I can’t believe it’s been 4 weeks since I returned from Nepal. In some ways it has gone so quickly with all the holiday festivities but then again it feels like a distant memory. I have this slight anxious feeling in my chest that I’m going to forget all the amazing moments, feelings and stories from my 5 week trip. Although I kept a daily journal, it is impossible to capture all the BIG heartfelt moments I experienced while away. For most of the trip I was travelling with dear friends so together we can relive the funny stories and adventures.
For the first post of 2017, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the highlights of my trip. Here are the top 3 insights that surprised me, warmed my heart and brought me joy:
- Nepali people have the most gracious and warm spirits. Throughout all my experiences and travels around Nepal I never met anyone who was aggressive or demanding. While conducting our studies we utilised resources, facilities, space and personnel but our research partners always made us feel so welcome and thanked us so warmly. Often participants in the studies travelled many hours to meet with us and would finish the session blessing us and being so grateful to be involved in the study. It is striking to me the women in Nepal often have so little but give so generously and graciously of their time. What a contrast this is in Australia!
- Nepali people are so laid back but also so productive. It took a little while for me to get used to ‘Nepali time’. Trying to arrange meeting times would often end in a rough ballpark timeframe with a response ‘maybe this, maybe that’. Not wanting to be controlling, I just went with the flow and was amazed over and over again how things would work out so perfectly and better than ever imagined. Again – this is something we could definitely learn from in Australia!
- Nepali people are doing the best they can with what they have. I believe this 100% and am thoroughly inspired by everyone I’ve ever met there. As one of the poorest countries the people don’t complain and get on with making the most of their situations. This can be seen in the hospital where equipment is scant, to the kids who happily run off to school and play with weeds and rocks, to the small business owners trying to sell a variety of goods and to the amazing women who have nothing but continue to work hard on a daily basis without complaint. Not only are they incredibly resilient but their eagerness to learn is so inspiring. We take for granted all the modern luxuries we have access to in Australia but still find things to gripe about!
It has been a huge privilege and blessing to be able to have a small glimpse into the lives of Nepali women. I have learnt so much from them and know my life has changed for the better.
In this new year, I will aspire to be more gracious, less controlling and aim to do the best that I can.
Happy New Year and Namaste!!