Monday, June 18, 2012

Nepal Night

with notes and slides from Linda Cliff

   Friday evening was Nepal night at SPPC.  Regular readers of this blog know that Linda Cliff spent several weeks in that country last Fall, helping to train hospice nurses.  On Friday, she shared her stories and her pictures with the congregation.
  Of course, we started with food, and wonderful food it was.  
    Then Linda talked about her experiences in a country that is an odd mixture of third world and first world.

Nepal has a population of 29 million people
Average age 20.  Most people  live on less than $2.00 US.
Life expectancy is 62 years.

 Quite by accident Linda and her companions met the "Living Goddess,"  a young girl who is treated as sacred and who seemed quite frightened of these odd Westerners.  

 Then she left a hidden and sacred place to take her chances in the "modern" traffic of Nepal. Buses, cars, cows, goats, dogs and pedestrians all traverse the same narrow path.  Linda believes it was prayer that kept them from some horrific accident on the roads.
This is a picture of a woman being admitted to the hospice in Baratpur where Linda worked.  Her husband will stay with her to care for her during her treatment.  The hospice will supply medical services but the family must look after daily care.  The next picture shows the mat under the bed where the family member will sleep.  The family provides food and does laundry for the patient.  Interestingly, in a country where only 0.5% of the population is Christian, the church is recognized as special.  If there is no one else to care for a patient, the hospice calls the Christian church and they will provide for the necessities of life, even for those considered "untouchable" by others.
  When not working at the hospice Linda explored the country.  Here is a group of school children, note the uniforms.  Education is given a very high priority among the Nepalese.
    She also attended church services and enjoyed the children of the Sunday school.  Sunday school happens after the service is over and is attended by hordes of children, from outside the congregation as well as those within.
   At the other end of the age spectrum is this woman, tired out from long hours of thrashing rice, she has lain down in the straw for a rest. 
    Her time in Nepal fulfilled a life-long dream for Linda, a dream of serving in the mission field.  It also taxed her health and her 
tolerance for dirt!

 Thank you, Linda, for your service and for sharing your experiences with us. 

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