Friday, March 13, 2015

Village welcome

Part of my trek a few weeks ago was visiting small villages who shared their space with us, letting us set up our tents to stay overnight.  These villages are remote and not on a typical trekker's path so they don't often see expats.  Twice we were welcomed by a full ceremony complete with flowers, tikkas, speeches, thank yous, singing, and dancing.  It was fun and awkward and humbling.  With no way to communicate with many of the villagers I put all my effort into the most expressive thank you face I could deliver, brought my hands together, and bowed.  It's something, putting all your energy into that simple gesture.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sari shopping

I've been itching to get a sari since I got here, but what with babies and all I didn't get around to it until now.  With a fundraising event to go to I decided it was a good time to wear one.

Walking into the shop was quite overwhelming but luckily I had a few friends with me who had done it before.  We took our shoes off, hopped up on the platform and started running our hands through the stacks and stacks of sari fabric.  As we narrowed it down to a few different options we asked the ladies working to wrap us up.  A few absolute no's and a few thrown into the maybe pile.  After decisions were made we bargained on the price with the shop owner.

Finally, the tailor came in to take our measurements since we wanted saris made for expats - with a zipper up the side!  Sari's without such modifications rely on expert folding and tucking yards and yards of fabric.  I wasn't bold enough to trust a few folds to hold up all that fabric, it's risky enough baring your stomach!

It was fun to wear and I'm already planning to get another.  (Not sure how many times I will be able to pull-off a hot pink sari, that, yes, matches my hair!)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Holi rescheduled

Holi fell on a work day this year so we rescheduled ours to a convenient Sunday, in our yard.  Water guns + holi powder + toddler = a good time.  Same equation sub the toddler for a 1 year old = a terrible time.  Oh well, maybe next year it'll be his thing.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


I just got back from a 5 day school trekking trip, my first trip of this sort.  The weather was great for most of the trip, we were welcomed by a number of communities, and saw beautiful sites of Nepal.  I'm also happy to report that I was able to keep up with the middle of the pack of students!
Kids walking to school, many walk a long distance on rough trails to get to school

Pink skies one morning

Coffee beans drying

Morning coffee

Cute tot at a welcome ceremony

Giving tikkas

Students watching a group play musical chairs

Headed back home at the end of the day


A storm rolled in bringing a lot of rain and hail - we sought shelter in a family's home (sure wished I knew some Nepali!)

Homes on the side of the mountain

A day's path along the top of the ridge

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

Flying: The good, the bad, and the ugly. The family edition.

We fly a lot.  And while we're getting pretty good at flying with young children (and our kids pretty much rock at it), there are those times when you reflect on the bad moments and appreciate the good.  This post is a result of some ups and downs on our last journey to Kathmandu from the states, one that took 57.5 hours, a 16 hour flight leg, 1 missed flight, 1 night in the airport, and 7 pieces of luggage that didn't arrive with us.  I give you my musings on the good, bad, and ugly of flying (with kids in particular):

The good is sleeping children.

It’s an empty seat next to you.

It’s a lounge with good food, a playroom, and showers.

It’s airport seating that doesn’t have an armrest between each seat preventing you from laying down.

It’s an outlet near a comfortable seat. 

It’s a USB charging plug on the plane.

It’s an in-flight children’s meal.

It’s the stewards and stewardesses that love babies and kids (and will entertain them for awhile, even hold them while you go to the bathroom!).

It’s an upgrade.

It’s flying without children when you regularly fly with children.

It’s getting comments at the end of a flight saying how well your children did (all that work – packing snacks and entertainment, constantly supplying those said snacks and entertainment, monitoring seat kicking and volume of speaking, and special privileges [ipad for hours at a time, sure!] and wonky sleep schedules you’ll later have to cope with – paid off).

It’s being met at the gate by family or friends.

The bad is being awake at 3am in the airport trying to sleep on tile floor next to your toddler in case he wakes up and tries to wander off.

It’s airplane food.

It's a baby that won't sleep.

It's flying pregnant.

It’s a pen exploded in your bag.

It’s trying to sleep on the tray table in a desperate attempt to get comfortable.

It’s overnight delays.

It’s lugging around too much carry-on luggage (packing a diaper bag for 30 hours of travel requires a LOT of stuff!).

It’s sitting under an overhead compartment when someone is trying to put a piece of luggage that is too big.

It’s a baby on your lap and no room to put your tray down to eat.

It’s a seat that won’t recline.

It's luggage overages.

It’s a budget airline flight.

It’s headphone jacks that require the silly 2 or 3 prong headphone plugs so you have to use the airline headphones.

The ugly is waking up realizing you either: drooled or were in your neighbor’s space… or worse – both. 

It’s being the neighbor.

It’s the Kathmandu airport bathrooms.

It’s when that crying baby is your own.

It’s dealing with a child who has to pee “really really bad”  right when the seatbelt sign goes off after the plane has landed (you know that moment, when everyone instantly jumps up and gets their bags down as if they might not make it off the plane if they don’t).

It’s coping with upset stomachs and the inevitable traveller’s diarrhea.  That line for the bathroom after a meal has been served is a nightmare.

It’s being the only woman on a flight.

It’s the vomit bag and needing to use it.

It’s sitting next to (behind, kitty corner, in the general vicinity of) a person who needs to use the vomit bag.

Here's to hoping your next flight has more of the good than the bad and none of the ugly.