News and updates from Connor Skuce during his STEP in Kathmandu
Posted by Connor Skuce on Tue, 10 Jan 2017 | 5 comments | Bookmark:
“Namaste!” (the traditional Nepali greeting).
On Friday afternoon, after 21 hours of travel, 3 flights and a rather odd 5hr 45min time difference, Jenny, Roger and I had arrived in Nepal. No major mishaps occurred to the ‘Three Wise People’ along the way, apart from the girl beside me fainting on our London to Abu Dhabi flight. I was either devilishly handsome on that day or carried a rather pungent odour. We got our bags and were met by BA, a member of CMSI’s partner, SD Church, who picked us up and brought us to his house for dinner.
After navigating four airports including baggage, security, passport control and visa officers, I felt ready to take on anything, but my mind was quickly changed during the journey through Kathmandu’s jungle of roads, lanes and streets – that can only be described as a circus. The army of scooters, cyclists and pedestrians surrounded by a thick smog of dust and encompassed by a cacophony of horns and revving engines is truly something to behold. People willfully step out into oncoming traffic and scooters weave through gaps that close milliseconds after – the other side of the world from Northern Ireland in every sense of the phrase.
Dinner was the national dish of Dal Bhat; rice, lentils and a variety of sauces and curries. I was surprised at how delicious this staple meal was (although a diet of airport food could make a clod of earth taste like 5* cuisine). BA kindly dropped me at my accommodation, I met my new housemates and collapsed into bed, exhausted by jetlag and the days’ travel.
On Saturday morning, I rejoined my travel companions for a Nepali service at SD Church. I tentatively took a seat on the floor, still stiff from sitting on airplanes but positioned myself at the back in case I needed to escape and stretch. As the church began to fill, I found myself trapped in the middle of a mass of bodies for close to three hours, doing everything I could to avoid cramp.
Despite my body starting to give up, my mind was enthralled by this truly enjoyable service, welcoming people from all ages, backgrounds and abilities – a true representation of God’s Kingdom. Consisting mostly of singing, the service was finished by a very enthusiastic and great talk by Roger.
I spent the rest of the weekend orientating myself in my new environment, taking in the fantastic views and preparing for the week to come as I start my time at KISC!