Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 9, 2011

Well I’m not in Nepal anymore. But I still have so much to say about it! 

One thing that I’ve always really appreciated about reading other traveling friends’ blogs is when they describe a typical day doing whatever they’re doing. So that’s what I’m going to do! November 9th happened to be my favorite day of the entire trip (minus the trek), so that’ll be my model :). 

Days at the children’s home always started with waking up to the sounds of slamming doors and screaming kids, and this day was no exception. Breakfast was crispy rice with curry and warm milk poured over it. At first both Kirsten and I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites of this, but we eventually learned to really like it! 

That was the day that Nelson had asked me to teach a Bible study with the kids, so after breakfast we all went downstairs to the multi-gender room and had a time of worship and learning. It was SO much fun teaching the kids. I told them a story from Daniel, and how reliant Daniel was on his friends when he needed their help in prayer. Then I explained to them that since there are so many of them, they have an amazing opportunity to lean on each other and support each other in prayer. Then we played a fun demonstration game :). 

It was so rewarding to get to do that! I mentioned this earlier I think, but just being able to be in my element, teaching kids about the Bible, was just the best experience. It was really fun having Nelson translate everything too, because it gave me time to really prepare what I was going to say for every sentence! There’s a picture on one of the last posts of me teaching, so if you’re interested to see look there :). 

After the kids went to school, Kirsten and I went to get some delicious donuts and hop on the bus that would take us to our next destination. The bus system in Nepal is absolutely hilarious. Basically there are places called Bus Parks, where about 10 or so busses park, depending on the size of the place and how many people will be going back and forth. If you need to take a bus somewhere, you get on a bus with people on it and wait. Once the driver and money handler feel that the bus is full enough, it leaves! The crazy thing though is that it picks more people up on the way, so after a few stops the bus is always CRAMMED with people. 

Anyway, so that’s how Kirsten and I took the bus. That day we went to teach English with Tami Asia, a connection we had made at the international church. We had been there before, but didn’t really teach classes on our own since they had their own teachers and everything. But on that day we got there and there was a different translator, and he said that since the teacher was late all the teaching was up to us! 

So I go up to the board, and just started teaching. It was so great! There were two students, both women around 50. I taught them how to buy and sell, and we worked on emotion words as well. Eventually the teacher did show up, but he was happy with how class was going so just told me to keep doing my thing. It was so fun! I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed teaching until then. A couple days later when we went back, I had another awesome opportunity to work one-on-one with Sabita, one of the ladies from before. We had such a good time, but it was heartbreaking to make such a great friend like her and then have to leave two days later :(. 

Sabita and I
Anyway, back to the best day ever. After teaching with Tami Asia, Kirsten and I always went to a great Indian food restaurant called Universal Cafe. We discovered a lot of really great food there, I already miss it. My favorite dish was called Paneer Palak, or Alu Palak. Paneer is a type of cheese, and Alu means potato. Palak is a scrumptious curry dish with a spinach base, and its bright green. It looked so gross, but tasted so good! 

That day marked the middle of the week for Kirsten and I, so we went to the DeBortoli’s to shower. They took such good care of us! When we weren’t staying there, we still would go over for all of our hygiene and internet needs :). While we were there I got two amazing emails, one from my mom confirming that we’re going to a Mumford and Sons concert, and one from one of my best friends saying that we’re going to be able to live together next semester! Definitely a great day for emails. 

After that we caught the bus back to the children’s home and played with the kids. I got to play with two of the youngest boys, we play a game called “Down by the Banks,” but the only words they know are “Hankey Pankey” so that’s what they call it :). 

After a delicious dinner being stuffed down quickly due to a time crunch, we whisked away on the backs of Denesh’s and Nelson’s bikes to the DeBortoli’s again. We were meeting there and then heading out to Thamel on an outreach. In the day, Thamel is a very touristy place where they sell trekking gear at really low prices. But at night, all the bars open up and Thamel is where a lot of the sex trafficking in Kathmandu happens. So about 20 of us went down to walk through the streets, pray, and just see what happens. 

When we got there we split up into about four groups. Kirsten and I found ourselves with Ganga and Dinesh, and since Kirsten and I had been invited to a specific bar the first time we had been to Thamel we decided to go there first. When we got there, there was a (very small) bouncer who told us that we had to pay 200 rupees each in order to get in. But then I had Denesh tell him that we were invited personally to the bar, and we all got in for free! 

While we were there we got to talk to a girl and tell her about how Jesus loves her, and she immediately asked us to meet with her for lunch the next day. It was so great! After leaving the bar we got to talk to a couple more people, and buy food for a women who’s husband had recently died and was selling cigarettes on the street. 

To get back to the children’s home was an adventure in and of itself. First there were six of us who had to take a taxi, so Joel climbed into the front seat, then Kirsten, Katy, Nelson, Denesh and I all crammed ourselves into the back. Hilarious! Then I got to ride on the back of Nelson’s bike through the empty streets of Kathmandu from the Debortoli’s back to the children’s home, and it was my favorite bike ride ever. There was a full moon, the streets were empty, and we were flying. Apparently everyone else was freezing on the bikes, but I loved every second :). 

So that was my favorite day in Nepal. I loved being used, I love seeing God work, and I loved being surrounded by such great people.

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