Saturday, April 11, 2009



we have made our way across the ocean, thru customs, over the mountains, meandering towards the prairies and finally our destination - home. things were not quite what we expected or remembered but relief filled us because we had made it.
physically that is....emotionally is another story.
nothing in us is quite the same - we have lived and breathed a different life for a sustainable amount of time. we have survived with very little, the things we took for granted like electricity and water, we are overwhelmed with thankfulness to have it in abundance. we will never complain about winnipeg water again, though at times it may smell unpleasant it is at least clear and coming out of the tap :) if we do utter words of ungratefulness you do have permission to remind us.
my insides have been in upheaval - my emotions range from guilt to relief, and happy to sad. when we left Nepal, our friends were in the middle of a water shortage and we were able to escape that to our home. we just got news that they were able to access an underground spring in the middle of the courtyard...they, now have water in abundance !!!!
i have learned to be content, i have rediscovered a best friend, i have grown up, i have witnessed my girls dream and share without restriction, i have seen miracles.
i think maybe our journey is just beginning....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


i thought i had written so many more entries then i had...oops. so now for a quick update.

we had visitors from canada - what a breath of fresh air.

we had no water for 17 days - i have learned to live with less and as rod says, the land will be a dream holiday for me. i don't think so. i think i am cured of camping for about 13 years.

we had a holiday at nagarkot - we stayed at a tea house in a mountain village. the kids even got to swim in a luke warm hot tub and rod and i got a nepali massage. very different from home - rod and i both came out laughing..."did that lady just straddle you????" aaahh, memories.

we have started packing, giving things away - realizing we don't really need this, saying goodbyes. the most heart wrenching one was to say goodbye to sushila and her family. we all cried like babies...wondering when we will see each other again.

then sickness hit with a boom - landing anya and i flat on our backs. we are desperate to get better since we fly out in 2 days and praying that no one else in the family catches it. i think my older girls are fine - they were eating chips ahoy cookies and giggling.

today is a hindu holiday which has us confined to our rooms. people throw balloons or bags full of red dye and seem to favor white foreign people. there are cases of older teens that throw urine and feces. it was advised that we should stay inside all emielia's words - boring!!!

so we leave...we have a chance to go home to a land of abundance - of fresh water, fresh air, abundance of electricity and space. and we leave our friends to fight, to struggle, to live with less, to create, to dance, to give generously, to remember ... we will never forget them!

Monday, February 16, 2009

what the heck?

so what the heck?
we have hardly written the past couple of weeks and to be honest i am not sure why...except we have felt saddened by life and the aspects that cannot be changed over night. maybe we wanted to spare you all the depressing details...maybe we just did not want to think about it ourselves and when you write it down you have to process.
if i was at home i would be sitting in front of the TV watching some mind-numbing program.
when a world vision commercial comes on i could change the channel but here there is no remote to end the heart ache inside. even when we retreat to our place we are still overwhelmed with people and questions and needs.

so what to do?
maybe just live out our last few days in solitary confinement has been a thought. except that rod and i are so drawn to people we would have to interact. the other part is we would probably kill each other :)
we have to be in matter the disappointment or pain or the prospect of losing it all. we will stay engaged. we will choose to enjoy and look for opportunities to share.

random thoughts on the way to school...

i want what i do not have
i long for more
you have nothing

i wish for silly things
i think about useless trivia
you share a piece of wisdom in every morsel of thought

i feel shy in a crowded street
i shrink at the bark of an unfamiliar dog
you face whatever comes with courage

i listen to the childish shrieks of delight
i sigh at the mystical beauty of colors blowing in the wind
you embody all that is beautiful

i crave sweets i once knew
i desire comfort that were familiar
you make a little go a long way

i am a foreigner
i do not quite belong
you protest loudly at the difference
you call me sister and friend
though we are polar opposites
in color
in dress
in language
we know not to underestimate the heart
and all it holds dear
deep in the recesses.

Friday, February 6, 2009

to be or not

time is ticking and my little taste buds are getting excited to sink my teeth into a juicy beef burger....mmmm....sorry to all the vegans out there.
i am also excited to settle back into community - a place where i can understand and know that i am understood. i can move with room to breathe (nepalis have no sense of personal space - if you are clausterphobic do not ride the buses). i can walk and not be pointed at or cheeks touched (don't worry - the upper cheeks :)
my house...where the hot tap actually will provide warmth... that you can turn on a tap and water pours out. electricity that is available with one flick of a switch. heat to take the chill away.
i will miss the weather, the banana trees, the flowers, the abundance of fresh vegetables 50 steps from our front door, the friends that have become like sisters and brothers, the frequent song that bursts forth from someone's lips. the smiles, the hugs, the example of generousity from the poorest.
i will miss it here but i am ready.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

back to the homestead...

so we are back at the church...oh, did we miss it and the community. did not miss the sound of the rats at night though.
we are excited to have a friend from winnipeg come and visit us. can't wait to introduce him to our friends and show him the sights.
next week routine will start again for us...girls in school, housegroups and church meetings start up. rod and shem are planning another trip to the mountain to visit a village. pray for rod's health and my patience :)

the little jersak clan

i want to tell you a story of this family i am proud to call my own...
everyday rod goes on a bus to rutnabad in the heart of the temple area where many poor people live. he is doing home care nursing for a woman named sushila. usually rod takes a girl with him or we go as a whole family. on one of our trips we were walking by a hospital and on the other side of the street was a woman with leprosy begging for money. we walked about 10 steps passed when rod stopped and said, "i have to do something." so we all turned around and approached her. with hand gestures rod tries to communicate that he wanted to help her. as he took off the dirty rags that covered her feet we were overcome with a smell indescribable. her toes were no more and in the blood and puss flies were lying eggs. he carefully cleaned the wound with little anya pouring water on the bandage for him. as he worked she stood with her hand on his shoulder. the other two were praying out loud and conversing with the people who had stopped to gawk. i took instruction from rod and handed supplies from the medical bag. soon a crowd of over 50 people were gathered...sadly not to support but in curiousity of why these white people would bother to stop and help this woman who surely had deserved such a state. it is good to be different.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

16 hours and counting....

power is off for 16 hours a day...not fun.
school starts in 9
we move back to church in three sleeps...okay.
we have 47 days left in

it seems i am down to counting the hours and days of something. i look forward to certain things ending like the power coming on and i dread things that mean drastic change.
maybe i need to focus on the here and now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sushila, Manita and Ava

Sister Ava :)

Hi folks,

Our family has been healthy generally except for the occasional 24 hour stomach flu. Lately I have been doing a lot of 'home' care nursing in Kathmandu. A lady (Sushila) from church was brought to my attention last Saturday whom had a nasty wound to her little toe (to the bone). It was left for a long time and she was in extreme pain but was stoically trying to hide it. The reason she left it so long was because she didn't have the $5.00 to see a Doctor. Sushila is a widow who looks after 2 boys and a girl. They are very poor but the have the most amazing smiles. I took her to the Patan Hospital to see a Dr. who was very accommodating and now I am doing daily dressing changes at her home. Yesterday Ava was my nurse assistance which was fun to see. Ava and I then thought it would be good to buy some Mango juice's and snacks and give them to the Lepers laying on the Street. I could tell that Her little smile warmed the hearts of these precious people.
The past week I think I have shed more tears of repentance, sadness and Joy than the whole trip combined. I believe God is bring me to the place where I hold back nothing thing and to serve Him/others completely.....I hope He succeeds.

Monday, January 5, 2009

christmas in nepal...

some photos of the christmas program which ran for 4 hours!!!!! then had a nepali feast for 400 people. many people came from mountain villages to be a part of the festivities.

i was standing in line for food when i was embraced by a woman from behind...and i mean embraced!!! she held me uncomfortably close. i thought at nice...but then that quickly turned to what the...??? then i discovered that as soon as you left room - and i mean i had given only 2 inches since emielia's head was level with the man's butt just in front of us - you would lose your place in the line. i watched in irration as 4 people butted in front of emielia and she ended up crying because her feet got squashed. is it good to get angry at poor starving people? not sure but i was. i was surprised by the level of heated frenzy that happened when food was introduced. people pushing...people yelling...starving people needing nourishment. my angry quickly subsided when i realized this might be the first meal they have had in days. desperation runs rampant here...not sure i want to get in the way...not sure what i can do.

quick updates...

so many people have been wondering about our lack of communication so i will try to bring you up to speed.
we have moved to a new location for the month of january...housesitting...the problem is no internet service so we have to wait until we come to the church to get online. the problem everywhere is lack of water therefore minimal electricity. the power outages are up to 12 hours per day. in february it will be up to 16 hours.
it feels as if the church activity is in sleep mode - the leaders take the month of january off. no housegroups, no visitation, no meetings just church on saturday. i wonder if the inactivity has made us a little lazy :)

our little house feels busy with the kids, and school work. we have been introduced to a beautiful young woman named sara who comes to help everyday. we have been adopted into her family...been invited to birthday parties, baby dedication, suppers. she is the eldest of 4 children, her dad died when she was a young girl, her mom remarried and her step father treated her horribly. her mother is now widowed again and suffers from mental health issues. sara's one sister just had a baby out of wedlock, another sister and a younger brother are home for the holidays from the hostel they live in. sara works to support the whole family. this family is from the lowest caste...which means people will not touch them, will not eat the same food with them and if she touches something it is deemed unholy. it is shocking at how mean people are. she is the most caring and compassionate girl i have met. her dream is to have an orphanage for those children no wanted by anyone. she is our teacher - she teaches us nepali and how to cook. i teach her english and how to bake cookies and cake. it has been fun!!!!

today i went to visit a place that rescues nepali girls that have been sold or kidnapped into the sex trade. many of these girls have contracted HIV and are dying.
so many sad stories and so much need here. i feel almost so overwhelmed that i cannot process the pain - i want to run to my little "home" and bake. talk about denial hey??