Sunday, January 31, 2016


A perk (or hassle?) of overseas work is the necessity to travel for professional development. I'm spending a long weekend in Lisbon, Portugal for a school counseling conference. While most of my time is inside the hotel, I did get a bit of time on the front end to see some of the city. It's super cute and will for sure be back sometime to see things properly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Our version of the "Pumpkin Patch" trip

We went to the market to find some pumpkins today. It's not quite the same experience as we have at home, but we came away with pumpkins that will serve their purpose.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Petrol problems

Petrol, among many other items that Nepal gets from India, has become scarce. With a newly adopted constitution that has been in the works for a long time, some things have gotten complicated in the relationship between Nepal and India.

Taxis line the roads waiting for gas stations to get gas; most of these cars were sitting parked with no drivers. The roads are very empty. The news reports small batches of tankers with gas have been allowed through the border, but it's not enough to fill the need. Cylinders of gas for cooking are also in short supply.

We are hoping for a quick resolution. The people of Nepal are still recovering from the earthquake in April, these shortages make day-to-day life very hard for many.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Inside shoes

While we often go barefoot around the house, sometimes we wear our shoes. Tegan's first statement is always "mom, why do you have your outside shoes on inside"? At school, with her didi (nanny), at playgroups, she is surrounded by people who have a separate pair of shoes only for wearing inside. Indeed, she has a pair at school and at home - she picked the ones with Hello Kitty on them (she was born in Asia after all).

When I explained that not so many people have inside shoes in America where we grew up, she quite confidently made the connection - "Like, Grandpa always wears his outside shoes inside but my didi always wears inside shoes".

Cross-cultural understandings start young.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back in Kathmandu

After a summer back in America we have returned to Kathmandu for our 4th school year.

If you are thinking "they went back after the earthquake?!", you aren't the only one. We got asked a number of times if we were going to stay in the states (though, to be honest, we get that question every time we return - "well, now that you are pregnant"; "now that you have two kids"; "now that you've gotten that out of your system"; "now that....."; "you'll stay home, right"?).

Yes. We're back, and excited to be. We've even had a few aftershocks.

So here's to another year of exciting culture, learning, adventure, friendships, and travel.

Showing off her henna

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Staying well

Living overseas is a rotation of leaving people or being left behind. It's emotionally taxing, though the goodbyes become so regular that we often forget to leave, and stay, well. Pollock wrote about building your "RAFT", to start your new adventure without bringing a bunch of baggage with you (pun intended). What about those of us who are staying put? That's hard too! Amidst natural disaster coping, this year it's been a challenge to say the least. Here are some things to think about for those of us saying goodbye to people moving on who have touched our lives in some way; best friends, co-workers, friends of your kids, etc.

(In that we are in a post-natural disaster situation, this doesn't cover leaving or staying when people have quickly evacuated and are not coming back. I wish I had more on that, perhaps in the future).

1) Go ahead and build that raft even though you aren't leaving. Reconcile with the people leaving, affirm them, say farewell. Think forward with them, and think forward positively for yourself.

2) Set aside time to spend with them in the last few weeks.

3) Take pictures, write cards, make farewell gifts that will pack easily - whatever fits your style.

4) Be conscious of making plans for the future in front of them, they will of course be left out.

5) Share in their excitement about their new post or repatriation.

6) Acknowledge the awkward, the sad, the happy with each other. Put words to it. It'll make people feel better and normalizes the whole thing we go through all the time.

7) Understand they are coping with a lot and your relationship might change as a result.

8) Grieve; it's ok. Change equals loss, loss equals grief.

9) Have kids?  Teach them how to say goodbye, help give them words for their feelings, don't shoo away the feelings with "you'll find a new friend" just acknowledge the sadness/frustration/guilt/anger.

Have other great ideas?

Thursday, May 21, 2015


After a big shake last Tuesday, in which we evacuated school and took a day off for buildings to be reinspected, things have calmed down.  There are still aftershocks here and there, though it's getting to the point that sometimes people feel them, sometimes they don't.

In our community nerves are raw; focus is lacking.  But we're in our houses.  We're back at work doing pretty normal things.  Sure, there have been changes, but for us, life is pretty normal.  Go to school, come home, play, eat dinner, read books, kids' bedtime, read books without pictures in them, go to bed.

Temporarily rebuilt

Except the knowledge that we are in a bubble.  A bubble of resources, of options, of support.  Expat.  Privileged.

It's hard to live in that space.  It's uncomfortable on many levels.  We've picked up our pieces, and there are so many without any pieces to pick up.

As a school we are supporting our local community and beyond. We have received numerous questions regarding donations. A PayPal account has been created: Lincoln School Kathmandu Earthquake Relief Fund through our business manager Janne (Shah) Gadegaard.

Money collected will go through a process of thorough vetting of needs to rebuild homes, provide medical and supporting the communities. No administrative costs will be incurred. We are sharing how the funds are distributed through our website and our Facebook page.