Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vacation Time!!!

Yes, it's vacation time for us!!!  We've been here for 13 months now and it's time to visit our families and friends--YEAH!  We've enjoyed our time here so much that we can hardly believe it's been over a year!  We're going to miss everyone here so much and you will all be in our thoughts and prayers every day!

It seems like it was just last week when we first landed in Nepal!

Ramon felt like he was "back home" but everything was new for me.  Now everything is "normal" for both of us and we're already looking forward to our return!  We'll miss the sidewalk shops,

 busy streets,

crowded buses,

interesting trucks,

interesting festivals,

watching the rice grow,

(See how high it is beside the young man walking.)

and the amazing views!

We got to wear coats for the first time in ten years!
(notice the view behind us)

Here are closer looks of the mountains through the zoom lens.

We'll be able to read everything.

We look forward to going swimming, but I had to tell Ramon he wouldn't be able to fit this into his suitcase.

Most of all, however, we'll miss our "peeps!"
My amazing sweethearts at the school are deep in my heart and I already miss them dearly!

Ramon is already looking forward to working with "his team" in the OR when we get back!

We'll be missing and praying for our church friends too.

But...we can't wait to visit with our family and friends!  It's time!
We also can't wait to go here

and eat this!

I'm certain we'll swing by this place too!

We'll keep this blog updated so keep popping in.  Enjoy your week and think of us as we travel to Delhi, London, and finally Baltimore, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and then Paraguay!  Bye!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Monkey Temple

On a hill just west of Kathmandu

is the Swayambhunath Stupa (Buddhist religious monument), or the Monkey Temple, as it's commonly known, because of the many monkeys living there.  It's one of the most ancient of holy shrines in the Kathmandu Valley and a pilgrimage site for both Buddhists and Hindus.  Every morning before dawn, many pilgrims walk up the 365 steps to the stupa to worship at the many shrines and temples.
One day when Ramon was too busy to go to Kathmandu, I was able to visit the stupa with some visitors to the hospital.  What an experience!  I call it a "must see" for anyone visiting Kathmandu. 

We didn't walk up the steps but came via the car park where this view is

and these "greeters" greeted us.
(There are at least seven--enlarge and look closely to see the friends this one is pointing to!)

And what else did we see?  --  Come along and look!

As you can see, at every step there's something new to see.

And what else do you see at every step?

Did you see it?  Here's another look...

That's what I'm talking about!!  Yes, THE VIEW!

It's breathtaking to stand up there and look at

the 360 degree views of Kathmandu Valley.

(Yes, this is where I took the picture on the heading of this blog!)

Here and there are signs letting you know what you're looking at.

There was no sign pointing to Banepa, but someone told me it was over there somewhere behind me.

When I tore my eyes away from the view (which I'm planning to see again with Ramon when the monsoon ends AND YOU CAN SEE THE HIMALAYAS!), I could see prayer flags everywhere.

There are also souvenir stands and shops.

Just about something for everyone!

In one spot, we saw people buying food to eat

and then they kissed this man's (the one with the garland) feet when they were through.

Somewhere in this tree is a monkey.   (Finally we saw one!  I don't know if they were napping, but there weren't as many around that day as "they" say there usually are.)

Here's a closer look.  He wasn't in a good mood and started screeching and even lunged at us.

However, these fellows seemed happy to have people around as they leisurely enjoyed their bath.

As we were leaving, we found this guy casually strolling around the parking lot.  He was in a better mood that his friend in the tree.

Goodbye Monkey Temple!  Hope to see you again soon!