Saturday, December 27, 2014

Our Christmas Day 2014

Here's hoping you had a very lovely Christmas with your loved ones this year!

We did!  

For once, Ramon didn't have to work!  Yeah!

We took his operating room staff members out to eat in Dhulikhel, the next town over,
where there are lovely views of the Himalayas on a nice day.

Did we have a nice day?  You decide!

Look at that blue sky!  
These buildings are part of the Himalayan Horizon Hotel where we went.

As we pulled into the parking lot, we could hear the people in this building
you see, which is a Christian church, singing, 
"Happy Birthday to You, ... Happy Birthday Dear Jesus!"
It was nice!

When you walk to the patio, this is what you see.

Here's a closer look at the view:

...and even closer!

This mountain below, which is to the left of the above photo, is the one we drove up 
and around for three miles to get to Dhulikhel from Banepa, where we live.
If it wasn't there, we could see the mountains from Banepa!

You can see that it was a nice place to eat Christmas lunch---

 We enjoyed a nice Chinese Christmas buffet.

What an enjoyable way to spend Christmas--good friends,

good food, good conversation, 

and a good view of the Himalayas!
(Those are Nepali flags.)

(...and no cooking or washing up!)  

Bye until next time and have a nice day!

If these views looked familiar to you, it's because you've seen it here before!
Yes, because it's so close, we do come here now and then
when we get a chance.

Do you remember this?
It's when my mom was here two years ago...another nice Christmas!

OK, bye for real!  Enjoy your last days of 2014!
Blessings to all for 2015!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happenings at the hospital...


This post is not Part 2 of our vacation, as you can see,
but is going to tell you what's been happening at the hospital.

Anyway, we hope you're having a lovely day!  We are, and yes, although it's been strangely "warmish" for late fall, it's been nice to see the lovely blue skies, off and on,

that allow us to finally, after a long monsoon season, see this:

I never get tired of that view!  It's great to see the majesty of the Himalayas
again after many months of this:

It seems to be back and forth--
yesterday was freakishly warm and the sky was beautiful!

Today it's COLD and here is what the sky looks like:

Well, as I tightly hold onto my hot water bottle, I'll tell you what Ramon has been up to!

He's been very busy since we've been back with the medical teams that have come.
He went weeks without a day off, working day and night.
Of course, he loves every minute since that's why we're here.

(I was very happy that a new missionary family has come and I was able to go to
Kathmandu on our town days with the new wife as Ramon couldn't take the time off.)

Because there's such a shortage of medical personnel here in Nepal, the teams are essential!
Surgical teams come periodically from different parts of the world and
each team focuses on a different problem they can solve.

Two OB/GYN teams have been here since we've been back,
and Ramon has been happily working very, very long hours with them
and with a plastic surgery team as well.

Holland's Women for Women team members,
(you may have to right click to translate)
perform mainly uterine prolapse surgeries. 

Perhaps you remember seeing photos like this:

which I snapped right in our back yard recently.
Many women return to hard physical labor like this soon after the hard physical labor of childbirth!
Uterine prolapse can be the result and affects hundreds of thousands of Nepalese women.
You can only imagine the relief they feel when they get their lives back!

This time, the Dutch team had Nepalese OB/GYN residents in attendance.
You can imagine how useful and necessary this is!

(Do you see Ramon?)

Colorado's Global Centura Initiatives OB/GYN team also came.

They come twice a year for the much needed uterine prolapse surgeries.
Here's Ramon with some of their team and some of his own operating room staff members.

A few extra people came and spent some time at school
telling stories and doing crafts.  You can see that fun was had by all!

Next came ADRA Japan's plastic surgery cleft palate repair team.
Many of them were "returnees" whom Ramon was glad to see again!

These men are two of the anesthesiologists--Ramon's "partners in crime!"

We're very thankful that these professionals come during their vacation time to help others!

To close for now, take a look at this cute pic I was able to capture!
During a recent church service,
one of our Beginners Sabbath School Class members came to consult a point with Ramon!

The next Sabbath she just couldn't stay awake during the sermon!
So precious!

Have a nice day--and if you're in a winter zone, stay warm!
Bye from Nepal for now!

Monday, November 10, 2014

We're BA-ACK! (R & R 2014 Part 1)

Hi!  Long time, no post!  Why?  Well, we've been on vacation!  

It was finally time to get in some R and R with our families and friends!  We love our work in Nepal, and we're devoted fans of Skype, but now and then you've got to reconnect personally with loved ones.  I'm happy to report that this vacation was the first one in I don't even remember when that our luggage arrived at each stop with us!  We almost didn't know what to do as we wheeled past the other folks waiting for their luggage!

I'm also happy to report that the airport in Doha now has a hotel (and a rather nice one!) in the transit area!  Wow, it's so nice and convenient to shower and sleep while on a long layover and not have to go through customs.  You just walk over and check in.  Here's how the subtitles looked on the TV.

Well, after a stopover in Miami, with shopping included, of course,
where we stopped at one of our favorite stores, the Bass Pro Shop,

we headed on down to Paraguay, where it was spring.

One fun thing we did was to go to a meeting of the Senior Boy Scouts.
(...and by this I mean Senior Citizens!  (smile) ...well mostly seniors anyway!)
They have quite a nice group for former scouts and their families and they meet regularly.
We were lucky that we were able to "hit" a meeting!

One interesting thing to note about Ramon's Boy Scout days is that when he was about 20, he got to be a part of a staff cultural trade program with the U.S. Scouts.  Guess where, in the whole United States, he was sent to?  Yes, Ohio, and to the exact Boy Scout camp that my father went to when he was a boy!  How cool is that?

Anyway, as usual, we also "hit" the malls in Asuncion, including this one,
which is one of our favorites.

Here's the bakery at the closest grocery store to our house.
Yes, their bread is delicious!

Also as usual, Ramon had the sermon at a couple of churches.

This is the church he attended during childhood.  Some people still call him "Ramoncito!"  It has recently been remodeled and looks beautiful!

At the other church he spoke at (and gave a presentation about Nepal), he was given a pin of appreciation (I was too!).

He also gave a talk and presentation about Nepal to the nursing students at the nursing school associated with Sanatorio Adventista de Asuncion (Adventist Hospital of Asuncion).

Back in the day, waaaay back when he was young (smile), there were no Adventist schools in Paraguay, so he's very happy to see the kids able to study there in their hometown.

Of course, one of the fun things to do on vacation is eating out!  We always go to this restaurant while we are in Asuncion--Bolsi.

As the sign says, they "have the best food south of Plymouth Rock!"

Yes, the food really is good and they have a great selection.  We like to go there because it has a special memory for Ramon as it's the first restaurant he remembers eating at!  You can sit at the bar

or go into the dining room, which I don't have a picture of at my fingertips.  (This means we ate at the bar this time, and I don't feel like looking through old pictures for the dining room pics!)

Another place we always go to is Bellini's Pasta Bar in downtown Asuncion.  (Again, don't want to search for old pics...)  It's a great place where you can pick your own pasta and your own sauce and toppings--plus they have great salads--yeah!  However, my favorite thing there (which I have mentioned before in this blog) is this:
Yes, it's one of their brownies!  They are the best I've ever eaten outside of the United States!
I recommend them if  you're ever in Asuncion!

One day we stopped for a picture here.
Why?  Well, this is where Ramon used to get his hair cut when he was a boy.
He has happy memories of listening to the men joking and telling stories!
Hmmm, it's for sale now.  What could we do with it???

All too soon, after wonderful visits with family and friends, 
 it was time to say, "Bye Paraguay!  See you later!"
and head to the good ol' U.S. of A.

Hmmm...where was this?  Anyone know?  I can't remember!

Well, stay tuned for Part 2 for our USA adventures.  
This picture of the car trunk tells most of the story!

Have a nice day, take care, and God bless!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Travel Story

Everyone who travels has travel stories.  Even if you just take a walk, you may encounter something interesting!  For us, as we are now preparing for our upcoming vacation, we are remembering some of our travel stores and I will take the time to tell you some of them--if you're interested.  If not, it's OK!  Travel stories are like home movies.  Some people like them and some people don't!  (Smile)

 (photo credit:  our CBS DVD series!--Yes, that's our TV,
and it's the episode when Lucy falls asleep during Ricky's movies!)

Anyway, here is one of our travel stories!  When we used to live on the island of Curacao,
    (Yes, that's me swimming on the right--not a bad way to spend your day off!), as now actually, we had to go to Maryland and Ohio to visit my family ("Ohio?" people would ask Ramon.  "Why are you going to Ohio for your vacation?"  Smile!  It's actually a fun place, but I'll have to reserve another post for it!) and to Paraguay to visit Ramon's family. 

On one trip to visit Paraguay, our itinerary was Curacao to Bogota, Columbia (where we stayed the night for a mini-vacation) and on to Asuncion.  Then on our way home to Curacao, we flew into Buenos Aires for a couple of days, before flying on to Bogota and then to Curacao. 

OK, so we had a nice flight to Bogota.  All of us disembarked, went through customs, and then to pick up our luggage, following the sign indicating which baggage carousel we should wait at.  We waited and waited.  Finally a young man came up to all of us from the plane.  "Are you the folks from the plane from Curacao?"  "Yes," we all replied.  "Well, there's no luggage.  You'll all have to come back tomorrow at this time to pick up your luggage."  Uproar!  "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?  No luggage?  NO LUGGAGE?  What do you mean?"  "Yes, there's no luggage.  Please come back tomorrow."  "Explain to us how there could be NO LUGGAGE AT ALL."  "Well, remember when you left Curacao and it looked like it was going to rain?  The crew decided not to load the plane because they didn't want to get wet."  (Yes, this is a true story!)  "WHAT?!?!?!  Is this some kind of joke?"  "No.  Please come back tomorrow.  If you have a connection before this time tomorrow, go to that desk over there and make arrangements for your luggage to follow you on the next flight."  And he was gone!  (Yes, this is a true story!)

Now, that is not the end of the story!  We went to the desk indicated, and Ramon gave the girl our itineray so she could write down the information about transferring our luggage, since we actually WERE leaving the next day before the flight from Curacao would come in.  We were also using a different airline to fly into Asuncion.  She looked at our itinerary and said, "Oh, we don't fly to Asuncion."  She looked over Ramon's shoulder and said, "Next!"

"Excuse me!  You're not done with us.  What did you just say?"  "Oh, we don't fly to Asuncion.  Let me help the next person."  "Excuse me.  You're going to help us.  It's not our fault that YOUR ground crew in Curacao was afraid they'd get wet!  Now you will find a way to get our luggage to Asuncion!"  "Yes, Sir.  I'll find a way."

 Well, she found a way for our luggage to get to Asuncion, but it did take ten, yes TEN, days to arrive!  Ramon had to threaten that he'd hire a lawyer.  We found out the problem was that the first airline would not take the luggage to the second one and the second one would not go and pick it up.  We never found out exactly which airline caved, but at least we got it!  (By the way, our travel insurance covered our expenses.  It does pay to have it.)

Here is the view of Bogota from the window of our room at the Marriott, where we stayed that night.  It was lovely!  Bogota is a very nice city!

Well, now to the flight back home to Curacao after a couple of days of a lovely vacation in Buenos Aires.  By the way, we really recommend going there if you ever have a chance!  Anyway, we got to the airport and had something happen to us that reminded us of a Seinfeld episode!  We went early, as is our habit, but still couldn't avoid long lines.
 (photo credit:  on the photo)

Well, FINALLY it was our turn!  When we showed our itinerary, the girl behind the counter studied it, and typed away on her computer.  She was very silent.  Then she said, "There is a problem with your ticket."  Just the words you DON'T want to hear...and just like Seinfeld!
(photo credit:

   "The problem is Sir, that you are in first class, 
  (photo credit:

but your wife is in coach." 
  (photo credit:

 Just the very words I DIDN'T want to hear!  (Smile)  She asked for our receipt, which thankfully I always carry--just in case.  This was the "just in case!"  Apparently she thought we had bought the tickets that way hoping to pull a "fast one" and pretend ignorance and then get a free upgrade for me!  She saw the receipt and said, "Excuse me, I have to go and talk to my manager."  Then she went to the back and we could see her talking to her manager and both of them waving their hands and sometimes pointing to us!  It was just like this:  (Smile)

 (photo credit:  Youtube)

Yes, it was EXACTLY like that!  It was so funny. 
 When she came back, she was smiling.  "My manager said that both of you can fly first class!"

 (photo credit:

Now we didn't get ice cream, but we did get great service, comfy seats, excellent food, etc., etc., etc.!  I keep waiting for this to happen again, but so far, no luck!  (Smile)  Well, I can always hope! 

To finish I'll tell about one more thing.  As we started the descent into Bogota, we got to see great views of the Colombian jungle.  It's quite beautiful.  Then, in the middle of NOWHERE, I saw a clearing with some houses and nothing but jungle all around it as far as I could see.  "Look!" I said to Ramon.  "That looks like one of those drug factory farms you see in the movies.  What if a raid is preparing to happen right this very moment!"  "Don't be silly," he said.  "It's just a village.  You've seen too many movies."

Later, while sitting in our gate area, Ramon was watching CNN and I was reading and not paying attention to the TV since my Spanish isn't the best.  Ramon said to me, "Look!"  I looked up and could see images of a drug raid on one of those drug farms in the middle of the jungle!  It looked just like those raids look in the movies, but it was on CNN!  Ramon said, "They're saying that it just happened about an hour ago or so, and was southeast of Bogota, right about where we were flying about an hour ago!  Maybe we did just about see a drug raid!  You never know!"  (Smile)

Now we're packing for our next trip, and looking forward to home and family--and praying for an uneventful trip!  We've had a busy year of work, but are thankful for the opportunities we've had to serve.

Whatever your travel plans are, even if the plans are to stay home, enjoy and have fun!  Have a nice day, take care and until next time, God bless!