Monday, April 21, 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014
As we were entering the gates of the hotel that evening Amanda noticed a sign that said "6:30am elephant ride"!!!!
So after a few phone calls and a few "we're only in Nepal once"'s we were lined up to go for a ride the next morning!
We were told to be up at zero-dark-thirty to get some breakfast and make sure we got to the place on time.
I slept in my clothes that night for two reasons...
1. My pajama's were not going to be warm enough.
2. I figured not having to change clothes in the morning would allow me to sleep a few more minutes.
Yep I slept in my clothes... Don't judge, it was COLD! Besides I definitely wasn't sweating!
So early in the morning the three of us got up, brushed our teeth. Using our flashlights we came down the three flights of stairs in the dark... And it was DARK. We tried to remember where the "restaurant" was. We fumbled around in the dark and then realized if there weren't lights on, it probably wasn't open... So we stumbled back to the steps in front of the hotel and waited.
Things we learned while we waited:
-Nepal is definitely not on "U.S. time". We waited for about an hour in the dark before any other lights started to come on.
-Elephants are very quiet. Several passed by on the street while we waited... It was alarming how close they were before we knew they were there.
-Dawn is one of the coldest times of day!
After being tossed like a salad and having bumped my head a few times we arrived!
We were told the morning was the best time to sight rhino's, tigers and crocodiles! OH MY! ;) I was excited as a child on Christmas morning. We asked Pastor Luke if he was excited too.. He politely laughed and shrugged his shoulders.
Before long Pastor Luke made a few phone calls and we loaded into the taxi to go to the bus 'station'. I was a little worried that we were late but have learned when Nepalis aren't worried we shouldn't be either. We were driving down a narrow dirt road between two rice fields when we stopped.
Then the bus coming our way stopped too. Pastor Luke said, "Here is your bus!" Really? In the middle of the rice fields? So we got out of the car and loaded onto the bus. Off we were and headed back to Kathmandu! ;)
I can't imagine this being how you get in and out of your village!
We made it back to Kathmandu safely and headed back to the apartment to bathe with our cold bucket of water. (We did eventually realize we could boil some water and have warm water to dump on our heads... That helped us not be quite so miserably cold!).
(more Nepal to come soon.)
Friday, April 4, 2014
I've been back from Nepal for a little over a month now... it seems like so long ago.
I guess each trip takes me awhile to process and think about what I learned, what I want to say and why I was there in the first place.
This trip was eye opening for me. I for one didn't expect Nepal to be as "3rd World" as it was. I knew it wasn't going to be 1st world, I guess I was just struck by Kathmandu itself. I expected the capital city to be a little more industrialized than it was. It just wasn't. Even the capital didn't have power during many parts of the day. And heat... NOPE! Yes Kathmandu is in the Himalayan Mountains... no, heat isn't something they have figured out yet. Can you say BRRRR! I definitely wasn't prepared for that!
Anyway we stayed in Kathmandu, at the guest house of an awesome ministry, and went out from there. Our first outing was to go Chitwan valley. It was a BUMPY, winding, 7hr, death defying adventure through the 'foothills' of the Himalayans. (Yep these foothills make the blue ridge mountains look like ant hills.)
This is the view of the winding road we were on... So, so, so many ways to 'not make it back'. :/
I did A LOT of praying on this bus ride! We kept telling ourselves... these drivers do this everyday... And then I would look down the rocky cliff and see upside down and inside out vehicles that used to drive that road everyday... not any more. :/
After we bought some apples and oranges we headed back to the home. We met with all the boys along with Pastor Luke and his family. It was devotion time. Pastor Luke led all of us (well he led the boys ,we watched... it was all in Nepali) in some worship time. It was beautiful nnd chilling to hear these boys sing with all of their hearts. They praised God with every fiber of their being. When they prayed they all prayed fervent individual prayers in unison. As I sat in this room listening I couldn't shake this feeling that these boys, these 12 young men are going to be world changers... earth shakers... kingdom builders.
(Not sure if this video uploaded correctly but there is supposed to be a video of the boys worshiping here)
After tea Pastor Luke took us to the local culture house where we saw traditional tribal dance. It was fascinating.
We came back to the hotel and had a dimly lit dinner... (not for ambiance but because of the lack of electricity.) It was delicious though.
Pastor Luke shared his testimony with us which an inspiring story. It was full of evidence of our loving an merciful God. If one ever doubts God, hearing Pastor Luke's testimony will restore their faith.
By this point in the evening we were exhausted. It has been a long day full of bumpy rides and many emotions. We climbed the stairs to our hotel room and snuggled into bed. (Yep it was still cold. I slept in layers of clothes, hat, scarf, ski mittens, and had my feet in the arms of my coat... I stayed 'reasonably' warm.)
Nepal: Phase II coming soon.