I think it is good that we can’t see what the future holds – if Les had known all that would happen in Tansen while I was away in the U.S. he might not have let me leave! From dealing with housing issues, to seeing the arrival of a new generator and a new hospital “buck” (bus/truck), to helping take care of our house-helper when she threw her back out – Les for sure was never bored and hardly had time to get lonely! But – even though the time we were divided was good on both sides of the ocean, we are happy to be back together again.
Les and I enjoyed a few days in Chitwan from April 10 – 13 at the UMN (United Mission to Nepal) retreat for missionaries. We not only were able to enjoy times of spiritual teaching and refreshment, but we also got to have fun doing “Chitwan” activities – riding elephants, canoe rides, and beautiful jungle views. While we were there, another UMN missionary fell and broke his leg. We were glad to note that there are no “cast” distinctions in UMN – Les represented the “high” cast, and our friend, the “low”.
Les returned to Tansen and Debbie went to KTM and was able to fly to Chicago in the company of the Brown family who were returning to the US after 4 years in Tansen. They were discussing different ways of dealing with the culture changes and shocks as they move back into the American lifestyle – this was one idea….
The next three weeks were pretty much a whirlwind for Debbie – it was a great time of seeing family and friends, hearing concerts and solo performances by Hannah at Asbury (you can check out Hannah’s honors recital performance at www.youtube.com/watch?v=55s29NRTksg, helping Rachel around the house a bit (even mowing the grass!), and visiting Luke and Laura in their place in Michigan. (So – now both Luke and Laura have had official mother-in-law visits!) I even got to play a concert with my old band – I went to a rehearsal just to say “hi” and was offered a chance to play as they were short on clarinets! It was great fun! I even got to enjoy the famous “Tulip time” in Holland, Michigan (where Luke and Laura live) on my way out of the country.
The farewells were hard – but not as hard as usual as Hannah has returned with me to Tansen for 2 months! She is on her summer vacation before her final year at Asbury University. Hannah was born in Tansen, so it has been like a homecoming for her – but it has been 9 years since she has been here, so there have been many changes. (She has especially noticed that many things look smaller now!) We are very much enjoying having her with us.
Thanks to everyone who prayed for our travels, who helped me along the way, who fed me meals, loaned me cars (Tom and Carol!), and so many other warm and wonderful acts of kindness. Love and hugs to all! (Next time I’ll fill you in more on Les’ time in Tansen!)