Monday, May 30, 2011

A Fun Weekend, by Nate Beine

Last Saturday we went to our Didi (a woman who cooks and cleans for foreigners or wealthy Nepalis) Jibu's house.  It probably takes about half an hour to walk there but my mom and dad kept stopping to take pictures so it took about an hour.  She has three sons named “Suedeep,” “Sondeep,” and “Beepin” (these are probably not the real spellings of their names, but simply how they sound).  They have come to our house before to play.  Suedeep had bought a Checkers and Backgammon board so he wanted us to teach them how to play, so we did.  

Teaching checkers
After that we went to see their animals while the adults talked in Nepali.  They had rabbits, goats, and the tamest water buffalo I've ever seen.  You see, water buffaloes are like big cows with horns and have a bad reputation for pushing people off high mountain paths. People use them for their milk and for plowing fields but they're quite dangerous.  I was standing two feet away from it, just out of range of harm, given the rope that secured it, trying to get in a picture with it, when Beepin jumped down from the rafters of the stable (which is where they keep the food for the animals) onto the water buffalo’s back!  After that we had a fun time riding it.  

Ride'em cowboy Nate!
 For lunch we had Daal Bhat (a meal of rice, lentils, and sometimes vegetables that most Nepalis have two or three times a day).  The rice and vegetables came from their own fields. They even had chicken that they'd killed that morning.  After lunch we played in the field, drank chiya (a common Nepali tea), and had a water fight while the adults talked.  We decided to go home because of a thunder cloud that we saw coming toward us and because we wanted to get home before dark.  This family is Hindu so please pray that we'll be able to tell them about God and Jesus and that they will listen. 

As some of you may or may not know, my brothers and I are doing Tae Kwon Do now.  Since yesterday was Republic day (the day that Nepal became a republic) all of the people doing Tae Kwon Do marched around the town in their suites with an ITF (International Tae Kwon Do Federation) banner.  They ended down at the big field called “Tulelikel.”  

Can you spot the four blond boys- well three blond boys and a nearly bald white boy- among the sea of dark haired kids?
At the field, some of the people did demonstrations; first, a black belt did some cool spinning moves with a long wooden pole.  After that,  nine people kneeled down on two legs and a yellow/green belt (which is only the fourth belt) did a flying kick over them and broke a board.  Then  a couple more people did  regular kicks to break boards, and then the real fun began.  First, two people knelt down and another one lay face up on top of them.  Someone placed two bricks on him to hold up the boards.  Then they stacked panes of glass on top of the bricks and in between each pane was a board soaked in kerosene.  They lit the boards on fire and another yellow/green belt chopped through them!  Once the boards and glass were smashed the three guys jumped up, and no one got hurt.  After that a second degree black belt (who sometimes teaches us) had a red belt get down on his knees, put a board with two bricks standing up on it on his head, and the black belt broke the bricks in half with one chop!  Next, two red/black belts kicked tube lights in half and two people held another tube light up as high as they could and a Black belt did a back flip and kicked it in half.  It was pretty fun, and Stephen (one of our friends), who is a red/black belt and helps teach us said that maybe the guy who broke the bricks could teach us how.  I'm glad that I do Tae Kwon Do.

By Nate

(P.S. The events contained in this message were not necessarily approved of by my mom.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just a few tidbits...

What do you do when water is in short supply?  Ana taught us that you wash your hair with the rainwater runoff from the roof.

What do you do when all the beds in the Surgical Ward are full?  Well, here they put the lady who just had a hysterectomy in the hallway on a mattress on the floor.  It's a little awkward to do the post-op exam with multiple male onlookers who are lingering in the hallway.

There are so many things that I gladly embrace here, "strange" new ways to which I become accustomed.  There is one that I still struggle with...yesterday, I had to use the squatty potty at the hospital for something more than urinating.  After I had relieved myself, I looked around and saw my only option: a bucket of water...and then the sink in that room was non-functional.  Toilet paper is a foreign product.  I'll let you fill in the blanks that I have left in this "tidbit."  Some things I have yet to embrace as normal.

Thanks for following us, in our adventures,
Kimberly, for the Beine Bunch

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Rare Blog Entry From Dave

It has been a while since I (Dave) have done a blog entry.  I want to do so this time mainly with pictures and limited commentary.  You will “hear” two stories through these pictures:  First, our family’s visit to the Chepang village of Odare on April 01-03, 2011 and second, my one-day HIV training trip to the western edge of Palpa District on May 03, 2011.    I hope this gives you a better idea of the kinds of things we are doing here in Nepal and provides you a better idea how to pray for us. 
Beine Family Adventure to Odare (A Chepang Village) April 01-03 (no fooling!)  (Chepang Trip photos courtesy of Anastasia Carlson)

The boys ride up top
The trip began with a winding 4 hour jeep ride to the town of Pokhara where we over-nighted. Then on the second day another one-hour drive east along the national highway followed by a final one-hour drive north (and to the top of the ridge) along a "jeep road" that now reaches the village.  The boys were able to ride on top once we got off the main road.  The "jeepable" road is a big change from our first visit to this village nearly ten years ago when you had to walk all the way from the highway.  They also now have electricity and water taps, another big development.

According to some sources upward of 1/2 of all Chepang are now Christians.  There were no reported Christians in the group when our New Zealander teammate Ross Caughley and his family first began to live among the Chepang in 1968.  Here is a door of a local house in Odare, announcing the occupants' Christian faith.  What a HUGE change for the Chepang over the past few decades!
We arrive at the church and begin meeting people

Inside the church.  Notice the Beines interspersed in the crowd.  Also notice Ross in the chair at the back right and the sick man in the bed at the back left.

 Ross preaching in Chepang.  Ross has been working as a linguist on the Chepang language for42 years.  He completed the New Testament in 1993 and Old Testament translation is ongoing.

 Dwarika introducing the Chepang literacy materials

The newly completed Chepang Song Book
Dave presents a set of literacy materials to the church

 Ross presents a copy of the Chepang New Testament (completed in 1993) along with a Chepang language dictionary "hot of the press."

The newly delivered literacy materials in use!

shy to have her photo taken

Beautiful Chepang Young Lady

Chepang Mother and her Children

Great Smile!

 Kimberly examines the leg of the man in the bed.
 Kimberly examines the Xray while Jake looks on.  Amazing where you end up doing medicine in Nepal!
 Prayer for the sick man
 another young man is prayed over
Kimberly examines another young man.

Josh discovers a "treasure" (goat teeth) nearby

    Ross does some after-church visiting

 Kimberly exiting "the facilities"

Saying our goodbyes

Until we meet again

One-Day HIV Training in Western Palpa District (May 03, 2011)

I currently serve as an advisor on a HIV and AIDS prevention project in rural Palpa District of Western Nepal.   Here are a few photos of our team’s recent field visit to do a one-day HIV training for a mother’s group at the western edge of the district.  The day began at 6AM with sunshine, a 3 hour drive followed by an hour-long hike to the village, and ended with a downpour. Based on this visit (and other such visits to other project areas) I am now meeting with the team to evaluate the materials and presentation.

Along the way (about 25 miles from Tansen) we stopped at a random hotel (an eating place) for breakfast and I noticed a Dwarf couple with baby running a hotel across the street.   I was told that the baby was 1 year old.   About a year ago I remembered Kimberly telling me of a pre-natal case she was caring for, a dwarf  lady (it is rare here for Dwarfs to have children).  I decided to cross the street and ask if she had delivered at the mission hospital. She had and Kimberly had been her doctor!  The baby is named Smirti (which means statue) and is healthy.  Amazing who you can meet in the strangest places!

Over the Ridi River…

Following the trail upstream for a way…

And then up to the ridge…

A simple village house is “borrowed,” emptied out and swept, and the women begin to arrive (two hours late!)…

And the teaching begins…

The village women listen intently…

Games are played to illustrate the impact of HIV upon the body.  Here candy wrappers (representing germs, virus, bacteria, etc.) are thrown at the victim while her hands are tied to represent the body’s compromised immune system.

Information about AIDS is shared in one corner of the room…

While a gun rests comfortably in the other corner (amongst all of our other training materials).

A little dancing is done in honor of our coming…

We are “encouraged” to “hurry it up” when the boys of the home return home from school and begin to play video games near the end of our presentation and so we pack up and depart...

We run the hour down the mountain as fast and as safely as our legs will carry us given the slippery and muddy conditions of the trail and arrive to the jeep drenched in the midst of a pitch-black thunderstorm.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Just for fun...Joshua antics

How about a glimpse of our funny little "monkey?"  From tree climbing to head shaving, Joshua entertains us regularly.

Opportunity to become stronger…and possibly more stinky.

Why have we come to Nepal?  We believe we’ve been called here.  Jesus tells his disciples, “Go and make disciples of all the nations…”(Matt. 28:19)  We are his disciples, and we have gone.  Yet, making disciples is a challenging endeavor.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  Is anybody out there making disciples among your children?  You might know what I mean about long-term investment.  One of our observations here is this: in the process of cultures coming together, and ideas mingling, rather than a convert being made a disciple, sometimes that person is corrupted (often by money).  So, now here we are encountering people with “problems” (as far as we can tell).  And we are tempted to offer solutions before we even know what resources and assets our “troubled” friends here have.  Our goal should be to empower our friends to solve problems, being careful not to create dependency by doing things for them.  So, making disciples is not that dissimilar from raising children: and doing that well is no simple task!

So, that brings me to our opportunities to grow.  Today, I worked on the Maternity Ward.  The obstetrician that I work with keeps telling me that he practices obstetrics because it is simple and he is confounded by generalists, like me, who keep track of so many different aspects of medicine.  Well, the truth is that I don’t find obstetrics that simple.  I feel overwhelmed sometimes by the pregnant women I see and I find the decision-making quite taxing when the obstetrician is away.  Thankfully, the nurses and midwives are amazingly talented here.  Still, I get the opportunity to grow when I am assigned as a maternity doctor.  So while I was feeling challenged at the hospital, David was finding opportunities to be strong at home.  Our tanks ran out of water today.  It has been raining almost daily lately and the water supply should be good, but for some reason our connection with the city water supply has been cut off.  Furthermore, our Nepali helper was having a very hard day today.  Although her husband abandoned her many years ago, she became very upset today upon learning that he has died.  I’m not sure that we understand all of the reasons for her pain and struggle (we have a few hypotheses) but it is a difficult time to clarify what is really going on.  Still, we hurt with her in her widowhood, and we seek a good response in this relationship.  What would true disciple-making look like?  Please pray with us as we seek this.

When I came home briefly for lunch to see how everybody was doing, I learned that two of the kids have headache and general malaise, while Ana is struggling with insomnia.  You know the concept that muscles only become strong by meeting resistance/challenge.  Today, I looked around at my little social circle and saw that we all have the opportunity to become stronger in our spirits as we continue to find ways to cope with our challenges here in Tansen, Nepal.  And the first step to becoming strong is trusting God in every circumstance that he allows to filter through his hands into our lives.  Speaking of life here, we recently heard an historian speak on the beginnings of missionary/medical service in Tansen (in the 1950s).  A few devoted disciples of Christ faced many very difficult challenges while establishing Tansen Mission Hospital.  We live and serve in relative comfort and ease, I see, as I consider the true pioneers here.  

So, how are your spiritual muscles being strengthened today?

Thank you for journeying with us.
With love from the dirty (not enough water for showering) Beines.