Sunday, February 22, 2009

Week One: Everybody Tamang!

So I've been here a week and sooo much has been going on. More than I can fit in a post. But never you worry, I've been keeping a daily journal so I can type it all up when I'm sure the connection will hold. The power has been kind of sketchy of late.

A brief recap of the past week:

Landed in Kathmandu and waited for a few hours for my contact to pick me up. Somehow I was whisked away to hotel in the middle of town along some backstreet. I'm still trying to figure out when I ever said anything besides "NO!" I finally got a hold of Mohan, who got a hold of Ishak (Issac), my Kathmandu contact. So when Ishak showed up at the hotel, he looks at me and says, "I saw you, I saw you but I thought you were a Nepali! They said Andrew from America is comign and he is a young man. So I thought skinny, white, brown hair, maybe blue eyes. I saw you!" So I spent a few days in Kathmandu at the Frontier Missions Center and then headed of to Pokhara...

So I was put on a micro-van full of Nepalese with my only instruction being that it would cost me 350 rupees and that I should give it to them only when they asked. Then off I went. The total ride was about 6 hours in what amounts to be a very speedy minivan. We stopped at a small "restaurant" half way through the trip, so I got out and looked around. Again, everyone just assumed I was Nepali...

I got to Pokhara and was just let off at the beginning of town. No words, no instructions. So I found a phone and called Mohan. He sent one of his staff, Nar, down to get me. I waited a few hours and I noticed this guy walking past me for the 5th time. He finally approached me. "Where are you from?" "America" "What is your name?" "Andrew" "Umm, I come for you." And away we went...

So I settled into the Tamangs quite nicely. They are a wonderful family. Sangeeta, Mohan's wife, is constently feeding me. They gave me my own room, which is in their storage room, but is still very nice. I've been able to meet alot of their friends and family. They even adopted me and gave me a Nepali name...

Bal Bahadur Tamang.

Which means "strong" or as I was told by my friend Singarag, "Push push!" I was able to stay a few days up a mountain which Mohan has dubbed "Mt. Olive." There I helped with one of the construction projects going on there. They are building a FMC training center which is where I helped at. They also have an orphanage and a missionary rest home being built further up the hill. Due to some conflicts with the local villagers, which I will write about at another time, Mohan has stopped the construction of the rest home in an attempt to appease a few men who are stirring trouble.

I went to Lamachoour Church on Saturday and met a few people there. It was Mohan's turn to preach so he talked about what God has been showing him through the situation with the villagers. Afterward, Sangeeta took me to see a Tibetan refugee camp.

And today started off quite well until I was hit by a motorcycle. I was on a bicycle, of course, and he clipped my rear tire. When the police came they let me go on my way. The guy was trying to blame me. But they weren't buying it. Now I am checking e-mail and chatting with family on facebook.

grace and peace,
Bal Bahadur

A few random thoughts:
1) Everyone I have met is a Tamang. Either a cousin, brother, or brother cousin. And now I am one too.
2) There is nothing more humbling than knowing that a 3 year old can communicate with more people than you.
3) On the same note, using a Nepali toilet is also very humbling.
4) There are many many many many different ways to cook rice, either that or it's just my imagination.
5) No traffic laws means anything goes, including being hit by a motorbike while cruising on a bicycle, and then being blamed for the accident.
6) Cows are very spoiled here. Very very spoiled.

Prayer points:
1) That the villagers on Mt. Olive won't be blinded by a few bad men.
2) That the continuing projects would run smoothly without injury
3) That it would rain. There a huge water shortage, which is contributing to a lot of problems with the villagers.
4) That God would continue to guide my steps as I seek to serve Him and the people of Nepal


Anna Margaret said...

So very good to hear from you, letting us know of all of what God is much as posible anyway. Isn`t He amazing...

revjim said...

What a delight, Andrew...

to know that you are serving the Lord in Nepal! I'm overjoyed that there is another missionary in the family...I have just returned from my sixth trip on a construction work team in Haiti. (I must think about retirement; I'll be 79 in July).

Your grandmother Val wrote me just now and gave me the link to your blog. You've made my day, Andrew! Congratulations and many blessings! Your great-uncle Jim

Roula said...

Preacha! Praying for you daily. I am glad that you were able to update us all. Try not to get hit by anything anymore. Thanks for the specifics to pray for. God bless you and keep you in His tender loving care.

Carissa said...

I love hearing about all the "fun" things of entering a new culture! Pray you transition smoothly!