Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What's your address?

Basically there are no addresses in Kathmandu, nor really any street names aside from the main roads.  There are names for all the different areas of town - Sanepa, Kupondole, Jawalakhel, etc. - and there are main intersections called chowks - Jhamsikhelchowk for example - and there is one main road that loops around - Ring Road.  From there people use a series of landmarks, shops, temples and various descriptors to give directions.  Google maps is kind of effective, though sometimes what looks like a road actually requires an all terrain vehicle and a sense of adventure.
So we have our phones out when someone is on the way to our house to get them the last stretch, we stand on the road to flag them down, we find cab drivers that know exactly where a restaurant is rather than just the neighborhood, we go places with a friend that knows the way, we learn the landmarks, we get lost, and we take the scenic route.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Today Kathmandu celebrated Holi. We got child care (not a holiday for kids!) and headed out with a group of friends to Patan Durbar Square. Last year Jeremiah was trekking during Holi so I was excited for him to experience it. We went out equipped with water guns, dye and our phone and money in a plastic bag.
(Most of these photos are from our friend Emily - I wasn't brave enough to bring the camera out around all that water!)
There seem to be two techniques people employ - the nice "happy holi" smear of color or the attack with water balloons, buckets and smushing the color around your face. Both are fun until those water balloons get thrown too hard or you get the dye in your mouth (gross!). We had a lot of fun with the little kids in the area.

At home we did a kid's version with Tegan and some friends. A few long showers later we've gotten most of the dye off but our skin has a bit of a red tinge to it. Hopefully tomorrow's morning shower gets the last of it!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Losar Cham

It feels like the beginning of the year is spent celebrating a lot of "new years" (the western calendar, Chinese calendar, Tibetan and Nepali New Year is coming up). March 1st marked the beginning of the Tibetan New Year. Part of the celebration includes masked dancing called Losar Cham.

Lo means year
sar is for sar-pa : means new
cham : means sacred dances.

The dances are performed on the second last day of the Tibetan calendar to purify and eliminate all negative feelings, thoughts and actions of the finishing year.

Jeremiah went to this Losar Cham at Benchen Monastary.