台湾、ブラジル(?)に続くandな旅シリーズ第3弾は、なぜかネパールです。しかも、かの地を旅したのは1年前の夏のこと。その上、ほとんどの日本人には馴染みの薄いコタンという村が目的地でした。and recipeの友人であるシャラド・ライくんの生まれ故郷で過ごした数日間。ライくんが作った学校で、and recipeが作った日本の給食は、子供たちに「完食」してもらえたのでしょうか。
撮影/関 暁  取材・文/唐澤和也
Followed by Taiwan and Brazil (?), the third story of and journey is somehow Nepal. Moreover, it was last summer when we went on a trip to Nepal. Not only that, we even headed toward Khotang village at that time, where would be not so familiar in Japan. Several days at the hometown of and recipe’s close friend, Sharad Rai. In a school, founded by Rai himself, did kids eat everything on and recipe made Japanese meals?
Photograph by : Satoru Seki  Interview & Report by:Kazuya Karasawa

 参加メンバーは、and recipeのふたりとライター&編集者である僕、そしてカメラマンでじゃんけんの弱い関くん。こんなふうに書くとand recipe magazineの取材のためのメンバーのようだけれど、実際は違う。当時はまだand recipe magazineは創刊されておらず、というか、創刊予定すらなかったからだ。


 2015年7月のある夜、and recipeの小池花恵に「高田馬場でおいしいネパール料理を食べませんか?」と誘われて、生まれてはじめてネパールの人と会うことになっていた。それが、ライくんだった。うまれてはじめて食べた水牛のモモ(ネパールふう餃子)が、うますぎるだろと感動していると、ライくんがネパールのことをぽつりぽつりと教えてくれた。メモ魔な僕は「ボクシング元世界王者のパッキャオ似のライくん。熱い男」とノートに文字を走らせる。


Seki, a photographer, was so bad rock-pepper-scissor.
Kuala Lumpur airport, he had to pay all expenses of the meals for us after losing the game. Not only that, in the middle of going to Khotang, he also treated us to cokes, and he bought beers again at the airport.
It happened in last summer in 2015.
We headed toward Nepal.
The participating members include two people from and recipe, me as a writer as well as editor, and Seki, the bad rock-pepper-scissor and the photographer as mentioned above. You may think we were consisted for conducting the interview of and recipe magazine, but the truth is, and recipe magazine was neither established, nor even planned to be established at that time.
“Nepalese begin using alcohol beverage two weeks after your birth.”
With his fluent Japanese, it sounded like a joke: they storyteller is Sharad Rai.
One night, July, 2015, Hanae Koike from and recipe asked me to eat out at Nepalese restaurant in Takadanobaba. It was the first time that I had ever met a person from Nepal – Rai. Not only that, it was my first time to eat Momo (Nepali Gyoza), made by water buffalo meat, and I was greatly impressed with the food. At that time, I also learned about the country of Nepal from Rai. As a diligent note taker, I was taking notes as follows: “Rai – who looks like a world boxing champion, Pacquiao. Such a passionate man.”
“Compared to Japan, education in Nepal is a nightmare. As caste system still clings to us, we have a few schools to go, and there is very limited number of schools. Even if there is a school in the region, in many cases parents choose to keep their girls at home for the household works, and girls have not the opportunity to attend school. Furthermore, schools in Nepal have poor quality teachers. In Japan, teachers may teach the kids to keep promises, but the teachers here don’t keep their promises, as they are either late for school, or even absent from school for heavy drinking. That is why I established the school.”

 学校を作る? 通うんじゃなくて作る? ライくんは、まるで「今朝、目玉焼きを作りました」ぐらいのあっさり感でその言葉を口にしたけれど、もちろん、紆余曲折があったらしい。それでも作った。

 飛行機で約12時間(関くんがおごってくれた空港のトランジットを含む)、車で約10時間(何本かの川を車で横断。激流では5センチぐらい流されるを含む)の移動を経て、コタンという村にある「YouMe School(夢スクール)」にたどり着く。この学校は、多くの日本人による募金や応援によって支えられている。日本から送られたという制服と赤い帽子姿の子供たちがかっこいい。生徒のなかには、朝の6時から3時間半もかけて歩いて通う子もいる。もれなくもじもじしている258個の瞳が、日本から来た4人を見つめている。

 and recipeの料理家・山田英季が、「よし!」と誰に言うでもなく気合を入れていた。いまから彼は、生徒129人に給食をふるまうのだ。メニューは、日本のルウを使ったカレー。レシピを見せてもらうと「鶏肉16000g、じゃがいも5250g」など、桁の違う数字が踊っていて笑える。カメラマンの関くんは、簡易式のプリンターを現地に持ち込んでおり、「生徒みんなのポートレイトを撮りたいんだよね」と、これまた静かに気合が入っている。小池さんは……あれ? いつの間にやら、子供たちに囲まれていた。子供たちの手には折り紙。制服や帽子と同じく、日本から贈られたものなのだろう。どうやら、難易度の高い「金魚」という折り方が自分たちではどうしてもできないから、日本人の小池さんに「折って。これこれ」と身振り手振りでせがんでいるようだ。あとで小池さんに聞くと「超焦りました。だって私、金魚なんて折るの、人生初だったから」と、その言葉とはうらはらに、うれしそうに笑っていた。

ライター&編集者である僕は、じゃがいもの皮を剥いたり、装飾用の風船をふくらませたり、金魚が折れなくて子供たちにがっかりされたりしながら、メモを取っていた。「水は超貴重」「日本米が用意されてる!」「今回の鶏肉は4kg単位でしか増減できなかったらしい。なぜなら、1羽ずつさばくから」といった具合に。 (3ページ目につづく)

More than the deliciousness of Momo, I was shocked by his comment.
Establishing the school? Not going to the school, but establishing the school? While Rai made this comment in a normal manner, such as making a fried egg in this morning, there seem to be multiple problems. Despite all the problems, he founded the school.
As I told the Rai about the quotation by Takeshi Kaiko: ‘Leap before you look,’ which I learned from Takeshi Kitano during my teenage years, he was like, “Exactly like that! I like that saying” with his eyes shining and taking notes – Yeah, he is also a diligent note-taker.
In Nepal, there were 129 kids looking at us.
It was April 24th, 2015.
Traveling by airplane for about 12 hours – including transit at the airport where Seki treated us – and taking another 10 hours by car, – crossing some rivers, including more than 5cm long in a river with rapid current – we arrived safely at the ‘YouMe School (Dream School)’ located in Khotang. This school is sponsored by a myriad of Japanese and other supports. Students were nicely wearing school uniforms and red hats. Among many students, there were kids who got to school on foot for more than 3 hours, walking from 6 am. These 258 eyes watch four of us from Japan hesitantly.
“Okay!” – Hidesue Yamada, and recipe’s chef, was pumped up. He was about to make enough meals to cover 138 students. The selected menu was curry made by Japanese Roux, and the recipe for this menu seemed quite interesting, written as ‘chicken 16,000g, potatoes 5,250g’ in a cursory manner. Seki, the photographer, bringing a simple printing machine to the field, was also motivated to take great portrait photos of every student. Ms. Koike was surrounded by kids before you even know it. Origami appeared in their hands. Both school uniforms and hats might come from Japan. As the students had not been able to solve the most difficult level of Origami ‘Goldfish,’ they were badgering her to finish folding the Origami. Later, Ms. Koike looked back on the moment, smiling in a happy mood “I was really pressed at that time. Well, to tell the truth, it was my first time to fold the Goldfish!”
I envy all the skillful work that they were done – I know Ms. Koike does not make a living for Origami though.
As a writer and editor, peeling potatoes, making balloon ornament, and disappointing children by failing to fold the Goldfish, I was taking a note such as “Water: IMPORTANT” “Japanese rice is here!” “We can only purchase chicken meat of 4kg each because the weight of one chicken is about 4kg, and Nepali cannot keep it without proper storing facilities such as refrigerators and freezers.”