Hello! We’re really excited to be writing this blog post, as we’ve so much to tell! In the last two and a bit weeks, we have celebrated Rachel’s birthday, had a trip to Pokhara, and watched with some horror and much amazement as our accident-prone flat plumbing was fixed.
Two weeks ago on Saturday, Rachel – to her dismay, it seemed – turned 18 and ‘became an adult’. Rach and Rebekah have no idea what this is supposed to mean… Having just recovered from illness (thank you so much for your prayers), our plans for the day were rather up in the air. But as it turned out, the lack of planning made for a relaxed day, which included a visit to the zoo. The animals are, by the way, very close neighbours of ours, as our flat is less than 100 metres from the zoo wall, and we have (once) heard the tigers roaring! Next up, at the beginning of December, is Rebekah’s birthday. Whereas Rachel is “not really a birthday person”, Rebekah is the polar opposite and we will have to go ‘all out’ on the planning for the 4th of December!
Last week was a frenzy of preparation to go away for a few days to Pokhara – this is the second biggest city in Nepal and a magnet for foreign tourists because it is closer to the Himalayas than Kathmandu. We have been excited about this trip ever since we arrived in country, as it would mean a chance to see the mountains, closer than ever, and escape the pollution in the capital city. And, as you can see from the photos, it didn’t let us down! It’s a beautiful, beautiful place.
We were based at Green Pastures Hospital, on the edge of Pokhara, which is funded by the International Nepal Fellowship (INF). One of our supervisors works for INF, who were holding their first ever international conference last week, bringing staff from Nepal, the UK, Australia and Canada together for pretty much the first time. It was a pleasure to be a part of it, in charge of leading a programme of activities for the children of INF families. We adopted the theme of ‘the Armour of God’, and looked at people mentioned in the Bible who ‘put on the armour’. Much fun was had and chaos caused by the craft activity: making a suit of armour for a paper cut-out of each child!
The hospital complex includes a guesthouse for INF use, cottages for patients and/or families of patients to recuperate in, and a farm to allow those families to work whilst they are (a long way) away from home – people often come from extremely remote, rural parts of Nepal to receive treatment. We were staying in the ‘farmhouse’ wing of the guesthouse, which meant we had to squelch through the buffalo yard to get back to our room every night.
And in final news from our time in Pokhara, we went paragliding!!! This was a surreal and incredible experience, which makes us feel doubly lucky to be in Nepal and have had the opportunity to do it. Thank you to our supervisors and parents for putting up with the nerves until we were safely on the ground once again! So in summary, we have had an extremely blessed time in Pokhara, and it might have been a little dull to return to Kathmandu… …
We needn’t have worried. We returned to our flat to find that the kitchen was flooded with water, presumably the outcome of a burst pipe. The next day was spent watching, bemused, as the plumber proceeded to re-cement the kitchen wall tiles, replace our kitchen tap, and take our bathroom sink off the wall. None of them actions we had expected, given that there seemed to be a leak behind the kitchen tiles which would require fixing before re-cementing, and our bathroom plumbing had seemed to be working fine. But it got us back up and running! Evidently, our very limited plumbing knowledge had been misleading us! Maybe…
Praise for the opportunity we’ve had to see another part of Nepal, and look up at the Himalayas!
Prayer that our plumbing would cause us no more problems. Praise for our landlord and his family, who are very keen to help us out where they can.
Prayer for the upcoming weeks of getting stuck back into projects; particularly for the preschool, where we are allowed to teach about the Christmas story and really want to do it justice; and for ABBS, where we would like to start contributing ideas and activities to our classrooms.
Thank you for reading. Keep scrolling down if you’d like to see more of our photos! We just couldn’t narrow them down any more.