Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas at Church, the Hospital, and School

Hi!  Happy Holidays again!  

For this post, I'm taking the easy road and going to let you see what the "Himalayan Happenings" are at our church, the hospital and the school by letting you read the hospital's Christmas 2013 blog post!  Check it out here.  Enjoy and stay tuned for more "Happenings" as soon as I have time!  :)

By the way, it's the year 2070 here in Nepal, and our New Year for 2071 will not happen until April!
If you missed it, you can read the post about our first Nepali new year, which was for 2068, here.

Bye, take care, and God bless!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year filled with blessings!  

Are you doing anything special?

This picture was taken in Ohio on our mutual birthday in October at a cousin's house while we were on our vacation!  :)

Bye for now and have a nice day!
Hopefully I'll get to the next post soon!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Back "Home" (Part 1--Flights & Luggage)

Hi from Nepal!  Yes, we are now back "home" from "home!"  We returned from our vacation so we have been to all three of our homes recently:  Nepal to Paraguay to the USA and back to Nepal.  It was nice to refresh ourselves and visit our families and friends, but it's also nice to be back in the swing of things here in Nepal.  In fact, minutes after we got back here to Banepa, Ramon was called to a surgery (not an exaggeration)!  (But, that's the way he likes it!)

During this vacation, we took nine flights to get to our three destinations--and our luggage didn't arrive with us to any of them!  Yes, three times!  Our first destination was Asuncion, Paraguay (scenes from the plane on that trip are in the previous post.) and we flew this route:  Etihad Airlines from Kathmandu to Abu Dhabi to Chicago (where we switched to American Airlines) to Miami to Asuncion.  Whew!  It was a good trip, but that 15 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Chicago is a real endurance test!

We enjoy flying on Etihad because their flights go in and out of Abu Dhabi in the evenings and mornings so you can sleep at night!  There is a hotel right in the transit area so we just get off the plane, go a few steps, check in and relax in our room instead of trying to find a quiet area to "sleep" in the transit area's chairs.  This is a real blessing (especially now that we are in our older years!!!).  Last year we flew on Qatar, which is also a nice airline, but we got into Doha (both ways) around 1:00 a.m. and left around 4:00 a.m. or some such schedule.  Needless to say, being able to sleep all night in the transit hotel this time sure was a treat!

This picture is in the hallway of the transit area,

and this is where the restaurants and shops are.  It's nice.

When we left Chicago, we had to sit in the plane for about an hour because of some delay, and this made us somewhat nervous because we only had about an hour and a half to catch the flight to Asuncion, which only goes three times a week, so if we missed it we would have to wait a couple of days for the next flight.  When we finally got up, the pilot told us that the winds were with us and we should be able to make up much of the lost time.  Yeah!  However, when we neared Miami, he came on again and told us that Miami was closed because of a storm and we would have to go to Ft. Lauderdale, fuel up, and wait out the storm.  Great (said sarcastically)!  Now we would miss our flight, but that meant we'd get a mini vacation in Miami waiting for the next flight a few days later!

Well, about the time we got to Ft. Lauderdale, he announced that Miami was open again and we'd make our way there!  Yeah!  (We did already have a mini vacation in Miami scheduled for the return trip, pictures of that next post) so we were happy to head straight down to Paraguay.)  When we landed, we rushed (yes, we became those people who rushed--but we didn't push anyone!) off the plane!  A girl we had met at the gate in Chicago who also was going to Asuncion rushed with us.  They were announcing over the loud speakers that it was the last call to board the flight to Asuncion!  We then became those people who madly run through the airport!  (There are never golf carts when you need them!)

When we sat in our seats and breathed a sigh of relief, I looked around and said, "Where is my sweater?"  That sinking feeling settled in with the realization that in the rush to get off of the other plane my sweater had been left behind.  Of course, it was one of my favorite sweaters!  Oh well, it was just a sweater, right?  At least it wasn't my purse!  I still miss that sweater, but I did find a nice replacement that I'm actually wearing at this moment!

When we got to Asuncion, of course our luggage wasn't there--the connection was too tight for that.  Well, the girl filling out the reports for lost luggage told us that yes, our luggage was still in Miami and we could pick it up in two days when the next flight came in.  Nice to know they knew where it was.  Yes, it arrived right on schedule two days later and my mother-in-law was happy for her gifts!

Later, when we got to Baltimore, our luggage wasn't there either, and again we were told they knew where our luggage was and it would come in two days (again).  Another couple was there in the office to make their claim and we heard them being told, "Sorry, we don't have a clue where your luggage is!"  We smiled and told them, "Well, we hope they find your luggage."  We never found out how long they had to wait.

When we went to BWI (Baltimore Washington International Airport) to pick it up two days later (happy to know that my family could now have their gifts) 
we saw a group of sailors lined up outside.

"Oh, someone famous must be arriving!"

Well, we went inside and saw these guys.  

"What's happening?" I asked.  "Any minute now a group of veterans are arriving to go sight-seeing in D.C.  They're from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam."  

"Cool!  I'm glad our luggage was late and we had to come back today!  Look, here they come!"

This one raised his hand, and full of pride said, "The marines are here!"
It was wonderful!

It was a happy and emotional moment!
It reminded me of that saying, "Everyone has a story," 
as I was sure that we were looking at some very interesting stories!

Fast forward to our trip back to Nepal.  We flew from BWI to JFK (New York City) to Abu Dhabi (where we spent the night again so we were able to sleep well after only a 12 hour flight this time) to Kathmandu.  

Have you heard of the Dubai World Islands?
Here is what they look like from the sky.

When we arrived in Kathmandu we again found ourselves the last ones at the baggage carousel--with no luggage!  According to the law of averages, we should have received our luggage at LEAST once, but it was not to be!  We went to the desk to file our report.  Imagine our surprise when the clerk told us, "Sorry, we don't have a clue where your luggage is!"  Now we were even with the couple from BWI!  (Perhaps I was too smug earlier?)

Well, to make a long story short, we received our luggage two days later (at least each time it was a two day delay, and not the 10 day delay we had some years ago.  One day I'll tell that story!)

Next post I'll show some pictures of our vacation.

Anyway, here we are, back to our third home and back to the swing of life.
We're thankful to the Lord for all of His blessings during our vacation 
and for the wonderful visits with our dear families and friends.

One nice thing about aging is that it's true when they say, "As you age, time goes by more quickly."  So, before we know it, we'll be on our next vacation.  
Hmmm...maybe the law of averages will be on our side then!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Scenes from Planes

Hello from Paraguay, where we are on the first leg of our vacation, before going to the States next week.  To get here from Nepal, it "only" took 30 1/2 hours of flying over three days!  On the longest flight of the trip, 15 hours from Ahu Dhabi to Chicago, I took a walk (if you can call it a walk, but you know what I mean!) around the plane aisles and was enchanted to see this out of the window as I came back to our seats:

"Where are we?" I asked.  Ramon started to turn his screen to the map.  Then I saw from someone's screen in front of us that we were flying over Greenland!  "It's Greenland!" I exclaimed!  The people around us started looking.  We all were ooing and ahhing because--who knew Greenland was so cool?!?!

I certainly had no idea it was this awesome!

Man!  What beauty!

Anyway, I decided to devote this blog post to scenes from the various places we have flown over.  Earlier in this trip, we got these photos of Abu Dhabi as we flew in from Kathmandu.  

We happened to catch the sunrise over Bolivia as we got closer to Paraguay,

and these beautiful clouds over the northern part of Paraguay called The Chaco.

Finally we started our descent into Asuncion.

Yes, we were on American and yes, we had good service!  We were so happy that they are now flying into Paraguay (which they had not done for about ten years) because it's easier on us not to have multiple airlines.  I'm sure that's why they decided to go back!  (smile)
One day I'll tell some of our experiences!

Last year we had clearer skies as we flew in so we could see some of the outlying countryside before we approached Asuncion.

A little before that picture, I was able to catch this wonderful shot.  Majestic
--and not bad if I say so myself!

Here is a repeat from last year, however I think it's so interesting!
This is the desert just north of Khartoum, Sudan!
Are those irrigation circles--or what?  Hmmm.

Here's a picture of England taken as we neared London,

and the countryside outside of Zurich.

As for this one, I don't remember where it is!  Anyone know?
It's possible that it's Lake Michigan (is it that clean?!) because we were flying into Chicago that trip.

Here's one that's a repeat from the trip I took to Pokhara with my mother--
but I just had to repeat it because I amaze myself with my photography skills!
(It's impossible to take a bad picture in Nepal!)

I'm going to end with the very first picture I took of Nepal as we broke through the clouds on our first trip--it's not the best picture, but it was an awesome moment for me!

Well, I hope you enjoyed these "Scenes from Planes" on our trips.
Have a nice day and see you later!

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Today I'm going to redirect you to our hospital's blog, where the story of Ujjwol is.  His story reminds us of how our angels are watching over us and we're so thankful that he is recovering nicely from his ordeal, bless his heart.  Your prayers help!  Have a nice day, take care, and God bless!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Pretty Pokhara! (Part 2)

Hi!  I believe I'll finally finish this post on Pokhara, one of the most popular tourist destinations of Nepal--and you can see why it's so popular--because it's so pretty!

If you missed Part 1, it's two posts ago (April 9).  If you ever get a chance to come to Nepal, visiting Pokhara should be on your "Must Do" list!  The best time to go, when the sky is a crisp clear blue and the Annapurna Himalayas are in full view, is during the winter.  Yes, it's cold, but so what?  Just put on your coat!

OK, so Pretty Pokhara (Part 1) ended with Mom and I (Ramon couldn't leave the hospital,
he's there in the back,

so he and I will have to go some other time.  Thankfully I was able to take Mom when she was here.) at the World Peace Pagoda and then it was back down the stairs to the car we had hired.

We stopped at this nice little shop for some soda and chips--a welcome refreshment!  

Mom was very happy!
(Look at that pristine blue sky!)

Next we ambled through town 
(the houses are not tall so everyone can see the mountains,
and many are made of this attractive looking stone)

(sometimes you can even see some friendly neighbors out for a stroll)

to the Tibetan Refugee Village.  We had wanted to see a carpet factory, but because of the festival going on, it was closed.  Maybe next time, when I go with Ramon.  
A few souvenir shops were open though.  That's Mom trying to decide what to buy.

The man inside this shop told me that he walked to Nepal with his parents and siblings when he was a boy.  I would say he was probably mid-fifties.

These boys were happy for a day off from school. 

Next we stopped here, another tourist destination.

It wasn't expensive, as you can see!  (That's about a quarter!)

Here it is.
I guess it's bigger and a little more awesome during the monsoon--and very loud!
Anyway, it was nice to see.

This stream goes underground and "they" say that it was named after a Swiss tourist named David who fell into this hole with his girlfried and they both drowned.  You can see there are rails now.

Next we went to the The International Mountain Museum, a relatively new museum which explores the mountains, the people, the wildlife, and the mountaineers of Nepal.  We really enjoyed it.  As you walk from the parking lot, which is a nice little walk,

you pass this monument

which has this sign on the other side.

As you come into the clearing at the end of the walk, you can "trek" up this "mountain" if you are so inclined.  Mom and I passed and just took a picture!

After taking that picture, we turned around and this is what we saw!

(Again, proof I was there!)
Magnificent?  Don't the mountains look like a painting?!  Wow!

One more turn and you're at the museum.

If you've ever been to a museum with my mom, you know it can be a whole day thing!  She loves museums and likes to read every single sign--every.single.sign!  Because of this, my sister and I were raised to visit and enjoy museums!  This musuem was no exception.  We really enjoyed it, but I must say that I was glad that this time she didn't read every single sign.  One could get a general idea of what was what by picking and choosing your signs.  Here are some of the highlights.


All in all, a nice place!

After we left the museum, we enjoyed the sights on the way back into town,

This young lady was not as impressed by Fishtail Mountain there in the distance as we were.

We got dropped off by our taxi on the main drag, called, "Lakeside" for obvious reasons

 where we saw the usual:  shops

and restaurants.

As you can see, it's a nice place to walk

and take pictures.

We realized we were hungry, and thought this place looked like it might just fit the bill.
I guess the long entrance way intrigued us.

We kept on going

until we found a nice table right near the lake.  Now we were truly Lakeside!

Here is the view we had right in front of our table

...and just to the right of that 

...and just a tad more to the right...and UP

...yes, we could see the Annapurna Range in full view!
Of course, this is why people, including us, go there!  

You don't even have to be a "real" photographer to take a nice picture!
Here are some of my "snapping away at random while eating" photos.

(By the way, thank you for my nice camera Ramon!)
Oh look!  Do you see something just above the trees on the right?
What are those dots in the sky?

Let's zoom in!

Yes, it's paragliders!  How fun!  
No, we didn't try it!
However, it was nice to watch them while we were eating.

After our meal, we were ready to walk back to the hotel.
Of course, we had to walk by the beautiful lake.
We didn't take a canoe ride--maybe next time!

At one point we could see the World Peace Pagoda--stunning from this view as well.
(Again...see the April 9 post for our visit there if you missed it.)

Between the hotels, the mountains were in full view!

Back at our hotel, we watched the sunset from our room.

Goodnight Pokhara!

The next day it was Goodbye Pokhara!
Thanks for your pleasant hospitality!
What a blessing that I was able to take my mother to see your majesty!
Now we must head home.

Hello Himalayas!

We were lucky enough to sit on the "right" side of the plane again, which, by the way, was actually the left side as we were flying east.

I don't want to be a "show-off," but how cool are these pictures?

Soon we approached the Kathmandu Valley.

When I fly over these villages, I wonder about the people living in these villages far from everywhere and I pray for them.

Hello Kathmandu

and your traffic!

Along the road home to Banepa, we were able to continue viewing the Himalayas. 

However, right now, this time of year, there's no such luck because of the monsoon.
Here's a picture I took the other day on that same road.

Here we are back in Banepa

where I was happy to see Ramon again and tell him about our trip.

Then it was back to the real world!
Work (where Mom was a REAL help)

and you can see Mom very happy to find some candy she recognizes!

Soon after this, she had to leave Nepal and get back to her real world.
We are thankful to the Lord that she's in good health and was able to come to Nepal for the second time.  Not sure if she'll come again, so also thankful we could go to Pokhara.

Well, hope you enjoyed our visit there!
Have a nice day, take care, and God bless!