Meeting the families The missionary families that are here are great. They are so welcoming and friendly and fun. They met me with hugs all around and a lunch that didn’t include rice. My kind of people! Doug, Ruth, Maddie, and James were the first to come out and reestablish the team- and Jeremy, Ona, Nathaniel, Christian, and Josiah followed. There is one other American missionary that lives in Dadeldhura who is not affiliated with the mission group i'm visiting- and as far as I can tell, that’s it. They have all included me like I’m already a member of their team. I have had dinner at both houses-twice, lunch at one (and an invite for lunch at the other), and breakfast at Doug and Ruth’s. I have led worship at their English fellowship group, and gone with them shopping in the village. Tonight we will go to the Nepali worship fellowship at a local church member’s house. Doug has let me shadow him, and has come to get me whenever there has been an interesting case at the hospital. They talk to me like I’m here to stay, and that feels good. I like them a lot and already feel like I’ll be among friends when I come.
It was on my wall, inches from the comforter on my bed which happened to be pushed up against the wall. I was very brave and managed to keep most of the hysteria out of my voice as I yelled for Doug to come kill it. The first thing I did after that was to pull the bed away from the wall in all directions and to check the covers and pillows for other friends (shudder). I don’t think I slept 10 minutes in a row that first night, and I kept turning on my headlamp and shining the light on the walls and ceiling to make sure no other friends were creeping up to get a look at me. I pulled myself into a fetal position and created a “circle of safety” and prayed to God that he would protect me in my circle. I read somewhere that “If you are afraid of spiders, Nepal isn’t for you.” Well, God must have called me here because I am terrified of them but I’m still sticking it out. For now. Kidding!!!
Cat in the dark Tonight, I had dinner at Doug and Ruth’s. Zucchini/ricotta fritters and rice. Oh, and brownies. I think I’ll like it here just fine. J Ruth is an amazing cook and has figured out how to adapt lots of recipes to local ingredients, cooking challenges, etc… I look forward to learning from her. After dinner, Doug walked me home. I fought the urge to be stubborn and insist that I could make the trip solo, and I’m glad I did. First of all, everything looks much different in the dark. I am not entirely sure I would have gone the right way. It is a simple walk back, so I probably would have made it, but there are no electric street lights in the village, no car headlights to light the way, and rarely even lights in the buildings or homes, so at best I would have been unsure I was in the right place until I actually made it home. As we came down the hill toward my guesthouse, in the pitch black, my headlamp illuminated eyes on the path in front of us. Big eyes. Animal eyes. It looked at us for a few seconds and then it’s shadowy form disappeared into the vegetation alongside the path to our right, and probably headed down the hill. It moved like a cat, and according to Doug was either a jungle cat or a jackal based on it’s size. So cool!! And more than a little scary considering one of the nurses at the hospital, Kripa, told me that they have “a lot of patients with leopard bites, tiger bites, bear bites, and boar bites.” Um…. Yike! Note to self- keep accepting those walks home!