What can we say about B and Kali? I suppose we should start at the beginning.
We first went to Bardia in November 2001 after finishing a Karnali rafting trip at Chisapani and met the lovely, quietly spoken Arjun by the river while all the touts surrounded us and hassled us. They were all saying that they were 'Mr B'. Unfortunately for them we came armed with a list of questions that they needed to get right before we believed them.
We'd been warned that this could happen and had Shakuntala's name written down, the name of his camp and other random details. Arjun was able to convince us that he would take us to see the real 'Mr B'.
We'd heard about 'Mr B' in a kind of magical way, we were trekking around Annapurna and met a Dutch girl who told us about a lovely man that she'd met in Delhi who was escorting an American tourist to Delhi Airport from Nepal. The tourist had been robbed of all his possessions in Pokhara and eventually put in prison in Nepal when he lashed out at a police officer who was doing nothing to help. The man that she met was called simply 'Mr B' and he was helping because he was worried that the tourist was a bit vulnerable after all his troubles. She stayed at Nature's Way (the original camp) for three weeks and she couldn't say enough nice things about him and his wife Shakuntala.
We ended up doing the same as her, despite planning to stay only a few days we stayed three weeks. We were treated like members of the family and became great friends with B and Kali. When we left we were sure we would go back to see them within a year or two. Then the conflict started and we ended up moving to HK and being teachers we never had holidays at the right time of year to visit Bardia. Trying to do our bit to help, we sent many friends who were visiting Nepal to see them and they all had a similar experience to our own.
Eventually, sick of HK, we decided to finish our contracts and made a grand plan to cycle from HK to see B and Kali again, leaving in July 2008. However just as we were about to get our Chinese visa, the Tibet protests kicked off and China stopped issuing any visas longer than 30 days and made it impossible for cyclists to enter Tibet (the direct route to Nepal). We had to come up with a new plan!
In December 2008 we finally made it to Bardia after cycling 6000km through Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, China (Xinjiang), Pakistan and India. We were the first people to stay in the new cottages, which are beautiful and we stayed for about 4 weeks. The welcome was still amazing and leaving was so sad. We've thought about them every day since we left and will be back within a few months just to see how much progress gets made. Bibus, Bibek, Mina and Bina are getting more involved, they have a great new trainee called Diliram, Resham has two delightful daughters born since we were first there, and Kali now speaks excellent English. B is still B although he's not as skinny as he was 7 years ago....too many Dhal Bhat's!!!!
Go and visit them, you won't regret it.
Simon (UK) and Isabelle (Canada) - we first met in Nepal 2001 and have been together ever since - married for the last 6 years. http://hk-to-uk.blogspot.com