Nepal: Three Months and Counting

We’re officially going. It’s official. Really.

I don’t get many people asking, perhaps out of embarrassment or perhaps because no one else to whom I’ve spoken grew up in the Fairfax County “history stopped at the Korean war/conflict” School System. In any case, Nepal happens to be in between China and India. You know, over there.

My concept of Nepal is straight out of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Marian is running that bar (“bistaarai, bistaarai”) that the Nazi’s set on fire. It’s about 60 years out of date, as Nepal opened it’s borders to the world in 1951 or so. East meets west in a sort of “Sherpas and cell phones” mélange. You can get a pretty good idea of what goes on in Nepal by looking at www.nepalnews.com. There is a live traffic cam for Dubar Square, which is extremely entertaining at times.

We’re renting Hearthwood for a few years while we depart to Nepal and points abroad for two to three tours (or so we think) of about two years each. We plan on coming back “state-side” when Lucas is 11ish.

We’ll be arriving in early August with dog, cat, and kids in tow.

Just how far ahead is Nepal in terms of time? 10 hours and 45 minutes. Also about 66 years, as Nepal doesn’t use the gregorian calendar. Oh, and New Year is in April.

Nepal uses 220 volt power, as does much of the world. We’ll power many of our appliances with one of two transformers that the State Department provides us.

Speaking of provisions, we’ll live in State Department housing, about a 15 minute walk from the embassy. We’ve got a four-bedroom home with a decent driveway, and we’re buying the subaru wagon that the present tenants own.

Tiny in comparison to neighboring China and India, Nepal is about the size and shape of Tennessee.

Nepal is going through some exciting political turmoil at the moment; it’s constitution expires at the end of this month.

Over 160 regional dialects are spoken (something I think I read in Fodor’s?), but the official language is Nepali, the spoken language similar to Hindi (as French might be to Italian) with the exact same alphabet (devanagri based on Sanskrit)

Nepal is home to some incredible wildlife, including monkeys, the black rhino and the Snow Leopard, and also Tigers! It’s terrain includes the peak of Mount Everest and the himalayas (himalaya is Nepali for “snow covered place”), foothills and low-land jungles (the terai). There are not many roads outside of major cities, and distance between locations is often measured in days or meals rather than distance.

I’ll continue to work as long as its feasible, writing proposals and doing remote consulting for All Covered. Jean will be working as a Foreign Service Officer in the Embassy.

The people of Nepal are quite friendly and have an easy-going attitude about life. “Ke garne?” (what can you do?) is something Nepalis and expats oft repeat.

Changes

image1290228738.jpgJean started work yesterday. Crazy. I dropped Merrill at preschool this morning, then walked down here to the Clifton Café to work for the duration. Autumn is coming.

Lake Cumberland 2009: Day Two

image1360354050.jpgTwo breakfasts today; the first here, early and simple, the second at the neighbors’ cabin, waffles and bacon. Peaches at both.
The lake, swimming, kids splashing and having fun. Lunch sandwiches, a ride on Jim’s boat. Tubing. This has to be the moat fun Lucas has had during one summer.
Pizza for dinner, peach cobbler. There are still at least 30-40 peaches left…and some fruit flies.
Crickets are out again tonight, and a full moon.

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