Measure of Time

There is no stopping time, looking at my last blog post dated in May, I can think of so many changes, indefinite experiences, time never stops, life never stops…

So where to go from here? Today is now and as such I am going to write for the now.

I am currently in Auckland “on loan” to my old company to complete a project I started many moons ago. It has been very serieal being back in a familiar place, a familiar life yet it is so different, I am different. Seeing colleagues, sharing in their lives, I have felt so removed yet for some reason this doesn’t seem to bother me, as some would put it “I have a new life” (or at least in my eyes a new chapter).

It has been great sharing time with my dad, having the opportunity to include him in my life. We visited mum’s grave on Tuesday, something very personal for me, something I do alone, but knowing he would not go out of his way to visit her without a reason, it was challenging but peaceful to include him.

I have been resistant to this visit, not seeing the point in coming up to effectively edit for a week. But as God does, he has shown me so much, so much grace, my potential and the drive behind my move to Christchurch (to follow his call) and also reexperiencing my passions and desires for the future.

So here I am sitting, waiting for my ride to the airport to catch my flight back to home, a new chapter I am discovering (and at times struggling with as it is nothing like I expected). I am excited for the coming weeks, months… becoming a part of my research, to let my home be my home and settle in, to sew, oh my glorious sewing machine, I have missed you, I have missed my me time, the time I can create and mull. I am looking forward to seeing my family, my friends down south who have become my home.

Time is never ending, never changing, just moving forward, all we can do is embrace it and let be what is to be.

Goodbye Nepal… for now

So on Sunday I leave Pokhara with the INF crew and head to Kathmandu where the INF conference will be happening next week. I sadly will be missing this but will be heading to MCS in Pakistan on Monday for a very short two and half day visit to see friends, students and experience a life once lived. I am very blessed to be staying at the school for the visit (I hope I get my old house back) and am looking forward to the joy at MCS (I am quite excited to see the monkeys again, just saying).

The past week has been crazy and I will hopefully write about it in the coming week. Last night was really hard explaining to Shari (4 years) that I will be leaving on Sunday, Christina was a big help and we talked about how I will be coming back next year (which Shari thinks is too far away, so cute). I am hoping Sunday is not too tearful and that my short time in Thamel by myself can be productive and relaxing.

Here are a very few selected photos from the trip so far (I managed to retrieve my photos off my waterproof camera, and the internet is working whoop!)

WOOL!!!

Home sweet home

Geotechnical drilling at work

mmmmm milkshake

The road to work

INF celebrations, compound gate

The beautiful goats at work

The rosella jam craze

INF birthday lunch

Girls just want to have fun

Darsai swing

Lakeside

Mardi Himal – 4500m (well more like 4176m, but we don’t talk about that)

Taking it in

The valleys from Mardi base camp route

Village life – a small taste, leaving me wanting more

Mount Macchapucchre

Week way gone

Lakeside, a break from the working world

I had a holiday!! I forgot about my to do list (well most of the time) for four lovely days!

I went trekking up to Mardi base camp (~4500m), the highest I have ever been. It was an easy trek, a mixture of broken cobbles and grass lining a path up through the Annapurna region. The challenge however came with the altitude, early morning starts (as the boys were quite ambitious), a slight isolation due to language (three Germans and a kiwi, let alone, three males and a female) and the need to forget about all that needed/needs to be accomplished before I leave Nepal.

Nepal reminds me of New Zealand, and I can understand the love affair kiwis have with the beauty that is this country. The terrain is similar (however a lot less punishing than the New Zealand forest). The mountains remind me of the South Island, the rhododendrons lining the ground far and wide reminded me of the Waitakeres, and the vast Kauri trees and native bush spanning as far as the eye can see. As we climbed higher, the mountains surrounded us, engulfing our vision and path. To take in the vast array of the mountains was impossible, their beauty, their intricate nature, the never ending journey they travel. The altitude thinned the air, purifying our minds and determination, I can’t say I struggled but I was aware of this change, it was not a burden, it was an awakening of the vast depth these mountains beheld and the greatness of their creations (and their creator).

We made base camp by mid afternoon on the third day, descending over 3000m on the fourth back to Pokhara (~800m). My ankles were badly damaged on the accent to base camp, some serious deep tissue bruising (not much that can be done about that), this provided a challenge on the decent and brought back memories of the last 7km of the Oxfam trail walker many years ago (100km walk) when I compressed the souls of my feet so far every step was agony and a metal torment. At this point, I missed home, I missed my tramping buddies, the people I trust and can be completely honest with (and can read me like a book), I missed people who could communicate with me whole heartedly with that kiwi humour and support I have grown to love. But amidst this yearning, the support given was a blessing, and having to trust those in such a vulnerable situation was humbling but also an overcoming of fear.

I never really miss home when I am away, maybe this trip is so challenging as for once there is so much waiting for me on my return back home, rowing, a move to a new city, new studies, sewing challenges etc. Maybe being home sick is missing that that waits for one on return? Maybe I am finally comfortable in my kiwi skin, comfortable in this world, comfortable in my place in New Zealand even though I know this comfort will not last, as this side of the world beckons my return, even while I am here.

So I managed to leave my camera cable in New Zealand for my outdoors camera, so unless I manage to find some way of recovering my photos you will have to imagine the beauty of the mountains, the snow (yes, I forgot to mention, 20cm of snow!) and the journey I took for another week and a half (but here are some photos from lakeside and INF birthday to keep you happy)

Sailing

INF 60th Anniversary Lunch

In 7 days I will be on a plane to Pakistan. Please pray, if so inclined for my safety on this journey and that I can accomplish the work required of me here in Nepal. My chest flu is still lingering, I have a bit of a bark but apart from fatigue am doing pretty good (thanks for the prayers). There is a lot pondering on my brain (future challenges, relationships with people), please pray for guidance and contentment in these.

Auds

Four days, four posts, take four

Monday, well Monday is work, I am busy trying to get this chicken coup designed (so I can at least tick one project off the list). I left work early to see a tailor (Elaine one of the teachers took me to a lovely tailor from church), I have no idea how my outfits will turn out as it was all confusing and there were far too many decisions to make, without Tabea there (or anyone my age for that matter) it made things a little difficult. We had a trekking meeting straight after, so I am going trekking on Wednesday for 5 days. We are going to Mardi base camp which is in the Annapurna region and is 4500m high (one of the highest in the region). I am going with Artua, his brother (Richard) and Martin. The only major concern is altitude sickness but dad has contacted the doctor and all my heart meds are good, so I am set to go and have a bit of fun (the thing that comes to mind… where are the RAMs forms?).

The best part of the night was going to a local children’s home with Tabea, Karen, Eva, Xinia and Anu (the girls house). The older kids were not there but there were about 20 young ones, all buzzing to see us. They sang, danced and were full of smiles. We got up and sung he’s got the whole world in his hands with actions. The kids were teaching me Nepali over dinner, I was the eldest (apart from Karen, who is like a mum) so all the kids would giggle when I said I was 25 (in English too). It was such a refreshing experience and I loved being with local kids again (reminded me of Cambodia).

Tabea and I got home and baked. We bake a lot! We have a 2kg block of chocolate to get through and have just made it half way.

The next two days are Nepali festival days so everything shuts down (hence the trekking). I will be back late Sunday and hopefully will have some stories to tell.

For those inclined to pray it would be awesome if you could pray that my flu gets better (I have had a chest flu since Sunday, with continuing migraines) and that I do not suffer greatly from altitude sickness (as, well that is kind of a serious one, and I would like to come back to NZ in one piece, with all my brain cells preferably). I am looking forward to the break but know I will be coming back to a mountain of work in my last week, so time management and clear thinking of problem solving would also be awesome to have prayer for.

Talk soon

Auds