After contemplating my time in Nepal, I realized my most profound experience was simply spending time with the girls that live in the safe houses. Not in serious conversation or watching them construct beautiful garments or worshipping by their side, though each of those were powerful in and of themselves, but playing with them and watching these sweet girls just be girls.
After worship, they led us up to their rooms where they proceeded to drill us with questions. How old are you? Do you have children? Are you in “University”? In return, we asked their names and ages. Most were 15-18, though the youngest was 13. One of the girls noticed my Red Thread bracelet. She was weaving bracelets tied on her bedpost. She smiled and asked, “You wear in America?” I told her “yes”. Suddenly, a group of excited girls crowded around, inspecting my bracelet, trying to figure out if it was one they had personally made.
I smiled and told them there were many people in the US that wore their bracelets to remember to pray for them and so that others would know about them. I then showed the girls pictures of others wearing their Red Thread bracelets (Thank you to everyone that sent them in!). They loved it. You would have thought it was Christmas morning from their excitement!
After we finished looking at pictures, I was called down to get fitted for my Nepali suit, a traditional outfit of Nepal. A dozen girls followed me down. As I am quite a bit taller and larger than a typical Nepalese woman, they found the display and my commentary to be quite funny, their laughter filling the small room. In their culture, my size is considered beautiful (loved that!).
Most of the girls are behind the camera. I’m trying to be still and not laugh while she’s taking my measurements.
As we were finishing up, I noticed one of the girls happily singing to herself. I asked “Singer?” The others replied, “Dancer!” to which the girl proceeded to show me a little Nepali dance. Here’s where it gets good. She then asked ME to try it. Alright. Why not? So I watched her again and tried to replicate her moves. All the girls giggled and smiled. Then she asked me to show her some American moves. Unprepared, I busted out the Macarena. She became even more excited (a feat I didn’t think would be possible) and wanted me to show her again so she can try it. We went back and forth like this, her showing me more Nepali moves and me showing her Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, the Chicken Dance, I’m a Little Tea Pot, and a good old-fashioned Texas line dance. More of the girls joined in, laughing and twirling, dancing barefoot across the floor. What a perfectly normal scene: girls just being girls.