Friday, May 1, 2015

Earthquake!

The Earthquake!  Oh dear.  We are so sad for our beloved Nepal.  What a week this has been.  It's unreal and I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and say to Ramon, "MAN, what a nightmare I had!"  We are thankfully OK and have just been very, very busy as you can imagine, with no time to update this.  Plus, we didn't have internet for several days.  I have updated the hospital's blog, which is my job, so head on over there any time you'd like to check it out:

This picture sadly says the reality of too many families.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for us and please keep praying for everyone!!!

I still don't have time to make a "real" post, so for those of you who didn't see this on Facebook, 
I'm just going post a link to a newspaper article about our hospital (and yes, Ramon is mentioned)
from a newspaper in India.  It will give you a quick update.

By the way, Ramon is the one who set up the intensive care unit on the lawn. 

Sadly, the death toll has risen too much since this was written.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers.  Keep them coming!
We still are having aftershocks.  My legs sometimes feel like jelly.

Blessings to all.



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ihi and Bahra

Ihi and Bahra!

Hmmm?  Do you know what those are?

(If this is too long, feel free to read it in two parts!)

Don't worry if you're not from here and you don't know.  
I didn't know what they were before I moved here.

They are types of marriages.  Yes!
I have never been to an Ihi ceremony, but I have been to (parts of) two Bahra ceremonies.

Here's how I learned about the Ihi ceremony.
One of my little female students was absent for a few days.  When she returned to school,
I asked her if she had been sick.  "Oh no," she said, "I had my marriage to my fruit."

Hmmm?  

Of course, I had to look it up.  Click the Wikipedia article to read about it.

A foot of a Newar girl is pictured during an Ihi ceremony in Kathmandu.
(Click this link to learn more.  Thank you for the great article Gopal Sharma.)

You can see that this custom is practiced among many of the Newari people,
who are indigenous to the Kathmandu Valley.  Since we are in the Kathmandu Valley,
many of the people who live here are Newari.
To read about their culture, I recommend Wikipedia again.

OK, now, what is Bahra?  (It's referred to in Gopal Sharma's article.)

Here's Wikipedia's article:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahra_ceremony

As mentioned, I have been to the reception of two Bahra ceremonies.
There were not exactly alike.

The first one was the Bahra reception of two cousins, both of whom were my English students.
It was in the Chandeswori Temple, which is down the street, where I attended
the wedding reception mentioned in this recent post (if you missed it):

We walked to the temple, which only takes about five minutes.

I was with some of the teachers from the school, some school friends of the girls, and my niece,
who was volunteering here at the time.  We walked through the courtyard,

where the other wedding reception was and into the building, where I had never been before,

and into this hallway where the girls sitting with their family members.

Guests were seated on the opposite wall.
(Yes, that's my beautiful niece!  Can't wait to see her and the rest
of the family when we go on vacation, which won't actually be for awhile!)

Here are the sweet little friends of the girls.  They have since "graduated" from
our school and moved onward and upward.  Occasionally I bump into one or two
of them in Banepa and it's so nice to see how they are growing up into lovely young ladies!

Our principal was invited to participate in the festivities.


The cooks did a great job!


Now, I'll show you a few pics of the second (and more recent) Bahra reception I went to.
Again, this was for an English student of mine.
Her cousins were also participating at the same time.  It was a family affair,
as their little brothers were also having a ceremony of their own.

This time the reception was at an uncle's home up on a hillside just outside of Banepa.
It's a beautiful walk.

Lots of friends and family were attending.  See the girls sitting there on the right?

We waited in line to greet them.

People were giving them gifts, including rice, which was touched to their heads.

  This is one of our teachers giving our student our gift,

and her cousins a smaller gift

and a tika.

Not to be outdone, the little brothers also received gifts and tikas.
I confess that I never found out exactly what their ceremony was.
(If you know, please let me know!)


Look how adorable they are!

Well, now you know what I saw when I went to Bahra wedding reception ceremonies!

Have a nice day, a blessed week, and thanks for your continued prayers!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Adorableness!

Adorableness!!!

Yes, when you come to Nepal you will see adorableness around every corner!

Today I give you a photo post to enjoy of some of the adorableness I see 
every day as I wander around Nepal!












           








(Beautiful twins!
Ramon gets to see all the
beautiful C-section babies
at birth!)









I told you!

Soooo adorable! 

We feel so blessed to be working here surrounded 
by such beauty!

Have a nice day and look for the adorableness 
wherever you are!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Another Wedding!

In Nepal, weddings are usually only during certain months and most are arranged by the parents.  My previous post was about a Christian wedding I attended that was very similar to Christian weddings anywhere.  Now, I'll post about a Hindu wedding l attended.  Hindu weddings are not similar to what I'm used to!  There is a lot involved in a Hindu wedding.  The best way for you to find out about them is to read this Wikipedia article:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_wedding.  Section #3 is specifically about Nepal.  I think the main thing to remember is that there are many steps and rituals that must be adhered to and that different families/ethnic groups may have different steps and rituals from each other.  You could actually attend many weddings before you came across two that were similar!

One thing they all seem to have in common is an outdoor processional and a decorated car!  You can hear the processional before you see it!  This means you sometimes have time to run out and take pictures!



Here's a little video of a band I was able to film the other day at a wedding site I passed by.
It's very short so it would be able to be uploaded before Christmas (smile).
As you listen you will see someone wave at me!
video


The first wedding I went to in Nepal was a Newari wedding.
I found a website that explains the Newari culture and wedding traditions
much more thoroughly than I could explain it.
It's very interesting:  http://www.weddingnepal.com/index.php?obj=weddingTradition&castId=2
There is also a link you can click to read about other Nepali cultures' wedding traditions.
(Thank you weddingnepal.com)

The bride was a fellow teacher at Esa Memorial School.

We walked


to the nearby Chandeswori Temple.

It's just a hop, skip, and a jump from the hospital.
If you're interested in reading about it, click here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandeshwari

(As I'm writing this, I can hear something going on over there,
but I don't know what it is!  I asked two people, but they didn't know either!)

We walked inside the gate,


left our shoes here, and walked into this foyer type room to the right of the entrance.

Here we greeted the brides.  Yes, it was a double wedding!
They were so beautiful!  Each was sitting by her new mother-in-law.
The bride on the right is my friend and the bride to her right is her sister.

We put our gifts behind their mothers-in-law
and headed out to the courtyard for the reception.
Like wedding receptions everywhere, it was full of happy people!


Ladies came around with trays of drinks and food.

I must say that the food was delicious and we all ate more than we intended to!
They kept coming around with beautiful trays, and like a Lays Potato Chip, who could eat just one?!
After we were stuffed, word came that it was time for the dinner buffet!
WHAT?!?!
Yes, the "dinner" we had eaten was only the hors d'oeuvres!

Well, you learn something new every day! 
If you go to a Newari wedding, don't eat too many hors d'oeuvres!

I also learned that my friend's new husband wasn't at this reception,
but was at his own reception somewhere else,
and that this was day two of a three day wedding.

Yes, it was a fun experience and great to learn a new culture.

Now, stay tuned for more weddings--of a slightly different kind!
Hmmm, you'll have to wait and see what I mean!

Have a nice day and a blessed week!

P.S.  As usual, thanks for your prayers as we are working here.
Ramon has been very busy working with visiting medical teams and our own doctors too.
For me, the school year came to a close this past week, 
and for the next week and a half the children will be taking exams
and then practicing for their end of year program.  
Pics of this later!

Bye for now!