The Typical Kathmandu Day

We have been in Kathmandu a whole month. One month out of 36 isn’t much but we feel a small sense of accomplishment so we will celebrate with a pictoral post of what a day is like for us.

7:00 am – Everyone should be up.  More likely the kids have been up for an hour already and Dave and I are laying there elbowing each other to see who’s turn it is to make breakfast and change a diaper. The other one typically heads for a shower.

8:00 am – Breakfast!

8:30 am – Dave heads off to class and I walk our son to school, about 1K there and back.

8:35 am – Dave catches a micro bus(the minivan) or a tuk-tuk (3 wheeled vehicle) to class.

9:00 am – Dave is at language class and I head home to meet the Didi and put our daughter down for a nap.

10:00 am – Baby takes a nap, Didi (house helper) cleans and I get chased around the house by the Didi and attempt to read, blog, study or get a little breather before the baby wakes up and it is time for class.

12:00 pm – Lunch.  The small kid is up and I either feed her at home or I meet up with Dave for a momos (dumplings) lunch on the go.

1:00 pm – We do a kid swap, Dave heads home with a baby and I head off to class.  

2:30 pm – Dave picks up our son from school, followed by snacking and homework and studying,reading or a little bit of goofing off before dinner.


4-5:00 pm – I return from language class and if it is a Monday, Wednesday or Friday our Didi will cook Dal Bhatt (lentils and rice w/ some curried veggie) for dinner.

6 -7:00 pm – Eating, cleaning up, playing ‘Angry Birds’ and ‘Bad Piggies’, studying and counting down the minutes till we can put these kids to bed.

7:30 or 8:00 – We determine we have waited long enough to begin the whole bedtime rigamarole and we put the kids to bed. Every other day or so we will wash them too.

8:30 or 9:00 – Dave and I stare at each other in the dim, load shedding light, (a power cut which happens twice a day, our back-up power is supplied by a large car battery) do our own homework, read, watch a movie, and try to get in as much language study as possible until we can go to bed too.

So that is our Kathmandu routine.  The feeding, transporting, washing, and amusing children is not too different from what we would have done in the states.  The riding public transportation, cooking, and figuring out an unfamiliar language/culture, and what we do when we are “working” is very different.

We played a game a lunch the other day called, ‘What do you miss from Rochester’.  Everyone seemed to have an easy answer, an oven, Fidel (our cat), Levi, cheese, fall.  “Work”, said both Dave and I at the same time.  After med school, residency, law school and all the preparation to get to Nepal we feel as if we are spinning our wheels a bit in Kathmandu.  Living in the city isn’t exactly what we came here to do and we are anxious to get to the hospital and get to work and to get into the swing with the peace team here.  I’m trying to be grateful for this time of cultural adjustment and language study before we actually get into the heavy duty stuff of health care and anti-human trafficking, but most often I’m not.

Before I even realized how squirrley I was feeling about language study, a friend from home reminded me that all those patient histories will be taken in Nepali,  each of the victims brave enough to testify will be testifying in Nepali, and each person we want to get to know, really know and connect with, we will have to do it in Nepali.

I’ve been thinking recently about an old poem that Elizabeth Eliot quoted, ‘Do the Next Thing’.

“At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven that,
as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, ‘Do the next thing’.

Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing.

So we have to keep reminding ourselves that these next few months of lanugage study really are worth it and in this whole long journey, language study is just doing the next thing.

5 thoughts on “The Typical Kathmandu Day

  1. I really like the poem too. What a great reminder to take life one step at a time. I’m so happy that you guys have this time to slow down after the whirlwind of the last few years. Praying you will be able to focus on what is really important. I’m also praying that this will be a time of discovery and learning, as well as a time to connect more deeply as a family and with the Lord. Love you guys!

  2. Very encouraging. The Lord is there in your day giving you blessings and preparing you. Oh, and you mentioned all the usefulness that knowing the language will have. I’m sure you know this, but observing as much of the culture as possible during this time can potentially help get through some barriers quicker with nepali relationships you have in the future or make them disappear all together. Will be praying for perseverance.

  3. Thank you for that poem! I needed to read that too. And hang in there…I’m missing home too. Maybe b/c its fall time and there’s supposed to be color and all the other things that go along with fall. Its OK. Language learning is the pits. Do it well though so you can jump right in to the next stage in a few months. (Ha! talking to myself here as well!) :) And next time my kids have to bath in a bucket too, I’ll tell them that their cousins are doing that now too! yeah for MKs.

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