A Nepali slip of the hand

A journey completed

Eleven months ago, as the house hummed to the sound of the oxygen machine and the stair lift rattled occasionally up and down, I would have thought it inconceivable that I should spend ten days in Nepal this October.  Back then, the thought of trundling through Kathmandu’s dusty streets, gasping with wonder at sunrise over the Himalayas, or soaring 1800 feet above a Nepali lake beneath a para-glider would have been the furthest thing from my mind. So why did I go?

In the last weeks before my #bravestandbest left me for a higher calling, we had talked often about her funeral. We discussed the songs to sing, the way things would be, and where any money raised in her name might go. On the latter, she was keen that it should go to a mission context – but was unsure where that should be.

When the time came to plan it- a good friend introduced me to the work of KISC Equip in Nepal. This remarkable project is taking great strides in introducing best practice to Nepali schools in every context from mountain villages to big cities. Staff, parents and students are learning how to learn all over again, and it is yielding fruit. Since Fiona had dedicated the last few years of her working life to helping others learn how to learn – it seemed like a good fit. On November 16th , some £1800 was raised for the project through the generous giving of family, friends and colleagues. A few weeks later, the idea was born of going to see the project for myself, accompanied by one of my sons and two beloved friends.

There are so many things which I shall remember about Nepal. I will remember the majestic mountains:

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I will remember the lush green valleys:

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I will remember the stunning colours everywhere

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More than anything, though – I shall remember a morning visit to a tiny yellow school in the shadow of the Himalayas:

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In that school, with its highly motivated head, its dedicated teachers, and its enthusiastic students – I caught a glimpse of what a project like KISC Equip can do. After a tour round the school, we paused for spiced coffee and biscuits beneath the fan in the Principal’s office. With great ceremony, the visitor’s book was passed to me to sign. As I picked it up, I made a slip of the hand I have never made in these past eleven months. I wrote “Richard, Fiona…”. Maybe it was not a slip. Maybe it was because, as I told the school Principal, I could see her everywhere in that little school.

The legacy of my #bravestandbest lives on…

6 thoughts on “A Nepali slip of the hand

  1. I am deeply sorry about the painful loss of Fiona. You alone will know the depth of that loss. The comfort is that for her all pain is past – and she is in her Lord’s nearer presence. But for you the loss is so deep. The realisation that our Saviour has plunged depths of suffering and sorrow vastly beyond our understanding and experience may help. You will, perhaps, not remember me at all; but I was in the C.U. at St Andrews – and also generally attended the Baptist church. Fiona was my contemporary – and in some of my tutorial groups. She was an extremely fine person. I happened to hear about your loss over Radio 4 – and investigated to discover if it was the Richard Littledale I had remembered. Discovering this blog, I was thrilled to discover this money going to KISC – as 7 months serving the Lord with UMN in Kathmandu is an important part of my life and experience. I do not want to say anything trite, but I have prayed for you – and will continue to do so.

    • Brian

      How lovely to hear from you after all this time. Thank you for your kind words – so full of grace and truth. Richard

  2. That voice. So idiosyncratic and unique. There I was dropping my daughter off, switched the radio on and heard this guy telling this heart-breaking story of hope amidst adversity. And then it dawned on me. That’s my old friend Richard. And he is suffering. I must get in touch. And here you are blogging through what must be a horrid time, but how brave, how encouraging, how inspiring you are. May God bless you my friend and thank you for your beautiful programme this morning. Your words and choice of music was brilliant. Now rest!

  3. It’s 48 hours since a dear friend lost his battle with cancer and your broadcast this morning was a timely gift from the Lord. Thankyou. God bless. Cx

  4. I listened to the programme on Radio 4 with a strong sense of feeling that at last someone has answered all those questions I have regarding grief. I lost my lovely wife Christine to ovarian cancer a year before your own tragic loss and can only offer support and positive thoughts from afar (Dorchester!)
    Yes, the key is ‘hope’ and an acceptance that we can never return past the border but rather accept where we are now and progress through hope and expectation knowing that the awful pain will lessen.
    I’m travelling solo to N W Myanmar on the Chindwin River shortly and hope to gain peace through slow travel leading to an understanding of where I now stand.
    Most grateful for your wonderful help.

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