Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I have been slowly going through my photos.  A fraction of them have been posted on Facebook, and you can following the link to see them.  My apologies for taking so long.  I hope to get through all of them shortly.  Thanks for your patience!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Before the quake

Myself, Megan & Caryn (fellow volunteers) @ the volunteer house before heading to Thamel for dinner.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I am way behind on this blog, but I have to bump some previous entries that I'm working on to let everyone know about the earthquake. When it hit I was sitting at Or2K, a restaurant in Thamel that we often go to. I was sitting with Megan, Caryn & Jess, waiting for Travis & Niamh to join us. The room started to sway ever so slightly, and I didn't think too much of it, but then it just didn't stop. It lasted long enough for us to realize what was happening, discuss (very calmly) what we should do, get up and move to a safer location and discuss again if we should maybe move outside. It finally stopped and the room was a buzz with commotion. We found out later that Niamh & Travis had just been entering the restaurant when it happened and ran back outside. The building we were in was on the 3rd story, and had a tin roof. Outside is narrow streets surrounded by relatively tall buildings. I have no idea which would be safer. We did enjoy the rest of the evening, although everything was very surreal. I think we were all thinking about how bad it could have been. We had Internet access where we were and spent a lot of the time checking the news and contacting family to let them know we were ok. There are reports of a few deaths in Kathmandu, at the British embassy where a wall collapsed. I just walked by the building on Friday to get my Indian visa. I think there may have been more damage near the epicenter which I believe was close to the Nepal/India border.

It has been a crazy 2 weeks, lots of highs and lows. I am lucky to be surrounded by such great people. As Celine (a volunteer from France) says. "We are a wee family" And as we experience this new culture, share our ups and downs (from stomach problems to head lice, to "oh my god the kids did the cutest thing today" to understanding how these people can go to the bathroom without using toilet paper???) we get closer. Being together during the earthquake has also strengthened that bond I think. I only have 3 more nights until I leave Nepal. While I am ready to move on and see more of the world, I will be sad to say goodbye to the kids at umbrella and everyone in our "wee family".

Right now I am sitting in the dark in my room typing on my iTouch. It has been raining ever so slightly since we came back from Thamel. The rain just picked up and now it's pouring. I love the sound of the rain. Even though most of my clothes are outside hanging, getting a second rinsing, I am happy that I had a roof to come home to tonight. Had the earthquake been worse, who knows where I would be right now. But chances are I wouldn't be inside out of the rain, safe in my bed.
On the other hand, if the rain doesn't stop for a few hours between now and Wednesday, I may have to travel with wet clothes.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I don't know if this works, but it's an audio recording of a conversation between myself and one of the girls. She was doing my hair at the time, so when we're talking about 'rubbers' we're talking hair elastics. Thought I should clarify that. It's kinda boring, and don't laugh at my broken English. After a few days around the kids it just happens. Sometimes us volunteers talk to each like that too, just out of habit.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


This is the snake that was killed near our house.

3rd cheek

I was just bragging to someone about how I don't use mosquito repellant anymore cuz the bugs aren't so bad now and I hardly react to the bites that I have gotten. Well today I got bitten and reacted. Right on my bum cheek. It's so big it's becoming it's own cheek. Don't worry, I won't post a photo.

Irrational fears?

Ever sat on the toilet and had some totally irrational thought that a 6 foot long snake might bite you in the a$$? Or sat on your rooftop enjoying the sun, maybe doing some washing and thought that you might be attacked by monkeys?
When I was a kid we had a pool in the backyard. It wasn't huge, but it was awesome. I never swam in it much when I was alone. Why not? Well the leaves and odd hair that would gather in a pile at the bottom of the pool would come alive. I would float around watching it, letting my imagination get the better of me, until there was a giant monster waiting to attack me, lurking at the bottom. And then there were the sharks. Now I know it was totally irrational, and I was completely safe, but still, I was young and wasn't totally sure that sharks aren't commonly found in chlorinated swimming pools, and that monsters aren't real.
30 years later, I'm pretty brave j think. But fears that normally would be totally irrational, are rational in Nepal.
Today, a local man killed a snake next door to the volunteer house. Apparently it was six feet long. I don't know much about our plumbing, but I do know it comes from down below, where the snakes are.
I went to the bathroom tonight during a power outage and found myself having one of those irrational "what if there's a snake waiting to bite my a$$ thoughts" and couldn't convince myself that it's something I SHOULDN'T be afraid of, because suddenly it's not so irrational. And with the power out, my flashlight batteries dead, and being out of candles, I couldn't even check.
And the monkey thing? Well the monkeys are everywhere, they're sneaky and have shifty eyes. I haven't heard if any attacks, but I don't trust them.