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.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday 30th January. Fish sauce and Betel nut

Fish sauce and Betel nut

We have arrived safely in Yangon. We were exhausted when we arrived.  We had a full day on Tuesday, and then had to fly out at midnight.  Four and a half hours to K.L. with a four hour stop over and then two and half hours to Yangon.  We arrived about 1pm on Wednesday to the hotel.  With no sleep since Monday night, we were "had it".  It's moments like that when I think I am too old for this stuff.  But then we have a good night's sleep, and we are off again.  
Yangon's skyline is full of gold domes with spire tops.  The country is 80 percent Buddhist and temples abound.  We went out for a meal to a little "restaurant", I use the word loosely, called Mickey's.  We were greeted at the door by a skinny young man in tight jeans, a bird's nest wild hairdo, and a big smile.  It was his smile that was confronting.  His mouth and teeth were red. He had obviously been chewing betel nut, and I am sure he was slightly affected by it.  He had no English, and ordering was a challenge, especially in his slightly intoxicated state.  Trying to find out if the food was gluten free was hopeless.  I REALLY was asking The Lord to bless the food.  Adding to those interesting details, was the smell.  There was the enchanting mix of the aroma of fish sauce and the sewer.  I dearly wanted a photo of our waiter, but couldn't bring myself to ask him.  We have since found another place to eat.  
The street is smelly with open drains, footpath lined with little food carts.  People frying potatoes and lots of other strange things.  Lots of beautiful papayas, bananas, pomolos, all of which we can eat.  Also beautiful strawberries, grapes etc. that we would love to eat but we can't.  For anyone who sews, this place has the most wonderful material shops.  We also went to a huge market.  Thousands of little shops with glorious materials you can buy then off to the tailor section to get made up into lovely Myanmar outfits with the tight wrap skirt and little fitted blouse.  Jewellery, jade, gold, shirts, shoes,  anything you can think of.  I loved watching the tailor section.  Three or four women in their tiny little cubicle, one measuring, one cutting, one sewing and ironing.  Row upon row of them.  The sense of community was wonderful to watch.  Eating together, laughing and joking with their neighbouring tailors.  I guess they aren't making much, but they seemed happy, and I think we could learn a lot from them about community.  
Grahame has had meetings yesterday, and is at present in another one.  We have a full schedule in the next few days of making connections and getting the right people to work together.  We have to re-culturalise ourselves.  People here are quite different to Nepal.  More reserved.  I have to be careful, because I am so used to hugging everyone, and I need to hold back. 
I was sorry I didn't have my camera yesterday to try to get a photo of the markets and other things.  Maybe I will get a chance before we go home.  Our  hotel is basic, but it is lovely and clean and the staff are lovely.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Tuesday 28th January. Parting with their babies.

Today is our last day, heading out at midnight; flying to K.L. for a two hour stopover and onto Yangon for 8 days.  I am looking forward to seeing Myanmar.  It is my first visit.  I am looking forward to some warmer weather also.  Above, my lovely girls with the work of their hands.  They were so excited this time; thinking of new hairstyles and other Nepali dresses apart from Saris.    Next week they return to tailoring and beauty training.  Hopefully, wifi will be OK in Yangon.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday, 25th January, Reunion, sponsor letters and weddings.

While visiting one of the hostels, I was so pleased to see a little family reunion.  Mum in the middle, with three daughters and one niece (in the floral pants).  We were there out in the village when these girls were rescued from extremely poor conditions.  The mother had pleaded for help.  She has been away working, but was so glad to see her girls looking so well.  They are a very handsome group.  The oldest girl will be on the Freedom Tour starting in June in Australia.
Girls delighted at their sponsor letters delivered to them yesterday.  Everyone crowds around trying to get a look at the pictures of the sponsors and their families.
Our lovely young manager at the guesthouse with his pretty wife and little son Nelson (after Mandella).  They were off to a family wedding today in all their finery.  He was meeting some of the in-laws for the first time, and was a little apprehensive.

Everything in Nepal is over the top colour.  This house is bright blue, with bright orange in the stairwell and lime green inside the rooms.  Part of the house is tiled outside to keep grandma happy.  She wanted the whole house tiled, but it was too expensive,so part of the front was tiled, to honour her request.  You see, I keep up with the local gossip.  Today, I spent most of the day interviewing some of the girls we sponsor.  As we have around 200 girls, plus boys and babies, it is quite a lot to keep up with.  We try to do interviews each time we are here.  Grahame was supposed to fly out south today to inspect a project out there.  He arrived at  the airport at 11a.m.and there was an announcement that the flight had been cancelled at 3 pm. because of fog at the other end.  So four hours sitting in the airport.  Par for the course here.  Just shrug it off and do the next thing.  We have been invited out for dinner tomorrow night with a lovely family we have had a lot to do with.  It will be our last night here.  We fly to Myanmar on Tuesday evening for 8 days.    Robyn  

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Saturday, Turn of events

In the middle of the afternoon yesterday, the power came on for two hours.  I was so excited, I rushed upstairs and did the washing in our little twin tub (if you remember one of those).  I don't normally get enthusiastic about washing, but I guess we begin to appreciate what I would normally take for granted.  The electricity problem has only been in our region, everywhere else has been receiving 10-12 hours a day.  Apparently, a went to the electricity office, fed up, and said if we didn't get electricity he was bringing back an angry mob.  It worked.  We even had power during the night and it is on this morning.  Grahame has gone out to Dologhat church this morning to preach and then to check up on our training centre building project.  That is at least 2hours each way.  Then late this afternoon, he has a meeting with someone regarding a coffee shop we are wanting to set up for employment for our young women.  It is a slow process getting it off the ground. Finding suitable premises we can afford.  It is a big investment, so we don't want to be hasty.  I am home alone today.  I will go off to church and sit with my lovely doll makers and then this afternoon, I am off to one of the hostels to see the girls and deliver some sponsors letters.  I might even get to do some ironing this afternoon.  !!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Dolls making Dolls

Today is the fourth day without power.   Our inverter was not working, no refrigeration, no lights, can't charge computers, phones etc.  So we went to use the generator and found someone had "borrowed" it and returned it broken.  So we had then try to borrow another one to get some charge
on the inverter for Grahame's CPAP machine and get our computer etc. charged.  We also had a meeting town which we had to defer for an hour, then when we got there the man we were supposed to be meeting, was late because he was off trying to buy fuel.  I ended the day with Kathmandu belly to finish the day off nicely.   Still, there is a stark reminder to us in the street that there are many who are so much worse off than we are.  In fact, we are still living in luxury compared to them.  Fortunately Grahame had installed solar lighting in a few of the rooms, so we are not stumbling around in the dark..I spent the afternoon today with my lovely ladies working on the dolls.  What a joy it is to spend time with them.  It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings/  Robyn.  

Thursday 22nd January.

Today is  the crucial day for the constitution decision.  We don't think it will be resolved at all.  Last week, there were 30 chairs smashed, microphones thrown across the room, and some "biffo" as well.  So, we are expecting more of the same.  These photos show the before and after of a bundh.  Above, the crazy usual traffic of Kathmandu and below, what the streets were like a few days ago while the strike was on.  Apparently, busloads of people on their way out and into Kathmandu were stranded and had to sit in the bus all day.  We are expecting more trouble tomorrow maybe, as there will be some unhappy people around.  

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Tuesday 20 January. Hallelujah. I see the light.

After another 26 hours without power, the lights have just come on at 6pm.  It is amazing how much we take  for granted at home.  I won't get too excited. Yesterday, the power made a very brief appearance, and then was off again.  At least we have a chance to pump up some water into the roof tank.  Well the bundh (proper spelling) was an uneventful affair in our area.  No traffic, except for the odd brave motorcyclist who took the risk.  It was completely weird crossing the road.  Usually, it is the quick and the dead, but we could meander across without being flattened.  There are shortages of fuel and gas in Nepal.  As there is a glut of fuel on the world market, we find that amazing.  However, whatever the reason, there are long lines of bikes and cars lined up for hours for fuel.  Our van driver had to wait for five hours to fill up.  Also, along the street, there are long queues of forlorn people sitting on their gas bottles for hours hoping to get their supply.  Without electricity and gas, it is so hard for people to do anything.  As the generators also run on fuel, it makes living very difficult.
OH!  Boy,    There it goes again.  15 minutes this time.   It has been a quiet day, as nothing  can happen during bundh.   Grahame has worked on his computer all day, and I did some cleaning, and watched a few Francis Chan message on YouTube.  Tomorrow, the doll making starts again.  Hope I can get some pics.  Also I am interviewing the new women to hear their stories.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Monday 19th January. Visas, sewing machines,and bundas.

Today, we had to go to the Nepalese visa office to extend our visas for three days.  We lined up in one line, hand over our papers, then have to line up in another line to pay for the visa, then line up in another line to get the stamp.  The whole time we are streamlining the method in our minds;but I guess it makes for employment.  Then we went off to look at generators (yawn). We will need a couple for future projects.  Especially the coffee shop.  We will need power constantly for that.  We have had no power at all today and it is 4 pm.  Then we went into various little dark shops looking for a machine to do fine roll hemming for the clothes for the doll making. I found that much more interesting.  I said I wanted demo. on fine material.  As he had nothing in the shop ( he looked more like a mechanic and about as clean), and there was a lady sitting on a little chair in the sun in front of the next shop, he borrowed her scarf, that was a bit ragged on the end anyway, and did his demo on that.  She was quite happy as her scarf was tidied up, we had a satisfactory demo, and he sold a machine.  So all parties were satisfied.  Grahame had to pick up plane tickets, which eventually took over three hours, due to no electricity, and incompetence.  I had two pairs of jeans made up the street. About $13 each.  Not bad.  There will probably be another "bunda" (strike) tomorrow so everything will be closed down and no vehicles or bikes allowed on the streets.  The politicians are locked into a meeting tonight (and I mean locked in) with high security and they continue to debate the constitution.  If there is no outcome, there will be trouble tomorrow.  The young women from the half-way house ( recently renamed "Our Home") usually walk here for their training or doll-making, but if there is a bunda, it will be unsafe for them to walk, so they will need to stay at home.  I met an English lady today at the visa office, and she said she saw people throwing bricks at a car last week because it was on the road during bunda.  Never a dull moment

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Sunday18th, January. Back in the guesthouse.

It was so good to be back "home" in Kathmandu.  Netra, our guest house manager, was awaiting us with his  big smile.  It was so nice to get into freshly washed sheets, with the smell of the washing powder, after our last four nights in Delhi.  Everywhere we went, there was security.  We have been scanned, x-rayed, frisked, searched, checked and re-checked, entering restaurants, malls,; plane terminals are unbelievable.  I guess the Aussie  Gov. warning, is warranted.  I have been shopping with Netra today, buying material for our little doll makers, for the saris for their little creations.  We have another meeting tonight connected with our new venture into India.  It is amazing the people God is networking us with, but all our plans won't happen overnight.  There are many hurdles to jump.  Electricity is very erratic.  The schedule is almost useless.  Because some guy down the street is building a house, our power goes off  regularly because even when it is on, and the builders cut power for their work, we get cut too.


Saturday the 17th Jan. The girl in the ragged blue sari

As we were waiting for Raju in a Delhi street, the plight of the poor struck me once again.  A family going through the garbage with their bare hands looking for something to recycle or maybe the hope of something special.  As I watched, the dirty little girl found a discarded strip of material.  Here she is, just like any other little girl dreaming of putting on something pretty.  She is wrapping herself in it, like a little sari.  The whole scene made me so sad.  She represents thousands upon thousands of little girls in Delhi and many other countries.  What hope is there for this little one.  We see beggar women with empty baby bottles and a small baby.  Apparently, they rent the baby from  
someone, making the begging more profitable.  Then once they are toddlers, they learn to beg.  Of course, once they are about  12, we know the next step.  As we flew out of Delhi late this afternoon, and I looked down at the city through the smog, I prayed for all the little girls of that city.  I hope this puts a burden on your heart as well.  Remember the little girl in the ragged blue sari.

Saturday 17th Jan. God use the Foolish to confound the wise.

 Couldn't resist taking a photo of these signs in restaurants in Delhi.  Who takes arms and ammunition into a restaurant???????????

Above is a picture of the couple just settling into Delhi.  We took them into a big mall in Delhi, and she was taken aback.  Raju tells me she used to live in the jungle as a child and then in the village on the river.  I was so moved by the little text they had taped to the wall.  How encouraging it must be for them, who have always been considered the lowest of the low, to be in God's work, and to know He will use them for the kingdom.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Friday16th January Crazy Delhi traffic

Today we left the hotel at 8.30 am. and arrived home just now at 8.30 pm.  It has been an exhausting day, most of it in a pastor's little van in Delhi's crazy traffic.  It takes forever to get anywhere.  The smog if thick and makes our throats sore.  We checked on the Nepali couple who were setting up their new digs, then met with another gentleman, then called into the house of one of the members of, the Indian Pastor, who has kindly been driving us, where we had tea and the most beautiful foods made out of lintel flour.  I am keen for the receipes , being a coeliac.  We also met another man who is involved with the same sort of ministry here,  as we are doing,and it is great to meet up and talk things through, and learn from him about the do's and dont's, especially with another culture.  There are 22 million plus people in Delhi and it is only about 80km across.  Apparently, 20,000 people move into Delhi every week.  The government is working like mad to build more public transport with trains.  Don't know how they will manage to keep up with the population explosion.  I have a few good photos, but we are having all sorts of trouble  with wifi here.  We return to Kathmandu tomorrow night,so I will send them in a further blog.  We are pretty tired, but tomorrow we need to look for a building to rent  for the work that is in the right place, at the right price.  We need advice from others as we are strangers in these parts and after lunch, we will be off to the airport, more waiting, I guess.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Thursday. Home alone in India

Today, we had a good meeting with an Indian lady who will be of great benefit to us.  We spent most of the day with her.  We took her to lunch in a sort of cowboy restaurant.  The Indian waiters had cowboy hats on and the bar seats were all saddles.  Rather  weird in the middle of Delhi.  We have two  other  connections to make  today, and Grahame and Raju have just left with someone for more insights into the ministry.  I have had chest congestion for the past two weeks, and out in the night air, and in the back of open tuk tuks in the cold wind aren't helping, so I have decided to stay in tonight.  We changed hotels today.  The one we were in was pretty poor and a long way from where we needed to be.  This is still basic but better than the last one.  Grahame and Raju will be having dinner tonight with a local pastor also.  We have quite a few other appointments tomorrow.  There is so much time wasted waiting for people and waiting around, it is frustrating when we are used to more organised ways of doing things.  We will see what tomorrow brings.  In the meantime, I'm holed up in my chilly  room with Indian television and awaiting my Butter Chicken to arrive from a smiling young Indian boy.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Wednesday, 14th January

Today was spent organising the couple from Nepal to set up a flat, and buy them the things to get settled in.  We went to the metro station by tuk tuk, and then onto the train.  Seething hoarders of people everywhere.  On the train, pushing off the train, down the streets. Clashes of the old and new cultures.  India is really moving forward in many ways.  So much building going on.  When getting onto the train, we had put our bags through the scanner, and have a pat down.  Even in the stores, scanner as we stepped through the door, and then another bag check and body scanner.  The travel notice from the Aussie Gov. says not to travel unless necessary, especially in certain parts.  But we feel the door has opened up to us in this venture, so we trust The Lord is this matter.  We didn't accomplish all we had hoped today, but we have gotten used to that in Nepal.  Tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tuesday 13th January. Finally arrived.

We arrived finally, after 12 hours waiting and travelling.  We arrived at 5 pm. After arriving so early in the morning to the airport, our plane  was over 2 hours late arriving.  We left the first lounge, to put our hand luggage through yet another scanner, plus a pat down.  Into the second lounge, waiting, waiting, waiting.  Finally, the call. Another pat down, onto a bus that took us to the plane.  I was looking forward to seeing Delhi from the air.  Thick pall of smog engulfed everything.  Almost on the Tarmac  before we could see anything.  I missed the glorious Himalayas on the way out of Kathmandu, as I was on the wrong side of the plane.  The smell of oil fumes was suffocating till we got inside the terminal.  Then it took over an hour to get through immigration.  Almost another hour to the hotel.  The vibe here is different to my beloved Nepal.  But, being tired and my first visit, I need to save my estimations till later. Looking forward to tomorrow to getting started on connecting with the right people and beginning to set up the new mission.

Tuesday 13 th January. Political strike

We are sitting in the Kathmandu airport very early.  Last night, we found out there is  strike in Kathmandu today, and so vehicles or bikes are allowed on the road.  Even though our flight to India is 11.10 a.m., we had to leave the guesthouse at 5 am. in the dark, and sneek around rough back roads to get to the airport.  When we arrived, there were already hundreds of people in a long queue.  It has been freezing sitting in the first waiting part, as there is no heating.  We have just moved up into the  upstairs lounge.  There will be demonstrations all over the city.  There were lots of police already on the street at 5a.m.  The constitution here is supposed to be settled by 22nd of the month, so there is a lot of stirring up going on by different political groups.  It can be a dangerous situation if things get out of hand.  Everything grinds to a halt with no one being able to get around.  It seems to happen on a regular basis here.  It must hurt business in the city.  Anyway, we are off to India.
See Josh write up
Grahame V Kerr
Transform the Nations
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Monday, 12 January 2015

Monday, 12th January. Doll making

The lovely girls from the half-way house arrived to set the sewing room back,,after it had been cleared for the conference.  The two new ones seem to have settled in well.  I was so pleased to hear what they have been up to.  Last September, they had classes in self-defence, and it made an amazing difference to their confidence levels.  But, over the holidays, they have gone into the hostels, and been training the girls,  who didn't go home for the holidays,in the self-defence techniques they had learned.  What a wonderful thing to see them passing it on to others, for the girls to know,that they can stand up for themselves.  The students becoming the teachers.


Monday 12th January. The poor, wretched, lame and blind

Yesterday, as I walked down the street, the beggars, once again, were slumped in little  ragged heaps along the footpaths, begging for anything someone would give.  With hopeless eyes, they extend severed limbs and pleading calls; all they see are legs busily rushing by; people on their way to spend money on other things.  We are not supposed to give money to beggars, but how can one pass by and feel no sorrow and compassion.  " whatever you do for the least of these , you do for Me".  One old man had part of his arm missing, and was blind in one eye.  Another lady, skin and bone, in the most filthy state, her hair matted, calling out to passers by.  I gave her some money, and was startled as she looked at me with violet eyes.  Once, she would have been a beautiful young Nepali  woman.  My heart was breaking for them.  I went and brought some fruit and took it back to some.  But it is such a band aid thing.  As I was snuggled up in bed, so warm and cosy, last night, I wondered were they all were . It was freezing outside.  Even giving them money etc., doesn't tell them about Jesus, who they need so desperately.  It's an enormous problem, how could we start with even one.  I know there are so many lives being changed by TTN here in this country, and we are so grateful to God for being a part of all that, with very exciting possibilities in Myanmar and a new venture into India.  But it is so hard to walk the street each day, to see the human misery,and know they also face a lost eternity.  A good friend of ours says"Poverty is just a word, it means nothing to us really, until you are face to face  with it, and then it is indescribable to anyone who is not seeing it with their own eyes."  Please pray, though the problem is enormous.  I heard a quote recently " To succumb to the enormity of the problem, is to fail the one."
We leave for India early tomorrow morning, and I don't know what wifi will be like, so may not be blogging.  We return on 17th to Kathmandu.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Saturday 10th January. missionaries and salvation

The remaining 6 members of the team toddled off to church this morning.  It was absolutely jam packed and people just kept coming in.  A young man was introduced who had always longed to be a doctor, but had no possible means of paying for the study; but everyone was celebrating today because he has just won a  full scholarship. He was very happy.  Then another couple, with a little baby came out.  The husband was weeping, and apparently, people have been praying for him for many years, and he and his little wife have just accepted the Lord.  Also, after church, Raju led another man to the Lord, and a third one, who couldn't control his weeping, will be reconnecting with Raju tomorrow.
We also had another couple prayed for who are going as missionaries to India.  It is a marvellous story we will share when we come home.    We also attach a photo of a beautiful little boy who belongs to one of our ladies at the half-way house.  When we first met him, he was a little limp, lifeless boy about 10 months old.  He is such a gorgeous little fellow now.  He was with us at the half-way house birthday party the other night, dancing around with the rest of us. It is so great to see the wonderful things happening in this country.  What a privilege.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Thursday 7th January

     One class posing for a photo.  The two ladies from Kingsway Christian School near Aukland, New Zealand had a wonderful time with their class.

In our favourite pashmina shop, sipping tea.  It is lovely the way the shop owner always makes us a 
cuppa whenever we are shopping.

My gorgeous sponsor girl on the right.


Bollywood dancing at the half-way house.

Graduation Day

Graduation was this afternoon, with people getting their certificates for counselling, three levels of teacher training, and leadership training.  It was such a joy to see some of our sponsored girls doing the counselling training, and one girl speaking, in english, saying how much it had helped her and how she wanted to teach others.  These opportunities would have been beyond their wildest dreams a couple of years ago, thanks to those people who sponsor these girls.  It makes an enormous difference in their lives.  We had two different  dancing groups.  One group were in black pants, and white T shirts with "No Other Name" on the front and they danced to "Who Am I" by Mercy Me.  The second group did a beautiful traditional Nepali dance in colourful costumes.
The team are having dinner out tonight as it is the last day for quite a few.  One lady left at lunch time, three leave tonight and three leave tomorrow.  So we will only be 6 tomorrow night.  
 Beautiful baby at the Miriam Centre
 Sally, with one of our babies.
 One of our sponsored girls, thanking her teacher for the training she has received and how much it helped her.
 Jayne in delight in the shoe shop.  Thousands of pairs in the supermarket.  You have to see it to  believe it.    

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Wednesday 7th January. Halfway house visit

Last night, we visited the young women in the halfway house.  As it is holidays, two of them had their little children with them, as usually the children  live in the hostels.  One of the young women was having a birthday, so it was lovely to be there to share that with her.  Again, the Bollywood music came out and we all danced together.  The little children are very good at it.  Even the dog joined in very excitedly.  He is supposed to be a guard  dog, but he was enjoying all the festivities.   This morning, I took Sally, a paediatric nurse, over the the Miriam Centre to meet our babies; really toddlers now.  Some welcomed us with open arms, others were very shy.  The triplets that were rescued a couple of years ago looking like they wouldn't survive, are chubby little things now.    It was good for Sally to have a bit of a look at them, to see if they seems to be developing properly.
Grahame returns from the west tonight, with two of the ladies from our team. Three of the team head home this afternoon.  We are about 15 on team.  This afternoon, we plan another visit to one of the hostels with 24 little kids who didn't go home to the village over Christmas.  I have a dose of some sort of flu and am not feeling too flash.  The conference finishes tomorrow.  The afternoon is  when people get their certificates for their studies for the fortnight.  It has been a very full two weeks, with the house overflowing with over a hundred people.  Getting into the toilet is a challenge.  You have to be quick.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Monday 5th January. Visas, airports and new arrivals

Grahame arrived at midnight last night, only to have to fly out again at 3p.m. with two team members from NZ. to the far west of Nepal about 600 klms. away.  We had to go to the Indian embassy this morning to get visas for India, as Grahame and I are going there for five days from the 13th.  When we arrived there was a queue along the footpath waiting to get in.  We were number 54.  We sat there all morning; this being  our second visit; only to find out that we need to be back there on Friday morning (another queue), and again on Monday morning ( another queue) , in order to acquire out visas.  Bureaucracy!!!!  We had our final team member arrive late this afternoon.  She was very late coming out of the airport, and we worried we had lost her.  Finally, she turned up.  Baggage collection taking over an hour.  Almost everyone arriving this time has that this trouble.  They are upgrading the domestic terminal here, when the international one is in desperate need of modernisation.  Dr Ted, our keynote speaker, was saying that 41 church members from a church in Indonesia he knows, went down in the Air Asia crash.  That must have a huge impact on that community. Training goes on as usual each day.  When Grahame comes back, I will be able to send some photos on the blog, as I can do it on his computer.  Sore throats, and flu  like symptoms now doing the rounds in our guesthouse.  The joys of winter in Kathmandu.  

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Saturday, 3 January

We all trundled off to church this morning, with the exception of Dr. Ted Boyce, who preached at another church.  We had a visiting speaker at church, a man from India, who spoke in English, and Raju interpreted into Nepalese.  Trouble is, we were having trouble understanding Indian-English.  It was very spirited, to say the least.  We enjoyed lunch with the team at the Bakery  Cafe, whose waiters are mute, one is a dwarf, and one who speaks English.  We always enjoy our times there.  Some of the ladies went shopping.  Now, tomorrow, back to business.  The guest house will be full with maybe 130 people in various classrooms.  Dr Ted is our keynote speaker for the week.  He is an old hand, having been here 6 times.  We have another member on team with tummy troubles.  Seems to be circulating.  We have had very little power today for some reason.  We think 12 hours a day without power is enough.  The neighbours dog barked from 9pm to 4 am last night.  The wretch was blissfully sleeping on the footpath this morning, while the rest of us were bleary eyed.  Still no joy with trying to work our photos for the blog.  Mr I.T. is thinking on it.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Friday. Bollywood and Kathmandu belly

New Year's Eve was quite a night.  After the training, all the trainees stayed behind and we celebrated the end of the old year.  Bollywood was the music of choice and I really enjoyed dancing with everyone.    I also spent the day with my sponsor girl and also the sponsor girl of my friend.  We went  out to a restaurant for pizzas and cheesecake.  Then we came back to the guest house, and played Uno sitting on the bedroom floor.  That was fun, until I tried to get up again.  Then I had to prepare the evening meal, so,the two girls came into the kitchen with me and peeled the potatoes and did the beans while I made the stew.  I just loved every minute of it, and so did they.  It was a real mother/daughter afternoon.  They finally had to go back to the hostel, but it was a great day.  We have had vomiting and diahhorea with two team members, then yesterday, I spent time in bed, and today another one has vomiting.  We said goodbye to our keynote speaker for the first week, and two new members have arrived tonight and another lady arrives at midnight.  Grahame is still in Myannmar.  Friday is team day off, so this morning, we visited one of the hostels,with the team.  Only 24 girls there as the rest have gone to the villages over the holidays.  We had so much fun with them.  They are gorgeous.  In the afternoon, we went to Thamel, the tourist centre, and a little shopping, and then out to dinner before coming home.  The first week of training has been great.