Thursday, August 12, 2010

Learning Patience

We are used to instant gratification in the west.  Some people become hysterical when the red light does not change quickly enough or if their fast food order does not arrive in under one minute.  Did you see the woman who smashed the window at a McDonald's drive-through because she couldn't get her McNuggets for breakfast when she wanted them?  In many developing countries people are used to waiting for things.  I remember waiting to have breakfast on the top of the roof of my hotel in Nepal.  My order was taken, drinks appeared, and about an hour later a boy came back from the market with a bag of materials to cook our breakfast.  Breakfast took two hours, but we had a good view while we waited.

We were only in Kathmandu for three full days before we left for the jungle, yet in that short amount of time we finished most of our business in Patan and Kathmandu and met with the Joy Foundation founders, who treated us to a fantastic dinner of rice and dal, vegetable curry, spicy potatoes, okra, spinach, and for desert papaya, oranges and then vanilla yogurt with pomegranate seeds. You have to try putting pomegranate in sweetened yogurt, yum! We were also introduced to Chang, Tibetan beer, which was kind of sweet and yummy and deceptively powerful.

At the gathering we met several people from Australia who had been working with the Joy foundation for more than 10 years.  They were there visiting the sites of some of the projects that they had helped to create.  They did a lot of work with schools and prisons.  I was horrified to find out women are sometimes jailed with their children in Nepal and they might stay in prison past their release time if they can not pay their fine!

The day before we left for the jungle we were able to get everything arranged for the school so that they could submit a proposal for their library, and we were able to establish contact people for the school.  Now, five months later, we are still waiting for the school to submit their proposal.  There isn't much more I can do but hope that someone in Nepal will steer the ship.  When they do, I should receive a list of items that they need, with price tags for books, shelves and other equipment.  I will be asking everyone I know to help us donate what is required at that time.  Until then, we wait.

Searching for Customers
I would like the library to happen very quickly, but there are some things that I simply have no control over.


  1. Terrific post. That photo is very cool. Patience is not something we in the west are very good at practicing. I did see that McDonald's clip - totally bizarre. Chicken nuggets rage. Go figure.

  2. My children and I had a discussion about the Chicken nuggets incident, the consensus was that they just aren't that good. Panera's Chocolate croissant would make more sense.

  3. butternut, patience ties into an earlier post here. it's something that is learned over time but isn't available to everyone for some reason. i see people in a hurry to get places. i see people confusing need and want. it's difficult to teach a person the value of patience. steven