Saturday, June 4, 2016

We made it...29,619 miles!


OK, it's about time that I get back to what's happening in the Himalayas.
However, we haven't been in the Himalayas most of this time.

Soon after I last posted, I had been working on a new post called, 
"We made it...through the winter!" I am now updating this post to, "We made it...29,619 miles!"  More about that in a minute.
Now, making it through the winter was exciting for all of us in Nepal,
after going through the winter without heat because of the fuel crisis.

You can only imagine how happy we all our to have our nice spring weather--
especially those who have been living, and still are, in temporary housing since the earthquake.
For example, here you can see that this family is living only in their bottom floor and using an outdoor makeshift "room" as an extension.

Here are some others without a building and somehow they are making due.

Imagine living this way for a year--and through a very cold winter!  I'm looking at it and can't imagine it.  The monsoon rains are starting, and this is not going to be fun.

Anyway, so there we were, enjoying the beginnings of spring, when everything changed.

In. a. minute.

Ramon's mom suffered a very massive stroke.  One week and a day later we were in Paraguay.
It takes three days to travel there, so four days after the stroke we were on our way, clocking in 14.661 miles.  We really appreciated the fact that we were given permission to run.  Here is a picture of our beautiful view from the airplane as we pulled up over the clouds of Kathmandu!

Providentially, a visiting team from the U.S. was coming the next week to do uterine prolapse surgeries and they brought an anesthesiologist!  Then, an anesthesiologist from Kathmandu agreed to come twice a week, and a retired anesthesiologist from Austria (who comes when we're on vacation) dropped everything to come back to help out!  This meant that there were no worries with the anesthesia services.  What a blessing!

OK, so our time in Paraguay was filled with taking care of all the concerns involved with my mother-in-law, who is now basically paralyzed.  We visited many homes and chose one which was highly recommended that we are very satisfied with.  More importantly, she is satisfied with it.  Of course, her situation is very dire and very uncomfortable and we are all sad.  She can't talk or eat or swallow any more or move very much at all.  She has to be fed through a nose tube.  Ramon put a pen in her hand, thinking she could write messages, but she couldn't hold it.  She could hold our hands though, and as Ramon held her hand this day, he remembered holding her hand as a little boy when she walked him to school!

We appreciate all the prayers for her comfort.  We're very thankful for all the family and friends in Paraguay who are taking the time to visit her, even though they are very busy.  Thanks!  We enjoyed reconnecting and visiting with all of you!

Ramon was asked to give a couple of speeches,

a couple of sermons,

and talked briefly on the radio that he usually talks on via Skype.

While we were there, it was fall.  We packed for fall weather.  However, little did we realize that an Indian Summer heat wave would be in full swing!  I mean FULL SWING!  It was close to 100 F. every day and too hot to wear a watch!  The humidity was worse than Nepal's humidity during the monsoon.  Now, the monsoon's humidity has been strong enough to bring back to life a plant I had that had died!  I'm serious--that really happened!  Anyway, my hair frizzed like Monica's on Friends in the episode where they go to the Caribbean!  (It really was almost like this!)

(photo credit:

I put it up, but the stragglers frizzed big time.  Oh well.  It was what it was!

Somehow, that difficult month came to an end, and we left Mama in the capable hands of
her caretakers and the Lord.  Two weeks of R and R with my family in Maryland, traveling 6,012 miles to get there, was just what the doctor ordered!  We rested and visited and shopped and
ate fun food!

However, the absolute best and most incredible part of the trip to Maryland was discovering the joys of being a great-aunt and great-uncle!  It's wonderful!  I loved watching my niece being a mother and my sister being a grandmother and my mother being a great-grandmother!  Precious!

Those two weeks flew by, and what seemed like a blink later, had us putting in 8,946 miles back to Nepal!  So that's how we made it through 29,619 miles, and nine flights, since the last post!  We were so thankful to land, since turbulence had us circling the airport for about 40 minutes.  Ugh!

More pictures of our trip coming soon!

OK, so everything here is the same.  We're back to work, and calling it our "vacation" since our vacation wasn't a real vacation!  :)

Aftershocks are continuing--yesterday's was about #460 above four on the Richter Scale:
No, you don't get used to them.

Landslides continue: 

Very difficult.  Look how many there have been (and there have been a few more since this article was written on May 20):

Leopards continue to "visit" the city...Yikes!!!

We appreciate all the prayers and know that we are praying too!

Have a nice day!!!