After confirmation with our employers and our mission agency, Luke and I and our family have been approved to stay a further six months until January 2016. At this stage we are planning to return to Australia for the 2016 school year, which will mean we leave here in the middle of January.
Originally, we committed to only stay in Nepal for six months, because we didn’t want to promise more than we could deliver. With five in the family, we felt there was a fair chance we would have some conflict or trouble and need to bail out. As it is, we have an experienced a major natural disaster, which led some families to travel home, mostly bringing their “home assignment” forward. We luckily were not badly affected, and our kids tolerated the trauma relatively well. It helped that we were in a relatively unaffected area with little fear of the roof falling on our heads.
My hospital in Australia has generously agreed to defer my start date, and the children will probably be better off starting their school year in term one. Luke has continued working while we have been here, but there is no doubt he has not been concentrating on it fully, with so much else to do. However, he will continue as he has been, and probably spend even more time on improving infrastructure in the local orphanage the hospital compound.
Here in Tansen it is pre-monsoon. We are experiencing steamy days, long thunderstorms (mainly overnight at the moment) and a rapid influx of insects. I was alarmed by my language teacher this morning who told me I shouldn’t walk into the undergrowth on early morning walks at this time of year as I might run into a tiger!
We are very thankful that we have settled in so well, and that the hospital and community has been so welcoming. There is no doubt we are in the midst of a perspective-changing experience and we invite all our friends and supporters to come visit us after the monsoon, to experience this amazing place first hand.