Oh wanderlust. I daydream of traveling with my family every single day. Showing my son new places, meeting new people, and living minimally, but at the end of the day, I know it’s not realistic. But what if it was? And what if your entire family of 6 was on board? What sort of preparations would you have to take? Hint, it took 6 large pieces of luggage, 14 plastic bins (17 gallons each), 5 pieces of carry-on bags, 5 backpacks, 2 dogs in 2 dog crates to start. So many questions! Love Child contributor Karen Trombetta is here to share the story of Anne Broyles. They talk about what inspired the move to Nepal, what life is really like for the family, and what impact she hopes this has on her children.
By Karen Trombetta
I met Anne Broyles when I started my job at LifeWorks several years ago. She actually was my last boss before I became a full-time mama. She was one of the first people that knew I was pregnant with Matteo and she was there for me every step of the way. Anne has inspired me in my career, as a woman, as a mom, I basically want to be her when I grow up. Her kindness knows no bounds. Her willingness to do whatever it takes to help those in need never ceases to amaze me. The most recent example of this is what this post is all about; Anne and her family just moved to Nepal to simply do that, go help those in need. This is their story.
Tell us how your family ended up in Nepal.
Our journey to Nepal began in 2005, when our family of four traveled to China to bring our 9- month old baby girl, Mia, home to Austin. The miracle of adoption changed our lives forever.
During our two-week stay in China, Tommy felt a strong pulling that we needed to come back to help the orphan crisis. The following year in 2006, Tommy returned to China to love on the children and meet with people working in China serving the orphans. Then in 2007, our then family of five came back to China for a month to serve in a special needs orphanage for a month. Our hearts broke and we knew we would never be the same. Over the next decade our family traveled to China, Kenya, Uganda, Haiti and Mexico to love on the fatherless. It had become our family mission. In 2009, we returned to China to bring our 3 ½ year old son, Colin, home. We joyfully became a family of six.
Adoption brought our family, extended family and friends more blessings than we could ever imagine. The joy we experienced was immeasurable. After all we had seen and learned of the orphan crisis, we had to do more. We started talking that 2017 (the year Tommy could retire) would be the year to move abroad and serve. We wanted our children to experience a different culture and learn more about compassion and service. We researched, prayed and traveled to meet with different organizations in China. Nothing seemed a right fit until a fateful trip to Nepal when we decided that summer 2017 we would move our family of 5 there. Our daughter, Christian (age 20) would be staying in Texas to complete her junior and senior years of college. The rest of us: Mia (age 13), Colin (age 11), Madeline (age 23), Tommy and I started preparing for a July 2017 move.
How do you prepare for a move like this?
Preparing for a move like this was daunting. Finding a good school for Mia and Colin was the top priority. We found an amazing international school with a teaching staff that represents 18+ different countries. The student body is just as diverse. Next, we needed to find a way to get our Visas. Thankfully, the school offered Tommy a volunteer job teaching American History and assisting the upperclassman with college readiness. Madeline found an organization where she was asked to teach ESL at a school for the underprivileged. Now we were set.
Next came the preparations for the big move. Some of the major tasks included; finding a house (to lease) for our family outside the valley (better for air quality), leasing our Austin home, selling cars, packing up everything in a home we love and lived in for 18 years, moving and storing everything from our home, getting doctor, dental and orthodontic appointments completed, working with a pet relocation agency to bring our two dogs over (that alone encompassed vet visits, crazy paperwork, vaccinations, working with airlines, etc.). And, Tommy and I would both leave the jobs we loved and worked at for 20+ years. Tommy was an attorney, adjunct law professor and administrative law judge. I was a fundraising executive for LifeWorks. The “to do” list went on and on.
On July 24, 2017 we boarded a plane and flew around the world with 6 large pieces of luggage, 14 plastic bins (17 gallons each), 5 pieces of carry-on bags, 5 backpacks, 2 dogs in 2 dog crates, and said tearful goodbyes to our family and friends.
What is a typical day like?
We have now been a resident of Bhaisepati (outside Kathmandu) for almost 3 months. We wear face -masks whenever we are out (Kathmandu ranks #5 in most polluted city in the world) and walking shoes worn for outside only. We ride motor scooters and taxi’s and walk a lot. Everything is dusty or muddy. Daily sites are motor scooters that are always honking and buses filling the roads, dogs everywhere, cows, goats and chickens wandering the streets, ladies in sari dresses, and men and women carrying large loads (such as corn, rice, bricks, bamboo) on their backs or bikes. We have met fascinating people from many different countries. We have experienced new cultures and customs. And we are living a slower speed of life.
What impact do you hope this experience has on your children? What’s next for your family?
That they understand that we are here (meaning on earth not just Nepal) to help others and get out of our comfort zone. That the world is much larger that “our world”. We want them to experience different cultures. We hope our children will be more compassionate. Our goal is to raise them wanting to help the disadvantaged and marginalized throughout their lives and carry it on to the next generation.
We are living day to day. Our passion is children and our goal is to bring justice and love to the children of Nepal. We have met with many experts and different NGO’s ( non-governmental organizations) to learn about the issues and best ways to help. The problems are tremendous….but we are determined to make a change.
To learn more about life in Nepal and to follow the Broyles’ adventures, please visit their family blog at: www.calledtonepal.wordpress.com