Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What will you miss ...

We are on that downhill ride towards leaving in three months which means there are lots of guests and more "lasts" than "firsts". For four of the past six weeks we have had friends and family visit or been on vacation. Next week I'm going away on a "mommy trek" for a week (read - excited beyond belief but completely anxious about leaving my kiddos). Where is the time going?

During our interminable ride home (one thing I will not miss) from piano lessons today I asked the girls what they will miss about Kathmandu. Here is what they said:

1) Our helpers: Ram, Mana, Om, Shankar and Shyam. They have become like family to us.

2) Their friends and classmates and teachers.

3) Khaki (our dog that died last year).

4) Punkie Universe. This is a habitrail for children akin to a McDonalds playplace. I think they have been there three times. Sigh - Kids.

5) Dhara Hara. Although they see it almost daily they've never been there! Also known as Bhimsen's Folly it is a century plus old Arabian knights looking tower that is a landmark here. I've promised Kit we'll climb it before we leave.

6) Monkeys and Cows in the streets.

7) Our house here (which of course is not ours at all).

I thought it was an interesting summary of what is important to them and what kinds of things they hang their emotional hats on. I was glad that their first responses were primarily relationships and then following, things that give them a sense of place and are unique to here.

When I asked them what they will be looking forward to they said their grandparents, their house and the Cherry Blossoms - smile.

After the trek I should have a breather and will be able to edit and post some pictures of the above to edit this post. But I wanted to get it up anyway ... time's a tickin' away.

All for now and a few .... Namaste!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Oh this is classic! I walked into a very cute little boutique here (they do exist) a few weeks ago because I had been eyeing a very cool long black coat and thought it just might be sale time since it has warmed up quite a bit. No one was there, but a handyman did let me in to try it on. It fit - yahooo - and I wrote a note to the proprietor (small town - we've met several times) saying I was interested in the coat - would she mind calling me when convenient. Her sales person called shortly - she was "sooo sorry" she missed me and yes the coat was on sale. I told her I'd love it and would she hold it for me since I was leaving the next day for vacation. "No problem" she said.

I returned from our vacation and have tried to stop by the shop a few times. The first time there was a note on the door "back at 2:30". Oh well. The next time - just closed - no particular reason. But the other day I went again and lo and behold it was open and occupied by a human being! When I told her why I was there she said she was just minding the store but wasn't supposed to sell anything. Someone would be back in a week. It just cracked me up.

Yesterday I received a call from the shop. "Oh we keep missing each other!" the sales woman said. "Yes - we do. I'll be in again soon", I said. "Why don't you call first ...or I can give you my mobile phone number ... just in case" was her response.

Ah the market system at work - it is a beautiful thing.

Bunnies, Chicks, Eggs Etc!

We really did have a meaningful Holy Week. Really. The girls really did look sweet in their Easter dresses. But Mommy only brought her camera to the Easter Egg hunt at Phora. So here we are!

Now Mr. and Mrs. Bunny were also Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Christmas AND Fred and Wilma Flintstone at Halloween. Impressive costume repertoire, no?

Cookie decorating ... always a winner with my kiddos!

It was hot, hot, hot on Saturday. Lindsay insisted on wearing this turtleneck. I don't argue about these kind of things.

Baboo vacillated a bit ... bunny, chick, bunny, chick? Bunny won.

The hunt began! Over a thousand eggs were planted around the Phora compound. Within ten minutes not ONE was left unturned - it was hilarious. They have a separate area for the toddler set which helps the little ones actually claim a few eggs of their own without having to compete with the big kids. Swift was clearly concentrating very hard!

Then Swift was DELIGHTED to show Mr. Bunny his take!

Our friend has used this chicken costume not only for this event but on other "costume" occasions. You know, when he was making that critical packing list "Things I MUST bring to a developing country" - this made the cut. I bet it would make the emergency evacuation list too (smile). I had several posed shots of Mr. Spring Chicken with the kids - but I liked this candid far better.
So this all had nothing to do with Easter ... but it was a fun day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Someone loves Easter egg hunts. All three of the hoodlums were sufficiently "choclified" (that's in the dictionary, isn't it?) but this picture made me laugh. "You caught me mommy ... but I'm cute, right?!" Here is my little guy in his sister's Easter hat, his bunny face painting and just a liiiiiiitle easter chocolate.

I Heart Faces is looking for those Easter/Spring faces - go check it out!

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Little Break ... A Little Brain Leak.

My brother refers to verbal downloads of information as Data Dumps. My brain isn't firing on all cylinders so this is more of a disjointed slow leak.

The past month we have had family in (yayyyy!) - it was about time to break in the guest room a little more. We also filled up the girls' spring break with a trip to Thailand and a little camp here. It has been busy and I am tired. Happy tired, but tired.

We parted ways with my husband at the Bangkok airport last weekend so he could go to HAWAII (ahem, ahem) for ... WORK. Normally I wouldn't share such a thing, thereby divulging that I am here solo with my hoodlums because, well, that just isn't a safe thing to do. But I just don't think there are any psycho Nepalis over here who give a rip enough about this blog to read it and launch an attack. Furthermore, we have bars on our windows, alarms, guards around the clock and a walled compound with gagillion foot high spiky bars. We have steel plates on the doors. The roving security patrol comes by all the time just to "check on things". And, shockingly, it does not feel like a fortress. Oh, one last thing ... the German Shepherd of unusually large size prowls the compound. Grrrrrr. Do you think I scared anyone off?

Other exciting headlines? I finally put Swift in underwear. Thomas the Tank Engine unders to be exact. He is still ... um ... figuring out what they are for. Or more precisely, what they can and can't contain. Potty training is my least favorite parenting job for sure. Other people's children are all miraculous to me in this area!

The embassy asked if we wanted energy saving lights put in. "But of course!" I said - Green isn't only for St. Patrick's Day after all! They are AWFUL. Our house is lit like an all night diner or a horror flick. They are dim and fluorescent - YUKKKKK.

We are on the official countdown for our move back to the States at the end of July and my thoughts turn continually to the projects ahead while we try to finish well here. I am anxious about how the kids will fare in the fall with new schools and a house renovation underway. I am excited about going back, yet I drive around the streets here knowing I will miss Kathmandu and am unlikely to return any time soon.

I am yawning. I am also rambling (grin). Time to go up and see which one of the little hoodlums has taken Daddy's side of the bed.