Nepali is grammatically similar to Japanese. For example, "My name is Megumi." in Nepali becomes "Mero (my) naam (name) Megumi ho (is). It is a relatively easy language for Japanese to understand. However, I gave up on writing because the letters are very difficult like this.
मेरो नाम मेगुमी हो।
My Nepali teacher was Mr. Giri Manoj. He is a lawyer. He studied in Japan and understands Japanese. He always made me Chai (It is a tasty tea with cinnamon and other spices, milk, and sugar).
He has a beautiful wife called Usa and a lovely little boy, Mandib.
My mother-in-law will be 98 years old this July. She visited every country we lived in except Zambia and the UK. She was so happy to stay with us for about a month in each country and said Nepal was her favorite country.
I want to share a few episodes from her visit. She is good at sewing and makes everything she wears by herself. She loved the tea in Nepal. She asked Mr. Giri to send her Ilam tea even after her return to Japan. When we went on a trip to Phuket and Bangkok in Thailand, she bought silk fabrics and made beautiful suits.
Mother ＆３ sons at Kathmandu
There was a funny incident as well. She loved fruits, especially mangoes. Mr. Giri told us about a wholesaler who brought mangoes from India by truck. We bought boxes full of Mangos. She was so happy to eat them after every meal. However, one day, I was surprised to find that the area around her mouth had swollen. She got an allergic reaction to mango.
At the time, a dye called Hena was very popular. She wanted to dye her hair, so I took her to a hair salon owned by a Japanese. After that, I had to go out for a while to do some shopping and returned home. "Megumi! What shall I do with this hair color!” She was so upset. Her being upset was quite understandable as her hair was orange instead of brown. I took her immediately to a hair salon where a new dye was added to her hair. I was relieved that she loved the new color.
One day, I received a letter from Mrs. Reiko Suzuki from my hometown (She is an English cram school teacher living in Japan who had posted photos on my website). She and her friend wanted to travel to Nepal.
Ms Reiko Suzuki
I heard from a pastor of a Korean church that a missionary and his wife were raising Nepali orphans in Chitwan, so I wanted to visit them. Mrs. Suzuki was multi-talented and a good magician. I asked her if she would perform for the children. She gladly agreed. I also asked her friend to perform Japanese dance, too.
After they arrived in Nepal and stayed a few days at my home, we headed to Chitwan. We took off for Chitwan on a propeller plane. On the way, we got caught in bad weather. It was so bad that it was advised to return to Kathmandu airport. But after a while, it was safe to fly and we arrived safely at Chitwan Airport.
We took two rickshaws to the hotel. The street was not paved, making the bumpy ride thrilling. It was quite an enjoyable trip for us. We rode an elephant for sightseeing and felt as if we were children.
Three girls enjoy boat cruising &elephant ride
Afterward, we took a bus to the missionary's orphanage to stay the night. The orphans gathered in the large gymnasium after they ate dinner. They were so happy to see Mrs. Reiko's magic show and her friend's Japanese dance. The children began to dance with joy, and we danced with them. I was told that the children danced to music every night. Dancing gives them relief from their sadness and loneliness.
I felt pain but saw a glimmer of hope at the same time. I recognized how expressing their feelings through dance gave them comfort and strength for tomorrow and enriched their hearts.
Finally, I would like to share with you our project in Nepal.
We heard from a missionary in Chitwan that Doti, a region in western Nepal was a poor region because it is mountainous. There are no toilets or safe water. Parasites and diarrhea are daily occurrences.
We asked the residents which they needed more, a toilet or a water supply. They wanted to install a water supply system, so we immediately started fundraising.
I went to the principal of our kids' international school to ask for donations, however, it didn't raise enough donations. So, I came up with an idea.
I went to a three-star hotel near my house and negotiated to rent it as cheaply as possible. I planned a dinner show in a large venue in the hotel. Each guest would order their drinks so that the hotel could make a profit. I prepared the food. We called it "Korean Night" and sold dinner tickets. Along with the meal, we even had a performance by a Nepali flute (Basri) teacher named Mr. Raman Maharaja, whom my husband was learning from. His music group offered to play for free.
Mr. Raman Maharaja
His traditional music band offered their music
A lady who was a member of the Korean church helped us by making Kimpub (Korean nori sushi rolls). I prepared as many Korean side dishes as I could, like Bulgogi (grilled meat) and Chapchae, and so on.
I also went to the Korean Embassy and borrowed the Korean flag.
To start the event, Norimichi played the Korean national anthem on trumpet, and the Basri group played the Nepalese national anthem.
Korean Night(Fund raising event for Dot school)
We raised enough funds to cover the basics to build a water system. My husband and I took a plane and then a car for two nights and finally arrived at Doti.
Kathmandu(orange color) & Doti district(blue color)
Village at Doti districs
Villagers and Studens
Students and Michio
School where water supply line was set by villagers
Scholl Class Room
Yoshiyuki graduated from high school in Nepal and entered a college in Augustana, USA. Norimichi graduated from the Fukuoka International School and entered the University of Washington in the USA.
My husband and I then completed a six-month course in community palliative medicine at Calicut University in Kerala, India, and returned to Japan after a long journey abroad.
We meet many people in our daily lives - first the family, at school, and in society. In other words, we live by influencing each other through our encounters.
I am honored and pleased to have had the opportunity to share with you the wonderful experiences throughout my life since May last year. After the next testimony of my experience in Kerala, I will conclude this "Testimony Series" and continue on a new path.
I pray that you will receive God's blessings in greater abundance as you experience new encounters.