a sabbatical rest, day 27
Yes, something’s happening here. You know the rest.
But something is certainly clearer. We got word last night that Home Affairs had approved our application for an “on arrival visa” in Nepal. We haven’t seen the actual letter but should receive a copy soon.
The health center at my university here is sending a nurse out to our house Saturday night to do a Covid-19 test, so we can get the results within the 72-hour window before our flight. We leave Tuesday evening out of Chicago. Unless, you know. Complications.
Meanwhile, we are grateful and reasonably excited, given the list of things we have to do before we head to the airport. I’m still working on getting some prescriptions filled, for example. But the suitcases are laid out and filling up. We’re rechecking our lists. We are saying goodbyes, and stepping into uncertainty with faith and hope.
That makes this a good time to pause and thank an entire cast of characters who have been involved in this adventure so far. So thank you to:
- Friends have prayed and are praying for us, especially our church family and elders.
- Our adult children, Margaret, Christian, Michael and Pilgrim, along with their spouses and children, continue to support our globe-trotting ambitions.
- Chiranjivi Khanal, my colleague in Kathmandu, who I met on LinkedIn and have only spoken to on Facebook Messager, who has shepherded the paperwork through various offices and ministries.
- Richen and Baileyna, our friends in Bhaktapur have checked in and encouraged us throughout the process.
- Dhan, Dandi, Michael and Sunita, trekking companions and guides who have been checking on our plans.
- Jean Marie and the health center team are helping us with the Covid-19 tests.
- Faith, Carly, Kerissa and Lisa, who rent rooms from us and will keep the house safe, and Cassy who rents a cottage from us, all of whom have figured out how to pay the rent electronically.
- Duane, a deacon from our church, fixed the leaking sink in our rental cottage last night. And Nathan, our on-call handyman who couldn’t because his wife had a baby last week. And Jonathan, who will plow the snow.
- Terri, my associate, with her husband Rob, is taking us to the airport. She will carry the brunt of my responsibilities here at work while we are gone. And she will do so, with characteristic grace, encouraging and helping students in my program.
- Dorie, my dean, one of my biggest cheerleaders. She is genuinely excited for this opportunity.
- Various administrators, including our supportive Academic Vice President Carol Green who insisted that the university continue to offer sabbaticals, even in a pandemic.
- Our physician, Gene Keilhorn, has stepped into administrative hassles with our insurance company with courage and conviction.
- Katie, my wife and most excellent travel companion had hoped to spend her birthday this Friday in Nepal where the restaurants are actually open. But she is good at waiting. She deserves a whole post, and may still get it. To go with the ones I’ve written in the past.
- The Lord himself, who is faithful. This is just one of His many kindnesses.
It may not take a village to plan a sabbatical, but it does take many people, and I am grateful for each one of them, including the ones I forgot to include. Or didn’t know the name of, including the immigration official who is even now filling out the final form.