Saturday, January 18, 2014

When We're Out & About--Part 1

Some of you have wondered what we see when we're out and about, so that's what this post is going to show you.  On Wednesdays, we have "Town Day," which is when we go shopping in Kathmandu and today you get to go along for the ride!  (Of course, sometimes Ramon doesn't get to go because he's too busy, but sometimes he can--yeah!)

We ride in the hospital's van with a driver,
who I'm very thankful for, as nothing could persuade me to drive here!
Of course, now that I've been here for 3 1/2 years, it doesn't seem so hectic to me anymore!
(When I first went to Paraguay, I was afraid of the traffic.
Now when I'm there, it seems very mild to me!)

This is a two-way street!

...and so is this.

Here we have four rows of vehicles in two lanes--plus motorcycles here and there...

...and everywhere!

Recently as we left the hospital, we passed this young lady eating her breakfast right outside the gate.  (Our apartment is right behind the big round tree.)

We pass through Banepa, which is sometimes crowded,

and sometimes not so crowded.

One can enjoy the colorful shops along the way,

and then we head west to Kathmandu.  It's a pretty ride, filled with these scenes.

Here is a terraced hill we pass as it looks on a cloudy day.

On a sunny day, (this is the same place as above)
you can get a nice peek at the mighty and beautiful Himalayas!

Let's have a closer look!
I have to tell you that we never get tired of seeing this!

If you lived here, you'd have this view every sunny day!
Often we see people working outside in the warm sunshine and good sunlight...

...and if it's a holiday, as it was on this day, the children will be happily playing.

However, some "folks" just like to sit around and enjoy the views

while watching others work!

Notice this fellow has bare legs and flip flops (no socks) in our cold winter air.

This gentleman with another heavy load has trousers on, but again, no socks.

We always see people washing up outside at springs or wells,

(Sorry this one is blurry.)

and people worshiping, which you can see that this lady is about to do.

At almost any place on any road, you can see people tending their shops.

Everywhere you go you see people walking!  
Here are some adorable school children.  Yes, they have learned nicely how to walk on a highway!

This lady was walking so fast (no socks either) up hill no less, that she is blurred!

These ladies are going home with their firewood.

Eventually, 17 miles and about an hour later, we roll into Kathmandu.

Stay tuned for Part 2, which will show you what we see and do in Kathmandu!
Take care and God bless!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Back "Home" (Part 2--Fun, Family, & Friends--Shopping & Eating too!)

Hello again--and Happy New Year!  We pray that everyone reading this is having a nice start to the year 2014, or a nice end to the year 2070 if you are reading this from Nepal!

Well, if I don't finish our vacation posts soon, I might as well just wait until our 2014 vacation posts!  So, I'll get right to it now. 

Previously, for many years including when my parents were missionaries to Swaziland, Africa, missionary vacations were called furloughs.  Now they call them annual leaves (at least for our denomination, the Seventh-day Adventist church).  Whatever you call it, it's a lovely time for rest, relaxation...,

 I was so happy to see my super busy husband finally have time to rest and relax.
Here he is relaxing on my sister's family room's window seat.

My mom and the dogs were relaxing nearby,

while deer beautifully roamed in the yard.
Yes, the peacefulness was just what the doctor ordered!

 ...and to continue...renewal, recuperation, and reconnection with family and friends (Skype is wonderful, know it's nice to visit in person--especially when there are new babies to see!), but that's not all it is.

Ramon preaches and we give mission stories.

 Ramon also takes continuing education classes and besides keeping up with new and current trends in anesthesia, meeting, visiting, and talking with fellow anesthesiologists is a real blessing to him.

This time his classes were here:

Can you tell where this is?
(Looks a little like the hills surrounding Banepa!)
If not, here is a hint...

...and one more hint!

It's Gatlinburg, Tennessee--a fun place!
(Did you guess correctly?!)
My mom and aunt tagged along and kept me company when Ramon was in class.
Needless to say, we had a great time!

In one restaurant we ate at, we found this sign by the restrooms.
Does this mean that there was an area with an outhouse?!  :)
Luckily we found the modern area and not the old fashioned area!  :)

Being in your own culture for just a little while is nice and relaxing too... :), as the title of this post says, shopping and eating food you can't normally eat is a fun bonus!  :)

Here is one of our favorite shopping malls in Paraguay 

and here is the food court that we love to eat at in the mall called Villa Morra that is just across the street from Mariscal Lopez above.

We love the salad bar on the right.  (Who knows why I didn't get a better picture of it!)

One of the grocery stores (maybe Real--anyone reading this in Paraguay know?)
has an aisle with American food.
Needless to say we go there several times each trip to Paraguay.
I'm like a kid in a candy store!  "Oh look Ramon!  Look!  We haven't had this for ages!"  :)

 When we got "home" to America and were happily grocery shopping (grocery shopping is so much more fun after you've been gone for a year!), I noticed some new flavors of Cheez-Its!  "Look!  New flavors of Cheez-Its!"  I said, "Mom!  Why didn't you tell me there were new flavors of Cheez-Its?!"  She smiled and said, "When you ask me, 'What's new?' I never think to mention that there are now new flavors of Cheez-Its!"  :)  (What's you favorite flavor?  I think I still like the original best!)

When we were in Miami, we went to the Dolphin Mall.  It's a lovely mall and we had such a great time!
  We spent a lot of time in this cool store.

(Cute benches out front!)

Ramon and I were looking at different things, so I left him browsing and took off on my own browse.

I found this aquarium...right there in the store.

They also sell boats, which were out in the back.
I continued wandering for some time and then set out to find for my husband.
No small task in such a big store.
A clerk came up to me and said, "May I help you find something?"
"Well, I'm looking for my husband."
"Oh!  Well my dear, they get lost in here all the time!  Good luck!"

It was fun to find this yogurt shop in the mall
as it's the same exact one, same company, same inside and outside, etc.
that we go to in the Villa Morra Shopping Center after we eat at that salad bar I told you about!

We didn't eat any though at that time as we were full from the salad bar in the Dolphin Mall!
As you may have noticed, we like to hit the salad bars when we're on vacation!

We loved seeing these lovely indoor play areas in almost every mall we went to in the States.

Oh how I wanted to ship these wonderful soft play areas to Nepal! 
If only it were possible!  I daydreamed that our little ones were the happily squealing children running and sliding and having such fun.  Hmmm, maybe I'll write to some charities.  You never know until you ask!

In the parking lot at one shopping plaza in Cleveland, Ohio, where Ramon and my cousin were like kids in a candy store at Lowe's, I had a flashback to the 1970s:
I literally thought I'd never see that again when the 70s ended!
"Son, I know you're trying to make your mom angry, but couldn't you think of something else?"
Well, at least he's not drugging (I hope!)!

Also in Cleveland, we saw this on the "Celebrity Wall" filled with autographed photos at
Slyman's Restaurant:
Yes, I know it's blurry and I'm sorry!  I whipped my camera out and quickly took the picture before someone could tell me, "Sorry.  No pictures."
Yes, it's the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld!  He wrote, "No corned beef for you!"
It's cute!

Slyman's is a favorite restaurant of one of my cousins.  It's famous for having the best corned beef sandwiches around!  It's only open for breakfast and lunch (closes at 2:30) and they make enough money during that time that they don't have to stay open for supper!  We ordered ahead and didn't have to wait in line.  Those people you see aren't going in, they're standing in line.  Often, my cousin told us, the line is quite long and goes around the corner.  That's why he always orders ahead for take-out.
Anyway, I don't eat beef, so I can't testify as to its tastiness, but everyone who ate it was very pleased!  
So, if you like corned beef, and you find yourself in Cleveland wanting some for lunch, head on down to Slyman's!  You won't be disappointed!

Of course, the absolute best part of furlough, annual leave, vacation or whatever you want to call it, is visiting with our families and friends.  It's priceless!  However, when we are renewed and relaxed, we're happy to head back here to Nepal.  Who wouldn't be happy to be spending time with these cuties?!?!
 They're always this happy!

Ramon is happy to be here:
This is the ADRA Japan team who came soon as we arrived back here to our Nepal home.

Yes, you can see why we are thankful to the Lord for His blessings!
May you be blessed too this year!
See you soon (I'll try to get to my next post soon!)
Take care!