Life’s messy. Things don’t always go to plan. Some things you worry about go wonderfully. Other things you thought you were on top of blow up in your face.
Recently, a lady from our cooperative came in distressed and angry as the manpower agency that she paid many thousands of rupees to for her husband working in Malaysia were cheating them. Two other ladies talked about their struggles with ill health and wondered when they’d feel better. Another lady is unsure about a big decision she needs to make and the implications of it. We are frustrated by equipment issues (this is so common) and angry with salespeople who don’t care. (The one hour motorbike trip to get a new oven was fun but not worth it!!) Our outside water pump was broken by over-energetic pumping by neighbourhood kids and the wind blew our water tank lid off. We are nervous about taking on some new trainees even though we know we don’t need to be. It is always scary taking the next big step.
On the other hand we found a wonderful carpenter who did a great job with our table. The drawers open easily and doesn’t wobble. Not to be taken for granted! He even bought the table over on rickshaw while was still being built to make sure it was exactly the height we needed and that it sat solidly on the floor. What a man. We have found lots of other things he is trying to fix for us and he will build us two more storage shelves.
Friends have donated some little luxuries to celebrate our move. We have a rice cooker and fresh towels and as you know we bought sweets from the expensive sweet shop!
As we worked on Saturday (it’s a chutti-the Nepali equivalent of the weekend-but we worked a half day to fill a big order) we talked about what helps us to be resilient-what helps us to pick ourselves up and keep going when we fall or are knocked over. The ladies talked about acknowledging that things would go wrong and that they say to themselves something like This won’t last. It won’t always be this bad. They talked about remembering times when they have done something they felt proud of, and good about to give them courage to do what needed to be done to solve a problem.
One commented that having her work here at Samunnat was part of feeling capable, as well as being a retreat from a tough time. Another said that in the past, things were so bad that she had wondered if it was worth living. We asked if she sometimes still felt like that and she emphatically said no, saying that now she had people she could ask for advice but also felt that she had more skills to deal with things that used to get her down. Some said that having more times when they laughed and were happy helped them when they were sad. And we all agreed that it was so important to try not to worry about things in the future that we have no control over but just to concentrate on the stuff in front of us that we can do something about. Like fixing the pump and sharing our sweets with the carpenter.