Saving a goat and travel adventures in Nepal
I’m not sure if any of you've sat on the roof of a bus, but the experience in Nepal can be quite exhilarating. After climbing up a steel ladder, with the first rung about two metres off the ground, you have to find a space amidst luggage, other people, and animals being transported. Most buses have metal bars with a small edge on the roof to make it possible for this mixture of passengers to remain on top.
One afternoon, a friend and I were sitting next to our backpacks, holding on tightly to the metal bars and travelling at what felt like hurtling speeds up the side of mountain on a curvy dirt road. The bus heaved to a stop suddenly, and a man joined us on the roof. After setting his bag down, he leaned over the back of the bus to pull up a goat.
The poor thing bleated helplessly, but the rope around its neck didn’t offer an escape, and apparently, neither did the person shoving it from below. Once the goat was on top, the bus began moving again, and the man tied the still-bleating animal to the bars near me. The gentleman then moved to the front of the bus to sit closer to several other men.
The bus continued to fly around sharp corners, bounding over rocks, loose gravel and dirt, and do its best to arrive at its destination as fast as possible. I was enjoying the scenery, turning my head to look in different directions, while still maintaining a firm grip on the metal bars, when suddenly, the bus took a quick turn. At the same time as my grip tightened to keep myself in place, I realized that the goats’ short rope had come undone, because the goat's head and front legs were disappearing over the side of the bus.
I lunged forward, grabbed the animal by its tail and braced my feet against the metal bars to keep us from falling. Then, I yelled for help. The owner of the goat managed to stop the bus and come to my and the goat's rescue – but after quickly tying the rope to a metal bar again, our harrowing journey continued.
It was just a typical day of travel in Nepal.
When I first dreamed about joining missions, there was a variety of adventures I knew would come my way – travel, new people, unknown cultures and foods - but there have been so many more rich experiences than I could have ever guessed.
Saving a goat from falling off the roof of a travelling bus was never something I would have imagined, and yet the diversity of missions includes that and so much more. I’m just thankful that, despite what comes, I believe God is in control.