My time in Nepal is coming to a close. My mission to be helpful and provide aid has been accomplished, and I have learned so much from the experience.
Here are just a few of those lessons....
#1 - Ask for help when you need it! I know I came to Nepal to help the local communities that had been effected by the numerous earthquakes (yes, earthquakes happened daily, and only a few made the news), but sometimes I needed help too!
The IMC and myself had been asked to set up tents for the overwhelming amount of patients at a hospital in Kathmandu. Not only were there not enough hospital beds, but everyone was so scared to be inside the hospital because of all the earthquakes.
So we had set up 20 tents by dusk.... and realized we had no idea how to do it!
What did we do??? Enlist the help of a dozen Nepali soldiers of course! At first the soldiers were somewhat intimidating, but were more than happy to help us! We all shared a few laughs, too, in the process!
#2 - Find the gifts in everything. The earthquake was undoubtedly a devastation to Nepal and its people. There was immense grief and sadness in the eyes and hearts of both locals and aid workers alike. At times, it was completely overwhelming and anxiety provoking for me.
But this natural disaster wasn't without its gifts. I'm completely in awe of the people's relentless resilience and determination to rebuild Nepal. I heard countless stories of those who had lost their homes, had no money to rebuild them, and yet they were working side by side with relief workers to help others in their community who were also in need. Yes, millions are aid dollars are being brought in to help rebuild Nepal, but the Nepalese proved to be some of the most generous people I know.
I'm leaving Nepal with a new mission - find ways of being more generous daily. Even if it's just giving more of my true self. We all have wonderful gifts to share with the world. Withholding them is a real disservice to ourselves and others.
#3 - Gratitude fills you up. I am so grateful for all of you who donated to our Nepal fund and supported me in this mission! Knowing I had so many people behind me made it that much easier on the hard days. Although we didn't ask for this sign to be made (because it's not my fund, it's from all of you!), it's representative of the true positive effect your generosity and support had on the people of Nepal.
I'm grateful for our donors, my opportunity to be a part of this mission, and the people of Nepal for reminding me of what humans are really capable of!
With each story I heard and each aid worker I met, I was more and more grateful for generosity, love, and light each brings to this world. Together, we all make it shine brighter. And gratitude helps us see this light.
So before you think I've lost my edge and gone soft on you, try it for yourself. See what an intention of being more grateful brings to your life.
We're moving on to southeast Asia! For the rest of my trip, I'm looking forward to jungle excursions, spicy food, and culture overload. Stay tuned!