Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano
Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

02 February 2012

One Day

Today was a typical day here, as typical as any may be. Wake up around 7am, body stiff from having slept so soundly at night that I must barely have moved. Emerge from my cozy, sleepingbag-lined bed to the chilly morning air. Use my curtain to wipe condensation off the windows; peer out towards the Himalayan mountain range (and hope it's clear enough to see the snow-covered mountains).

Wander out to the kitchen to cook up so oatmeal, this morning mixed with brown sugar, though most other mornings I’ve mixed it with jam. Read and reflect briefly while eating the steaming oatmeal. I want to work my way through the New Testament, obviously not to be finished in my time here, but a place to begin nonetheless. True confession, this morning I checked email instead of reading the Bible.

Yesterday though I was reading from Matthew. In chapter 1, verses 22-23 it says: All this (the birth of Jesus Christ) took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”  Have you ever made a promise? God made a promise years and years before Jesus walked this earth. He made a BIG promise. In the Old Testament, in the book of Isaiah, it is written: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” He made a promise and he fulfilled it. Fulfilled it in a mighty mighty mighty way. What an awesome God we have.

Libby and I leave the house between 7:30 and 7:45am to reach the hospital by 8am. It takes 15 minutes, almost exactly, to get there. We are at the hospital until about 4pm. When we arrive we are warm from walking, we quickly get cold while rounding in the unheated wards (I don’t know of any buildings that are truly heated here in Nepal), we may warm up with a few minutes of sunshine at lunchtime (like today when we drank “chiya” (milk tea) in the sunny hospital courtyard), then likely get cold again while observing outpatient clinic appointments.

By the time we get home at the end of the day, we are ready for a snack. Today it was mouth-watering pear juice and digestive biscuits. Yum yum. Then we decided to get some exercise. Aside from the one jog David and I went on the day of the strike last week, I haven’t done any proper exercising since being here (excluding walking/hiking). Libby brought some workout DVDs from home and today we did our first one. Kickboxing! We set up our own workout studio in the common room on the second floor by moving a coffee table out of the way and rolling up a rug. For over an hour we punched, kicked, ducked, and dodged invisible boxers. If we had a mirror to see ourselves moving, I’m sure I would look ridiculous. Lots of room for improvement!

As Libby had yet to try Nepali dal bhat, we asked the residents today for suggestions of a good local place to eat. Upon their recommendation we went to a Thakali restaurant for dinner. It was wonderful spot located less than a 5 minute walk from our home here. We sat on the floor on low-set chairs and enjoyed a vegetarian Thali set meal (with milk tea for dessert, of course). After dinner I showed Libby some photos from David and my adventures in our first week here and then brainstormed some fun activities to do with her parents, who will arrive this weekend. Both Libby and I miss our husbands dearly, but are so thankful to have each other’s company to adventure here together.

I topped off my night with a video skype call to David. Seeing the one you love makes all the difference!

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