As we drove for hour upon hour yesterday, up rocking cliff faces and around bumpy corners, dust filled my eyes and it made me question why I am actually here?
The Land Drover bumped, the children celebrating a version of trick or treat held us captive with ropes across the road and Rural Nepal had us captivated.
From drop toilets, to dal with the locals, watching children playing on the roadside and mountains fading across our horizon, every part of our senses were assaulted.
Rural Nepal you have my heart broken and mended in one sentance.
We spent a part of our day yesterday with a self help group of women, who have formed a bank. Together they put in a small amount of money each month and then they loan it back from the group to start businesses.
They told us about the voice they had found together as a collective and it clarified so much about what I want to live my life for.
I also sat and listened to the most beautiful woman who talked to us about her agriculture business and as she sat chatting away, excited about her new possibilities, I looked and saw she had fixed her broken thong, with a piece of string and it broke me.
The image of this thong has not left my thoughts all through the night. Women helping women, people helping people but the complexity of the difficulty is just so vast.
You see the people of Nepal, were in a stage of development before the earthquake hit ten months ago, but to listen to story after story of family who have lost loved ones, whose lively hood has been destroyed, whose houses are cracked and broken.
To sit and listen to women telling their stories, to sit and watch them form gangs to support each other in the midst of their challenge is so deeply convicting.
In the midst of our conversations, we asked them “As women, what is your greatest challenge?”
We sat their with western eyes, watching the decay, the rubbish, the clothes that are ripped, the children roaming free and we see challenge after challenge.
Yet these beautiful women had a chat amoungst their small group, nattering away like a cafe full of young Mums.
They replied; “We have no challenges, we are so deeply grateful.”
My heart heaved and my mind swirlled, I see the challenge, I see the problems, I see your difficulty. Yet they chose to see the blessing, the potential.
They were overwhelmed with gratitude.
So each time I am overhwhelmed by my lack of clothes, my want of the latest fashion trend, my concerns over decor and daily chores, I want to remember the fierce little gang of women I spent the day with yesterday.
I want the image of her broken, fixed bright pink thongs, covered in dust and sheer hard work to never to leave my mind.