Monday, February 15, 2016

Eliza meets Bishnu again

Having opened the garage door, it seemed that an evening storm was imminent. I finish buckling in Forrest and then climb into my own seat. Looking in my rear view mirror, I ask the other children, 

"Is everyone buckled?" 

"Yes!" The reply in unison. Officially on our way, I think through the logistics of our evening. Dropping the children off at my parent's home, I'd take the car seats out of the sequoia and leave them on my parent's porch for Andrew. He would be picking the younger children up an hour or so later. Having come straight from church, I would help change them out of their dress clothes and into their pajamas. Eliza and I would hopefully have time for a quick bite to eat before we returned to the car and headed back the way we came and then on to Morgan county. 

Andrew had a stake meeting which is why he wasn't with us. I felt a mixture of sadness and gratitude over his evening commitment as it made our decision of who would get to take Eliza to see Bishnu an easy one. After receiving an 'out of the blue' invitation to deliver the funds she earned to Bishnu in person, I could tell that he would have liked to have been the one to take her. 

Following my GPS, I am relieved when we pull onto the quiet lane where Bishnu and his wife were having dinner. Because I don't fully trust my GPS, I had given us extra time in case we needed to back track a little. As we get closer to the house, we notice a long line of cars. This surprises me as I had expected this to be a small gathering. After finding a spot to park, Eliza and I link arms as we walk toward the charming front porch. It's quite cold and the ground is slippery in places. She doesn't seem to mind. I can tell she is excited. 

Our dear friend Nancy opens the door to greet us. To the left of the entry way is a formal living room where Bishnu and his wife are standing, waiting to greet us. Bishnu walks straight toward Eliza and gives her a great big hug. He is full of smiles and engages her directly as he begins asking her about how long its been since they first met. Nancy introduces us to Bishnu's wife and then we all sit down to visit. Down the hallway, in the great room of the home, a large gathering of people are having dinner. It was nice to be able to visit privately for a few minutes, away from the crowd. 

Eliza explains to Bishnu's wife that she sewed 35+ bears and then sold them to raise money for Nepal. She was clearly touched and delighted as Eliza shared her experience. When Eliza told them the final total of $530.00, his wife gasped aloud. Eliza then handed Bishnu the money she earned, along with a handwritten letter she'd written him last December. Again, she had not been expecting the opportunity of meeting him again in person.With a twinkle in his eye, Bishnu then asked,

"So, Eliza. What would you like me to do with this money you gave me?" Without missing a beat, Eliza enthusiastically replied,

"Send girls my age to school in Nepal!" And with that, the grown ups in the room all began to cheer! It was such an exciting moment. He and his wife talked through a few details before they promised that they would select girls her age, who were eligible and waiting for a scholarship, to benefit from her donation.

"Then," he assured her, "I will send you pictures of each of them so you can see who you helped." Wow! We chatted some more about Eliza's own experience in school. He asked her if she was a good student. I can't even begin to tell you how I just much I wanted to boast on her behalf, but I didn't.   

Nancy then took Eliza into the other room, with all of the people, and introduced her to them. She asked Eliza to describe her project to them. They had big smiles on their faces as she spoke. Nancy was emotional and sweet as she then implored them to find ways to help Nepal too. 

We then gathered for a few photos. As Eliza stood by Bishnu, he pulled her in for another hug. 

"I want another daughter, just like you!" He told her. This made her smile. It was his gracious wife who asked me to jump in the picture with them. I thought that was thoughtful of her. After that, we said our "Goodbyes." We had been invited to attend the fireside with them that night where Bishnu would be speaking. Because it was getting late and Eliza had school the next day, we politely declined. 

The snow began to fall as we walked back to our car. I was so uplifted by the exchange and think Eliza was too. What a remarkable payback. It is something I will never forget. I'm proud of my daughter and hope the flame that's been lit to give and help others continues to grow.
"I want another daughter, just like you!"

The following weekend, Andrew took Eliza skiing for her first time. She had an upcoming field trip with her school class and had great anxiety. The two of them spent a wonderful morning together. Her subsequent field trip was a likewise success. 

Someday, when we win the lottery, we will go skiing as a family. ;) Seriously though, it's an expensive endeavor! (and I would rather go to Disneyland!)