17 June, 2010


The other day about 5 of the kids were trying to figure out this wooden lounge chair thing. I glanced over as they were totally not getting it. I was in a circle of about 6 adults who went on chatting. I couldn’t stand it any longer as I had replayed how to fix the chair over and over in my mind as if I could telepathically help them figure it out. I got up and said “stop”, then made the chair work. The kids immediately took turns sitting in it before handing it over to one of the adults. I sat back down with a satisfied feeling and Aama#2 (Bhola’s other mom –his father had 3 wives, but that’s another story) looked at me with her amazingly wrinkled beautiful face and grinned real big and patted my arm as a sign of ‘good job’.

Later that day I was helping to prepare the tree greens (take off the big leaves and stems) and Jaya said something to Bhola (in Nepali) and the others smiled. He turned to me and said that Jaya said that I was a good person and helper. I could have cried with joy, because you see I kept having this nagging feeling that she didn’t really like me here. Absolutely no reason other than my own insecurities and inability to understand her language. Like one day, I was moving a small table and there was a glass of tea on it with a plate on the top of it to keep it hot. I knew it was there, so I was being careful. Jaya yelled “MISS” and motioned for me to put it down. I was confused and someone else took off the tea cup. I first thought (A)-I knew the cup was there and (B)-I was being careful and (C)-You didn’t have to yell at me. Of course (A)-she didn’t know that I knew the cup was there which would then encompass (B) as if I didn’t know the cup was there, then I may not be careful and it would spill and (C)-she yelled a one word command because if she had said anything else, I would not have understood or responded therefore in her mind I would have accidentally spilled the tea.

There have been other situations like that which my mind initially twists, and I have to try to not have my feelings/pride hurt. Chandra’s actions and words have done the same thing. While making me a cup of tea, one day she left the tea on the gas stove and moved to stir the rice in the fire stove across the room. I was standing there when the tea started to boil over. I took the knob to turn the flame down and turned it the wrong way, initially. About that time she saw me and yelled “MISS” as if I didn’t know what I was doing. As she yelled “my name” I was turning the knob the other way causing the flame to go down and the tea was saved. She was at my side by then and I pointed to the flame and said “down” and motioned with my hand. She just poured my tea and handed me the cup. AGAIN, due to a language barrier, I couldn’t explain myself and she couldn’t either. I walked away feeling low.

Just now, there was a knock on my door (ironically or not, as I’m busily typing this post) and when I opened it there was Chandra with a cup of tea for me. As I said ‘THANK YOU” and gave her a big smile while performing my usual -patting my stomach –‘sign’ that I LOVE anything that I have eaten here- she gave me a big smile back and said ‘you’re welcome’, Miss’. Now she could have been smiling because I just finished my laundry and there are bras and panties hanging right outside my doorway and in this wind they could have smacked her in the head…but I guess I that I wouldn’t smile if undergarments slapped me in the face even if they were clean…Chandra could have had any one of the kids walk across the yard and up the 2 flights of stairs to bring it up here to my room, but instead she did it herself.

These beautiful women’s remarks, gestures and actions confirm that I am appreciated here and I realize that any ‘stupid’ insecure thoughts that enter my mind should be utterly and completely ignored!


Kris said...

I very much enjoy your posts Mindy. Your insight and true blue honesty present your surroundings and situations in a way that sometimes brings a tear but mostly a giggle. Have a safe trip back to Kansas. We want to have you over to our place if you have time. Namaste"

MKL said...

Thanks Kris, I would love to have a NEpali feast for your family - Totally Nepali Style (i.e. no silverware :-)