Thursday, December 27, 2007


Alright, it has been a few weeks...but I have finally been able to post! My laptop is still in Delhi. I received my shipped luggage yesterday - 2 weeks after it's arrival in the country. The shipper said they only had one piece; but upon gaining permission to go to the warehouse to see it, I spied my other piece not 5 feet away. So that was very good! First Impressions: 1. It can get VERY COLD - especially at night - especially indoors, where it never really warms up during the day. During the second week, we finally located an electric blanket which made all the difference in the world for my nights. 2. It is beautiful. Kathmandu is a capital city located in a valley amongst the foothills of the Himalayas. In that aspect, the city seemed to be reminiscent of Tegucigalpa. The foothills are green with trees and very steep. Anandaban is located on a foothill to the south, on the outside of the mountain facing south (away from Kathmandu). The Himalayas are visible on clear days from Kathmandu (KTM), but not Anandaban since it faces the south. The Himalayas have to be immense, since they are miles away yet can seem part of the sky since they span sometimes above the clouds above the mountains here. Anandaban overlooks a sharp and narrow valley between more foothills. The mountainsides are populated with people, mostly it looks like small farms. It takes about an hour and a half to drive into KTM. About 20 minutes to drive to the other side of the mountain - then another half hour or so to drive through multiple neighboring small villages. The villages seem to have electricity, bnut have communal taps where the women mostly seem to go to fill up jugs/basins of water, do their laundry etc. Then after the villages, you will enter the outskirts of KTM, where the roads and busineses change a bit and there are more people. In general, there are people everywhere walking about - in the villages, along the roads, in the valley. There are several gravel pits working on the mountain sides. They consist of piles of rocks, brought in by trucks running I think sometimes around the clock. An engine with a conveyor belt then rumbles dawn to dusk, as women and men load the conveyor belt with rocks to be crushed into gravel. It is then shoveled or hauled via back-baskets to piles or trucks. The sound of the machines echo throughout the mountain and valley all day. 3. It is extremely dusty here. Monsoon is during the late spring and summer. Other times of the year, it gets very dry and very dusty. Truck drivers and people even walking alongside the roads often cover their mouths and noses to keep from inhaling too much dust. 4. The people are very friendly. Many of the hospital employees speak english. I began language training last week. At the end of this week, I will know all my letters and can sound out some words. Nepalis have repeatedly told me that their langage is easy! :) I found a parallel new testament. 5. I spent Christmas with Rachel, Murdo, their two kids (Esther, 4yr, James 8mths) and Jolanda (a visiting Dutch physiotherapist). Rachel roasted a chicken in a toaster oven, carrots, broccoli, christmas pudding and cake and I made the garlic mashed potatoes. We ate outside. 6. Elisa will be arriving from Australia this Sunday, December 30. she will then go with me to languge training for the next month or so. 7. There are a number of children living on the compound, many of which speak pretty good english since they go to english medium schools. They are beautiful. :) 8. I have taken video and pics, but due to internet limitations and access - I haven't gotten to post them yet. I will eventually. 9. Do you have specific questions?? Post them in a comment and I will see what can be done... Thanks for your prayers!!

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