Rainy day

on Thursday, April 26, 2012
What a lazy day.  We left for the airport to drop my parents off this morning at 5:15am and even though we usually rise before the sun, that is still way too early for me.  We came back, ate breakfast, slept another hour or so, and then I spent more than a few hours sitting on my computer, mostly on Pinterest.  I wanted to go to the mall to see the Hunger Games today, but- tragedy of all tragedies- they stopped playing it.  It was the perfect day for being shut-in anyway, and we watched a few episodes of 24 (watching season 1 right now) while it rained buckets outside.  It rarely rains during the day here lately - it mostly starts in the middle of the night which annoyingly requires one of us to crawl out of bed to shut the windows and doors.  We had done laundry this morning so this is what our living room currently looks like:

the spoils

My parents came to visit for 8 days.  They left this morning.  I'll write more about what we did later, but first things first.  My mom regularly sends us care packages in the mail, but having a suitcase load of goodies is so much better.  Let me just say that the evening they arrived was a thrilling experience.  Things kept coming and coming!

the booty
In the mix, at our request:

Chicken and vegetable bouillion cubes
Quinoa flakes
Regular quinoa
Dried cherries
Vanilla extract
Ziplock bags
Coffee for Reuben
Coffee for me (since I only drink the chocolate flavored kind :)
Calcium chews
Protein powder
An extra sheet set (they needed something to sleep on!)

In the mix, the things that only my mother would think of bringing:

Cadbury eggs (happy easter!)
Macadamia nut pancake mix
Ezekiel 4:9 cereal
Fritos cheese dip
Vienna sausages (because my mom can't resist)

I don't know where to start!  I think that the last 6 foods could make some deliciously horrifying sort of meal (sounds like a normal day's food in the Treece home!)  We could eat it on the WA-themed tablecloth she also brought that is made of fabric printed with space needles, ferries, flying fish, coffee, and evergreen trees.  What a fantastic evening this will be!

Nepal Part 2

on Friday, April 13, 2012

We had another six days in Nepal after the seminar ended. We wanted to get out of the city so we went to Pokhara. It was an arduous 7 hour bus ride (longer on the way back because protesters blocked the roads for about an hour on two separate occasions - that's the people of Nepal's way of getting the government's attention....it doesn't seem to be working though!) but worth it, to be in a more relaxing place, right on Lake Phewa.
Thank you for the welcome...we're glad to be here too.
Reuben was happy because they had real coffee and I drank pots and pots of milk tea.

Notice I am not drinking milk tea anymore.  I think I overdosed the first 2 days.

The food was delicious, too.  We had been eating rice, rice, and oh, let's see, more rice in Kathmandu so we took the opportunity to eat some ethnic food that we can't get in Penang.  We ate numerous hummus platters and greek salads.  Yum!
Look!  Real feta cheese!
This is the most un-enchilada-like enchilada I have ever had.  Quite tragic.

We actually spent a great deal of our time sitting in cafes.  Fine by me!  I was engrossed in my John Steinbeck novel.  We did manage to sneak in a few other activities:

This hike was the extent of our 'trekking' in Nepal

The World Peace Pagoda

I hired a boatsman to take me out on the lake
Back in Kathmandu, we did plenty of shopping.  This excited Reuben even more than myself, because it was mostly for outdoor gear.

In Thamel, Kathmandu

I felt it

My new windbreaker

Reuben's shopping paradise

I didn't know WalMart was in the trekking business

Nepal Part I

Reuben and I were very excited to see Mt. Everest from the airplane as we touched down in Kathmandu.

What we didn't know was that once we descended below the clouds, we wouldn't see another mountain (or blue sky) for the next 2 weeks. Part of it was the season, part of it was the pollution, and part of it was the dust. Oh, the dust!

See this picture? This is Reuben and our friend Bijay riding on a motorbike with facemasks. Everyone in Kathmandu wears them. Otherwise you could either suffocate or choke in the dust. (Note: when I took this picture I was on the back of a motorbike as well. Hooray for overcoming my fear of 1) riding a motorbike 2) riding a motorbike without hanging on for dear life and 3) riding a motorbike without a helmet (althoughI still am afraid of the latter)

Reuben's water seminar started a few days after we arrived. This is the YWAM base about 30 minutes outside Kathmandu, where the seminar was held and where we stayed.

They learned how to build a water tank, 2 kinds of fuel-efficient stoves, a ram pump, slow sand filters, and probably a couple of other things I can't remember.

I served as official photographer. At least when I wasn't lying in a fetal position.

I'm pretty sure in this picture I was thinking "quick, take the picture, I need to run to the bathroom". I got sick. I got a stomach bug the first day we moved onto the base, and I was stricken almost the whole time (minus a decent day or two) until the day after we left. This was my first experience witht his. When I travel, I do everything my mom tells me NOT to do. I brush my teeth with the tap water. I even drink it sometimes. I eat the questionable sort of vegetables that should be soaked in iodine water first. I eat street food. And until now, I had never gotten sick. Signs of aging, I think.

I lied when I said we never saw the mountains again. They did make an appearance one afternoon, the day after the seminar ended. And it's a good thing they did, because we hired a taxi to drive us 2 hours each way up to Nagarkot, which is a tourist destination known exclusively for its view of the mountains. It would have been a shame to go all that way and back, and spend the night there, and not see them.

To be continued!


on Thursday, April 12, 2012
Yep...we're back from Nepal. We came back late Friday night. Something about this trip hit me hard and we've been in recovery mode since then, doing things like NOT eating rice (thank goodness), scrubbing the dirt off our bodies (dust was so bad in Kathmandu!), and generally trying to detox from several bouts of stomach bugs/bad water/maybe this is how my stomach reacts to eating rice all day every day.

Penang feels like Paradise to me now, though the humidity hit me like a brick when we came back, adding to my sluggishness.

Things I have been doing since our return:

Salads. Eating lots of salads. And smoothies. Not rice.

Soaking/scrubbing shoes. Did I mention how bad the dust was? The rain in our final 2 days turned it to mud, making sure the dust was encrusted in them.

Briefing myself on American Idol. I missed 2 whole weeks of it!

Using shampoo. To keep with my new hair routine of baking soda/ACV, I brought plenty of the stuff with me to Nepal. Starting from Day one no amount of baking soda/scalp massaging/rinse-repeat would get the grease out of my hair. Three days later I broke down and bought a bottle of Pantene Pro V. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate worked like a charm. I'll try to transition out of it again....eventually.

I'm now on the upswing again, but the first couple of days were terrible. I came down with a cough-turned-congestion in the last days there which lingered on too long. I'm pretty sure I looked like death on Easter, of all Sundays.

I haven't even looked at our pictures of the trip. I haven't even taken them off the camera. Have I unpacked the camera?

I'm sure I'll get to it eventually. And I'll post some pictures if I think about it. Reuben will write his inspiring newsletter about how gloriously the water seminar went and how excited everyone is to build a water tank and a ram pump and how we should do it again soon. I will write, in the meantime, how grateful I am to be HOME.