Reflecting on Goodbye

Today I said goodbye one more to my dear friends Carol and Ron. Saying goodbye leaves me filled with mixed emotions. It reminds me of the many experience of abandonment I have had in my life. A a young girl, I was incredibly sick. One time I was so ill and weak the doctor came to the village. He gave me injections which thankfully helped my condition. I remember him telling me "if you were a boy, you would be dead. But because you are a girl, you will wait for your dowry."

Later after fleeing to Kathmandu, I was alone and lost once more, wandering the streets in fear of being sent back to my village to marry just as all the young girls did. It was then that my American teacher approached me, I remember I was afraid of his dog. He told me not to fear this dog. I knew he must be a good person. In desperation I asked, "Please Uncle, please help me." In hearing these words of endearment and seeing the genuine fear in my eyes, he took me in and taught me everything I know.

As I faced my forced marriage, I was also in a position of abandonment. I was alone, forced to run away and isolated from those I loved. I risked losing everything I had worked so hard to create in Kathmandu.

As I write this today, I have come so far. I have a shop, a factory, 20 women who work with me, a family that has forgiven me, and friends across the globe. Yet, on some level it could so easily escape me. A few missed rents, an accident at the shop, or lost funding and it could all disappear. Yet I know in my heart that with every void, with every challenge, with every moment of desperation, something new will present itself. There will be more challenges for sure. But the gifts in my life have always arrived at just the right moment, like light shining through the darkness. All I can do is continue to do what is right, honest, and true to my heart.

As for my two dear friends, I know they wish to return to Nepal. They feel connected to this place, as they know they are loved. In some ways they are never really gone - they will always be with me through what they have helped me create and what they have taught me. I am deeply inspired by how many lives they have transformed in such a short period of time. An entire new school in just a few short weeks.  Such selfless service, I am in awe. What is more, they are simply two individuals helping other individuals. They are not part of an NGO or Organization, and as such they are free to meet true and immediate needs without having to tick black boxes and meet mandates.

From my mother and father, I never received true and unconditional love. This is simply not how the village society works. The main concern is meeting the demands of society by keeping the daughter young and innocent and pure for her dowry and marriage. The purpose of children is not to simply love and let them be free. But from Carol and Ron I have the love of parents. Thank you from deep in my heart for setting me free.