Published: March 19th 2012March 18th 2012
Dutchie sees a bike!!
When a dutchie sees a bike... there is no stopping her from riding it.
I will quickly outline our last days in Nepal. The reason for the quickness: the final day and flights home are the more hilarious part of the story.
After leaving the plains we arrived, once again, at the blessed mountains. Our final week of ministry was spent in the hills above Pokhara, in the shadow of the breathtaking Annapurna Machapuchare Mountains. We were staying at the Frontier Mission Center, which is a YWAM affiliated thingy; our host was a Norwegian dude named Oyvind. Oyvind lives and works at the FMC, but his real vision is something else.
Oyvind has a vision to build a resort up in the hills (the only guesthouse up there). He is calling it the Machapuchare Yak Ranch, and it will be built in the historical Nepali Guesthouse style, and will have yak barns! The yak barns are pretty important... because all normal Nepali houses have a yak/buffalo/goat barn.
During the week we did 2 days of work at the Yak Ranch building site. The foundations for the main building have been laid, and the first floor was planned to be added at the beginning of March. There is also one of
Oyvins Yak Ranch
This is a temporary storage shed, which will be later turned into the horse/yak/buffalo stable.
the deluxe cottages in a stage of construction, as well as the temporary bathrooms and stable building.
Our practical work was fun; we did a lot of gardening (I got to wield a sickle, which I refered to as my "golden sickle" to make me feel like the badass druid from Asterix and Obelix), as well as a lot of general cleaning up. It was wonderful, to work in the sunshine under the shadow of the beautiful mountains! I also got my hand at making milk tea, which turned out to be nearly disasterous, but my team was wonderful and drank it without complaint.
The rest of the days we were able to be the traveling circus show again! We were split into teams and did house visits with the locals. This was to gauge the "temperature" of the village nearest the Yak Ranch. We needed to find out if the residents know Oyvind, what he is doing, think it is a good thing, etc. Oyvinds vision includes creating job opportunities for the village people, who are largely unemployed.
As the week wore on I fell more in love with Oyvinds vision, and
This is the Guesthouse foundation at the Yak Ranch.
totally want to travel back to Nepal to see it in completion.
Our final days in Nepal were spent in the tourist spot, Lakeside, located down the hill in Pokhara. It was nice to stay in a hotel that had hot water some of the time. We were also served wonderful egg omlettes each morning (so good!) and were able to spend some much needed downtime with the team, and wandering the streets of Lakeside. One hilarious thing was that we all did not enjoy the tourist side of Nepal. After 2 months of complete immersion in the authentic Nepal way of life, seeing all the white people was a shock.
The worst thing about Lakeside was the Milk Tea. I know I make it out to be a big deal... but you just don't know until you have tasted it. Normal milk tea (see the blog entry about it) is made on a stove/firetop, with tea leaves, water and milk and sugar. The tourist CRAP they sell in lake side is warmed up milk with tea bags in it. WHAT. THE. HELL. I didn't come to Nepal to be served crap I can
make at home! After the first serving of this horrible swill I was emphatic in my asking about what kind of Milk Tea was on the menu. One morning I went to a cafe and asked the waiter 3 times what type of Milk Tea it was... was it the real Nepali stuff? He assured me it was, so I ordered a pot and settled in to a comfy couch.
He showed up with the most gigantic pot of tea I have ever seen.
AND IT WAS WARMED UP MILK WITH 2 BLOODY TEA BAGS IN IT.
I mean honestly.
He even made me pay for it, despite me pointing out that it was NOT what I ordered. Bloody swill.
To make matters worse I felt compelled to drink it. Awful. Absolutely awful.
Our trip concluded nicely and without incident. At least, that is what we thought as we got into the taxis which would spirit us away to the airport.
You see, the final morning we all went out for
Cutest. Thing. Ever.
Lars found a baby goat.
Lars didn't put the baby goat down for a half hour.
Lars was sad when we had to leave the baby goat.
breakfast, to this fabulous little place that reminded me so much of a quaint Vancouver coffee shop. 4 of us had milk fruit curd for breakfast. It was delicious. The first time. The second, third, and even 14th time, it didn't taste at all good.
Yes, I spent our entire international travel with my head in various depths of various bags. I puked in buckets, inside of concrete bathrooms, which reverberate sound remarkablely, let me tell you! The entire departure lounge of Pokhara airport was subjected to my chundering sound effects. Brilliant. I also puked on a plane, in a couple toilets, and then spent 9 hour on the floor of our friends house in Kathmandu (where I puked in the bathroom about 12 times). I was able to get through the security of Kathmandu airport alright, but they eyed me suspiciously because I was carrying a plastic bag about 3 inches from my face, like a weird kind of cozy pet. Note: crunchy plastic puke bags are NOT cozy pets. EVER.
Fortunately for me, my team thought this entire episode was hilarious. They kept my spirits up by laughing at my stumbling walk,
Our cozy room in Norway! The first real bed I've slept in for 2 months!
incesscent dry heaving, and bleary eyed stares. Our resident Swed bought me some delicious ginger ale, which I drank and was able to keep down... until we were sitting in the international departure lounge of Kathmandu, across from a nice looking couple, and I had to visit the inside of my non-cozy-pet-bag.
"Sorry" I croaked at them, in between hurls.
I don't think they appreciated me.
But my team thought this was amusing! So on they laughed!
We boarded our plane at 9 at night, and as soon as I was seated, barf bag in hand, every single stewardess came to ask me if I was alright, and if there was anything I needed. They were so nice, bringing me water, and no food. We landed in Abu Dhabi airport, where I decided I felt slightly better. So I ate some veggies.
They didn't come up for a second tasting, but rather sat in my belly and created the most momumental varieties of stomach pain. It was not fun.
Then I ate some bread.
Norwegian Ginger Ale
This is what I was made to suck down while I was lying on the couch in Norway for 3 days.
Does anyone else think it has a remarkable resemblance to whiskey.
I don't think I learn very well...
Upon landing in brussels airport on Friday morning (we left on a Thursday) I felt quite chipper. We went to get breakfast. I ate a full bowl of cereal, a boiled egg, and half an apple, and felt right as rain...
for about 2 hours.
Then I didn't feel very good at all.
The nice thing was that SAS let me lay down in an empty row in the back of the plane, where I was able to writhe in pain for our hour and a half flight. The flight crew was also very kind, running back and forth with water.
We landed in Oslo. We had an hour to pick up our bags and make it to the connecting flight that would deposit us in Bodo. That meant we had to run through the airport.
I hobbled. Half bent over, with my latest puke-bag-pet clutched in my sweaty hand, praying that I would just be vaporized and DIE so I wouldn't have to move anymore. The team made it to the gate in time.
It was a miracle that I did to. Bloody miracle.
And then I was stuck in a middle seat the entire way. A middle seat that I fainted into. It was not good.
Getting off the plane was sweet relief, especially because Henning was waiting for us at the arrival gate! We were picked up by his cozy self and driven back to the base.
I didn't really notice the drive because my gut pain was blinding, and I was doubled over in the back, with my head in stolen airplane-vomit-pet-bag the entire time. When we were outside the city Ornes (which is the closest big city, about an hour away from the village where I live. Ornes is also more like a very small town) I loudly tried to communicate my need for a short break, and possibley a trip to the hospital. The team eventually got the idea and we ended up at the emergency doctor-on-call office.
The doctor found me in the parking lot, collapsed on a bench, puking my guts out. Literally. The breakfast I had eaten, 6 hour before, all came up, as did the veggies, I think. Have you ever vomitted so much that you filled (I mean actually FILLED) one of those airplane bags? I have. It is a feat I never want to repeat. EVER.
After half carrying me inside, the doctor deposited me on a gurney and poked and proded my stomach before sternly enquiring the status on my womb (or the status on my possibley filled womb). He seemed to think that the only possible explaination of a young woman showing up to his office in the middle of a cold, dark, winter evening, is that she is knocked up.
I loudly confirmed that would be impossible. But thanks anyway, Mr. Smart Ass.
He then poked me some more, which caused me to utter choice expletives in his general direction. He peered at my cold, sweaty face and declared that I had an intestinal virus, and if I wasn't better in 2-3 days I should come back to see him.
After charging me for an earth shattering diagnosis he sent me home.
I do not feel bad for being sick all over his office bathroom. Take that silly judging doctor man! TAKE THAT.
Blessedly we arrived home without my early expiration and I was able to sleep.
The next 3 days were spent regurgitating everything (including tomato soup, which is awful the first time, and downright hellish the second. It also BURNS.). I experienced many things come out my nose (pre chewed museli) and had various levels of intestinal pain.
Toast was the first thing I could keep down.
I ate toast for 3 meals for 2 days.
Then I realized that my pants fell off when I walked.
I didn't even have a belt to keep them up.
How much more sad could this situation get?
I am happy to report that the past 2 weeks have been blissfully filled with eating, and tasting food only once.
Then today I had another bout of sickness.
We're pretty sure it is a parasite.