Expat Magazine

My Christmas Surprise

By Hanna

On Christmas Day I received a surprise gift from my mom. Upon tearing off the wrapping paper, a book laid in my hands. I was happy enough as books are one of the best gifts to give to people – but this book was special.

As I turned over the book in my hands I started to guess what she had gotten me.  With the cover of a young girl walking through the blissful blue and green landscape, I could only guess it was in Nepal. And as for the author – I had heard her name before.

elizabeth book

It was some time ago that I had shared Elizabeth’s post on the nepalilovestory facebook page and marveled at her fascinating article on bringing up a child in rural Nepal. I remember my trip to rural Nepal and the fact that there was not even any water for me to wash in. The men walked to the spring to shower under the fresh water and the woman just waited till we left the village so as we could shower. My mind had been captivated how she could have raised a baby in such conditions when she was from a privileged country like USA/Canada.

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I was so interested in the book that I immediately opened the first page so I could steal some hints to keep me excited until I could sit down and devour her words properly. As I did so I saw Elizabeth’s handwritten note to me inside the first page of the book and was shocked that she could even know about me.

book person

Then my mom handed me an envelope containing a beautiful card thanking my mom for her kind words about the book (which she had already read!) and mentioning me. I was a bit star struck (as I always am with academics – especially as Elizabeth has her own Nepali love story!) and could not believe it when my mom had told me that Elizabeth and her had been in contact and Elizabeth had heard all about my blog and life with M.

note from elizabeth

In the meantime M sat beside me with wonder in his eyes. Little did I know that his eyes were purely on the book and he too was calculating when he would be able to read it. Unfortunately that time came sooner than I expected. Before I had even managed to read one page of Elizabeth’s words, M had picked the book up and was engrossed in Elizabeth’s story in rural Nepal.

Although I haven’t read any more of her book yet, M keeps telling me how amazing it is and how similar our stories are. Although I have now lost him in the book for some time, I am happy that he too is experiencing Elizabeth’s life and words as a white western wife of a Nepali Brahmin and all his family.

Elizabeth-  if you are reading this then, thank you. 

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