I cannot easily describe the extraordinary reception I received upon my arrival in Gorahi,
As our UN vehicle pulled into the street where RWDC is located (after a five-hour drive from the nearest airstrip), we found ourselves staring at somewhere between 200 and 400 local Tharu men and women (mostly women), dressed in their traditional event attire (red and white for women, blue for men), who had been waiting in the drizzle for us to arrive. The women had bouquets and laurel necklaces (think
Aasmani herself had been the chief organizer of this gathering – a testament to her respect and influence in her community that she could bring so many together in a choreographed manner. And speaking of choreography, what followed for our entertainment and celebration was two hours of traditional dances interspersed with speeches from Aasmani and the UNFPA staff reminding the many who stayed to watch just why we were having this gathering in the first place: because the work Aasmani does is so necessary for the development of a stronger, healthier Dang Valley.
That, after all, was why I was there too, and why we are brining Aasmani to
I’ll spare you all the details of the banquet…