Comfort in uncomfortable places

For me carrying a few treasured items can enable the most difficult journeys and challenging days to feel comfortable.

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So what do I carry with me on visits to rural areas in Nepal?
1- Tea bags and a mug. Add taato paani (hot water) to be immediately refreshed.
2- Small bag of muesli and dried fruit. Add dahi (curd) to give a non-spicy food option. I love dhal bhatt (curry veg, lentils and rice) but not for breakfast!
3- Pashmina shawl can be more than just a shawl.. a bed cover on cold nights, a warm cushioned seat in a cold classroom, a head rest on a long journey, a hand-hold for hot cups of chiyya (spiced tea) and a respectful cover up when giving an impromptu speech.
4- Cotton scarf as cover from strong sun, a hand towel, a dust mask and an occasional nose wiper!
5- Downloaded BBC radio podcasts on my mobile, to negate the need for an internet connection and allow me to shut out barking dogs / noisy neighbours / clanging pots at 5am.
6- Ginger candy (locally made) helps with nausea on endless hairpin bends and with dry throats on dusty days.
7- Prayer! It’s good to be reminded that our ultimate comfort is not based on the things we see around us.

Conversation on a recent visit to schools in Nuwakot: ‘I think we are technically still ‘in’ the river’. ‘I’ve never done a 3-point turn in a river before.’ ‘Is that really the road?’. ‘Don’t run over the baby goats!’

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And here are the baby goats…that we didn’t run over.

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Christmas Blessings to all!