For those unfamiliar with Gaeilge, the literal translation is Peaceful Christmas To You. All the way from Bhainsepati – the townland that SIRC finds itself in and where it is not really Christmasy at all. I am not doing much to celebrate, save opening a card from Barb 🙂 as it is just another working day here at SIRC.
There was talk of me making a Christmas Cake for the 100 or so SIRC staff, patients and their carers but alas the oven is broken and cannot be fixed. Phew! I was a little apprehensive about baking a cake for 100, possibly multiply the recipe I have times 10. Now that is catering in my mind, my sister Grace would do a far better job than I! Instead I have thrown out the idea of buying puffed rice & chocolate to make rice krispie cakes for everyone. Another idea is rocky roads (chocolate, marshmallows and biscuits) or cornflakes with honey & butter (an Aussie delicacy it seems). All stove top items and easy to do for 100 people, now all we need to do is find the ingredients! I will be busy tomorrow if this comes off!
As you know the working week is Sunday to Friday, one day off a week. So I headed into KTM in Friday evening to overnight at the home of Mingmar and Doma, with their 3 kids in a neighbourhood of KTM called Kapan. It was a mammoth journey into the city on the SIRC staff bus. Fortunately Udaya whom I work with lives in Kapan and so we hopped off the bus early and opted to walk about 30 mins to the meeting place, 2 mins from Udaya’s home and another 20 mins walk to Mingmar’s place.
Kapan is a lovely neighbourhood, lots of families living in one and two-bed apartments in low rises (3 floors). It was great to catch up with Mingmar and his family, it’s been two years since I have seen them all. Doma made a scrumptious dinner of dhal bhat with chicken curry and greens and we hit the sack at about 9.30pm. Up early to catch the sunrise at the Kapan monastery, a wonderful sight …. whilst getting in a little cardio hiking up the long hill …. twice. Mingmar and Doma did it three times, I could only manage two times, I need to get in shape! (I have returned to your program Gord).
Whilst having morning tea, Mingmar and Doma presented me with a Sherpa dress. I had always admired them during our treks and they were so very generous and kind to have one made for me. With a little weight loss, it should fit me fine. I was thrilled! And happy I too had brought gifts for the family from Vancouver.
We had breakfast at 10am and then caught a microbus ‘downtown’, and visited the Narayanhiti Palace Museum, it was Pemba (their youngest son) first time to visit the Museum. Interesting that this was the royal family’s home up until 2001 – until the family was massacred by their son. The building with which the shootings took place has since been raised to the ground and is a rather peaceful garden these days. As we began walking back to the bus park for me to grab my bus back to Banepa, the traffic was stopped on the road close to the Museum – the current President whizzed by in a SUV surrounded by many guards, it was the first time for each of us to see the President of Nepal up close. How fortunate! He is rarely seen in public it seems – a model for leadership don’t you think?
The bus park was chaotic and we were set upon by many of the young ‘conductors’ trying to convince us to take their bus to Banepa. I finally settled on a bus that looked half decent, the driver was a little older (I equate that with safety somehow) and I got a seat. One and half hours later I am in Banepa with more chickens for company, none made an escape bid this time thankfully. I even had a HOT shower at Lok’s – bliss!! So was all ready for yoga at 6am on a cold Sunday morning before work.
A very Happy Christmas to everyone! I will write more about SIRC and my work here (which is being finalized) in the next few days. We have had no electricity or internet connection since last Friday. So I am taking advantage of this connection now.
PS. Grace, sorry our Skype date could not come off yesterday 😦 xo