Thursday, April 30, 2015

The next morning--earthquake post 3

The next morning we all woke up early. I think we all felt the same way--we survived the night and are so glad to be alive.

My stomach bug that was put on hold because of the earthquake came back strong that morning. I've experienced some firsts through all of this. I not only had to use a squatty potty for the first time, but also had to have a stomach bug and frequent trips--I have to say you get good at it quick. Again, I just want to say how thankful I am that I had an earthquake kit and that I stocked it well with toilet paper!

Image result for squatty potty kathmandu

This is not the exact one we used, but was just like this except really dark and the room was tiny--no room for error. If only you could have smelled it! blah!

The guys found some eggs and cooked us a good breakfast over a fire they made.

The tremors started to die down a little during the day time. That was nice. The kids started to play a little. 
Luke went out to check on things around, some of our people's houses and to look for some of our friends to see how everyone was. Everyone made it back to our "camp" about 12:30pm and we sat down for lunch. Just a few minutes later the second earthquake hit. It was a 6.5 I think on the Richter scale. We ran out into the open. It was then that we noticed the covered soccer field next to us swaying drastically. We knew then we needed to use extreme caution even during the tremors and move out from under our bamboo shelter every time something came. 

It was after this second earthquake that Jason started to be overwhelmed with fear. It is so hard seeing your kids scared. I just held him and let him cry. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Earthquake update 2

For Luke things started around 9am. I was sick so I stayed home with Emily. Luke took the kids and headed down for our church service at 10am.

Can I stop right here?

I have to say one of the biggest blessings was that all this happened on a Saturday during our normal meeting time. When the quake hit we didn't have to wonder where everyone was. It is very difficult finding people. No one is in there homes and everyone is sleeping outside or where ever they can find some sort of shelter that won't fall on them if it hits again.

They had just started the Bible Study and Luke was speaking. The quake hit and they all dove for the ground. They pushed the kids under the bench. Luke started praying, everyone was praying out loud, scared the building would fall on them. Wikipedia says the quake lasted only 20 seconds, but definitely the longest 20 seconds we have ever experienced.

The second it was over they ran outside to an open field nearby. 

Luke left the kids with our church people and ran to see if I was okay. That is when he took me to the field near our house. I'm on the blanket right in the middle. 
This wasn't even 1/4 of the people that were around us.

It was hard being away and apart from one another during all the aftershocks, but I knew we were in God's hands. I still cannot begin to describe how God answered my simple plea for help, "God give me peace". The amount he gave wasn't "just enough" but an overflow. 

After 4 hours the tremors seemed to be somewhat spread out so they felt it was safe enough to bring the kids to my field so we could all be together. It was such a relief seeing my kids. 

During some of this time Luke and one man from our church went out to help in some of the nearby areas. They found some men who were on motorcycles as the quake hit and a wall had fallen on them. They didn't make it.
They were able to buy some water and cups and pass it out to those around us.

Soon we decided it wasn't safe to go back to the house for a while and that we were definitely sleeping outside. Luke went to our house and grabbed our earthquake survival kit (which I am so thankful I made), some more blankets and a handful of things.

After some walking we found a place close to our house that we could stay at. 

These 2 spots were ours. We had 13 people with us 9 adults and our 4 kids.

It had bamboo poles and a tin roof. Bamboo is actually very strong in an earthquake because it already has a lot of natural give to it. We were so thankful for the roof as it rained quite a bit while we were outside.

This is how we slept for 3 nights. I am further back in the picture with the pink top. We had 9 adults and 4 kids sleeping on a queen size blanket and a twin size blanket turned sideways. I'm so glad we could all be together. It was  a big comfort being surrounded by people that we loved and with people that loved us.

We had about a 4 hour break from tremors. We settled down to sleep and a big tremor came. Before people were in shock now people just had fear, every time one would come everyone would scream and yell "aiyo, aiyo" "it's coming, it's coming". That first night we had tremors every hour. The kids were terrified. One time one came Abby, she was sleeping next to me--but I couldn't grab her in time, she lunged into a stranger's arms next to us and wouldn't let go. He just held her and rocked her. Everyone was so jumpy. Luke stayed up all night with one of the other men from our church so he could grab us if needed. It was hard.

Kathmandu Earthquake Blog 1

For us things started Friday night. At 10pm I stood up about to head for bed when I got a wave of nausea. By 11 I was puking my guts out. The night wore on with more of the same, when morning came it subsided for a little and then "changed directions." blah. I felt awful and just a trip to the bathroom which was only 10 steps made me very dizzy. About 11am I made my last trip. I changed out of my pj's, thankfully, and laid on the couch.

Saturday's are our church day, but since I was sick I was home with Emily (3 months) and Luke had our kids about a 10 minute walk away at our "office/church", which is on the bottom level of a 3 story building.

I was now laying on the couch watching a movie. At almost 12 the DVD layer turned off, my first thought was the power just went out. Sometimes as our electric goes from outside electricity to our battery back up this happens. Maybe 10 seconds later things started to shake violently. I was on the 2nd story of 3 in our house. I jumped up terrified and grabbed Emily. I was crying and praying out loud. I didn't know where to go. It really seems like this whole even took 10 minutes when really it was only seconds. I couldn't think of where to go, but I remember in our old house talking to the kids and saying if there was an earthquake they should lay down by the bunk bed in their room, so that is where I went.

I tried to grab a mattress off their bed but couldn't with Emily and the shaking so I just grabbed the comforter. I lay on the floor staring at the giant wardrobe I just knew was going to fall on us, but I didn't know what to do so I prayed. I finally stopped repeating myself and prayed for peace, instantly, I looked down and saw Emily's face and she just looked at me completely "at peace" and smiled and I was filled with peace inside and began to calm.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, 
because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3

I'm not sure how long I was waiting and the shaking went on, but it seemed an eternity. The second the shaking was over I with Emily and the big blanket ran to the door, grabbed my shoes and took off down the stairs and outside. My neighbor who lives on the third floor with her 10 year old daughter were right behind me. I sat out in the yard on the ground.

After an earthquake the aftershocks/ tremors come almost instantly. It reminded me of your belly gurgling before you get sick and just rumbling. I could feel the ground underneath me still "gurgling" about every 30 seconds it would do some gurgling. Having never been through this I thought for sure it was going to erupt into something big again but it didn't right away. The neighbor (landlady) was right behind me with her hand on my shoulder. It was such a comfort. I can't begin to describe how hard it was not having the rest of my family right there with me. I waited maybe 5 minutes outside. Then Luke came. He didn't have the kids with him, but said they were safe with our church family in a nearby field. We quickly ran out of our gate to a field nearby. Not the same as the kids, that one was in the wrong direction from our house and too far, too dangerous for us to go to.

After I was settled in the field with Emily and our blanket Luke went back to stay with the kids. Tremors kept on coming. When you lay on the ground you can feel all of them. As they would come the people around would scream "aiyo, aiyo" which meant "it's coming." In the field I wasn't scared. There wasn't anything around to fall on us so it was comforting. I missed my kids, but I knew they were in good hands and we would be together soon.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye is never easy. At the beginning of April my parents and brother came to visit. We had such a wonderful time together. But after two weeks it was time for the goodbye's. One of the Tibetan traditions is to say actually "hello" or "goodbye" with a khata--a scarf.

This is a picture of our church family giving khata's to my family before they left.

Nepali Style Fried Rice--with an American Twist

Here in Nepal when a meal is served the Nepali people eat a lot of rice. They eat a lot of rice and a tiny bit of veggies with it. But my family likes to do the opposite. Lots of veggies and just a little bit of rice. So if a Nepali person were making this dish, the veggies would be less than half of what I am about to show you. But this is how we like it!

This is how Chicken Fried Rice is made here. This fed our family--2 adults and 3 kiddos.

Here is the finished product! Looks yummy doesn't it? 
All fresh ingredients, what could be better than that?

One of the neatest things about this dish is you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. As much or as little as you like, so play around with it. This next list is just what I did this time--but every time the veggie amount changes to basically, whatever I feel like! :)

3-4 small potatoes
8 green beans
3 okra
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
oil (I have sunflower oil, and I used about 3 Tbsp.)
3 small tomatoes 
3 leaves of cabbage
2 eggs
salt or your favorite all purpose seasoning

The rice I used for this I actually made earlier that day and then we changed our plans completely, so it had been in the fridge for a few hours before using it. You can use leftover rice or make a new batch all together. 

So if you are starting from scratch go ahead and start cooking your rice the way you normally do. If it's just leftovers don't do anything to it.

I have found that the easiest way to do this meal is to do all of the prep before you start cooking. If you don't it cooks too fast and it's hard to keep up. So go ahead and chop up everything.


cabbage and okra


Go ahead and beat your eggs together and set it aside.

Start with a little oil, when it gets hot cook the onion. After a minute of onion cooking throw in the garlic. When you start to smell the garlic cooking throw in your potatoes and green beans.

The idea with the veggies is to throw them in at the appropriate time. Potatoes take the longest, then green beans about the same amount of time. okra and cabbage not long at all. So as you are cooking space the veggies apart by how long they take to cook. Hopefully that is clear as mud!

Once this was starting to cook I remember I was supposed to be cooking chicken. So I started that.

It surprisingly worked out perfectly. I had already cut up the chicken into bit size pieces so it would cook quicker, and I think that helped.

Okra, cabbage, tomatoes, and scrambled eggs all take about the same amount of time to cook, which isn't much. So when the potatoes and green beans were almost finished I threw in the other things.

I stirred it around until the eggs seemed done. I also added the tomatoes at this time, but forgot to take a picture. Sprinkle either salt or your favorite all purpose seasoning on the veggies. I like Everglades Seasoning!

Add some turmeric and your chicken, which should be cooked by now.

Now clear a small section in middle to add the rice. I add a little at a time, stir, add some more, stir. It mixes together easier that way and ensures you don't overflow anything.

Keep stirring. If it seems dry add a little more oil or water if you'd prefer, you just don't want it to burn. When it seems heated thoroughly and mixed well it is finished. All of the white rice should have turned yellow because of the turmeric.