Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Let's go fly a kite

Another popular activity during the Dashain holiday is kite flying.  We flew some today, and with these simple kites getting them up and flying is harder than it looks!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The trouble with water

"We're out of water."  Turn the tap and it just doesn't come out.  Before coming to Kathmandu I took water for granted; it would always be there when I needed it - for showers, laundry, drinking, flushing the toilet.  Water here is not so simple (though I know that we have it much better than many).

Our primary source of water comes from the city, though it comes intermittently and if there is a schedule I sure don't know it.  It goes into an underground holding tank in our yard.  From that tank we must pump it up to the tank we have on the roof (though that requires electricity which, as I've said before, is not consistent).  That happens once a day or once every couple days.  Sometimes, we go through all our water before we get city water, so we use water that's been stored in big holding tanks on our property.  That water gets piped into the underground holding tank and then pumped up to the roof tank.  If there is no back-up water we call in a water tanker and pay to have our water filled from the truck - we've only had to do that once so far.

Rooftop tank and solar water heater
Reserve tanks
Basically I'm already looking forward to the hottest, longest shower ever when we go home to Portland for Christmas break!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tiny guava

This was left at our house and I had to cut into it to figure out what it was.  Pretty sure it's a mini guava.  While I love guava, I usually scoop out all the seeds and this tiny one had the seeds throughout.  Sure is cute to look at though.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Leave the stroller at home

Travel and strollers just don't always go together very well.  Many of the places we've visited/lived have had uneven roads, non-existant sidewalks and crowded areas that made stroller usage impractical, if not impossible (ramps and elevators no where in sight!).  They are also often just another thing you have to cart around, send through x-ray security and maneuver when your hands are full.  So, much of our travel thus far has involved babywearing (our baby, Tegan, is just about to turn 1 and we've lived and/or traveled in Taiwan, Thailand, Nepal, and the states with her).

When Tegan was little we used the baby bjorn a lot while out and about.  She fit in it well, it was cooler than the moby wrap and easier to take on and off (we alternate carrying her depending on the situation).  She hated slings and I used the moby a lot at home and around our town but found it bulky and time consuming for traveling. 

As she got bigger, we've moved to the Ergo because it's better for baby's hips (they sit rather than hang) and I personally find it more confortable.  Tegan didn't like this carrier until she was big enough to really sit in it, but they do have newborn inserts and our good friends used their Ergos practically from day one with much success.  Sometimes she sits in front, sometimes on the back and occasionally when she's more antsy I put her on my hip.

In countries where everyone wants to touch and hold your baby, a carrier is a great way to hold off over eager admirers and help keep baby feeling safe.

We've recently added another carrier, for our longer hiking, the Osprey frame backpack.  So far only Jeremiah has carried her in this one as it's a bit heavier.

I highly recommend babywearing, for anytime really, but especially as an alternative to strollers when traveling.  I like having a variety, and Jeremiah and I each have different preferences, so the more the merrier in this house (I just bought a sling to try out with Tegan on my hip and I'm pretty sure she is going to love it).

Some tips:
-Practice at home first.  Walk around, put it on and take it off, put the child in and take them out, do some chores, bend down, get stuff out of your pockets, etc.  You'll get the hang of it and see what works for you.
-If you don't love it at first try again, or try a different style carrier.  Everyone has a preference.
-If you go with a wrap style, you can pre-wrap it so you are ready to go when it's time to put your child in.
-Some airports will make you take the child out of the carrier when going through security, others won't.
-Many airlines will make you take baby out for take off and landing as it is safer to have them in a car seat or in your lap if you have a lap-seat ticket.

Any other babywearers out there have advice?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bamboo swings

Part of the Dashain celebrations includes communities constructing bamboo swings.  These things are huge!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A rare family photo

We're on holiday from school for the Dashain festival, my mom is visiting and we're hitting up the sights around town.  Most of our family photos are taken by Jeremiah with his phone, so I had mom take one while we were at the stupa in swayambhunath.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Overnight in Shivapuri National Park

Last Friday, I abandoned Allison and Tegan and went on a couple hikes and an overnight camping trip with 3 other teachers and 21 students to Shivapuri National Park.  This was in preparation for our 4 night camping trip I'll be taking with the same group in early November while Allison's mom is visiting.

Local students coming back from a hike

Local students posing

Mid-hike view of the valley

Tent setup

Local millet based alcohol production (Tongba?)

Hill houses

View from the tents

Stars at night
(Ok, normally I wouldn't post this picture, but this is just so you can compare it to the picture at the end of this post that my friend took)

Morning view (Moon sliver and Venus barely visible up and to the left)
And, what you've all been waiting for (even though you might not have known it was coming):
Picture taken by Peter.  Yes, it was that awesome at night.

Monday, October 15, 2012

UN Day

Today we celebrated UN Day at school.  Folks were supposed to come in their nation's dress and there were some amazing outfits with over 50 countries represented.  America though?  Between the two of us we represented our colors and the northwest.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


There is definitely a garbage problem in Kathmandu, as seen here with a side-of-the-road dump:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It was bound to happen

Our first run in with food poisoning.  Ug.  Food and water preparation here is crucial to avoiding all sorts of nasty stuff - we had a training session when we first got here.  Soak fruits and veggies in water + iodine.  Eat things you can peel.  Better to go with cooked/boiled.  Which restaurants are ok.  What brand of bottled water was deemed "safer".  Water filters.  Make sure hands and dishes are dry after washing.  Soap, lots of soap.  Etc, etc, etc.  Whew.

So, we are cautious, but we eat out a lot.  And, really, like the title says, it was bound to happen.  Luckily we didn't get hit at the same time, because being sick with a baby is hard.  Just a few days later we are all healthy again.... just in time for another round of immunizations tomorrow.  The quest for health never ends!