:) Love you! Thank you for all the prayers
3 June: I felt horribly under the weather. I stayed at the hotel to rest while the others became testers for young women learning beauty parlor practices. Turns out they got free head and hand massages. Jealous! I had wanted to go, but slept until 4pm…. All day pretty much. Guess I needed it. That night we did a dance club outreach. Check out the team blog for details. It did break my heart that many of the women felt it was their only option (we were able to chat with them when it wasn’t their turn on stage), but I was preparing for the worst and was relieved to find that they were dressed (many had like tube-tank dresses that ended high on the thigh) and not the dirty dancers you find at clubs in America or even high school dances… or the streets of Amsterdam (what I was expecting). I guess it could very well have been scandalous here in Nepal where modesty is very important. Showing the backs of women’s knees is similar to the equivalent of exposing the breasts. Idk, a little outrageous, but just different culture norms. Pray for those trapped in jobs, especially jobs that abuse the individual.
4 June: We visited the Nepalese Home. An NGO that is similar, but larger and more advanced than Tiny Hands. I was very impressed. The homes were very nice and they showed us all their self-sustaining jobs and ideas. Many NGOs here currently depend on foreigner money/ overseas donation. They make carpets, beaded jewelry, and are starting a hot dog vendor business. I think that Nepalese Home is doing a great job rescuing children and preparing them/equipping them for a very bright future. I loved it.
5 June: PRINCESS HOME J We went to a Nepali Church. It was a 4 hour service I think- all in Nepali. Worship was amazing though I didn’t know the words. We were dancing about, shouting, sweating, laughing, praying for each other, and everything great. I prayed for a young girl, maybe 12 who was to my right and she knew it and she loved it & me. I love praying for these beautiful children. The girl introduced me to her family after the service and walked with me (and my team) part of the way to our next stop, the pastor’s home. Ron Jeet (Probably completely spelled wrong, but that’s how I would say it out loud) is both the pastor and the father of the Princess Home. He is AMAZING and his testimony is one in a million if not more. God showed him hell to get him saved! He spoke so much truth that I hung on his every word. He opened up his home to us and showed us multiple children’s homes that he is in charge of. He fed us both lunch and dinner, DeLICious. Mhmm. Lol, and showed us his daughters (I mean to include all the girls he takes care of) jewelry store. Definitely bought a few pieces J How could I not? Lol. Anyways, I would love to spend more time with him and his giant family. So wise and hospitable.
6 June: Sunday!! We went to a padeshi church (foreigners). It was a stark contrast to the Nepali church we had visited the day before. Very mild. Prior to going I was so excited, overjoyed. Worshipping my God, the Father of the universe in my own language with people who may actually understand me as a person?! What could be better, nothing, right? I had expectations, I went in as a consumer, and my hopes were… well… dashed. My heart and soul wanted to cry out, but felt oppressed. It was a church full of people that love God and have given up everything to be missionaries here in Nepal. There’s no question that Jesus is the center of their lives. It just wasn’t what I was hoping for or needed. I need my church from home please. But, still at least a month away. After church we went to lunch as Higher Ground which is all good! Yummy and to help young women and men without jobs skills or an education learn the ends and outs of a restaurant business. The rest of the day was free for the most part. I wandered Thamel with Stephen and Angela, had an iced coffee!!! And tried to just take it easy, however, just walking the streets takes a toll on you, especially when you have Angela with you. She looks Nepali and all the boys love her…. Way the heck too much, lol, but seriously. At the end of the day I didn’t feel rejuvenated, rather exhausted, but I was so excited to get out of the valley the following day! Chitwan here I come & then Pokhara.
7 June: Chitwan = the weather of purgatory? The worst temperature/humidity that I would never wish on anyone. Though sweat is a constant (especially while sleeping) it is quiet and beautiful. I feel that I have fallen into a book series I read when I was younger with a setting of an Indian plantation. The bus ride was 5-6ish hours. I slept mostly and admired the view. People had shared horror stories about the drive. I was thinking everyone would be puking their guts out the window due to the curves and road conditions. I was perfectly content. Praise the Lord. Though the hotel is pleasant and fans are nice (though the electricity is turned off most always) I would never recommend you visit the city of Chitwan. We visited Tiny Hand’s first children home. The kids were great, but we were all so tired, especially after play and before dinner, during dinner, and the ride back to the hotel. Sleeping here is so difficult for me because the temp/hum. The fan… not on… what?! Idk, why you would turn off the electricity when people are paying to stay at your hotel. Anyways, I’m looking forward to traveling to Pokhara in a couple days!
June 8: Adventure day! The morning was spent a) in a boat (like a canoe from Pocahontas) searching for crocodiles, b) in the forest seeing monkeys & deers & buffalo (which are everywhere in Nepal), peacocks & the sort. c) at an elephant breeding resort. They had twins!!! So cute, and d) finally BATHING with ELEPHANTS. So much fun. So much fun. So much fun. We climbed up in groups of three (I was with Angela and Callee) and the elephant (with a guide yelling at it) would go into the river, spray water on us, roll over so we would fall in, and let us jump off its head, lol. It was like a water jungle gym. I loved it. The team loved it. I’m so glad we were able to do this together.