Tulimaya, a proud grandmother to two beautiful grandbabies and mother to five hard working children, taught me an important life lesson.
Seven years my junior, Tulimaya – Maya for short, is much wiser and understands the great value of family
In Nepal, the family is considered the most important social unit and a high value is placed on family ties.
Many families, particularly in rural areas are larger than in the West and are also extended. There is a very clear hierarchy and the patriarch is usually the father or older brother; however, Maya in her gruff and loud voice, appeared to be the one in charge. I grew to like her quite a bit.
In Nepal older people are given a lot of respect and are expected to be cared for by the younger generation. Multigenerational families often live under one roof, and when a son marries his wife is brought to the family home to live. Having children is considered very important in Nepalese culture. Most importantly, when someone is sick , the family rallies around.
While overlooking Maya’s mountain on a clear day, I could see the snowy peaks of Everest in the distance. I was also painfully aware how far away my family was
Shortly after returning back to Kathmandu, I’d received word that my mother had gotten quite sick and was admitted to the hospital. A few days later, we were readying to leave for Anaikot and I’d learned her condition worsened. Dedicated to the Namaste Nepal mission, my heart was torn….. However, recalling Maya’s lesson…..it was time to return home.
Now back in Wisconsin and close to family, part of my heart remains in Nepal. Over 90% of families have lost their homes and are in need of great help.
Please stay tuned for more updates on the Namaste Nepal project and opportunities for you to help these families rebuild.
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