These past few weeks have flown by as Sisters Café & Beauty is well underway!
We had the arrival of our dear friend Anne in Kathmandu three weeks ago who is our connection to working with Sisters. Since last writing, we had the opening event for Sisters Café & Beauty. We enjoyed a sunny afternoon on the lawn at the back of the business with live music, face painting, free threading from the beauticians, tours of the building, delicious meatballs, pakoras, brownies and fruit sticks from the kitchen apprentices, and an encouraging turnout of locals curious to visit Sisters. Sisters has now been open for one week and we have had our highs and lows – highs being 13 customers on day one; lows being 4 customers on day two. So now we are all facing the new challenges of operating a business.
Holi day, the famous Hindu colour and water-throwing festival was celebrated last week. I enjoyed watching the mothers on the top decks of their houses throwing buckets of water onto the people below then ducking behind the railings. Our best moment was when our team of five hit the street with water bombs. We bombarded a group of boys, lured them towards our front gate, then ran behind and grabbed our buckets of coloured water before dumping them over the surprised yet amused crowd. Victory!
Our patience was tested last week when we collected our KeepCup order arrived at customs. We were expected to pay 7000R (approx. $100) for collection after already paying hefty freight charges. The man in charge of finding our order took his time so after deciding to shadow him until we received our order, we trailed him to seven different desks. We cheered when the box appeared (I had thought it might never be found) and then waited for processing. This lent, I have been asking for help in being less impatient and this experience taught me that while waiting can be infuriating, my response to my patience being tested is more important than the outcome. Still learning this lesson!
This week Anne, Rob and I all got to enjoy forced rest. Yes, our guts were hit hard and many bottles of coke and slices of white bread were consumed in recovery. We spent this weekend at Nagarkot, a village that exists primarily because of its magnificent views of the mountains. This morning, we just spent hours watching the different cloud formations over the mountains, changing our opinions of which one is Everest according to which ones appeared taller than the last (note: Everest is so far away there was little chance we could see it!)
So, our time in Kathamndu is coming to an end. We are easing ourselves out of Sisters and Rob and I are most looking forward to getting into the mountains. We have also decided not to head to Cairo for our next stop due to some changes in travel arrangements and travel warnings. So, we will keep you posted.
- Kir: A breakfast dish consisting of sweet brown rice, coconut and peas. Delicious!
- Biryani: a spicy rice dish filled with raisins, spices, meat and veges.
- Banana & Papaya Lassi from Sisters Café.
Books on the go
- Little Prince by Conor Grennan. This story tells of one backpacker’s volunteering experience in a children’s home in Kathmandu that turns into a discovery that these children are not orphaned but children trafficked during the civil war in the 1990s.
I have been enjoying reading Richard Rohr’s daily reflections on Jesus and the Hebrew Scriptures, these last few weeks while being in Nepal. One thought that has stayed with me was Rohr’s expression of how Christianity relates to other religions: ‘Unfortunately, Christianity, [puts] itself in competition with other religions – instead of being a non-violent message of universal love that is needed for the maturation of all religions. Only in this much more demanding way can Jesus’ message really be “the salvation of the world”, otherwise Christianity is doomed to remain just another competing team.’
When Jesus walked the earth, he conversed with all peoples of all faiths: Romans (note that the Romans were the ones persecuting the Jews), Jews and Gentiles (the unclean according to Jewish law). He didn’t focus on which religion each person adhered to. Rather, he sought to display the message of universal love to call all people to salvation.
As I witness the expressions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and other faiths in Nepal, it is obvious we are all searching for ‘salvation’ (to be freed from those things that stop us living the way of grace). Jesus speaks to all these faiths by giving us an example of what true religion looks like – a fierce surrendering love that calls all religions to grace, mercy and truth.
Highlights so far
- Finding out that the real name for Everest is Sagarmatha;
- Trying not to scare possible customers away by smiling too much when new customers walked into Sisters;
- Seeing the apprentices rise to the challenge of hosting and serving new customers, and seeing the energy of the staff excited about making Sisters happen;
- Having family and friends eagerly provide support money to help fund some necessities at Sisters;
- On a morning run seeing the Nepalese army, all in white gloves, picking rubbish up along the Bagmati River.