Desperate Girls

The Badi Girls

Between 7,000 and 12,000 young girls, aged 9-16, are trafficked each year from Nepal; mainly to India. According to Nepal Monitor/On line journal, 2007, there are more than 200,000 Nepali girls in Indian brothels.

The Dalits(untouchables) are the lowest level in Hindu society, and the Badi community, in Western Nepal, are the lowest of the low. As a displaced hungry people group the Badi community has made sexual subservience a way of life. Young girls from this group “serve” other groups. This has become a tradition and means of livelihood. Many girls, even when they are unwilling, are forced to serve as sex slaves. Family members knowingly sell their daughters to traffickers.

Though prostitution is illegal in Nepal, the industry reportedly has links with highly ranked officials and political leaders. Large groups of girls are taken across the border with many police and government officials being in collusion with traffickers and brothel owners.

Traffickers and related criminals are often protected by political parties, and if arrested, are freed using political power. As a result, there is an underlying distrust of police that has led people not to file cases against traffickers.

Domestic action involves activities of NGO’s and other volunteer groups. These groups are playing a major role to address girl-trafficking and sex slaves issues. Some NGO’s are playing a very important role to improve the situation. From creating social awareness to rescuing and rehabilitation, they are providing services (and relief) to those that need it the most – the likely victims as well as the rescued ones. The Lighthouse foundation is one of these.

*See Chandra Kala’s story on this blog site.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Charlton Christian College Nepal Mission Team

Our stay here has been incredible. Grahame has looked after us really well. The girls we have met have been an incredible blessing to us, they have included us immediately, and surrounded us with love and fun. The realities of life here are very harsh, the living standard is for the majority very different to what we're used to in Australia, the roads are near non existent, however we've managed. We went to church here yesterday and that was mind blowing. These incredible people are not just depending on foreign aid, they are there own "Exodus, a movement of the people" the congregation was to capacity, there was a baptism of over 100 people yesterday, it's a Nepalese ground swell, that Pastor Raju is developing into a tidal wave. I feel so privileged to have witnessed this.
Danielle Adamo


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Charlton Christian College Mission

Hi all,

We've arrived in Nepal and we've instantly fallen in love with the place. The roads are dirt, the driving is hectic, it's pushy and shove and the people in the street treat each other like "I was here first, move".
There are cows wandering the streets, the sacred cows, upheld by the Hindu beliefs. The guest house is comfortable and we'll be well rested tomorrow and ready to commence work where ever we're needed. The travel here has been tiring, but so worth it. You can see the poverty of the people we've passed on our way to the guest house, picking nits out of each others hair, living under a few sticks with a piece of tin over the top, people living beside the road with children, living of rubbish tips, no welfare support or emergency services here. That's why I thank God that he's given us the opportunity to be here.
I'm really missing my family.
Danielle Adamo

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Oct., 12th, Home again.


It is Sunday morning, and all the groups have arrived safely in Oz. weary, but feeling much was accomplished.  It was nice to wake up to serenity, with only the birds in the trees out the back of our house.  When  we walk in the door, we are again confronted with how well off we are, after being in Nepal where people live in such need. I don't miss the 5 a.m. hacking and spitting, the roosters, and the beeping vehicles, tooting as they approach each turn in our narrow lane to warn any oncoming cars or bikes.  It is also nice to come to back clean streets, law and order on the roads, and an organised society.  But chaos, colour, unpredictability, warm smiles, restored  lives, and joy are all part of the appeal.  I shed some tears saying goodbye to those we love, those courageous women and girls whom are getting on with life, after all they have been through.  They are my heroes.  Grahame  is going back on 5th of November, firstly to China, to address a conference of Christian Education, and then on to Nepal for another 3weeks, as we have 3school teams coming consecutively.  We then return on 27th December for 4weeks, and then again March/April next year.  I hope the blog has enabled you to walk the journey with us a little bit.

Robyn

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Thursday, 10th, Last day.


It is afternoon, and we are all weary from the last month.  Grahame returned from India quite exhausted.  So tragic to see what is happening to girls there.  The need is so overwhelming , it is easy to be discouraged but then I see our girls and women and babies here, and we just have to focus on that and rescue one at a time.  One of our new half-way house girls, only 14, told me her story today and the brutality to this sweet, tiny little girl is inconceivable.  She said she has only known hated and torture, but since being here she only knows, love,love,love.  This morning, Josh did a cooking class with about half a dozen of the women , including our beautiful little 14 year old.  They made chocolate muffins with whipped cream, and then made coffee on our snazzy coffee machine, and proudly delivered the food to everyone here.  The muffins were beautiful.
Josh and Aaron sang to them for a couple of hours afterwards.  They did'nt want to go home. It is so great to see them smiling and clapping along and having something good in their lives.  The young couple who caretaker here have been enjoying it too.  They have been such a great help to us when we need understanding of culture or help in any thing we need.  They are such humble, willing people.  We are not particularly looking forward to the flight home.  About 13 hours flying time plus a 6 hour stopover in Bangkok.

Muffin Class

Sunday, 6 October 2013

06/10/13

Early this morning as we all slept, we were wakened by the eerie call of Kangling. ( Blowing a human leg bone- preferably from a criminal), to summon the evil spirits. The feeling of evil was palpable in the air as the Buddhist wound his way through the streets causing all the dogs to bark. It was a reminder that our struggle is against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in which this nation is steeped. 

As I sit here tonight, the final night of my 3 week visit , I am both sad and excited. Tomorrow I leave to return home to my husband, children and grandchildren who I can't wait to see. I am sad because this time has come to an end and I shall miss the many friends I have here. Working with the Halfway House women and girls and the Tusal Hostel girls has been wonderful. Of course the highlight has been spending time with my beautiful sponsor girl, Ruth. The essence of this amazing place does creep into your whole being, you want to be part of God's amazing transformation of this nation. This trip has been a journey of discovery about myself and what God wants me to do. I am often full of self doubt and unsure of where I fit in God's plan for Nepal but he gave me a verse some days ago.      1Cor 7v17. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live, obey, love and believe right there. I have no idea if I will return to Nepal (of course I want to), but I do know it has been a privilege to serve these people who are such humble servants themselves. As I leave this vibrant place, I pray The Lord will draw me closer to himself and that I will endeavour to live my life pleasing to him and in tune with his will for me. I am so going to miss the indescribable sights, sounds, smells and perpetual motion that is Kathmandu.                                                                  Lyn Carruthers.

Corrosion of Beauty




NEPAL....
There are Beautiful mountains and scenery to write home about, but the sites are corroded by by man made litter that is discarded with no care to the future impact to their own "backyard"
There are Beautiful hearts in it's people, yet their future is corroded by slavery to man made gods and centuries of Hindu class separation, that cripples any vision of a better future.
And there are Beautiful young girls here that would capture you with a smile and haunt you with their eyes, yet man's lust has stripped the innocence away from so many of them, corroding their spirit and leaving them with a lifetime of nightmares crammed into a child's mind.

We are here in the name of Jesus, the Author of all things NEW.
We are witnesses to renewing of peoples minds.  We have seen God's grace, change the hearts of men, women and children.  We have had the joy of seeing the restoration of innocence in so many young girls, who had no shine left in their eyes when we met them.

THERE IS HOPE.

J






Things I will and things I won't miss about Nepal.  

Grahame striding ahead in the distance a group behind trying to maintain pace while further back others looking around these strange environments taking it all in, at the rear I shuffle along at a steady pace keeping an eye on those looking everywhere but at their feet which on these rough tracks is often not the best idea. Some of our team have had some heavy falls and though I get the hurry up from time to time I prefer to keep a rear guard action and watch out for our stragglers.

It is hard not to spend to much time looking instead of watching your footing as the terrain and aesthetics are absolutely awe inspiring. Gods creation, mans ingenuity and social development, the landscape, the smells and the people make for some sensory confrontations. Trekking through this beautiful nation is something we will definitely miss.


On the topic of auditory confrontations we will not miss the early morning Nepali habit of clearing the throat with a dreadful hacking noise that would raise the deaf from sleep and then spitting all over the place, and then there are the men with the same habit.


Nepali 'road roulette' is another item we won't miss in a hurry, taking a breath every time a two lane track is turned into four lanes, at times all heading the same direction until oncoming traffic forces a hasty change, driving into pot holes and passing another car before climbing out of the pothole. Keeping left is obviously optional. Giving way to nothing except cattle. Merging means if put my hand out of the window and wave in a downward motion means I'm coming no matter what. Roundabouts generate the most inspirational driving we've ever seen, there is no sense of driving around the roundabout to an exit when you can cut across four lanes heading in the wrong direction to make your turn, just keep weaving between the oncoming cars until you get there. Reversing into a busy multi lane roundabout being pulled up by a police officer for it, arguing with the copper until the policemans mobile phone rings and while he is distracted continue reversing and drive off!


Time with the team either at an event or catching up at meals with retelling the days stories and antics is another special time each day. Hilarious times, headlamp dancing, gags and photo fun will be more items added to the list of things we will miss. Thank you to all the team players this trip.


The Nepali people have left an indelible mark on our hearts with their ability to welcome you into what ever enviroment, school, home, church, down town, is precious and much appreciated. So many people from many walks of life both churched and non have extended themselves in hospitality and we look forward to reacquainting with these soft and generous folk one day. We are not naive and realise that no nation is without an undesirable element in fact that is why we are here because of the damage they cause, but by and large the people are and have been wonderful and easy to love. The people we will miss the most.


Thank you Nepal,


The Parry family.



Saturday, 5th. Oct.  Church, Interviews and Germs

Today, Saturday, is the normal church day here as it is the only day off.  We went to one of the smaller churches and really enjoyed the joyful singing.  We have had a lot of sickness in the team, but they have soldiered on regardless.  We are praying Josh and Aaron will be OK for the concert on Monday.  We are expecting about 3,000 and it is really aimed at the younger generation.  There will be all sorts of singing and traditional dancing and some Bollywood dancing, bands and our Aussie boys, then Raju will preach the gospel.  I am really looking forward to it.  I might learn a few Bollywood moves.  Josh took out his little sponsor girl also.   I am sure he will write about that.  




Geoff and Gloria working on sponsorship programme.  Geoff with mask trying not to spread his germs


Robyn

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Wednesday, 2 Oct.  Sorrow for two families.


This morning, we had a call to go to the half-way house as one of our women had learned that her mother had died suddenly.  5 of us walked over, and sat on the floor with her while she grieved.  All the other women sat with us also.  We prayed for her and found out a little about her situation.  The young woman had come to know The Lord when she came to the half- way house a few months ago.  She  had shared the gospel with her parents, who also believed so she has the knowledge that her mum has gone to be with The Lord.  She has to face that gruelling  bus trip of 19 or 20 hours to bury her mother and trek back again.  She gets motion sickness also.  Life is pretty tough here. Then  this afternoon, we heard of one of the church leaders, about four and a half hours away, died from a brain tumor, only about 25.  Raju had to go out there to perform the funeral.  


On the brighter side, we went to more hostels to photograph our girls, and Josh and Aaron came 

to sing to the girls.  They really loved it. I think they thought they had Justin Beber (don't know how to spell it.  Not a fan) in their midst.



Our front yard.

                                                                                           Our lovely caretakers, soon to be 3. 

                                                                        Rolex, anyone???????????

   Garbage collection.


 Robyn

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

<b><u>Notes from Nepal&nbsp;</u></b>

Our last few weeks in Nepal have been life changing for all of our family. In one of our debrief chats we each commented on the impact that our time here had wrought, without exception we each had been touched by the people, the customs, the culture, the landscape and the genuine transformation of the girls that we have witnessed.

Spending time most days with the girls has developed wonderful relationships that deepen as we share and spend time in each others company. The stories of past lives may seem distant but reality tells us that only a few months ago a life of struggle and hardship tore deep wounds that surface periodically. The grace that has been extended then floods over them and smiles quickly return, though the scars will take time to heal the outlook of the girls is extremely positive. Their past is behind them and the girls resolutely determine to look forward and upward. This touching recognition of transformation is something that cannot be witnessed and remain untouched.


The bus trip to the Surkhet province and the town of Chinnchiu was an epic ordeal as we negotiated mountain roads, Nepali passing manoeuvres on and off the road, live stock on the road, pedestrians on the road, hawkers on the road, amazing scenary that often slipped onto the road and military check points built on the road. These and the reshaping of your backside to the bus seating after twenty two hours made each rest stop a highly sort after time.

Once there, the school opening was attended by dignitaries and school officials in a formal ceremony that honoured the work in the community. Opportunities in this area abound and the relationships between the school, town leaders and local government are paramount. 

After the formal proceedings the youth concert was a time of full on celebration. The crowd packed the venue, hung out windows and doors to gain a vantage point. Pastor Raju was the first to jump on stage to party and from here the crowd spilt onto the stage to really get their groove on. A great time was enjoyed by all.

Our trip home strengthened relationships and gave us opportunity to experience Nepal like locals as our hosts showed us life through their eyes. Eating in local food stalls, stopping at Nepali haunts and learning to appreciate the culture without western influence was a real treat.


We begin again to interview and update photos this coming week and look forward to interacting with girls we are yet to meet. Hearing more stories and seeing God's heart of love poured into lives that respond in tangible ways, will no doubt impact us further.


Thanks for all your prayer support. We are all well and safe.


Geoff, Gloria, Aaron and Brooke Parry

Monday, 30 September 2013

30th Sept. &nbsp;Wild Ride


Last night, we all went into the tourist centre for a meal, as we had only arrived from out west and I wasn't all that keen to start cooking for everyone.  We headed off in three separate taxis, always completely clapped out Suzuki's.  I had three other ladies with me, and I sat in the front seat, being the only one who knew the way.  Boy!!!!!! What a ride.  The traffic was manic and so was the driver.  Eight lanes of traffic where there should be four; motor bikes, bicycles, trucks, taxis, tuk tuks, pedestrians, all seemingly oblivious of each other.  No need to be on the right side of the road.  The craziest taxi driver wins.  Two of the ladies were not impressed but Lyn and I loved every minute of it.  Down side streets, dodging potholes, animals.  30 minutes later, we arrived at our destination totally pumped.  I wanted to do it all again.  Ahh!!!!! Nepal.  I love it.


Robyn

30th Sept 2013

I have been in Nepal for 10 days now and the people and the things I've seen,heard, smelt and experienced I will never forget. For me the people have been the highlight. Whether it be the fun times of travelling on a pretty interesting bus trip (to say the least...) with both Aussie and Nepalese guys and girls or chatting with friends I've met for the first time and others I've known for some time as we walked the streets; I couldn't help,by God's grace, but be reminded of just how how precious the Jesus I know and His Gospel is to those who know it also, and with that, realising again that it must be shared! It has been a pleasure getting to know those I now call friends and brothers and sisters in Christ I can't wait to meet them all again (and others) real soon.  Kathryn :)     

Not for the weak stomach

One of the "joys" of traveling through Nepal is the unexpected sights and smells. Both senses copped a flogging in this case. I take my hat off to one of our Aussie gals who braved the experience.
Josh

A Wonderful Time in Nepal

Sunday 29 September- As my time draws to a close in Nepal, I am very thankful for the privilege of being here for the past two weeks. I came as the New Hope representative to open the Hope Community Centre at Chinnchiu which comprises a school, a hostel, a community hall and a medical centre which is yet to be completed due to lack of funds(donations are tax deductible).The community is an oasis of hope. There are currently 3 classes (nursery, 2 kinders)and eventually it will be up to Yr 10. The opening was a testimony to the Lord's goodness through the vision of Educate Nepal and the support of God's people. In the week prior to the opening on Friday Grahame taught 40 church leaders in the hall and I did a modified New Hope International Effective teaching and Learning Series with v15 potential teachers and and the 3 teachers from the school.We had lots of fun learning and gave them basic Biblical foundations for Christian Education. the time at the community centre was worth the hair-raising drive from the airport over 2 mountains to get there!!! we visited the nearby Jhuprakhola village where the Badhi girls who live in the hostels and attend the Christian Community School come from there. The destitution of their lives and the level of degradation is confronting and almost unable for me to describe. I visited the community school campuses in my first week here and the difference in the girls is indescribable. Since being rescued from such degradation and being sold for sex, their lives have been transformed by the joy of belonging to The Lord's community in the school and the hostel.God is doing amazing things through Christian education in this place. Lots more stories to tell when I have opportunity to put them in a report.

Helen Blanch (New Hope International- Education Director)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

A bus, a family and 2 changed lives


Dinner, on the road at 11:30 last night. Fried fish and shrimp with chilli sauce. All just part of our 19 hr bus trip home. It was long and tiring, but the experiences had, relationships that were built, and seeing how the Nepali people care for each other (and us) with such a strong family love, etches a lifelong mark on your life that humbles you. I thank God I could come here again and be reminded of God's purpose for community and love for each other.
We were also able to bring back 2 girls that we were able to rescue from slavery.
It's hard to get your head around where they have just come from and what they have endured, but you know that their lives will be changed forever, although they won't be able to imagine to what extent, at this stage.
Josh


Saturday, 28 September 2013

Saturday 28 Weary travellers.

We are in the little hotel in Birendernagar waiting for the bus to pick us up for church.  The "magnificent seven" left on the big bus to wend their way to  Kathmndu.  It took 22 hours last time due to delays in Kathmandu and then an accident somewhere on the way that held up traffic for one hour.  Three members are travelling to Nepalgunj today after church to fly to Kathmandu and the rest of us go tomorrow.  Yesterday was the opening of the school, and it was a great affair with a number of officials and the hall was packed.  We had the concert in the afternoon, so many people stayed all day.  The concert started half an hour early, as the place was jammed full with spill outside.  It was oppressively hot, and the generator kept failing so the fans weren't working, and the singers etc. had to hang around till someone got it going again.   But finally, everything was accomplished.  The room almost had enough electricity of its own without the generator.  We will be keen to be at church this morning to see if many of the locals turn up.  Raju preached at the end.  Don't know what he said, but there was a lot of nodding going on in the crowd.  As we left the hall, we were surrounded by most of the village, with the school kids who had a little bit of english wanting to talk.  Everyone wanted to have photo's with us.  We felt like "rock stars" for a day.  It's exhausting.  On the way back to the hotel, we called into Jhuprakhola (Garbage river) where many of our girls come from.  We walked down the precarious gravel track to the mud huts with grass roofs .  The abject poverty is unable to be explained.  We met an aunt and uncle of one of the ladies in the half-way house.  There were two handicapped children there and we know of others.  We would love to do something for these little ones but it is a huge task to set up another centre that requires such specialised people and accommodation.  Our "first timers" were a bit overwhelmed by what they saw.  It is difficult to deal with. The scenery is spectacular, with the mountains and beautiful river.  The contrast is unbelievable, between what God makes that is so glorious and what man causes amidst the beauty.  The great consolation is when we come to  Kathmandu and see our lovely little girls and women filled with hope and great expectations for the future.  Clean, safe, fed, educated, trained and daughters of the King.  That is worth a " Halleujah"

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Wednesday- movement on the station

Today, 7 brave souls left for Surkhet on the bus for a 16 hour trip.  The rest of the " softies" leave at 6:15a.m. tomorrow to fly to Nepalgunj on the Indian border, and then a two and half hour trip on a bumpy road to join the others.  On Friday, we have the. "official" opening of the second school out there with all the "polies" and officials.  Then a big concert, including Josh and Aaron, and Raju will be speaking afterwards..  We are expecting about 1,000 people.  We had a lovely time with the girls and their hospitality training, with another two tradies joining us for afternoon tea at our little cafe, as the girls practiced their new found skills.  Cupcakes and Mars bar slice were on the menu, that the girls had made earlier in the afternoon.  They also had another health training class in the morning.  Josh downloaded a 14 minute animated video of conception to birth.  It was wonderful and the  girls were very taken with it.  The young couple who caretaker here joined them, and as she is expecting in a couple of months, they were also enthralled.  I have some photos on my I Pad but am having difficulty getting them on the blog.  Will put them on when someone from the younger generation can assist.

Robyn 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Health training in Nepal

My time in Nepal has so far been better than I could have expected. Being a registered nurse I came with the knowledge that I would help to teach in basic health care for the girls and women here. Our topics have included basic hygiene, first aid, pregnancy, child health, reproduction and sexual health. The first day went so well after a few minor issues. We were greeted with smiling faces and many hugs and kisses which I was not expecting. It was fun to teach the CPR and see the girls practicing on the CPR maniquin. The girls did well and our interpreter said that they were still talking about it when they were back at the hostel. The part that I was most afraid of was teaching on sexual health considering what these beautiful ones had already been through. But some girls got notebooks to take notes and they all seemed to receive the information well. Hopefully it clarified to them some basics about how our bodies work. I thanked God a lot once it was done.

The more time I spend with the girls the more I know their stories and it makes everything more real. Before I came I would look at the statistics of the amount of Nepalese girls that get trafficked. But knowing their stories it reminds me that these girls are not just statistics. Each one of these girls Jesus cares so much about and each of the girls yet to be rescued Jesus cares so much about. I'm happy to be part of an amazing organisation that is making a difference.

Crystal Hempsall :)

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Communications again

Finally, we are joined to the world again.  We have had all sorts of drama with the Internet which has become the norm here.  It is so good to be able to write the blog again.  It is steamy and hot but it hasn't stopped the enthusiasm here for all that is happening.  Today, the girls were training in hospitality. Margaret had the little tables set up within beautiful white tablecloths, and flowers in vases, lovely sugar basins etc.  The girls were training to greet, escort the customer to the table and take orders and serve.  After a few practice runs, we were the customers, and the girls served us.  They had some surprise customers.  The two Internet guys were invited to have afternoon tea with the pikelets.  The girls were quite chuffed.  The amazing thing is to think of where these women were a year ago. They would never have imagined in their wildest dreams that they would have had this opportunity.  They have lovely uniforms and they are just spectacular.  I love them so much.  They also have been having basic health care classes.  They were learning CPR with a special dummy provided by  St.Johns  ambulance.  They have so much fun while they are learning.  I'm has been teaching bike mechanics.  He has been a real hit with the boys and he loved his time with them.  The teachers have been in school,
Gloria and I have begun photographing all the girls with some updates. Everyone has been doing their little bit towards daily life. Washing up, helping with food preparation, cleaning etc.  They are a good team.  

Bye
Robyn 

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Friday 20 september, my first mission trip..

I arrived in Nepal for my first mission trip 4 days ago, I've traveled through asia before, so I had some idea of the scene I was in for. The crowds of people as you walk the streets, the brick jungle, the smells, the sounds, the state and chaos of the roads. These simple things we take for granted everyday.

The first of my experiences started with a tour of the markets, a tour of the big stupa and surrounding areas, this when it set in, the state at which these people live their everyday lives. This experience was followed by a night out to dinner with Mama Robyn where we managed to 6 people, not so comfortably, in a taxi barely fit for 4.

The following day we went to meet some of our gorgeous girls, for me this was a first. To see their beautiful smiling faces and the respect and love that they have considering their rough start to life is just amazing.

Today was a big day for me, as I'm here to train a group of boys on motorcycles service and repairs. When I left Brisbane, I still had no idea of what I was going to teach them or the treat I was in for, I tried my best to come up with a teaching plan, but like all plans in Nepal, they never go the way you intended them. All I could do was pray the God would be with me through this and trust it would work out fine.

After a shaky first few minutes of introducing the boys to some basic tools, they were pulling bits off the bike left right and centre and asking what each thing was, what it was used for and how it worked. The nerves were gone. For 3 hours it went like clock work and in everything that happened, I could see Gods hand at work. They boys interest and excitement to learn something new was a wonderful thing to experience.

This afternoon, I went back to finish what we didn't get through in the morning. The joy and excitement in their eyes as I came through the gate made me realise how blessed I am to have this opportunity.

The rain put and end to our afternoon of work. The boys insisted I come inside before I go as they had something for me. I was met with a group of 10 boys cheering and thanking me for the day and the opportunity I gave them. It brought tears to my eyes to think I could have such an impact on so many lives.

No words can describe this experience so far. This is just the beginning of something great.

Tim Alder :)

Friday, 20th, Day off today.

Friday's are our day off to take team members  to see a few things in Kathmandu, do a little shopping and check out  the tourist area.  Some of the ladies went to the material shop to buy beautiful fabrics to have made up in the traditional dress.  The cost of making up a long top and the baggy pants is only about  less than $5.00  We were hoping they would be ready for the official opening of the new school out in Surkhet, but no luck.  We now only have 3 more team members to arrive on Sunday.  Grahame and Helen are off to Surkhet tomorrow most of the rest of us fly up there on Thursday for the opening and the big concert.  The first timers are very excited about their new experiences.  Every moment is new and interesting.  Sometimes, upsetting and sad seeing the poverty and hopelessness.  We have had the opportunity to invite  a Hindu family to the big Christian concert in Kathmandu.  Tomorrow is church and then we will be taking out our sponsored children for a special lunch.

Robyn

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

WEDNESDAY 18th deep appreciation

Today, we began photographing our girls and getting updates on their progress.  These girls are so amazing.  They are so excited to be in school, and trying with every fibre of their beings, to do well and improve their futures.  They love being in sunday school and learning to be closer to God and eager to learn as much as they can from their Bibles.  They are so overwhelmed by being sponsored and recognise the huge difference it is making in their lives.  Some are so changed in the last 12 months, it is hard to recognise them.  We sat up on the flat roof with the kids and ate lunch with them,; rice, dahl and very hot potato and pumpkin dish.  The girls polished off large meals as usual.  Geoff took the new photos and Gloria was the scribe as I sat with the interpreter to talk to each one.  Brooke also helped in keeping track of a numbering system .  We have done 34 interviews so far; only 120 to go.  Whew!!!!!!  We have another 3 team members today, another six tomorrow arriving , another one on Friday another one the weekend the the last two on Monday.  It's all happening.

Robyn.

First Night In Nepal

The noise of beeping cars,bikes,smells and people talking doesn't seem to stop.
I am overwhelmed how the capital city of a country can be so deprived of just simple things.
However for many many people this is all they know and will ever know.
We have so much.
I am stilled in my spirit of how much I have.

Gloria

Reflections from a Kathmandu newby

 Arriving on a balmy afternoon in Kathmandu we began our time in Nepal sweating as we climbed onboard the taxi and trundled over the bumpy track to the Transform the Nations guest house at Bouhda, Naya Basti.

Driving in Nepal was one of the early eye openers as dozens of scooters, trucks, buses, tuk tuks and taxis whizzed past, stopped suddenly and merged mercilessly as we made our way through narrow streets. No obvious road rules apply, beeping horns warn of overtaking or approaching vehicles. Keeping left appears to be mostly optional as does service and repair work requiring more than race tape!

The bright colours chosen to paint the three and four story brick and concrete dwellings that are crammed in was another sensory overload along with the varying strength of pungent roadside cooking odours. Monkeys, cattle and traders line the road side all trying to make enough income for families living in this bustling city. Dozens of cables bound together strung from leaning poles stand just out of reach carrying the electricity to each shop, stall, business house and home. Not a place for a stoic work place health and safety officer.

Today we ventured through downtown Bouhda to the Miriam Baby Centre. Here we met the staff and had a lovely time with the toddlers that were rescued as babies from incredible situations that melt even the hardest heart. It is a pleasure to see and be a part the invaluable work of the Transform the Nations ministry as it makes life changing impact into the lives of those being helped. Later the girls, having finished school came and were thrilled to reconnect with Ma Ma Robyn and meet the rest of us. They sang and danced as a celebration of seeing Robyn again, these young ones appreciate already the change that Grahame and Robyn have brought them.

God is at work here in the midst of poverty, heartache and struggle and those that have joined Him in this place are seeing blessing and answer to prayer in ways that evidence His hand on the work.
Such valuable and meaningful work is not done by any one person nor by only those here and visiting Nepal. It requires the faithful fervent prayers of you the supporters standing along side and partnering in the work. So a massive thank you, keep up the good work.

The calendar is busy for the time ahead and we look forward to each day as it unfolds. Let the adventure continue.

Geoff, Gloria and Brooke.



Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Tuesday 17th

It certainly is amazing to be back in Nepal. All the incredible sights, sounds and smells have assaulted my senses. We spent the afternoon walking through the streets to Tusal to see the babies and the girls after they returned from school. I can't believe how much the babies have grown since I was here in January. We had a great time amusing them. Moses has become quite a character, walking around and hiding under the cots. Miriam is beautiful and the triplets are getting chubby. I can't wait to start the health program with the girls next week, the interaction will be great fun.
Lyn.

Sept.17. Steamy Kathmandu

It is  4.30 a.m. And it is warm already.  We are 7 in  number at present with new arrivals coming in dribs and drabs.  There is the unmelodious tone of a Buddhist horn somewhere in the distance.  Rooster is crowing and life is beginning to stir.  We had an excellent flight over, and Gloria had a great opportunity to share the gospel with an air hostess as we were descending into to Kathmandu.  We had our first night  out at the Bakery Cafe with out lovely mute waiters,  having fun playing charades to communicate.  They  have such a great sense of humour.  When we arrived, all our beautiful ladies from the half-way house and a few of our older girls were here with big smiles all over their faces, to greet us.  They looked so lovely .  They were all in their red uniforms that they wear when they are doing their vocational training.  They were doing tailoring and beauty.  It was great to get hugs and kisses.  I love them so much, and it was great to be with them again. Our first timers on the Kathmandu experience were in awe of the traffic with its death defying feats of bravery or stupidity, I'm not sure which.  We apparently have a new one day old baby in the Miriam centre  so we are keen to see our latest addition.  We also are looking forward to seeing our new hostel.  Since we were here last, a new building has been found and it is now full of girls.  Most of them we have not met yet.  This time, we upgrade all the girls photos and try to get a bit of an update on how they are going.  With 156 now in our care, it is a big task.  We have Tim here from Brisbane, and he is teaching motor bike maintenance.  So that's is a new aspect added to our training.  Today will be busy  with rearranging our guest house to accommodate our 22 team members and planning team members schedules, as we all begin our various responsibilities, which are many and varied.  Electricity looks like only about 4 hours a day off, but haven't got the schedule yet.

Robyn

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Reflections from Oz. (2)

I am also thinking of all those scared little girls in the bus looking so miserable.  Katie took follow-up photos of each one, and the transformation in just a few days was amazing.  I played chasie and tickling with a tiny little 3 year old,  She giggled her head off and ran  off and waited to me to do it again.  We played that silly "Shakey, Shakey, all around the house' with the little new ones.  I'm always sorry afterwards, as they never want to stop.  Little full tummies and a safe place to live, and I can see their little faces as I sit here back in my comfortable world.  With all our comforts, we seldom have that great thankfulness for the smallest thing as they do.  They are so appreciative of everything.  They always have such a humble spirit.  I don't only mean children.  They are always thinking of how they can serve and not what they can get.  Their worship if real and unashamed; set free for a new life...Just like everyone else, I'm so grateful for this country and all its benefits, yet we are the ones who have many lessons to learn from our dear Nepalese friends.  We had all sorts of difficulties the last few days with the internet.  It was almost impossible to connect.  The last couple of days, I was really sick and didn't know how I was going to make the long journey home sitting around in planes and airports endlessly.  Grahame is not well today either.  So once, again, I didn't dodge the Nepali germ bullet.  I guess, this is time to sign off for this trip.  September looks like a huge one, with around 28 on team.  Many there for very different tasks.  It will be a challenge

God bless

Robyn

Relections fromOz.

Well, we are home on Aussie soil and it feels good.  We arrived this afternoon, to clean air, perfect roads, with traffic travelling in the right lane. No cattle standing unconcerned in the middle of the road, No bus looming on our side of the road loaded with people hanging out the doors or huddled on top. It is great to have power 24/7, uncontaminated water to drink, fruit and veges we can just eat, instead of the long process of making them safe in an uncooked state.  No unloved and hungry children and animals everywhere you look.  No wondering if the garbage man will come today or if at all and how to dispose of it if he doesn't.  No weariness from living in another culture with not only language barriers but also the fatigue of just not understanding cultural norms and trying to do the right thing. and the hourly frustrations from issues small and large.  And yet!!!!!  As it sit here at 11p.m. unable to sleep, I am remembering so fondly many of our experiences and lovely people.  I'm thinking of a 35 year old lady from India who is in the half-way house , whose life has been indescribable.  And there she is sitting in the doll making class, looking hardened by life, but yet so carefully sewing every pretty thing onto her own creation with great pride.  Singing to it, like it was her child. So thrilled that she was actually allowed to have it at the end of the course..  The relationships built with them all, teaching, laughing, dancing, all without interpreters.  It is amazing how much is communicated.  Doesn't take long to know when you are cared for.  Katie, our great photographer, has taken "glamour shots" of 6 ladies from there.  They turned up with their makeup on, hair and nails neatly done and in their best outfits.  Katie has done some amazing photos which she will give to each one.  How lovely they looked. Let's hope it will make them hold their heads high and to know they are loved and worthwhile.(continued)

Robyn

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

What a day!

Yesterday, we flew out from Kathmandu to a place called Biratnagar, in the south-east of Nepal.  Katie, Raju, and his wife Simita, Grahame and I left here this morning to see a Bhutanese refuge camp  Raju had to teach at a little Bible School part of the way, so we dropped him and his wife and went on to the camp.  We had no idea, when we left here at 7 a.m. that it would be a 10 hour day.  We were unsure of what we would see.  Many Nepali Bhutanese  were chased out of Bhutan in 1992 and have been in the camps ever since.  We met a young man of 19 today who was born in the camp.  They cannot work as they would be taking jobs from the local people.  There are 40 thousand of them at present.  Originally, we are told there were 160 thousand.  So they just wait to be sent to the States or other places they have applied for.  There are 3 camps in all.  There were 9,000 in the camp we saw.  We were so amazed at what we saw.  Rows and rows of little houses made of bamboo.  The walls were like a basket weave and the roofs  were thatched.  Very humble little places but  everything was very clean.  No paper or rubbish anywhere.  We were invited to lunch at one of the elder's little houses.  We were humbled by the fuss they went to, cooking rice,dahl and even chicken, with curried vegetables.  They have so little. They get a quota of rice each week provided by UN.  We were a little worried, as Grahame and Katie are still not quite well from a meal they ate 10 days ago., but we seem OK tonight.  They tell us that 70% of the camp are Christian due to crusades that have been held by Americans and Australians.  Apparently, at first some say they are converted just because they think it will give them a better chance to get to the West.  But over time, they truly believe.  They are such lovely people.  It make the rough ride worth it.

Robyn

Monday, 22 April 2013

Home alone in Kathmandu

The team will be arriving from the West at lunch time tomorrow. They will be bringing two Badi boys and four ladies for the halfway house. It will only be an overnight stay as Grahame and Robyn, Raju and samita and katie will be flying to Biratnagar where there is a refugee camp for Bhutanese refugees.
Raju and Grahame will speak at a Bible school and we will be away two nights. Linda and liat will stay in Kathmandu and continue on the work of setting up the Voc. ed. program. Sujan has done a wonderful job on the garden. Not long after he finished planting the neat rows of vegetable seeds the sky open up as if on cue and it rained all night. We have great storms here with the thunder rumbling around the hills. Its awesome. There was a very pregnant cat lying on one of the mounds and I was hoping it was not going to give birth here, but fortunately it ran away when someone came to the gate. We can do without a litter of kittens. There are already so many starving animals around the place. There is a dog in the street with an eye ball like mince meat and every time I go out there he is "eyeballing me". Poor thing. I was being followed to closely by a cow today. I had an encounter once before with a bull and I don't want a repeat performance. Looking out our window we see clapped out taxis, motor bikes, funny little men with funny little bikes, with funny little things they are selling.Then the odd cow or two, then the very handsome rooster and his fat hen, women in their bright clothing, and the excruciating sounds of men expectorating. That I won't miss.
Robyn. 

Friday, 19 April 2013

Hostel visit

I have just returned from visiting the new little girls.  What a difference a few days make.  The barber was there giving the kids a haircut.  I'm sure that pile of hair could walk away on it's own.  The girls were happy and smiling.   They have full tummies, and had a few good night's sleep and for the first time been shown some affection.  What a houseful it is.  Trish, is you are reading this, the little girl in the pink dress is much more settled, and has the biggest big brown eyes and eyelashes that would made a cow envious.  It is so gratifying to see them respond so quickly.  I'm indulging in a cuppa and some Cadbury's chocolate, in the all too silent guest house.  I was at the Stupa (Buddhist temple) having lunch with my lovely little interpreter, when a grand procession of monks with big, red feathered hats led the way followed by some monk of some importance, presumably, as he had a canopy held over his head.  Round and round they marched around the circular building, followed by many of the faithful. Much trumpet blowing etc. etc.  All of this ceremony and ritual, straining for approval of a god.  How blessed we are.

Robyn

departures

well, four of our team are sitting here waiting for the taxi to take them to the airport.  It will be like a morgue here. Me, myself and I.  Grahame and team will be here on Sunday.  We are rejoicing, as we have just received 22 sponsorships, so all the bedraggled little girls who arrived last week, all have sponsors.  There is another group of girls coming . I'm not quite sure how many, but it will be a bus load.  I finally finished the stories of the doll-making class.  I was totally wrung out afterwards.  It is inconceivable what had happened to these women.  It is beyond the imaginations of any of us.    Today, I have one little teenager to talk to, and then to photograph the new girls, get their names, and ages, and some background information.  When we come back in September, once they have settled down, we might be able to find out a little more about them.

Robyn

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Thursday,Braced for interviews

Yesterday, was the last day for the training.  Margaret and Gloria's cooking class was a great success and the girls turned out beautiful cupcakes . They had a little party afterwards.  Then we all had lunch together.  Sujan has cooked lunch for us for the past two weeks.  The first week there were about 26 and the second week about 16.  The sewing class finished also and I was so proud of my ladies and the lovely dolls they created.  They had such good ideas about colour co-ordinations .  We then had our foot-washing event.  This is always a highlight for me.  They had such brown little feet, some showing the hardness of life here.  One lady, who has had such a difficult life, was very reluctant and we both shed tears as she finally agreed.  They always insist of reciprocating.  afterwards I also had a lovely massage. They learn these technics  in their beauty training.  It was lovely.  Head massage, shoulders, arms legs and feet.  I was very floppy afterwards.  Afterwards I began listening to their individual stories.  We only got through 2 in two and a half hours, and I was totally drained afterwards.  How anyone can survive what these young women have been through is unbelievable.  Watching them laughing and dancing , it is impossible to conceive what nightmares must be lurking behind the smiling facade.  Today, the whole day will be taken up with stories.  I'll be glad when it is over.
Grahame rang this morning from out in the bush.  Three of the ladies have had stomach troubles , but are OK now, but. Grahame has come down with it.  He will stay close to the house today.  The joys of the third world.  There are many joys here though.  The passion of these people is so inspiring.  We just love them so much.  Margaret, Barry andGloria are off today to the tourist area off Kathmandu.
They have worked hard and long days, so they are having a social day before flying home tomorrow. Joanna arrives this morning from out in the bush and she returns to Oz tomorrow as well.  I will be here on my own for two days.
Sujan and his wife are here in the little flat upstairs in case there is some drama that requires a Nepalese speaker

Robyn

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I surrender all.

Yesterday, Tuesday, I could hear lovely singing and it sounded very non-Nepali.  Then, I recognised that it was a tune I knew. "I surrender all".  I had to find out where it was coming from. Just around the corner in the little tailor shop, was a gathering of about 10 people, in full view of all passers by, in their little home group.  Margaret and Gloria and I joined in with them.  One lady was very sick with Kidney Stones, and she asked if we would ask our Father for help.  We were glad to do so.  So nice to feel so free, when we find other brothers and sisters in far-away-lands.  We had another problem with the power last night.  Just our floor was without electricity.  Sujan, our helper, went and got an electrician.  He was here in 10 minutes.  Imagine getting a electrician at home in that time.  A new fuse plus his labour cost me about 80cents.  Today, we complete our sewing and cooking classes.  I will miss them .  They are so responsive, and so full of love.  These classes have been a breath of fresh air for them.  something new, and fun.  Margaret taught them some funny action song, and they love it.  They taught us a fun game called "Shakey, Shakey, Shakey, all around the house" where we stand all in a circle, and the one in the middle, has to wiggle their hips as they sing, them cover our eyes, and point to someone in the circle, and then it is their turn.  They think it is hilarious  when we wiggle, especially Barry.  He is a lot of fun .  They love it when we are silly.

Robyn

Go west where life is really tough

Hi all,
Grahame here.
I don't blog much as Robyn is doing a great job keeping you up to date.
Linda, Liat, Joanna and myself left Kathmandu late last Saturday with Raju and Rabita (Primary Principal CCS1) for Nepalgunj and on to Surkhet.
We stayed at our usual comfortable hotel in Nepalgunj for 2 nights.
On Sunday we drove west to a village in Bangi where we met up with the pastor Bharat and his wife  Sita who attended the ETS training in January 2012  and we met Balkumari  who has been through the Bible school.  Sita and Balkumari are teaching in one teacher village schools and as they are bother christian who have been though some initial training with us we have decided, in faith, to commit to support them both and continue their training. We were primarily there to Baptise  17 new believers. They are of the Tharu people group and this is the first church HCM have planted in this people group.
We were also asked to speak at a youth program in another Tharu village. It was an ordeal getting there as the road had been blocked due to an upgrade of sorts. They cam and got Raju and Rabita on a motor bike while our van back tracked and took a wide arc on rough roads for an extra 40 minutes.
Both Raju and I spoke there and they are keen to attend out Youth Rally and training planned for Surkhet next September.
On Monday morning we visited the disabled Badi village and photographed 31 girls for the new hostel.
After the shops opened in Nepalgunj we purchased a new bicycle for Bharat as they live 25km from the church and the bike they have is very old and has no gears. It takes them two and one half hours to pedal to church and also to discipleship classes midweek and two and one half hours home again. This is on some of the roughest roads covered in bulldust in the dry and mud in the wet.
Talk about commitment.  More tomorrow.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Hard labour

Across the street, a four floor building is being built, with a flat roof on the top.  There  is a little woman who looks in her 50's.  She comes up from the ground floor with a large basket on her back and a strap around her head to bear the weight.  Her basket is full of bricks.  She trudges up each floor with her very heavy load.  When she gets to the top of the 4th floor, then there is a spiral staircase to the roof .  She clings to each bar on the railing, and drags herself up one painful step at a time.  She has been doing it all day.  If we are inclined to complain about our workload, or how badly done by we are, remember the lady with the bricks.

Robyn

Monday, 15 April 2013

Monday 15th

Last Saturday, we went to Dololghat, about 2hours drive from the city.  It is a lovely drive through the country though it was very smoggy and we couldn't see the lovely mountains.  There is a huge statue of the god Shiva on top of a hill.  It is 143 feet high and gold.  Apparently, the creator of the statue put his own face on the idol.  Delusions of grandeur!  The church is in a little loft above some funny little shops.  When we got there, I couldn't find the building until I realised it,was partially demolished.  We had to scramble of the piles of bricks etc. and then mount the stairs, covered in rubble, to climb into the loft.  The  owner is rebuilding the shops on the street front.  It is such a different experience from the main church in Kathmandu.  
Raju is making a DVD of some traditional dancing, incorporating the church band.  We were blessed to see the draft of it the other night.  We are hoping to have finished DVD when we come home.  The girls,look so beautiful in their colourful costumes.  
Some of them are our sponsored girls.  We hardly recognised them.  Their   movements are so graceful.  We were told the other night that the little girls from Rukum mostly live in caves.  No wonder they are in such a state when they arrive.

Robyn

Happy New Year

Don,t think that I am going crazy.  It was New Year,s Day yesterday in the year 2070 in Nepal.  It was a relatively quiet affair.  No wild parties.  Even our local dogs, who usually drive us crazy at night, were quiet.  It has taken me over an hour to get on line today.  I have also missed a couple of days because Grahame and half the team have gone too
Chinchiu  with his laptop, and my I pad didn't want to co-operate, but we seem to have sorted it out.  One of the ladies in my sewing class never seemed to talk much and we wondered if she was deaf.  apparently, is does have hearing problems, but I found out that someone  had cut her tongue in the place she lived before so she has to sort of sign.  the other ladies seem to be able to follow along.  he cooking classes for the younger ones had finished this week and the older ones are doing the training this week.  We will finish their dolls also.  It was my birthday yesterday and it was a lovely day, I took my sponsored little girl out to lunch, along with our son,s girl also.  Margaret took out two other girls who are sponsored by friends.  We took them to Mexican style place that makes great pizza,s. Boy! Can these skinny little girls eat.  Then, last night, I had a surprise birthday cake and a bouquet of flowers and a beautiful Pashmina, arranged by  Raju even though he is 600 km. away.  Our lovely young man , Sujan, who is here to make sure that we have everything we need, very subtly, asked if I had any candles.  Then with a look of pride, he led me downstairs to present me with a lovely gluten free cake with chocolate icing.  I am hoping the ladies who are out at
Chinchiu will blog of their experiences. They will be having some amazing experiences though the going will be tough.  We had installed a water filter, so we don,t have to carry boxes of  water home.  We also have an ozoniser, to put our fruit and veges in and it cleans it and now we can eat fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes etc.  Of course, we are restricted to the power times, but it is a big help in giving us more variety in our diet

Robyn

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Weeks end

Sewing classes are finished for this week, but the job is not finished.  I'll have to grab a half hour each day after the cooking classes they will be in next week.  Margaret and Gloria have just finished their first week of their classes and the girls have turned out the most beautiful cupcakes with very fancy icing on the top.  To end the day, they had a little party and then had a foot washing ceremony with the girls.  They were very touched by it and then insisted washing Gloria and Margaret's feet.  Every one had to have their turn.  They will have the cleanest  feet in all of Kathmandu.  The whole place is always covered in dust.  Wipe off the dust and in a few hours everything is covered again.  Last night, at 2 a.m. we had a procession of monks through the street, blowing a horn and chanting.  Apparently the horn they use is the shin bone of a human.  I was wishing I had a bucket of water  to dampen  their ardour.

Robyn
Last night we had dinner at pastor Raju's house -what a welcome we had

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Baking Class

Namaste from Nepal! What an absolute privilege to be working with these amazing girls. This year my friend Gloria Higgins has come to help in the baking class and what a difference she makes!! The classroom is organised and calm instead of the chaos of last year. We also have Modu who will take over the class when I leave. She speaks quite good English so is able to interpret as well.
Another thing that has made a huge difference this year is the booklets we are using. They have the recipes in English and Nepali plus a photo of every step. Today, some of the girls will be making a batch of cupcakes, piping and decorating all on their own. They will just use the booklets. Many many thanks to my friend Steph Edwards for making up these booklets. they are invaluable. There will be an assessment of their work but this is low key as we don't want to make them nervous. They are doing really well. It's hard to explain how it feels to look at their happy faces knowing their tragic stories. Their love for God is so evident. Tow of them prayed for me on the first day and it was hard to hold back the tears. They teach us so much.
Margaret Dell

Lit up in Kathmandu

Finally, we have our power restored.  We got an electrician to check the house and apparently, the wiring is in a bad state.  We have a voltage regulator sitting on our fridge which has made a great difference and we have settled down to our normal power shortages.   Grahame and our photographer, are meeting 26 new little girls at the bus at 7a.m. this morning.  They will be very weary after an 18 and half hour trip on a rough, winding road and probably being sick all the way.  We are looking forward to seeing our new little ones.  We will need to hear their stories, but will need to wait till they settle down a bit.  Margaret's cooking class is going very well.  She has 14 girls and we can smell aromas of cooking cakes wafting through the house.  And inspect, with awe, all the colourful cake decorations they are enthusiastically churning out.  The ladies in my class will be doing the cooking class next week.  It will be quiet here for a week, as quite a few of the team are going out to the west for almost a week.  Joanna will be setting up the new little school out there.  One young woman from here will be the principal, and another teacher, plus two in training.  Katie will be doing her magic photography of all the events.  So I will be here with Margaret, Barry, and Gloria.  We feed all the trainees for lunch plus all 11 in the team.  Fortunately, we have a fine young man who cooks that meal, which gives me a break, only leaving the evening meal to do for everyone.  Everyone got in yesterday, when the power was on, and cleaned,and vacuumed etc.  The dust in this place is indescribable.  Everything in the house is covered in a layer of dust.  It is back there again every day.  We have had a lot of tradies here to repair the many things that seem to be breaking down here.  Lets pray that we have got all the bugs sorted out now.  Linda and Liat will be here for 10 weeks, so we don't want them to have those sorts of things to have to worry about.  Out September team has grown to 27.  I'm glad I have two ladies coming next time who will be a great help with the cooking.  We bought an ioniser  to put the fruit and veges in so that we can eat them uncooked.  Naturally, it hasn't had much use to date with the power problems but now we can eat some the the lovely grapes, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  We can now have salad for lunch.  We have to blog early in the morning, as the traffic on the internet after about 8 a.m is horrendous.            Robyn

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The teachers at Milpani have been attending classes each day from 1-5 and as I have said before I admire them for their dedication. Most of them get up early and attend college before coming to school and also are very committed to helping out at home each afternoon and night.
Sometimes it is a challenge understanding each other but we have also found some common ground because we are all teachers. as usual I am a bit loud, silly and like to get carried away on my favourite topics. We have found that laughter is a cross-cultural language and I don't mind being the reason for that!!
The other day throughout the three hours we ran 10 different English groups and throughout the girls were able to talk about their learning together, think of other uses for each activity and most of all be active and have fun learning. Today I will be listening as they share some good teaching ideas with each other. I am really looking forward to this!!!

Tuesday - Electricity in the air.

Yesterday, we were overjoyed to see a man up a pole fixing our spaghetti wires. but our joy was short-lived.  We still have some power, but our fridge was not co-operating.  The fridge in the kitchen downstairs was working, so everything was run down there.  Then we discovered that one switch in the kitchen turned the whole house off, all four floors.  Charging our equipment is a constant frustration .Anyway, we are determined to get some one here today and get this crazy system sorted out.  It is bad enough with 10 hours off a day, without all this when it is "sort of" on.  We had our birthday party yesterday with our little 15 year old.  I got a cake with chocolate shavings on the top, and bought her two little bracelets.  She was  so happy , a bit stunned, to receive all the attention.  Her little face was beaming as she opened her little gift and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her.  It is one of the highlights of our trip so far.  The women are doing so well with the sewing.  They really have taken to the project with gusto.  We actually had a garbage collection yesterday.  First in 10 days.  Someone heard the whistle blowing and we all flew downstairs and ran to the gate to fling our bags of very smelly rubbish in the back of the truck.  We are getting more organised though.  We are going to dig all our vege scraps into the garden, burn our paper and then the rest can to go to the "garbo" when we see him again, whenever that is

Robyn

Monday, 8 April 2013

Monday

Well, the "bunda" has come and gone so it turned out to be a rest day for us as we needed to stay at home.  Needless to say, we still have only one phase of electricity.  We have to pay a man to fix it today as if we wait for the electricity department, it will never happen.  We got our generator serviced yesterday so we managed to pump up enough water to keep us going for another day.  Any one travelling yesterday had to sneek around the back streets on their bikes.  Apparently, there were marches in different parts of the city, but all has returned to normal (Nepali normal that is).  I tried to use the washing machine yesterday, but because the power was so low I couldn't run the washing and spinning at the same time on our little twin tub.  So while the spinner was going I stuck my arm in the washing tub part, and was the manual agitator.  My doll classes resume today, till the end of the week.  One of our girls, one of the three new arrivals I told you about earlier had a birthday yesterday.  She is only 15.  So today we plan a little surprise party for her at the end of the day.  Margaret and her team begin their cooking classes today.  They have a long day beginning 9a.m. to 4 p.m..  for the next two weeks.  That is a long time to be standing in a kitchen, especially for people in their 60's.  Some of us plan to take out our little sponsored girls out on Saturday after church, so we look forward to that

Robyn

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Dramas in Kathmandu

 We have had 48 hours without power and it has been very frustrating.  When there is no power, we have no water as it has to be  pumped up into the tanks on the roof.  We are twelve in number, and we couldn't flush the toilets, have a shower, or even get water to make a cuppa.  We had to borrow electricity from a neighbour for half an hour to pump the water up to the roof.  It is strange because we can get a few lights to come on.  We have had no refrigeration either so I have to throw out a lot of food.  The problem is not  load shedding but some power problem on our side of the street  and if you look at the power lines like bundles of spaghetti, I can't possibly imagine how it will ever be fixed.    We went to church this morning, and one of our girls gave her testimony.  Then Liz left for the airport heading home.  This evening, Raju took us out to dinner as a "thank you" for the Aussie contribution to the school and the training.  Tomorrow, there is a "bunda" ( strike)  There are 30 political parties flexing their political muscle , so no one can travel in the whole of Nepal, for the next 24 hours.  No cars, bikes, buses.  We have been advised to stay indoors as foreigners could compound the problem.  So much for our planning and training.  It is a good thing we cancelled Bill Newmans trip as the situation in not a good one at present.

Robyn

Friday, 5 April 2013

Friday. What a week,

Today is a day off for the team so two of the ladies left early this morning for a mountain flight to get up close and personal with Everest and then later the whole team are going touring for the day.  Grahame and I have many things to do today with shopping and collecting four more team members, buying pillows, things in general as we are still trying to set up the guest house. We ran out of water again today because the electricity didn't come on and we couldn't pump the water up into the tanks.  Fortunately we have a generator here and Grahame is at present sorting out our water problems.  What would we do without our men when it comes to things like that.  Liz will be heading home tomorrow, having had a great time.  There is so much to see and learn about this country and a week is not  even enough to touch the surface.  She has been a great team member, just a joy to be with.  We always meet  different people each time with different skills, so it is always interesting dynamics.  The sewing class continued yesterday.  They all arrived late the first day (typical nepali) and I told them that was disrespectful  to the teacher, so every other day, 5 mins early every day.  I was very proud of them.  Yesterday, Linda took the class training them in painting the faces on the dolls. She is much more capable than I am.  I had a talk with them after  class about Rahab, and other days, Ruth and a Sychar encounter.  They love stories.    

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

First Milpani School Visit

Yesterday was my first time at the Milpani School Campus. The teachers were very friendly and I was able to surprise them by remembering that some of them had been in the Service on Sunday in the dances and singing and I could tell them what they had been wearing. This pleased them greatly and I thanked God for giving me that great visual recall as it made them feel special.
I was very nervous but thought I would start the teaching session with a song - I do not have a great voice and it is even harder with nerves but the second time they joined in and their lovely voices encouraged me a lot. The teachers were hesitant to participate initially but with lots of encouragement and some smiley stamps (!) they became more animated and eagerly relayed what their peers had said in a think,pair, share activity and I learned that nearly all of them leave school at 5 and then help their mothers or in-laws with chores,shopping and dinner, study, cyber and then sleep and then early in the morning prepare food for the family and tomorrow get up and do it all again. Some of the teachers travel for one hour each way to school. they certainly are dedicated and it encourages me to see how committed they are to their jobs.
We talked about the two parts of spelling; phonics -the sound and phonemes - the formation and knowledge of the letters.  We then had a go at listening to sounds and spoke about the importance of listening well. We had a bit of fun doing a Mr Tongue rhyme which helps students practice correct tongue positions for different sounds. We made plenty of time to see their rooms and talk about what they currently do in their classes I have many ideas running around in my head now for today. I am keen to get their students moving and as they are my students at the moment we will be having some fun and learning today as we do many simple fine motor activities that they can easily prepare for their own nursery and Kindergarten students to build their hand/wrist strength and co-ordination well before they start writing.

joanna henderson

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Easter Sunday

Wow! what a day.  The hired concert hall was packed to the rafters, the stage was filled with all the band, or should I say orchestra, and all the singers; the young women looking  spectacular in their glittering saris.  It was a wonderful sight.  We sang some lovely choruses, even one we knew, Above All".  Then we were entertained by a traditional Nepalese band with all sorts of strange instruments.  While they were playing, an old lady came to the front dancing gracefully to the music.  She was soon joined by some young men, who danced a little more vigourously; Raju's Dad joined in too.  It was lovely to see them celebrate.  So different to our culture.  Then we were blessed to watch two national dance events.  Hard to describe, but wonderful to watch.  Then we saw 40 of our young girls from the hostels singing as a choir.   Raju then preached an impassioned message about Easter.  All in all it was a great day.  We left home at 10 a.m. and got home about 5 p.m.  Long day.  We saw our beautiful little babies from the Miriam centre.  They have grown so fat in the last 2 months.  I was so glad to see little Miriam looking well after her operation.

Robyn

Sunday, 31 March 2013

The grave is empty.

What a wonderful day we have had today.  The service began at 11 a.m. in a large auditorium rented for the occasion.  The building was packed to the rafters, 3,000 people.  The large band , guitars, drums, keyboard,  trumpets , violins, the beautiful singers in their glorious saris glistening in the spotlights, was wonderful.  We sang lovely nepali choruses , one we knew, "above all".  It is so great to sing along. We were treated to a traditional nepali band with drums, weird trumpets and funny instruments.  Then an old lady in her blue sari started to dance spontaneously, swaying gracefully to the music.  Then a young man joined in more vigorously, others followed.  I love the way these people celebrate the joy they feel in the Lord.  We also had two other beautiful nepali dances on the programme, so delightful to watch. One with boys and girls together, and later six young women, very eastern style, graceful hand gestures.  It is impossible to explain how lovely it was, but there will be a  DVD of the whole programme we can hopefully share with some of you when we get home.   Then  about 40 of our girls from the hostels sang to us.  It is so great to see them there so clean and happy and think how different their lives would have been if so many Aussies hadn't made it all possible.

Robyn

The grave is empty.


Tour guide

Liz and Joanna have spoken of their first impressions. It is great to see everything through new eyes because we have become accustomed to some things.  Liz is having a nepalese outfit made. We met a lovely christian young woman in her little shop called "Three Sis" which is a dress shop she owns with her two other sisters.  She then took us to the tailor, down a dark lane, with his little shop hidden away from view.  The grand price of about $3 to make the whole outfit.  After our lovely visit with the girls, we went to the Bakery Cafe, where most of the staff are mute, one fellow is a dwarf, and one or two english speaking waiters.  One man in particular is such a comedian.  He "signs" and plays charades acting out what he wants to say.  He is always smiling and so much fun.  It is a lovely experience to be there and eat unusual food.  It is especially great to see them having wonderful employment opportunities.  It is Easter Sunday, and I can't wait to go to the combined service of Raju's church and all the satellite churches.  It was funny.  Raju came yesterday and asked me what I was going to wear today.  He wanted to know if I had my Nepalese outfit because he thought it would be appropriate for me to wear.  He came into the bedroom to inspect to see if it would be right.  First time I have had a man tell me what I should wear to an occasion.  I think we will be some sort of "visual aid" for the morning.  Liat arrived at 2 am this morning, as her plane had been delayed.  She seems quite spry though and keen to get into her part of the teamwork.  Two more team members arrive at lunch time today.

Robyn

First impressions of Kathmandu


We left the quietness of Transformation House this morning and wound our way through dogleg  streets that were surprisingly not too narrow for cars, pedal and motorised bikes, people and dogs all weaving around each other and only controlled by the regular beeping of car horns moving the obstacles out of their way. The contrasts are immense between rich and poor here with 3 and 4 story brightly coloured mansions right next door to small squats with corrugated steel roofs or rubbish covered blocks. A senses feast of sights, sounds and smells surround you everywhere you go. The Nepalese smile broadly when they are greeted with a 'namaste' and it surprises you to see no matter their circumstance they seem content with just a smile from you.
After a noisy tour of Bouddha street weaving back and forth in front of cars to visit different shops and then visiting the Buddhist Stupa - a weird, bright white Temple full of lost worshippers to a false God -so sad - the real highlight of the day was the visit to the Badi girls hostel at Tusal.
The girls were so affectionate I was blown away -it was a hugfest!! The whole time I was there I would constantly feel a small hand in mine or a an arm go around my waist. The language was a small barrier but some of the older girls could speak some English and we had a clumsy go at some Nepalese words too. No matter how these words came out the girls were smiling and laughing. They were so excited when I would say their name back to them and I showed them some photos on my camera of my class. 'Teacher' was a word they understood and they loved taking and looking at photos of themselves for a lot of the time we were there. Robyn had brought some photos that had been taken on a doll-making day for them to keep of themselves and they treasured them. There was a very quiet, stone faced little girl that Robyn said had come in with calloused hands like a tradesman -she was only about 5 or 6 she never smiled the whole time and seemed so sad. Liz and I were blown away by the loving reception we had been given and it was hard to leave -we will be seeing some of them again to day at a huge Easter service where they will be singing. I am looking forward to hearing their beautiful voices.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Good Friday

It seems odd that it is Good Friday, and it is just another day in Nepal.  Usually, we have church here on a Saturday, being the day off here, but because Sunday is Easter Sunday, Raju is having a combined meeting with his home church and all the satellite churches.  He is expecting around 3,000 people in a hired hall in town.  I am looking forward to the celebration.  They always sing so wonderfully at the normal service, so, with so many, I guess they will lift the roof.  We have had two rooms carpeted upstairs, and 4 rooms on the ground floor with new lino, one for sewing, one for beauty training, one for the Transform the Nations office, and one large room for a multipurpose training room.  We were without water the first day, as the pump that pumped the water into the underground tank, was broken.  That has been fixed today, as well as the lock taken out of the large kitchen downstairs, so we can get in and prepare it for the cooking classes.  Some young men from the Bible College came over this afternoon and moved some furniture, and some general cleaning, after the landlord removed the last of his rubbish.  I had my first ride on a motorbike yesterday.  I vowed I would never get on a  bike in Kathmandu, but I gave in to Sujan's pleading.  It was quite fun. I felt very daring.  I'm really a coward at heart.  Grahame picked up two of our team this afternoon, and they are settling in .  They have enjoyed their first experience of colour and sound.  They will write on the blog themselves.  4 new beds arrived today and a long table for the cooking class.  There is still more furniture to come and some rearranging but it is coming together  slowly.

Robyn

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Arrived

Today is 27th March, and we have just arrived this afternoon.  We have a couple of days to prepare for the arrival of the other team members.  There is a lot to do to be ready for them, as when we left last time, the owner hadn't moved out properly, and so we have to get the second floor prepared with carpet and beds and the ground floor ready for our vocational education departments. It was 25 degrees when we arrived at 1 p.m..  Our plane was only half full, so we had room to stretch out a bit.( that is the leg from Bangkok).  We are praising the Lord that our inverter is working.  Last time it took about 10 days to get it sorted and with no power for 12-14 hours a day last January, it was a problem for the men who have sleepapnia.  It is only good for charging our computers, phones, camera's etc. but we have become so reliant on these things,  it is hard to do without.  Grahame has already had to go off to a meeting with Raju to meet a man from Maiti ( an organisation that rescues girls from India).  He only had time for a quick shower and off again.  We always say we hit the ground running in Kathmandu.  Anyway, will be in touch tomorrow.

Robyn

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Saturday Last post this trip.

We have just returned from church this morning, and it was really cold in the big building.  On Thursday night,we went to Tusal to meet some of the new arrivals.  There was the usual singing and dancing  to make them feel welcome.  We had a special dinner cooked for us of fried chicken pieces , omlet, papadums , and of course, rice and dahl  The kids consumed mountains of rice as is their habit.  One or two were a little overwhelmed but the next day, all seemed to be well with everyone.  Yesterday, I photographed any new ones, about 23, and today will , with an interpreter, get as many of their stories as possible.  Some are too young to get much out of.  There was one little girl there who is only 5, and a tiny little thing.  She cuddled up beside me, and I held her hand, and it was so hard and work-worn and rough.  Her little face was dry and scaly  from being out in the weather.  I wondered how hard this tiny little thing has had to work.    One of the young women who is a helper came and asked me to pray for her and her family/.  She is studying, but her mum is one of two wives and I think life must be  pretty tough for her,  The mother is a Christian.  This young woman knelt in front of me and put her face in my lap and sobbed her heart out as I prayed for her.  All of the children were surrounding us, watching every move  The older girls here are so mature and help all the little ones, and serve and cook, and always eat last once everyone is fed.  They are only 14 or so.  Grahame had to give a little talk on Thursday night to the new arrivals, and he praised the older girls for their mature and servant attitudes.  Afterwards, a little 15 year old, who had been rescued from India,  came over to Grahame and threw her arms around his neck and was weeping uncontrollably .  When she composed herself, she said she had such terrible memories to live with, but when she received his praise, she said she was crying for joy because she remembers where she has come from and she was so thankful for God's blessing on her life.  The other thing that was wonderful, the two teenagers who have been saved from India were up in front leading these little new ones in songs of praise, and they also take devotions with the young ones.  Can any of us imagine how  amazing that is.  They would never in their wildest dreams have believed that the life they are now living would have ever been possible.  But, now it is time to pack up and clean-up.  I'm looking forward to walking down the footpath and not having to negotiate spit and cow pats.  Also, to have 24 hr. electricity But we will miss these lovely people and their hearts full of joy.  God is everything to them in spite of many hardships and to watch them worship is awesome.    W