Saturday, July 23, 2016

What I Do Differently Now

Hi!  Here's a little cuteness to start the post with!

They escaped from their classroom to greet me!
It's wonderful!  The joy on those precious faces lifts me up every day!

Anyway, we are fine and thankful for all our blessings.  However, it's 15 months
post-earthquake, and I still do some things differently than I did pre-earthquake.
This may or may not be interesting to you!  

Anytime I think I will lighten up, we get another aftershock--like today:

and yesterday:

So, I don't know about other people, but I never fully relax.
I still "start" when I hear a noise like a dropped book or something.
I look around and wait to see if it's an aftershock.
Will it stop or keep going...like the earthquakes did?

So, yes, every morning this is me:
(photo credit:  pinterest.com)

Now, I don't think my brain has changed,

 although some people might challenge me on that,

(photo credit:  cliparting.com)

but I do some things differently now.

I don't lounge around in my pajamas and robe anymore, either in the morning or the evening.
I get up and get dressed right away, and don't take my shower and get into my pajamas
until right before I want to go to sleep.
(photo credit:  pinterest.com)

Speaking of showers, we still take the fastest showers we can.  
Of course, we have always had to take fast showers here!  The water can run out at any moment,
so you always have to wash your hair first to make sure you can rinse it!

Then we had the earthquake, and taking a shower during aftershocks is a little shocking, 
so you don't want to fool around!

Of course, this past winter, during the fuel crisis, we didn't want to run out of gas, so...fast showers had to be the norm!  Lucking we had experience. and 
we were blessed that we didn't have to wait in line like so many had to do.

We're still taking fast showers--it gets to be a habit here!
However, when we were on vacation, we took very long showers!
(photo credit:  cliparting.com)

Another thing I do differently, is walk back and forth into the kitchen in the mornings to sip my coffee which I keep on the kitchen counter, until I've drunk enough so that I'm not
afraid that this will happen:
(photo credit:  dreamstime.com)

During a recent aftershock, this happened:

 Luckily potatoes aren't breakable!

Anything else?  Yes.

I keep a set of clothes right near our bed in case we  have to jump up and go outside.
(photo credit:  thelittlehoneybee.com)

Our shoes are near the front door.

By the way, while looking for that picture, I found my dream closet:
(photo credit:  dawn.com)

Anyone else love this?!?!?!

We also keep a backpack by the front door with a water bottle, cookies, and toilet paper!
 We're not this organized, but it's a good idea and something the American Embassy
told us to do when we first got here.
(photo credit:  ebay.com)

Lastly, as soon as dusk starts, I put my Energizer headlamp flashlight around my neck.
(photo credit:  headlampflashlights.com)

When the lights go out, I don't have to fumble for a flashlight, as it's always around my neck!
I love it!

Here's a really interesting article about preparing for natural disasters:

We have both survived other natural disasters, and are certainly thankful to the Lord
for His mercies!  Those stories will have to be in another post!

Have a nice and disaster free day!  Blessings to all!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Few Current Scenes

Well, here it well into July already!  Boy!  Time is flying by!

So...here's hoping everyone had a ...

(photo credit:  pinterest.com)

If we were home, we would have been at my family reunion!  Happy day!
However, I'm happy that I was able to video chat!

I love it!  We didn't even dream of this in the '80s when my parents were in Africa.
Maybe those who did dream of this had relatives living far away!  Anyway--THANKS!
How we would have loved it then like we love it now!
Letters took two weeks, if we were lucky, and phoning in those days was so expensive that
we mostly only phoned when there was bad news.  Yikes!

By the way, letters and packages usually take two weeks to get here too--most of the time!

Anyway, it's now the monsoon season.
video

This was a rather light rain.  It can become torrential!  It was so bad a few weeks ago
that crops were tragically destroyed.
https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/banepa-downpour-destroys-crops-worth-millions/


One of Ramon's patients, a very elderly man, told him that he couldn't remember such a storm
since he was a boy!
I admit that it was a little scary and we prayed!

The past three months have been difficult:
https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/47-killed-floods-landslides-across-nepal-3-months/

Look:
Swollen Bhotekoshi near Barhabise. Photo: Nepal Red Cross Society, Sindhupalchok


Man!  These two pictures are from this article which I give the credit to:
https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/58-rescued-flood-hit-tatopani-bordering-tibet/

Here's the road to the church:

Yep, flats are the way to go!
I'm very happy to say that the cars and motorcycles wait for you to pass so they don't splash you!

This is on the outskirts of town,

and thankfully they're working on it,as there are potholes in the potholes of the potholes!  (Not kidding!)


It's also HOT and HUMID!  Of course, that's to be expected.
Everyone stays in the shade as much as possible,

unless they have to work outside--and they work hard, all day long, day after day,
week after week, month after month, year after year!

I was happy to find these ladies who were able to work while sitting down--at least for awhile!
They were very happy for me to take their picture!

Now we haven't heard that fuel is in low supply again, but we have seen very long lines at the
fuel stations again, like we did during the crisis.  This is only a small part of a very long line and we have recently seen very long lines.  Let's hope everyone just accidentally had to get fuel at the same time!


Sometimes I wonder why I took a certain picture--like this one.  Perhaps I was
wondering if Deep Stationary was selling nice and thick notebooks! 

Look!  Here's a truck driver who is a fan of the Titanic movie! 
Do you think Leonardo, Kate, and James know they have a big fan in Kathmandu?



It looks nice!
I have seen Che, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, AC/DC, and others many times on the trucks
and buses, and have put some pictures up before.  This was the first time I've seen scenes from a movie!

Well, I'll end for now with two pics from school.  The other day I found some of the third graders
relaxing by their door after recess while waiting for their teacher to show.  I told them I liked
how calm, cool, and collected they were!

Then I found the fourth graders at study.  They are as sweet and nice as they look!


More later!  I hope I'll have pictures from Ramon.  He's been so busy and hasn't even
taken any pictures since we've been back.

Have a nice day and thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

We made it...29,619 miles!

Hello!

OK, it's about time that I get back to what's happening in the Himalayas.
However, we haven't been in the Himalayas most of this time.

Soon after I last posted, I had been working on a new post called, 
"We made it...through the winter!" I am now updating this post to, "We made it...29,619 miles!"  More about that in a minute.
Now, making it through the winter was exciting for all of us in Nepal,
after going through the winter without heat because of the fuel crisis.

You can only imagine how happy we all our to have our nice spring weather--
especially those who have been living, and still are, in temporary housing since the earthquake.
For example, here you can see that this family is living only in their bottom floor and using an outdoor makeshift "room" as an extension.

Here are some others without a building and somehow they are making due.


Imagine living this way for a year--and through a very cold winter!  I'm looking at it and can't imagine it.  The monsoon rains are starting, and this is not going to be fun.

Anyway, so there we were, enjoying the beginnings of spring, when everything changed.

In. a. minute.

Ramon's mom suffered a very massive stroke.  One week and a day later we were in Paraguay.
It takes three days to travel there, so four days after the stroke we were on our way, clocking in 14.661 miles.  We really appreciated the fact that we were given permission to run.  Here is a picture of our beautiful view from the airplane as we pulled up over the clouds of Kathmandu!

Providentially, a visiting team from the U.S. was coming the next week to do uterine prolapse surgeries and they brought an anesthesiologist!  Then, an anesthesiologist from Kathmandu agreed to come twice a week, and a retired anesthesiologist from Austria (who comes when we're on vacation) dropped everything to come back to help out!  This meant that there were no worries with the anesthesia services.  What a blessing!

OK, so our time in Paraguay was filled with taking care of all the concerns involved with my mother-in-law, who is now basically paralyzed.  We visited many homes and chose one which was highly recommended that we are very satisfied with.  More importantly, she is satisfied with it.  Of course, her situation is very dire and very uncomfortable and we are all sad.  She can't talk or eat or swallow any more or move very much at all.  She has to be fed through a nose tube.  Ramon put a pen in her hand, thinking she could write messages, but she couldn't hold it.  She could hold our hands though, and as Ramon held her hand this day, he remembered holding her hand as a little boy when she walked him to school!

We appreciate all the prayers for her comfort.  We're very thankful for all the family and friends in Paraguay who are taking the time to visit her, even though they are very busy.  Thanks!  We enjoyed reconnecting and visiting with all of you!

Ramon was asked to give a couple of speeches,

a couple of sermons,

and talked briefly on the radio that he usually talks on via Skype.

While we were there, it was fall.  We packed for fall weather.  However, little did we realize that an Indian Summer heat wave would be in full swing!  I mean FULL SWING!  It was close to 100 F. every day and too hot to wear a watch!  The humidity was worse than Nepal's humidity during the monsoon.  Now, the monsoon's humidity has been strong enough to bring back to life a plant I had that had died!  I'm serious--that really happened!  Anyway, my hair frizzed like Monica's on Friends in the episode where they go to the Caribbean!  (It really was almost like this!)

(photo credit:  youtube.com)

I put it up, but the stragglers frizzed big time.  Oh well.  It was what it was!

Somehow, that difficult month came to an end, and we left Mama in the capable hands of
her caretakers and the Lord.  Two weeks of R and R with my family in Maryland, traveling 6,012 miles to get there, was just what the doctor ordered!  We rested and visited and shopped and
ate fun food!

However, the absolute best and most incredible part of the trip to Maryland was discovering the joys of being a great-aunt and great-uncle!  It's wonderful!  I loved watching my niece being a mother and my sister being a grandmother and my mother being a great-grandmother!  Precious!

Those two weeks flew by, and what seemed like a blink later, had us putting in 8,946 miles back to Nepal!  So that's how we made it through 29,619 miles, and nine flights, since the last post!  We were so thankful to land, since turbulence had us circling the airport for about 40 minutes.  Ugh!

More pictures of our trip coming soon!

OK, so everything here is the same.  We're back to work, and calling it our "vacation" since our vacation wasn't a real vacation!  :)

Aftershocks are continuing--yesterday's was about #460 above four on the Richter Scale:  https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/light-aftershock-ml-4-4-jolts-sindhupalchok/
No, you don't get used to them.

Landslides continue:  https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/landslide-obstructs-vehicular-movement-along-ki-singh-highway/ 

Very difficult.  Look how many there have been (and there have been a few more since this article was written on May 20):  https://thehimalayantimes.com/environment/gorkha-quake-caused-4312-landslides-in-nepal-report/

Leopards continue to "visit" the city...Yikes!!!  https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/lack-prey-pushing-leopards-city/

We appreciate all the prayers and know that we are praying too!

Have a nice day!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Celebrity Sightings! (Part 2)

Hi!

Are you having a nice winter?  I'm happy to report that winter here is starting to ease up
and it's actually quite warm outside--if the sun is shining!  It's still cold inside, but I'm only wearing three sweaters today instead of five!  During these days, you put on your coat/heavy sweaters
 to go inside and take them off to go outside--really!

The fuel crisis is also starting to ease up!  What a huge blessing.  It will take some time for things to get back to normal, but at least there's now a start.
https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/fuel-distribution-to-be-regular-from-today/

Load shedding might actually start to ease up soon too!
https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/nepal-to-import-80mw-electricity-from-tomorrow/

We're thankful for the blessings we have, since many people have super struggled this winter.
https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/nepal-winter-storm-hits-quake-survivors-in-sindhupalchok-highlands/

OK, so now that you know we are fine, and just busy as usual,
 I will continue on to Celebrity Sightings! (Part 2):

In the last post, I mentioned many celebrities who have come to Nepal that we have missed seeing!  By the law of averages, we should have spotted at least one!  Oh well!

However, we have seen a few celebrities in our travels!
When we have traveled to Paraguay we have been lucky a few times!

This is the autograph of Marco de Brix.
Those from Paraguay will know his name!  He was a famous and very beloved singer.
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_de_Brix
(If that doesn't come through in English, just hit your translate button!)
Sadly, just a few months after we saw him and got that autograph, he passed away!
(The above story tells about it.)
We were in the beautiful shopping mall Mariscal Lopez


when Ramon nudged me.  "Look over there."  I looked.  "What?" I said.
"That's Marco de Brix.  He's a very famous singer!"  
(photo credit:  mp3tunes.tk)

"Really?!"  "Of course!  I'm not making this up!"  
"Do you think we can go and ask for his autograph?"
I had just purchased a daily calendar and so had something for him to sign!
"Let's try."  We went over.
"Excuse me, Mr. de Brix.  I'm a big fan and we wondered if we could have your autograph."
"Of course!"
He was very gracious and we actually talked to him for about fifteen minutes!
Then he hugged us, right there in the busy mall, and we prayed with him.

We mourned his passing with all of Paraguay just a few months later.
Here is his Facebook page, with lots of pics:

On that same trip, in the airport, Ramon pointed out a young man.
"That's Lidio Benitez, a soccer player."

(photo credit:  eluniversal.com.co)

At the time, he was playing in Venezuela, but now is back in Paraguay.
How fun if we see him in Mariscal Lopez next time we're there!

Anyway, Ramon had a nice conversation with him and we got his autograph too!

Another time we were at Mariscal Lopez we saw another soccer player.
However, we didn't ask him for his autograph because he was with his wife and son.
It was Paulo da Silva.  He's quite famous.

(photo credit:  dailymail.co.uk.)

It was so nice to see him walking around the mall holding the hand of his son!

Once at an airport, while waiting to board a plane, 
Ramon pointed out a passenger in the first class line.
"That's Aldo Bobadilla.  He's a goal keeper."  


(photo credit:  terra.com)

As we passed him on our way to coach, (yes, we sit with the masses in coach!), we shook his hand.
Ramon talked to him for a couple of minutes.  He was very gracious.
The plane wasn't full and a lot of people stopped to say hello to him.
He has since retired from soccer.

Now, just for fun:
The first team he ever played professionally with is Cerro Porteno.
My mother-in-law is a huge fan of one of its rival teams, Club Olimpia.
Yes, she loves to watch her football team!
When Ramon wants to tease her, he sings a song about Cerro Porteno that he made up.
He sings in an old man's voice and says silly things about how wonderful Cerro Proteno is.
Of course she gets mad and tells him, "Basta!  Basta!"  This is "Stop it!  Enough!"

Anyway, thinking about him starting out at Cerro Porteno made me think of that!

Another time when we flew to Paraguay, Ramon told me that almost the whole
section of first class was filled with politicians.  We didn't talk to them!

So, yes, there is going to be a Part 3 to this post because I did meet and
spend a little bit of time with another famous person, but you'll have to wait to find out who!


(photo credit:  savagechickens.com)

No, it wasn't Stephen Baldwin!  I just thought this was cute!

Have a nice day, take care, and God bless!
Thanks to all of you who are praying for Nepal!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Celebrity Sightings! (Part 1)

Hi.

OK, by the law of averages, sometime soon we should run into a celebrity here in Nepal!

(Each picture here is from the newspaper article linked to above it.)

Maybe it will be Prince Harry!
Prince Harry.

We already missed:  

...the Danish crown prince, but we were on vacation then!
Crown Prince of Denmark Frederik is being welcomed by locals of Pa Chowk in Lamjung on Saturday, September 19, 2015. Photo: Ramji Rana

However, Benedict Cumberbatch was here right after we came back!
Embedded image permalink
This picture from the article is from Prayush Khadka, Twitter @technicalyright.

He was shooting a Dr. Strange movie. We would have been in Kathmandu that day
if there wasn't a fuel crisis!  Now we have to limit our "Town Days." 

We have seen a Nepali movie being made at the spot in the photo some time ago, but of course I can't find the pics!  I know we saw Nepali celebrities, but we don't know who they were!
There was a traffic jam so I was able to get some nice photos.
Well, maybe I'll run across them sometime.

Anyway, this link shows Benedict in places where we often walk.  I usually don't pay attention to the people walking by, unless they are really noticeable--and some are (!),
but now I'm going to pay attention!
This picture, from this above article, 
Doctor Strange

was taken very close to here:

Of course, I have pictures of that exact spot, but I'll never find them!

This Ace Holidays post has a nice article with pics of celebs who have been here,
some of whom have been here since we've been here:
http://www.ace-holidays.com/hollywood-celebrities-who-visited-nepal/

Susan Sarandon came after the earthquake:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3095193/Susan-Sarandon-68-volunteers-earthquake-hit-Nepal-following-painful-split-boyfriend-five-years.html
Aftermath: The star saw the damage of the earthquakes as she visited with a woman who lost her home 

How fun to have run into one of them while walking around!
Would we have asked for their autographs?  Hmmm...would you?
Stay tuned for Part 2, when I'll tell you more...!

Have you seen any celebrities in person?

Please continue to pray for Nepal and all the troubles here.  Thanks.
We're praying for all of you!

At the hospital, Ramon has worked with ADRA Japan's Cleft Palate Repair Team

and Hong Kong Adventist Hospital's ENT Team.

We thank them for coming and helping those in need.

Have a nice day!