The first English words I heard after passing through customs were, “Welcome home!” Words spoken to me from my team leader as he gave me a huge hug welcoming me to this country. My verbal response to this I think was “thank you,” however I know my mental response was “that’s a very loaded thing to say.” Yet the fact is, he was right: this is my home for the next two years and it will continue to be my home until God directs me elsewhere. This is it! My journey here in this beautiful Himalayan nation of Nepal has begun.
My first week here has been spent adjusting. There is a lot to learn, from how to walk in the streets let alone drive, to how to speak Nepali, and to understand the Hindu and Buddhist religion. Although I look forward to the day I understand it, this country is currently overwhelming to me. I have started language school and currently can count to 10 and say my colors. I am reminded of the quote “the expert in anything was once a beginner”- author unknown. The people here are still a little bit of a mystery to me-they seem very kind and inviting yet there is something that I do not know how to explain that almost seems cool in their demeanor as well (pray for me in this, pray God gives me His eyes and love for these people). I have enjoyed the Nepali people that I have met and spent time with; they are happy to get to know you and curious why someone would want to come to their country.
My teammates that are here and I have started meeting together a couple of times a week for prayer and devotions. We are a unique team made up of a preacher, an artist, a meteorologist, a nephrologist, and a nurse. My team leaders are the preacher and artist and they are from Puerto Rico, so their primary language is Spanish. The meteorologist and the nephrologist are married and from Romania and their primary language is Romanian. Everyone can speak English pretty well, which I am thankful for! It has been fun being a part of these different cultures coming together to share the gospel.
The area I am currently living is about two miles from the edge of the city. I have begun enjoying the morning routine of walking and praying up the hillside to the edge of Kathmandu and looking over the city. Inside the city there is a lot going on and it is overwhelming, but getting above the city and looking down on its beauty is inspiring and it’s home.