Our life here is different than it was in Melbourne, but we still do everyday things. Again, I’m trying to give an impression of every day life, so you guys can metaphorically visit us here.
Yesterday I had coffee with my husband at the local cafe, but we used it to chase down deep fried paneer, vegetable curry (tarkaari) and spicy chicken and roti. We went on Luke’s motorbike, and the locals always are very interested to see foreigners on a motorbike. They also don’t trust us to be able to drive safely.
My kids went on a school excursion. They went to the local green grocer and discovered where all the fruit and vegetables had travelled from. The garlic came from China. Other fruit and vegetables came from Bhutwal, Tansen farms and Pokhara. Nothing came all the way from Kathmandu.
Yesterday, I had lunch with my kids. We had daal bhaat (rice and daal) with tarkaari (again). The kids like it less than I do, so they end up just having rice with soy sauce – a balanced diet. Weekends, they have more typical brunch food – toasted sandwiches and bacon and eggs.
Last night my middle child invited himself along on a boys night out with Luke and his friends. When asked what he likes, he told them all about the Zoos around the world that he has visited. He likes Zoos.
Today I went to church (it is Saturday) at the upper church in Tansen. I walked the kilometre or so to church along dirt roads in the sun – “Namaste!” to little kids along the way. I smiled at friends from work, and tried my best to understand the sermon. When I failed, I reverted to reading my bible. Praying is fun at Nepali church – everyone prays out loud at the same time. So you can hear different requests and thanks from every side.
This afternoon, I have been relaxing with the kids, reading books and doing craft. My youngest decided to make an aquarium out of paper fish, with lashings of self-flagellation when his creatures don’t match up to his expectations. I have been helping middle child waving on a cardboard loom. He’s also reading a book about spiders on his kindle which involves a lot of “Wow! Mum! Did you know this!!?” I have been knitting a woollen vest (a Milo) for youngest as we are heading slowly toward winter, and bought few winter clothes with us. We originally would have left for Australia last month.
Each night I have been reading The Wizard of Oz to the kids before bed. They are captivated. It makes me feel all warm and snug inside, as my Dad used to read the series to us when we were kids. I picked the book up when we were in Malaysia and I’m so glad I did. I read a lot to the kids here, as I am almost always home at bedtime. Some books I like and they don’t. But the Wizard of Oz has got them all excited.
Six months ago we got caught up in a whirlwind and landed in Nepal. Since then, we have lived through a few earthquakes and a monsoon, and a rental renovation. We live without a car, without socks, and with patchy electricity. We walk everywhere and we live no more than two kilometres away from most things. We have dirty feet, and our friends speak with many different accents. But at the moment we are home.