Beginning Life in Nepal
Hey everyone! While things are still relatively slow and I am actually able to spend time writing, I thought I would just give some updates on my first real week in Nepal. (Quarantine doesn't really count, does it? Haha).
I finally arrived at the final destination last Tuesday evening and was reunited with the precious faces that God has filled my heart with love for! They have been readjusting to their new school schedule (back in person now) and so there has been very little downtime for them.
As we are working more on routines and schedules, I have begun tutoring the students before/after school to help them get to where they need to be as they were already behind even before the virus closed school for them for months. There is one boy aged 9 years old who really struggles in math (which was one of my favorite subjects in school!). Yesterday, he was frustrated with himself and losing confidence, but this morning, we tried again. After practicing for a little while, he began solving problems faster than his sister who is the "star student" in her math class! Never in my life have I had a student continue asking for more and more math problems. Their eagerness to learn and understand is such a breath of fresh air!
While the kids are gone to school during the day (and who knows how long that may be an option?), Songita and I have been planning different development courses for the kids, especially the girls. We are looking forward to starting counseling with the girls and to begin getting to know their stories and their battles a little more intentionally. Songita, by the way, is amazing. In addition to having two little sons of her own to care for, she cares so deeply for the kids in the house and works hard to make sure they know they are loved and known. I am so excited and thankful to be able to do life with her!
Unlike America, Nepal runs on a 6-day work-week, which means the kids have school 6 days a week and only one day off. That day is Saturday. Because of this, Songita and I have been thinking through ways to make Saturdays especially enjoyable for the kids. This past weekend, we put up the Christmas tree, started learning how to sew, watched movies, ate snacks, danced, and sang songs. They LOVE Christmas! Definitely my kind of people.
I did the math the other day and there are 19 people living in our house (including myself). It is manageable because everyone pitches in with everything and there is rarely any complaining....or at least if there is, I can't understand it yet! Haha. (Side-note, if you feel like donating towards a new washing machine for this house, we would not be offended!) But I just appreciate being surrounded by these humans. I know that I have come (in part) to teach and to help them learn, but the truth is, I think they are teaching me more than I have to offer them. I see the character, integrity, and strength of these children at 9, 11, 13, etc. and can only imagine the kind of adults they will be! These are the people who will make the world better. Who ARE making the world better.
I feel so very fortunate and blessed that God would allow me to know these people, to have these experiences, and to simply BE here. (Like seriously....sometimes I feel like it STILL isn't going to work out for me to be here even though I've already made it! Anyone else able to relate? #2020Expectations)
As I am here and getting to know the people and the language better, I also want to manage expectations that you will likely not see many photos of the children and if you do, their faces will be covered. This is because I believe strongly in keeping their identities and stories sacred. They are real people with real lives and I never want to become guilty of commercializing them. Plus, it is just best practice when working with kids anyway for their safety. So I'm sorry you will see more of my face, other adults, and landscapes than you will the sweet kiddos, but it is in their best interest.
That being said, enjoy some natural Nepal beauty :)