Wednesday, October 31, 2007

An outing with the kids

My second day in Kathmandu, Elder and Sister Taysom introduced me to Cody, Dustin, and Morgan. They're three great guys, all members of the church, who came to Nepal to do a trek through the Himalayas and also to do some volunteer work. Everyday they go to a home for children whose parents are in jail. They teach them, but mostly play with them and just make the kids happy! I was able to go help out with the kids for three days. One of those days we took the kids on an outing up in the mountains. We climbed through some beautiful forests, past waterfalls up to a picnic site near the first water generated power plant in Nepal. We had so much fun playing around in the water with the kids, and chasing the monkeys away as they tried to steal our lunch. So much fun!

Nepal Vs. Oman

We got tickets to the Nepal vs. Oman soccer game. Sadly Oman won 2-0, but it was still fun to watch. We had front row seats in the press section so I'm pretty sure we made our debut on Nepali national TV and onto the sports page of one or two news papers. I liked the chant the little girl behind us kept shouting out: "East to west, Nepal is the best!"...true for scenery and hospitality, but not so much for their national soccer team.

LDSC Water Project

You can read more about the water project below, but in this photo we're sitting/standing on one of the main LDSC built cisterns where water collects, then flows through pipes down into the village. The villagers were so grateful for this assistance! When we arrived at their villages, they greeted us with small boquets of marigolds and placed flower garlands around our necks.

LDS Charities Water Projects

Although the Church is not officially registered in Nepal, we definitely have a presence there! The members there are kind, humble, happy, generous, strong people. In fact two young nepali sisters and one young young nepali elder will be receiving their mission calls this coming sabbath! Couple missionaries who serve in Kathmandu work primarily with LDSC (LDS Charities) They have been involved with some wonderful projects including teaching, supplying and distributing wheelchairs to those in need, and helping to supply water to mountain villages.
Cody, Dustin, Morgan and I were able to accompany Elder Taysom, Elder Bradshaw (two senior Elders), Pres. Pona (former Branch President), and two local representatives of Choice Humanitarian (the NGO the church works with on Water projects) up to a couple of the villages where water projects are under way.
For years, a large water pipeline has been running right through one of the villages, but for some reason or another, the Nepali government would not allow the villagers to tap into that water supply. Instead, the women in the village had to climb up and down steep slopes several times a day to collect water from a small well. Somehow, LDSC and Choice were able to convince the government that the people in the village needed access to the water. The church has provided pipes and the materials to build water pumps throughout the village, Choice supervises the work, and the villagers themselves are responsible for digging the trenches to lay the pipes. LDSC and Choice are also working with local village representatives to train them on potential future issues with the water lines just to make sure things run smoothly years down the line when the villagers are running the show on their own. This is one of the village with a small harvest of rice.

The Top of the World!

Seeing the Himalayas was one of the most moving experiences of my life! 6:30 am Sunday Oct 28 I boarded a small plane for a scenic flight over the Himals (as they're called by the locals). As we climbed through the clouds over Kathmandu, the city below faded away and the the snow-capped tops of the Mountains appeared! The grandeur of Mt. Everest and the surrounding peaks was literally awesome! I was nearly brought to tears as I sat staring out with joy, wonderment, and gratitude. It was like heaven, and I really felt so close to Heavenly Father. I poured my heart out in thanks to him for creating such a perfectly beautiful magnificent place!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm the White girl in the middle...

This was taken just before I left the Bal Ashram. I love these kids!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

dinner company

This is the light above my table at the Rainbow Restaurant in Pushkar India. I think sometimes the lizards fall asleep on the wall and just fall off. Fortunately this one didn't...I prefer my rice without lizard.