The weekend that was…

Apologies for my absent nature the past few days, it has been very full and busy, I am yet to have my first cup of tea in my new house (for those of you who know me well, this is quite strange).

Friday I arrived in Kathmandu, it was hot and muggy, not quite the weather I imagined for Autumn  especially at night. I was blessed to find that my usual guest house that was fully booked managed to find me a room for the evening. The bus ride to Pokhara on Saturday was the usual, except there was a lack of trucks due to Darsai festival. The mountainous road opens up picture perfect scenes of mountains, rives, gullies and villages scattered throughout the harvested plains. I enjoy this bus ride, the quiet, familiar road to a place I have once been.

The road from Kathmandu to Pokhara, is this a pohutukawa tree?

After a slightly confusing taxi ride where the driver kept telling me I was going the wrong way, I arrived at Thomas and Christina’s (I had the way right, silly taxi driver). It was an afternoon of catching up, playing with the kids and being introduced to a once familiar house which would be my home for the next month (I am house sitting for some dear friends Marleen and Paul). I was surprised to learn I would have a flat mate as they didn’t want me to be by myself, so Tabea from Austria moved in, she is 18 and on a gap year, all I am going to say is that the girls house is happy to have a break from her and my tolerance is rather thin, and I would love my own space, a chance to settle into a routine and not worry about cleaning up and running a household. I won’t dwell too much on the frustrations, they only teach me tolerance and patience, things which I don’t mind strengthening.

Sunday was a lovely day out with Thomas, Christina and the kids. We went to Chipledhungga (sorry I cannot seem to find the common name) which is a series of busy roads, ally ways full of stalls and shops and multistory shopping centres (the most recent has the first escalator in Pokhara,  you could sit watching the Nepalis all day attempting to get on it… and falling off). We went out for lunch and I picked up groceries (as Tabea didn’t want to do the shopping). Later that evening Christina and I with the kids walked to Ram Bazar and picked up veges etc while Thomas and Martin (a German engineer on work experience) cooked dinner for us.

View from the roof of my home

I am enjoying being back, there has been a lot of change (a great number of gap years working here) but I have found the relationships I founded in January are still strong, and it is great seeing friends again. My Nepali is shocking, I am trying but with my head in its current space, learning a new language is not happening any time fast.

I have found my quiet time sparse, and God time not what it should be. I find myself with a never ending to do list similar to back home, something which should not be. This challenges me to address why this is and how to manage life and its givings. A coming week of growth and hopefully settling in awaits.

Auds

 

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Changing Skys

As the stars change, I sit here wondering why I am sitting in this plane, why am I going to Nepal, when there is so much going on in New Zealand. But maybe that is it, maybe promising in January to Thomas that I would try my hardest to be back before the end of the year was Gods way of planning a break, a break from the concerns of daily life, social expectations, work priorities, maybe this trip is a way for me to focus on my one main priority, me, preparing my PhD research, preparing my heart, mind and soul for the coming days, months and years.

So I hoped to write an introduction post before I set off, explaining in some way why I am going to Nepal, but working up to an hour before leaving, and preparing so many other aspects of my life prevented this, is that such a bad thing tho?

The past 20 hours have been testing, an hour and a half delay before taking off for Melbourne, having to be escorted to my connecting flight, with the plane ready to go (thankfully someone didn’t want to part with their lighter so my bags made it on too, I hope, yet to confirm that one)(the airline staff were amazing!)

I know this is only a taste of what is to come, but while I sit here watching the stars change as we travel over the equator, it all seems trivial. And at the end of the day, I can only control so much, the rest you can prepare and mitigate for, but how you handle it is decided at that moment in time.

So as I prepare for a seven hour stop off in Abu Dhabi, I guess the one thing I should share, prepared months in advance for this post is a Bible verse which sets in place this trip for me…

Philippians 1:21 – For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Plum Pudding

When I was a child I was rather plump. In comparison to my brother who was tall, lean and scrawny. I was medium height and chubby. And so the nickname plum pudding, or as my father still likes to call me, plumpers, was born. My favorite animal is the elephant, I am not sure why I loved them so much as a child, maybe their intelligence, their grace and quiet demeanor, or maybe because I could identify with their rather rounded (plump) nature. I still love elephants to this day, if I ever get the opportunity to go to the zoo, a good half hour can be lost just observing the graceful nature that is the elephant. I don’t mind been called plumpers either, its quite nice having a nick name, special between my dad and I, that my friends find hard to comprehend, that once in my life I was chubby.

And so for this blog, a name connecting the life that has past to the life that is to be lived and shared, plum pudding, was chosen. I am not sure how or what I will share on this blog, but as a write, and you read, you are being privy to aspects of my life, lived, thought and processed. I hope you enjoy the posts that are to come, and can feel part of this journey that I share with you.