Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rafting at Pokhara

Pokhara is a very popular spot in Nepal, and despite this being our third year here I had yet to go and Jeremiah was only there for a stop-over.  We ate, shopped, rested and rafted.  Jeremiah stayed behind with the kiddos and I went with the group.  A short van ride and we were at the river.

The following are a sequence of one rapid from start to finish:






And let me tell you, no doubt about it, that water is cold!  Pokhara was definitely warmer than Kathmandu has been (long sleeve shirts versus heavy coats) but that splash shirt did little to keep us warm.  Though the rapids weren't as intense as at Last Resort it was tons of fun and over way too quickly!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Fevers

We've had a sick house the last couple weeks.  Two of us with fevers that wouldn't quit. 

The nurses and receptionists at the clinic we go to are starting to remember me, and at a travel clinic with expats in and out all the time they NEVER remember you.

Yesterday, day 4 of my fever, I went into the clinic and the doctor described fevers as such: Fevers back home are usually telling you something like, hey - slow down.  Rest.  Take care of yourself.   Most of the time not so serious.  Fevers in Nepal, however, can mean nasty business.

Thanks for speaking my language doctor.

And nasty business it is...maybe.  Turns out typhoid, which is what they think I might have, is a tricky bugger to culture as a definitive positive test.  It's sitting down in the lab still growing.  But it's no good to just sit and wait for some bacteria to grow on a petri dish before doing something about it, so treatment it is.  Daily trips to the clinic for at least 4 days for IV antibiotics.

The good news is, I'm feeling better (as demonstrated by my ability to put together a coherent blog post)!  Fingers crossed (on those freshly washed hands) to better health!


October festivities

Dashain, Tihar and Halloween, plus Tegan's birthday, have meant it was a busy month!

We traveled to Krabi, Thailand for Dashain, and while it rained most of the time we were there it was a restful and fun vacation (check out the pictures of the super kid-friendly hotel we stayed in, not our typical hotel but with a group it was perfect).

Making pancakes with Nutella and banana - yes please!

Rain!  Still Beautiful.

View from our hotel room, yes, the adults did try the kids-only water slides

Kid's play room with all sorts of toys, activities and a ball pit!



Kathmandu got spiffed up for Tihar with mandalas, twinkle lights and strings of marigolds.
Food from a Tihar party

Mandala at our house leading Laxmi (goddess of wealth) into our home




We got in the Halloween spirit with pumpkin carving, caramel apples and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  We trick-or-treated in our neighborhood and via a cab ride at our friends' houses.  Definitely an expat Halloween.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

When visitors come

When visitors come it immediately pulls you back to a time when the sights, smells and experiences you have everyday were not everyday.  Back to when it was all fresh and raw.  

There are cows in the road.  So much poverty.  Sight-seeing.  Mountains.  The saris are beautiful.  Pollution - garbage, air, noise.  Trekking.  Temples.  Namaste.  

It's exciting for awhile, but it is also comforting when you settle back into your norm.  The familiar, routine.  And once again the city is not a tourist destination, it is home.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Snakefruit

I'm a sucker for fruit and am always game to try a new variety.  We spent this Dashain holiday in Krabi, Thailand and at breakfast one morning a weird looking fruit was set out.  I thought at first it was a type of lychee, but wasn't.  After some googling I've decided it was Salek, or snakefruit.  No one else in our group wanted to try it.  I wasn't going to be put off by the chicken foot appearance and decided to go for it; it was not good.  I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't ripe and next time I run across it I'll give it another go, but more hesitantly and with less anticipation.






Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why McDonalds?

When we travel you can usually count on us hitting up a McDonalds or Starbucks where ever we are. Why is that, when at home in the states those are not places we hardly ever eat at? A couple reasons: 1) it's food from home and 2) it's pretty darn consistent.

Sure, we can get a pizza most places we go but you never really know what you are going to get (clams and corn on the "meat lovers"? Yeah, that happened). If you are looking to order favorite foods from home it is best to have your expectations set low; it often comes out at best with something not quite right, and at worst just all wrong. But at McDonalds that quarter pounder and French fries is about the same where ever you go (except of course at places that don't serve beef, then you've got interesting new things to try like the McVeggie. It's also fun to see the local additions - taro pies in Taiwan for example). I can order my Starbucks drink, in English no less, anywhere and I know exactly what I'm getting. So while it's not necessarily what we'd consider good food, or the food we miss the most, it is familiar and there is something comforting in that.