Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy New Year 2069!

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly--HAPPY NEW YEAR 2069!  Yes, here in Nepal, where the Bikram Sambat calendar is followed, we have recently celebrated the new year!  April 13 was the first day of the year 2069.  (Yes, you read that right--it's 2069!)

This calendar is the official calendar of Nepal, as well as some parts of India and a few other places in Asia as well.  It has 12 months like the Gregorian calendar and each one goes from "our" mid-month to the next mid-month.  However, the months are not predetermined and change from year to year slightly varying from 29-32 days based on ancient Hindu tradition as well as lunar cycles.  (One example is that last year New Year's Day was April 14 and this year it was April 13.) 

As you can tell, it's approximately 56 1/2 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar.  I like to say that we don't know if we're really young or really old! 

I haven't been able to find a 2069 calendar yet, which is unusual since last year they were everywhere!  As soon as I get one, I'll post a picture.  (I threw away 2068's, but you can find it's pic if you're really interested by looking in April 2011's archives.)

Here is the last sunset of 2068 taken from right in front of the hospital.

Sorry, but I didn't get up early enough to take a photo of the first sunrise of 2069!  Maybe next year!  (Maybe not!)  However, when I did get up, I went to the balcony and took this picture--the first of the new year.  You can see it was a beautiful sunny day!

In some towns in Nepal, there are festivals for the new year, but here in Banepa it's generally a low-key family affair and a time to relax and enjoy the company of loved ones.  Some people kept working

and children had fun playing since there was a week and a half of what we would call "summer vacation" between the end of the school year 2068 and the beginning of the school year 2069.  (There really is no "summer vacation" here, just breaks between the terms as well as various holidays here and there.)

Here are some of the kids at school waving goodbye to 2068 on the last day of school.

After the short break, School Year 2069 began!

Here's Liesl with the busy new first graders!  They feel so grown-up to be in first grade and are very serious about their work.  Too cute!

With the end of 2068, our church saw the retirement of Pastor Puri, who had been serving here for around 17 years!  We wish him all the best (and lots of fun!) in his retirement.

Of course, this means we are having a new pastor with our new year!  There was a welcome Sabbath for Pastor Kumar and family.  We're so happy to have them here!

After the service, there was a potluck--always a favorite!  Isn't the little boy waiting for his food adorable?!

It's also a new year for my wonderful niece Liesl, who celebrated her 20th birthday here in Nepal!  We went down this street in Thamel (there she is with Shea)

to the "famous" vegetarian restaurant OR2K where you sit on the floor!  My cousin's son Nathan, who is helping out at the Muscular Dystrophy Center, was with us.

We recommend it for all travelers to Kathmandu!  Even Shea, who likes his meat, gave it a good review!  

Ramon has been so busy with "regular" work as well as working with teams coming from various countries to treat patients that he barely had time to say, "Happy New Year" to me!  But he's very happy with his job  and is happy for all the patients they are helping.  The teams are here on their vacations and do life altering surgeries on people who may have had to wait many years to get the help they needed.  Here is a picture taken around the new year of an OB/GYN from Holland performing a surgery with Ramon and the operating room staff.

Well, that's about it for the new year!  We're thankful to the Lord for giving us a wonderful 2068 and we trust in Him to continue to bless us and our family and friends (and whoever is reading this!) in 2069!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mom's Pictures

My mom took some great pictures when she was here visiting.  We loaded them into my computer before she left and it's high time I let you see them!  Some of you reading this may have seen them already if you've visited her, but many of you haven't had a chance to see them yet.  If you've seen the previous posts, you also may recognize some scenes, but those were mine and these are hers!  So here we go:  Nepal from my mom's eyes and perspectives.

Here are her first glimpses of Nepal:

Good one Mom!

As you can see, she had a window seat so she got some great shots.
Here we are arriving in Kathmandu.

And we're down and driving around in a very different and new environment!

"These are the electric wires?"  "Yes, Mom."
"How do they figure out which is which?"  "I don't know."

It's a beautiful ride to Banepa.
"That house is just sitting there in the middle of the field!"  "Yes, Mom."

"Look!  What's that?"  "The world's tallest statue of Shiva."

Here we are in Banepa.  
"This is a two-way street?"  "Yes, Mom."

Banepa through Mary's eyes:

Nice shots Mom.  

These are of the ancient Chandeshwori Temple nearby.

She got a good one (better than mine) of the mural of the goddess Chandeshwori slaying the demon Chanda.

I took this one

and she took this one of Liesl and Shea.

Here we are walking up a road nearby

where we saw this view.  China is right over there!

As we walked home, Mom got a shot of this gal who strolled by us.

Here she is at "home" looking out over the fields behind the hospital
(the temple is in the background and another house in the middle of a field)

and this is what you see out there...very hard workers!

Beyond the fields, you can see part of Banepa.
I like this misty shot.  Nice one Mom.

Now she zooms in.

Mom always said she could never get a good shot of the Himalayas we saw while driving around, but she was wrong and here's the proof:

Those are not clouds in the distance--they are the Himalayas!!!

(Because the we were riding in a bumpy van, many of the pics look like this:)

This one however, is somehow quite cool--she has the blurry thing going on in the foreground and almost a panoramic thing going on in the rest of the pic!

This one caught some workers at a brick factory in an assembly line.

At school, she enjoyed seeing the kids at play

especially with Liesl!

Well, that's all for today!  I hope you enjoyed "Nepal through Mary's Eyes!"
Have a nice day!  Bye for now!