Balakot Internet Café and My “Crib”

Welcome to my Balakot “Crib” (A small crude cottage or room. Slang: One’s home.). It is about time to give you a tour of the place that I have been staying at for the past few days.

Sorry it will be a quick one but as the saying goes: “a picture is work a thousand words”.

Once we turn off the main highway, we go down a into a ravine and then back up to enter our camp. The camp houses several NGOs including the Red Crecent (AKA Red Cross) and the UN World Health Organization (W.H.O.) . There is also a small tent village at one end and then a large military camp at the other (right over our back fence).

Driveway to our tent
Driveway up to our tent. The dish can be just seen in center above cloth fence.

Balakot tent
This is the main tent that houses most of the activities.

Once inside, this large tent is divided into two. The one side contains the internet café where we have four laptops, wired and wireless connections and a color printer/scanner/copier. Our wireless service is also used by several in the NGO camps (the signal goes a long way through tents).

Internet Cafe side of the Balakot tent
Group of Cuban Doctors and an Australian doing email.

On the other side of the pink divider is our living space:

Dining area of the Balakot tent
This is the dining and work area of our tent.

Kitchen of the Balakot tent
This is our kitchen with stove and food supply. There is also a cook that takes care of us 6 days a week.

Not only is having a cook real nice but we have some really good food to eat. Here is our menu. Note: that there is no menu for Friday. That is the Muslim holy day and a day off.

InternetCafeMenu of the Balakot tent
Very good Pakistani food. I love it!

After a long day, it is so good to crawl into bed. Our sleeping area is just out the back and to the right.

Toilet and Sleeping area in Balakot
On the left is the toilet and the green tent is where we sleep.

But there are some activities we have to do before we close up the tents (so we do not have to come out in the cold in the middle of the night). This is our toilet. Many of you already know how this works and I hear many groans. For those of you who do not I will simply describe it as a “Squatty Potty”. It requires good bending skills and balance. I hope you get the picture. This is the biggest thing I do not like about this site. But “ya gotta do what ya gotta do”.

The Squatty Potty
The “Squatty Potty” where TP does NOT go into the toilet.

Finally to bed. We actually have two tents within the larger green tent where we sleep. This gives us some extra warmth.

My tent
My bed in a tent in a tent.

Have a great Christmas Eve!