Thursday, January 30, 2014

15 facts about our house

1. Our bedroom door has a peep hole.

2. We know we're load shedding when we open the fridge and the light doesn't come on.

3. Every armoire and drawer has a lock and key.

4. Last year we had to go outside and turn on our water pump each day to fill our water tank then listen for the over-flow and run out to turn it off. This year we have an automatic pump that turns on and off by itself. Love it!

5. Our washing machine is in the bathroom and a hose runs across the room into a drain in the floor.

6. You know it's garbage pick-up day when a man walks down the street blowing a whistle. Who knows where the garbage goes.

7. We have a gas stove and water heater (that heats only our shower) and the gas comes from tanks we replace when empty.

8. We have 7 dressers, one for every room in the house.

9. On the roof we have a solar heater for water (the only source of hot water at all taps except the master bathroom shower). It's a bunch of tubing that holds water and is warmed by the sun.

10. Each bedroom, 4 of them, has their own bathrooms.

11. Many of our wall light fixtures are meant to be outside, and most of them are mounted upside down.

12. Rope is strung in the top floor bedroom to hang dry clothes - no driers here - for when the weather isn't nice enough to hang outside.

13. We keep bottled water by our bathroom sink to brush our teeth.

14. We have no tv.

15. We have great internet.


Sunday, January 26, 2014


A lot of the cheese you can get here in grocery stores is highly processed kraft singles-type cheese. So at the weekend market we stock up on the good stuff! Here is the stall we affectionately call "the cheese lady" (who always gives Tegan props for understanding the awesomeness of cheese).

Thursday, January 23, 2014


From ABC trek Jeremiah did last spring break

Sunday, January 19, 2014

There's an app for that

Can't remember your load shedding schedule? Want a 30 minute warning before loadshedding hits? Download the BattiGayo iphone app and have the week's schedule ready to reference and set the alarm to tell you when loadshedding will start and end.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Staying warm inside: Poler Napsack

December-February brings such a chill in the mornings and evenings that houses, with no heating, stay cold all day.  4:30pm hits and I'm always looking around to see what window was left open and realize it's just cold and drafty.  Last year we learned the ropes: we layer, wear stocking hats, put slippers on, boil water for tea and hot water bottles and scour the internet for more warm things we can wear.  Enter Jeremiah, king of finding cool stuff, and the Napsack by Poler.

Basically a sleeping bag:

But come on, we can't spend all our evenings snuggled in a sleeping bag, we need to get some stuff done.  Poler to the rescue with side zippers you can pop your arms out!  Use your computer, read a book, drink your coffee, or in our case, change a diaper and play games with a toddler:

But no one wants to hop around in their sleeping bag to get around; Poler solved this problem as well - you can open the bottom!

The napsack arrived in the mail this week and I've worn it a number of times and love it.  It's sure to get a ton of use to keep me warm inside (not to mention outside)!  Also a bonus that the company is from Portland!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Making sauerkraut

This weekend a friend came over to teach Jeremiah how to make his own sauerkraut since we have a bunch of cabbage growing in our garden.  Of course they had a great pint-sized helper/taste-tester.

The supplies:
A bunch of cabbage
Optional other veggies (carrots)
A bucket - we used a water bottle with the top cut off

The process:
Add salt
Smash more
Cover and let sit for 3 weeks

It's now sitting in our pantry, hope it turns out!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Kathmandu cab experience

"You know Rabi Bhawan? Yeah? How much?"

"500 rupees"

We walk away. "Ok sir, how much you pay?"

And the bargaining begins. I hate bargaining but even I will almost never pay the starting price a cab driver gives me. Phrases like "that's good price," night price," "I lived here," and "it's so close" follow. Walking away really seems to be the key.

Kathmandu's cabs are small (even my knees hit the seat in front of me), white, the inside often looks like the cars been partially stripped, and each backseat comes complete with a rug of sorts - the function of which I am unsure (comfort? - no, they are scratchy and always bunch up; cleanliness? - perhaps some desperate attempt to either prevent more dirt or a way to spiff up the environment a bit). Often the driver has added his own touches to the dash: a statue of a god, some solar-powered tchotchke, burning incense (my least favorite) and one even had grass growing! These cabs are anything but nice. Ironically cab drivers while waiting for customers are often wiping off the dust from their cars.

Added to the lack of comfort in the car itself is the condition of the roads. Bumpy is putting it mildly. Roads are torn up, ridiculous speed bumps everywhere and many roads just aren't paved. I hit my head on the roof and sides of the car regularly.
And the pièce de résistance of the Kathmandu cab experience: the horn. Basically it doesn't stop. It's used to communicate "move out of my way," "I'm coming through," "passing on the left," "passing on the right," and sometimes I think maybe the cab drivers just like the sound of it.

The upside of cabbing it in Kathmandu is when you then get in a car in another country you really appreciate it.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Soup du jour

In Taiwan after I had Tegan everyone kept bringing me soup. Soup with different herbs, proteins, vegetables - each with some quality that was good for new moms. Now in Nepal I also get a daily dose of soup; soup at every meal is the advise. Not that I'm complaining, I love soup and it's so cold right now it's nice to fill up on warm food.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014