Carmela is a 19 year old girl who we met through TOIT, the organization we are volunteering with. She is remarkably elegant and when you talk with her you are immediatly at ease. She comes from a humble home and has received a scholarship through the organization until this year.
Carmela told us today about her life. She says the most unusual thing is she has two mothers. Her father married and the woman could not bear children, so he married a second woman who had 4 children. Carmela calls one ma and on mommy (I might have that wrong) and she says they get along very well.
Carmela's ancestors were meat cutters so she is from the second lowest caste (35th out of 36) so she has limited prospects in marriage since you must marry from the same caste. Since about70% of marriages are arranged and most of the people in her caste in this town are related, she will likely have to move to another city once she gets married.
The higher castes will not allow her to touch things that they may eat or drink and some other things that shocked us. She says that in Kathmandu people are trying to live a modern life so the effects of being in a lower caste is less pronounced their.
Carmela wants to go to university but her sponsor decided that they would not support her in this endeavor so she is getting trying to get a months advance from the job she is working so she can pay the $35 annual tuition for her university. If you are interested in supporting her let me know.