Life in Nepal, Personal Ramblings

scheer during the civil war #3

April 24, 2006 (In response to the headquarters in Hosur asking Roy if there was anything they could do for us from India)

Come to think of it, you can FedEx me some Chicken Biryani. All there is to eat is rice, lentils and potatoes. Crops are rotting in the fileds due to the extended bandh. After three weeks of this diet my eyes are starting to slant ever so slightly, and I’m beginning to speak East Baltimorese with an Irish brogue. I’m not sure what that’s all about.

The hospital is held in high esteem by the demonstrators, which is basically 99% of the Nepalese people. We are one of the “martyr hospitals” now with the first shot demonstrators having died here. We are as good as gold. When one of our ambulances approaches a mob of demonstrators, they part like the Red Sea did for Moses. The U.S. Embassy has appointed me to the Overseas Security Advisory Council, so we have all bases covered. I’m already the U.S. Embassy Warden for Kavre District. I have contracts, MOUs and personal understandings in place with all factions over here. We would survive and do well even if the Smurfs took over.

There’s only enough petrol in the country for the next 4 days, but we’ve made a premptive move to garner the gas in Kavre District. Mobile phones have been cut. International lines are OK for now. I am using a satellite phone when I’m in the mountains or on the move. Ambulances going in to Kathmandu need a white man in the front seat. Anyone can call me on my sat phone in an EMERGENCY. It costs me a dollar a minute or fraction thereof, so no idle chat. The # is 8821654260895. There’s talk of internet being yanked like they did on Februay 1, 2005. But we’re ready this time. We’ve started our own internet services provider on campus, with a VSAT downlink. The king can cut off all phone lines and we’ll still be able to communicate by both email and Skype.

I’m eyeing up this one particular cow that hangs out on the road going to the Chandeswari Temple. The longer this morass drags out, the more I fear for this particular cow’s chances of survival. I’m worried that he’ll disappear one night. Nepal has a high rate of disappearances, you know. Tell the folks in India that our spirits are high; our healthcare services remain excellent and uninterrupted; and the beacon is burning bright as hell. Also the Nepali Church growth is BOOMING. I’ll have Fylvia email you about that.

God save the King for the Hague!


Life in Nepal, Personal Ramblings

memo from the ceo

Cleaning out my hard drive today, I came across this email Roy wrote the expatriate staff at the hospital in Nepal, at the height of the civil war.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006, 7:26 a.m.

Please be apprised that I have been in contact with both Elder Ron Watts, President of the Southern Asia Division, and Elder Matthew Bediako, General Conference Secretary. These compassionate and eminent church leaders are concerned about the escalating domestic situation in Nepal and, even more so, for our safety. I have assured them that while we have no control over the spiraling unrest gripping the nation and lurching towards an unpredictable finality, we absolutely do have control over what transpires here at the hospital. All of you are doing your jobs under trying and stressful circumstances as well as any employee of any Adventist mission hospital in the world. I am extremely proud of your pulling together, contending with the ephemeral deprivations of the little luxuries that make life a little more bearable here even in the best of times, tolerating the limitations of travel associated with the ongoing bandh and the government’s daily curfews, overcoming the natural anxiety and fear that you might be experiencing as you watch everything that is going on in Nepal, and a host of other feelings that we share.

Firstly, remember that God is in control at all times. He will ensure that his angels protect us through even the most difficult of times. Secondly, remember that Scheer has been serving Nepal longer than the lifespan of most of the protagonists involved in today’s conflict. Scheer is both a nationally and internationally well-respected institution on whose service the community depends. And how they have rallied around to assure us of their full support!

Lastly, remember that I would not ask any of you to do a single thing that I would not do myself. We have all worked together for several years, doing the Lord’s work. This hospital is in its 46th year of operation and has never been more viable. We are resisiting Satan’s best efforts and are winning. The hospital will survive this turbulent period with its head held high and its reputation for uninterrupted quality of care intact. Your individual and collective work efforts, your prayers, and your continued support for hospital administration’s watch care will ensure that the hospital remains unscathed. In this sea of turbulence, the nation is counting on its few anchors of stability to remain in place. Let’s work together, as we have been doing, and ride this out like the professionals and people of faith that we know we are.

In His service,