in plastic bag ready for disaster.
Not always you can take anything. In flash flood 2017, it came during the night when people were sleeping. It took everybody for surprise. Even the media and disaster management. All the students we train here to do interviews in flood areas, did experience that flood.
We drove today from Purnia to Katihar, and that area was completely covered with water (some say two meters high). So, most houses are made of twigs are straw. Because they will break away anyway in next flood. Few people can afford to build a cement house.