Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tibetan Lessons

So we started Tibetan lessons on Monday. We found that it is a tonal language. Which means you can have two words like "ma" and "ma" and they mean two different things depending on the tone you are using. Kind of like "road" and "rode" but the spelling wouldn't be changed.

We found out today that on top of the root letters you can also have subscripts

I have no idea what this says, forgive me if you know Tibetan and it isn't appropriate. I am just using it for an example.

A main letter would be the first one without the vowel on top.

If you look at the 5th and 6th letter they have the main letter and then something added to it on the bottom.

After going through the new sounds each of these make I realized there were 3 patterns that we could follow.

1. If the root letter was unaspirated then a superscript was added, the sound remains the same.
2. If the voiceless root letter had a low tone then a superscript was added the sound then became the voiced equivalent.
3. If the nasal root letter has a superscript it is changed from a low tone to a high tone.

That may sound confusing to you, but to me it makes perfect sense. If I had not gone to for school I would be way behind. Now I have  a predictable pattern to follow!!

Thank you to the Cobbs, Alfords, & the Schnells for our training!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Offending with the fingers

So I've learned a few movements here that are offensive to the people, but not necessarily offensive to Americans, and we do them all the time.

When calling a child, especially, we turn our palms up point to the individual with our pointer finger and pull it in and out calling them to come to us. This is very offensive to the people.

When you are calling someone you are supposed to put your palm down and use all of your fingers to call someone by pulling them in and out.

I just learned today that to a Tibetan (and I only know this because he was Tibetan and no Nepali's around to tell me if it's offensive to them as well) it is rude to point with you pinkie finger. You are supposed to use your index finger.

Most of the Nepali people don't use their hands to point at all though, they use their lips.

I don't really understand the whole "Let me take a picture of myself making a kissy face."

Now, I realize they are just pointing at the camera! It make sense now. They've picked up on the Nepali custom!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Guess how many locks we have in our house?

Our house has an insane amount of locks in it. But I've found that most houses do. 

This is the front door that leads into our foyer.

This is the front door that leads into our living room.

This is our back door.

In front of the foyer door and our back door are screen doors with 2 locks apiece for those as well.
We also have a maybe 8-10 foot fence around the yard with a big iron gate that is always locked, and two dogs that are guard dogs. This is nothing out of the ordinary for Nepal, almost all houses are like this.

So on our doors we have 23 locks!!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Check out the amazing detail work the Nepali people do.

I am amazed when I look around at the way buildings are constructed here. I've shared with you how everything is done by hand here. From digging the foundations to mixing cement and using an assembly line to get it where you are going.

But you look at a finished project and to think they did that by hand it is amazing. The people here are very diligent and they are hard workers.

One of the things my dad taught me when looking to buy a used car was in the details. He said "Look at the cup holders and see if there is crud in the cracks. Chances are if they don't take time to clean that out, they probably didn't take good care of the engine."

Now I can't say that I am a building engineer or anything and would even have any idea if a building would withstand trauma; but I can say that the people pay close attention to detail.

Check out some of these pictures. All of these designs were made from concrete. It's amazing.

At first I thought this was wood from trees. But upon closer inspection I found out that it is all concrete.

You would think that this "moulding" would be pre-made and you would pick it up at your local Home depot and attach it to the wall, but this was all done when they made the building and it is complete carving in concrete.

This door is wooden, but still check out the detail work.

Notice the side awnings and those triangles that are carved out. 

This is a zoomed in picture of the top of the pillar. This is all concrete.

That is all concrete.

And this last one. Those little spots at the top of the fence are actually nails turned pointy side up so that no one can jump over the fence. This is quite common. I've also seen broken glass pieces stuck in the top of the fence too. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My new toy.

One thing I miss from America besides Publix subs is Chick-fil-a Lemonade!!

I found some lemons here in Nepal that resemble limes. I think they are Limons.

At first I was squeezing these with my little hand juicer I brought for oranges. But it wasn't working out well with their size. It took 7 lemons to make one cup of lemonade for myself.

Then my friend Charity showed me a lemon squeezer. It works so well! And I can made a lot more juice.

I love Chick-Fil-A lemonade because it is "sting the back of your throat" strong. So now 7 lemons makes 2 cups of lemonade and 22 makes almost half of one of the jugs.

Now, I just need to figure out how to get lunch meat here so I can make a Publix sub!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Doing things on Nepali time

Today we were headed up to a nearby church's mission conference. We were told our planning to leave at 10am. Right before we left our gardener showed up. Our landlords want us to keep the gate locked at all times and he does not have a key. So we friends that we would be a little late. We don't know enough Nepali to explain to him what is going on, so we just waited.

The gardener was just about done and we thought we could leave when the house sitter for the landlord showed up and said a plumber was coming to look at our toilet that was just recently installed. So without a definite time for him to come we just had to wait.

We have learned that here you kind of just have to go with the flow. Things will get done in there own time.---Nepali time I guess you should say.

 Once that was finished needed to get a taxi ride to go up to the meeting. We went up to the chowk (intersection) where the taxi's usually are only to find they are all gone. This is strange because usually there are 6-8 taxi's sitting there waiting.

We wound up having to take a tuk tuk up to another chowk in hopes of finding a taxi.

We don't know if the devil was trying to keep up from this meeting or what, but we decided we would make the best of our trip. Luke handed out tracts to those that we met and I prayed for everyone I could see as we were driving down the road.

One lady on the tuk tuk said she was a christian. That was neat to get to meet her.

We got up to the next chowk and tried to get a taxi. Usually when you are near a main road taxi drivers swarm around you begging you to take a ride with them. Today we stood for over 5 minutes before one came along. He wanted to charge us an exorbitant price so we were going to pass on the ride.

Next to me a young lady asked me in fairly good English where we were going. She then went over to the taxi driver and told him to take us for the price we wanted. Although, I can't understand everything yet, it sounded like she was scolding him. Either way, he took us for the right price.

We finally made it to the mission conference and had a great time with the church.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Psycho Elevator

We decided to take the kids out to do something special the other day. We headed out to the Civil Mall where they have a small Nepal style "Chuck E. Cheese." It was on the 5th floor of the mall. Normally we take the escalator but they weren't working, and the kids were very excited about taking the elevator because of the glass side. They wanted to be able to look out and see the mall as we went to the top.

We got on the elevator and started towards the 5th floor. At the 4th floor some people got on the elevator. We again pressed the 5th floor button. But the elevator went down to the 2nd floor. Even the Nepali people on the elevator were confused and kept pressing the 5th floor button. Then the elevator went down to the 1st floor where we picked up about 10 people besides the 7 that were already there. Everyone was talking about the crazy elevator, and wondering if it was going to actually work We pressed the 5th floor again and it took us to the  2nd floor Where we had to tell people they weren't allowed to get on. With as full as it was they still tried to get on. It was very strange.

We finally made it to the top, and decided maybe we should take the stairs on the way down.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cows in the Road

It is very common to see cows everywhere here. Cows are worshipped by the Hindu people so you don't really mess with them.

Twice I have seen cows staring at their reflection in a window. It is very funny. I haven't been able to get a picture of that because we were driving down the road and saw it.

The other day we were walking down our road behind a cow and the cows sways over to the vegetable stand and grabs a big old bite of green beans. It happened so fast, of course I didn't get a picture. But it was hilarious. Then Luke without thinking swatted the cow on the rear with a map he was holding to get it to leave the food alone.

Our friend that was with us said, "Do you realize you just spanked a god?" We all started laughing. At the time it was funny. But it is also very sad to see the worship that is due to our God given to things like cows! Please pray for these people.

Monday, April 14, 2014

We have become Construction Workers

In Kathmandu we have some missionary friends who have an orphanage. They are in the process of building a church building now. So our church fellowship wanted to be a blessing to them and have a work day to help them out. I kind of thought we would be sweeping and painting. Little did I know they are still laying the foundation for the building.

They don't have cranes, forklifts, and backhoes here so everything is done manually.
The first thing they needed done was to move a bunch of sand.

You have the shovellers and the carriers.  

Bro. Tamong told me the taller people make better shovellers because they can reach to fill the basket.

I was very thankful for this, as I wasn't looking forward to having dirt dumped down my back. Haha.

This hole is about 8 foot deep I think, maybe more. But it was all dug out by a man and his shovel!

Here is Luke carrying some dirt. Be warned it is very graphic! He almost died!

Once we moved the sand out of the way we were able to mix up some concrete using sand, rocks, and cement mix, and of course water.

The place where the cement was made and where is needed to go were about 20-30 feet apart. So we made an assembly line and passed these bowls down to the the hole where they needed to go, and then had a line to pass them back to the cement place to be refilled.

We worked for about 4 hours and had a lot of fun.

There was a natural spring located at the place and then it was sent through this filter, which we learned to make at BBTI (

I drank from it and did not get sick!

Although I am not in most of the pictures, I promise I was working too! It's just that someone had to take the pictures!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Going Postal? Our first care package has arrived.

So a few weeks ago a family member emailed us and said they would like to send us a care package, and asked what we would like that we couldn't just buy in Nepal. I mentioned hand towels for the bathroom and the kitchen, marshmallows, and a small yeast thermometer.

The package arrived within 2 weeks which was shocking to us. Nepal has upgraded and now we can check to see if we have packages online before we make the trip out there.

Last Monday we planned to go to the post office, loaded up the family and had a great time. We got to the post office and found out that half of it was closed due to a holiday. So we weren't able to pick up our package, but at least we were able to send a few. We found out that it's fairly cheap to mail a package from here to the U.S.A. We were excited and sent some things to our family members for the upcoming birthdays!

A few days later when the P.O was definitely going to be open, Luke and I went to try again.

The is the view of the front of the Post Office.

This is the back entrance where you go to check your PO box or to pick up packages.

We found out that its easier to get in the country as a human being on an airplane than it is to pick up a package.

First we went to this room where they asked us for a photocopy of our I.D. Luke only had his Driver's license from America, but they said that was OK. We had to go back out of the PO and cross the street to make a photocopy. When we came back, the man looked at the copy for one second and asked Luke if that was him. When Luke said "yes", the man said OK without even looking at the photocopy again. He then told us to go next to room 30, we were in room 29.

This is room 29

This is room 30. Here we were given a form to fill out and charged NPR 25.

Next we went to Room 31 where we got a signature.

We then had to go back to Room 29 and wait for a few minutes for them to bring the package. They brought out the package, and per our request when we opened it there were chocolates on top which we offered to the custom officers. It made them happy. This was to help get us a good quote for the custom fee. 

We then had to leave the package and go back to room 30 where we waited for them to tally up our fee, which is basically whatever they feel like charging. They charged us NPR 409. 

We were able to then go back to room 29 to pick up our package and charged NPR 55. 

Before you think we were charged almost $500 for our package NPR 500 is about $5.00!

We were amazed at the size of the package! We thought we were getting a care package, but really we got a CARE PACKAGE!

YUMMMMM, girl scout cookies!! 

Yay for marshmallows!

Thank you Aunt Janet and Uncle Dave for thinking of us!!!