Thursday, May 31, 2007

We're formulating our plan today, for our remaining time here in Nepal (through June 14 when our visa expires), and then more time in India (where our multiple-entry visa expires August 26). We only have, then, about 2 weeks more in Nepal - crazy how fast our 2 months have disappeared! We haven't even been to Kathmandu yet, so it is a good thing that we will return, albeit during the monsoon, for at least one more month. We've heard rumors that a second entry into Nepal, during the same calendar year, is a freebie so long as you spent over 15 days in the country the first time. If not its the same $30 we'd have to pay either way to be in Nepal longer, so we figure we might as well go to India sooner, when the monsoon isn't at its worst - which means it is still unbearably hot, humid, and occasionally very rainy.
This also means that our short term plans are adjusting, since we think it is somewhat redundant to go to Kathmandu twice, this first time for only just a few days, so instead we will, after a few more days in Pokhara (about a week), most likely head to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, in the far south-central area of Nepal. The town is full of temples and monasteries, and is supposed to be a very relaxing place - good preparation for our return to India! Plus we've heard about a voluntary (no time agreement) silent meditation program there, which sounds quite intriguing. Many such programs are a compulsory 10 days, which sounds a bit daunting, and perhaps more quiet than is necessary :-)
Today will be spent doing a microscopic amount of stereo-typical Nepali tourist goods shopping, as well as booking a rafting trip, either one that starts tomorrow if we can luck out, otherwise one beginning on June 4/5, so that we can do the 2/3 day Royal Trek beforehand. Either way is fine, just have to see which way the wind blows us...
Probably have steak again for dinner tonight then, the Pokhara steak phenomenon is a little hilarious - Calcuttan cows are imported to be served to Westerners in the Himalayan mountains - but the beef is quite tasty, affordable, and cooked quite well. We've had several steak and eggs for breakfast (yes, Liz now likes scrambled eggs, at least to some extent - breakfast in the Muth household has instantly improved exponentially!) for $2.50, plus all variety of steak dinners, with the maximum cost being $4. We've discovered different places have different quality cuts of meat, so depending on what you want you can just select which type of restaurant to go to. Just like every "tourist-town," Pokhara has cookie-cutter (or identi-kit) restaurants, that have very similar menus of global cuisine, similar prices - though always with irregularities/oddities, and the same subcontinental-Perkins feel. As in, all the food is pretty good, but it costs a bit more than it really should, but the atmosphere is comforting and familiar. Except here they all serve beer and bottles of spirits (up to 180 ml), too, while I don't think Perkins has included liquor licenses in its business plan...
These restaurants feature Nepali, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Continental, Thai, and American food, all from the same basic set of ingredients, often with inadequate spicing. We are on a constant quest for genuinely spicy food, which although we ask for it at virtually every meal, the amount of return is unfortunately quite low. Most of the food is still delicious though, and compared to American/Western pricing, everything is definitely very cheap and good value (example: face-filling enchilada for under $2, big pot of tea for 75 cents).
Speaking of such restaurants, that's where we are now headed, since it's 2 pm and we're starving!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Today's much a repeat of yesterday, Anderson attempting to lay low and let his eye relax, while Liz suffers through the boredom nobly alongside him. We've been in touch with a very helpful optician from Colorado, Dr. Simonson, so it seems that the recommended course of action for Anderson's eye is sound. Now it just needs to work, which it seems to be doing, as his left eye vision has improved since yesterday. Fun, fun. Anyways, to backtrack in time a bit, here are some more details of our trekking on the Ghorapani - Ghandruk loop, albeit on a northerly-altered route such that we skipped Ghandruk entirely, opting instead to relax in Junidanda's hot springs. Talk about a spoiler!

Day 1: Pokhara -> Naya Pul (2 hours by local bus - 80 Rs/person); Naya Pul -> Ulleri (4.5 hours walking, including a final stretch up 3200 stone steps; also where A's eye problems began)
Day 2: Ulleri -> Ghorapani (4.5 hours walking, mostly up hill, though not too steeply; highest point of elevation for a lodge, at 2800 meters)
Day 3: Ghorapani (stayed for the day, went to Poon Hill, 3200 meters, for sunrise, also went on a day hike for 1.5 hours in the surrounding woods, before the rain arrived; being at altitude, and walking most of the way there, ended up being rather tiring, plus our bodies needed a day to adjust to the rigorous new method of transportation)
Day 4: Ghorapani -> Tadopani (5 hours walking, first hour was ridiculously leech-laden, often times many on each step, but saw some good views along the way; less traveled section of trails, which was nice, and after 1.5 hour of steady uphill, was mostly easy hiking)
Day 5: Tadopani -> Junidanda (6+ hours walking, along some tough trails, went a back route inadvertantly up through the hills and had to do a bit of death-defying trail-climbing; went down to hot springs at the end of our day, 15 minutes down, 20 minutes back up - 2 pools of differently-heated water, set right next to a roaring river, were perfect to relax in after an exhaustingly long day of trekking through seemingly endless hills!)
Day 6: Junidanda -> Sayuli Bazaar (4 hours of primarily level walking, lot of downhills, though legs weary from the day before, as well as a late morning 2nd visit to the hot springs!)
Day 7: Sayuli Bazaar -> Naya Pul (1.5 hours of very easy downhill walking, the initial section to Bantanthi was supposed to take 2 hours, took us just over 1 hour, which fittingly demonstrated the lack of accuracy, as well as the variety, in the ever-evolving series of sign-posted time estimates all along the various paths); Naya Pul -> Pokhara (bit under 2 hours by local bus, 70 Rs/person... why do prices in the subcontinent never seem to quite match up? :-)

Day 5 was without a doubt the most challenging, though maybe being one-eyed to start the day in Tadopani has made me a bit biased... though having to do a Spiderman-impression to climb up a hill later - while looking down at a many-metered fall, plus personally wiping it in a corn field while descending through Chongju (?), all added up to more challenges than leeches or altitude, our biggest foes previously!
We saw many spectacular views along the way, of which corresponding photos will eventually be posted on our Kodak site, not only of the magnificently snow-capped Annapurna mountain range (though to be honest our best, and most complete, view was actually from Sarangkot on our one-night trek there), but of many cascading waterfalls, low-volume but still-rushing rivers, plus deep, lush valleys, deciduous forests full of moss-covered trees and leech-filled paths, and every night (except Tadopani where a local dog refused to stop barking throughout the night) we slept quiet comfortably in "tea lodges," primarily eating daal bhat for dinner (4 out of 6 nights, toward the end of the trek, nearer civilization, pricing was such that all-you-can-eat lentils and rice wasn't exactly the best deal, nor the over-stuffing we desired).

(Specific lodge recommendations for the similarly adventurous will be posted here eventually, but then this text will probably be replaced :-)

That's about all for now, find out our short-term future (back to India tomorrow, or in Nepal until our visa expires on June 14) in the morning...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

All is well, except that Anderson's eye infection is still being problematic. He has gone to the Himalaya Eye Hospital the past two mornings, with some improvement within the last 24 hours. Initially we thought that he had a scratch on his lens, however it has now been determined that both eyes have a viral infection, and the left eye also has an epicenter of infection, in the corner of the cornea. Yesterday it was identified as an unknown "substance," but today, after a decrease in swelling, it has been determined that a foreign substance is not present, thankfully, but rather there is just an intense spot of infection. The problem lies in that Anderson's left eye vision has not improved as significantly as the doctor had hoped, so now we must wait another 48 hours, while continuing to administer 4x daily drops in both eyes, as well as a twice-an-hour antiobiotic drop in the left eye. The Himalaya Eye Hospital, and its doctors have been very helpful, a more thorough post on that experience, along with more trekking details (promise!) will appear soon. In the meantime, we, as in mostly Anderson with Liz suffering silently alongside, will be laying low for the next 48 hours, continuing with the medicinal regiment, waiting for a followup on Wednesday morning (Nepali time). At that point decision-time will come, either the eye will have returned to normal, or if the infection still exists we will most likely have to head back to India, probably to Delhi, for better quality optical treatment. We were planning on returning to India eventually anyway, so this may end up altering our time schedule, but obviously being a permanent cyclops isn't quite as hip as the "Odyssey" might make it out to be...
More exciting posts to come, hopefully happier eyes as well :-)

Friday, May 25, 2007

We have made it back from the mountains, and are currently relaxing in Pokhara. Our trek was quite fulfilling, tiring both physically and mentally (at times), we definitely lost our "rice bellies" and saw some stunning scenery! While our mountain views were often limited by clouds/haze, we still saw some snow capped peaks, as well as impressively deep valleys, and we took a (heavy) load off at some hot springs outside of Jinudanda on our 5th day. We ended up trekking for 7 days, though today was the last and rather short, only 1.5 hours down the mountain, but after several lengthy days we weren't going to complain about an easy day. Anderson (the typist) has a rather annoying eye scratch, so he's currently doing a pirate-impersonation of sorts, which means most of the details will have to wait until hopefully tomorrow, but we are happy to be back in civilization, though the mountains were far from uncivilized. We spent every night in a nice lodge (except one that was rather sub par), primarily eating daal bhaat, but with hot showers, and very comfortable beds. Lodging was primarily 50 Rs, under $1, and dinner was around 180 Rs, under $3. Expensive on the food end, but when you're up around 3000 meters, one doesn't have much room to complain! We'll post our full route with our next post, but we basically did the Ghorepani to Ghandruk loop, except that we avoided Ghandruk and went further north in order to hit up those aforementioned hot springs.
More to come soon, though photos will have to wait until we are in Kathmandu (around 10 days from now) where the internet is 5-10 times cheaper...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tonight will actually be our last night in Pokhara for just about a week, we'll be trekking in the Annapurna mountain range, from Naya Pul To Ghorapani and Poon Hill, then over to Ghandruk before returning to Pokhara via Phedi. We may change our exact path along the way, but it is essentially the first part of the Annapurna Base Camp trek, turned into a loop to include Poon Hill, a well known viewpoint. Our friends Iain & Claire arrived yesterday from Kathmandu, and we are all excited to start some more dedicated trekking.
We actually ended up not doing the Royal Trek, we were doubly postponed by diarrhea and then rain, but plan on doing it (since we already bought the map :-) after we get back from this next trek. Instead we went on two day treks, one for only about 2 hours in the nearby hillsides, and then the next day we urban trekked it over to Devi's Falls, some nearby waterfalls of the bottomless pit variety. The water level is rather low, being pre-monsoon, but mist still rose up from the depths in several locations. The falls are supposedly named after a Swiss tourist who died (David's Falls ~ Devi's Falls) and it was easy to see why, as the earth simply cuts away at the edge, long ago eroded by water.
Tonight we went on walk down to Damside, to go the Annapurna Conservation office and get our 2000 Rs. park passes... so much for walking being free. We also went to the weekly street festival, called the Good Friday Food Festival, which was pretty lively, and with very few Western tourists. Music was playing from typically amazing stereo systems, there were carnival games like ring toss and blindfolded pottery-breaking (a la "pin the tale on the donkey"), all with mostly alcohol prizes. Meat was also everywhere, we had a whole tandoori chicken with nan bread, plus some buffalo momos. Very tasty, particularly with a cold Nepali Ice beer. Total bill for 4 of us: around $10. Water buffalo meat is available at most Pokhara restaurants, and is very tasty (and inexpensive), like beef just chewier, with a less pronounced flavor. They also have chicken, pork, and beef - definitely a dramatic improvement in the variety versus India. We certainly love all the cute cows in the street (plus the goats/mutton, etc.), and while we definitely have a new found appreciation of vegetarian cuisine, we are enjoying all of the previously unavailable "taboo" foods that are in Pokhara in abundance. The fresh lake fish is also delicious, we've had it fried and in a spicy black bean sauce, and both were delicious - not to mention affordable at 160 Rs. and 200 Rs. respectively.
So today we also did some shopping for snack foods for the next couple days, while we will be staying in reasonably comfortable mountain hotels, at the same time we will be walking for hours through the mountains between villages, and be primarily eating the cheap and wholesome daal bhaat (rice and lentil beans - usually served with a veg curry and a spicy chutney). Prime snacks were yogurt granola bars, granola, M&Ms, peanuts, and Tang for mixing with potentially bad tasting iodine-treated water. Its far cheaper than buying bottled water from remote mountain villages, never mind all the permanent plastic waste that is littering the entire subcontinent. In India we felt that we didn't have quite so easy an alternative, because the water there is simply so dirty and unhealthy, but here in Nepal we have drank mostly boiled water in Thakurdwara, and now filtered water from KEEP in Pokhara, so we will continue to try and simultaneously keep our costs and Mother Nature's down as much as we can!
That's about all that is going on, Pokhara is really a pretty quiet place, overrun by tourist-oriented business - hotels, restaurants, internet cafes, German bakeries, jewelry stores, pashmina shawl shops, tailors, handicraft stores, Tibetan painting stores, fabric stores, music shops (with bootleg CDs and DVDs), purse and bag shops, wall hanging/tapestry/bed spread stores, etc. etc. Lakeside stretches for probably 3 km, though most of it is only on one side due to the lake Phewa Tal. But the shops are just endless, crowded, and repetitive. Forgot a few major store types though: money changers, travel agents, corner stores (with every thing you could really want)... plus a few clubs with cover bands, and some places with traditional Nepali folk performances (that aren't that exciting). It is still a nice place, because it is surrounded by such natural beauty, but it is a very propped-up town, in the fact that it exists solely to cater to the needs of (primarily) Western tourists, and to facilitate our perceived expectations of comfort and extravagance. In a way then, being here is rather weird, since our existence is very detached from the locals, though many of the depend, no matter how directly, from tourism and our Western whims. Every spot on the tourist trail creates such a dichotomy, it just seems more profound given that Pokhara was an inaccessible village not more than 50 years ago. Now there are urban cattle in the streets...
Anyways, it has been very cool to meet up with our fellow globetrotters from South Africa, we are having fun simultaneously catching up on our various adventures while experiencing new equally amazing things. Iain & Claire have a well-written travelogue website, of their overland journey from London to Shanghai. Check it out at - Iain has done a lot of work to make the site look really sweet!
Our plans are ever-evolving, and we're currently contemplating some options on what to do with our remaining time before South Korea, so things are actually quite up in the air concerning our next few months. We are leaning more and more towards staying another month here in Nepal, for more trekking and some dedicated time doing yoga, and we are debating locations in SE Asia versus alternatives varying from Malaysia and Indonesia, to Tibet and China. Maybe a few days out in nature will help us decide our destiny!
Peace, and much love,
Anderson & Liz

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sorry about the delay in posting, Pokhara has been filling up our time quite nicely. We spent the last 3 days going trekking, and will continue to do so tomorrow. We are planning a 2-3 day trek, nicknamed the "Royal Trek," since we have time for one more warm up trek before we go for at least a week-long journey into the mountains around Annapurna. Our first day of trekking we visited the nearby World Peace Pagoda, which overlooks the town. We rode across the Phewa Tal on a rowboat in order to make the hike a circuit, but then trekked home through the town (Damside into Lakeside). The Pagoda is a massive white structure (currently mostly closed) with golden Buddhas installed in the sides, built by Japanese monks up in the hills. A nice walk, with some nice lake views, though a bit anticlimactic.
Yesterday, then, we trekked up to Sarangkot, a lookout point north-west of town. Our ascent took around 5 hours, 4 off the road. Definitely the long way, we found out today, but we our trying to get used to walking, so the longer distance is undoubtedly better for us. We went to the Sarangkot lookout point 3 times, once at arrival, sunset, and then sunrise, since we stayed up on the lookout point, at one of several lodges perched above Pokhara, most with amazing views. Sunrise was well worth the early rising, we could see all 9 peaks of the Annapurna Mountain range that are supposed to be visible, despite a slight haze. Pretty amazing being surrounded by snow-capped peaks in the peace and quiet... until the package tourists (fortunately) showed up a bit late for not-as-prime photo ops! A small blemish on a spectacular morning; we rarely get up early, only for good causes!
Today then we journeyed back down the mountain, via a different (and much faster and easier) path, so that getting all the way back to Pokhara only took us 2 hours. Still a sweaty and tiring workout, but 3 hours fewer than our journey before made a big difference... The rest of the day we have spent reading, Liz trying to finish "City of Joy" by Dominique Lapierre, and Anderson reading a book about recent Nepali politics. We're happy to take the rest since our schedule is somewhat voluntarily busy, though all with trekking, but we will be walking a decent amount tomorrow, although a bus ride out of Pokhara seems inevitable to escape the city limits. But that should only be about 40 minutes or so, and then we'll be in the unadulterated woodlands... at least pretty close to it, since while there are small villages and subsistence farmers, even just outside of Pokhara the way of life is essentially unchanged despite modern infringements/advancements. Though the reality is that is mostly economically imposed, and not necessarily by choice, although everyone we meet is very nice and friendly to us, despite the fact that our governments do not necessarily agree on things right now (partially because Nepal doesn't have a fully-functioning ruling body, but is in a transitional stage between a monarchy and a democracy). The US has funded the royal government in the past, and views the Maoists as a terrorist group. But a coalition government has formed, with a Constitutional Assembly (1/3 Maoist) slowly (hopefully) figuring out a solution to the situation, but if that fails a referendum to the people is the likely next step, which would presumably remove the king (possibly into exile) or else leave him solely as a figurehead - which in many ways it seems has already been rendered. Maoist activity is in the papers every day, but so are front-page headlines about the latest progress with the constitutional discussions.
Western media has heavily distorted (and is probably still distorting) exactly what things are like here: they are calm. Really, other than a bus-strike (bandh) that meant we couldn't go to Nepalganj on the day we wanted (which ended up being beneficial to our overall plans), we have in no way been effected, nor have we met or heard of any tourists who have any difficulties. Nepal is certainly as safe as wherever you are, at least for we whities (sad but so, we don't exactly blend in on the subcontinent - not when Liz is of average height!), and the mountain views are probably more impressive (Colorado people might have some room to argue, but really not much at all :-).
That's enough politics for now, but as Westerners, Nepal urgently needs our tourism dollars, the five-year-long decrease in tourist numbers has definitely taken its toll on many a tourist-entrepreneurs dreams, so people are enthusiastic and most kindly. In Thakurdwara, our hotel owner had had 5 guests all season...
Pokhara is definitely still-touristed, but rarely is a restaurant even busy, never mind packed, and the bar scene isn't exactly hoping, despite our ever-decreasing hopes. One night, after walking out on a terrible Nepali culture and dinner show (doubly terrible: unenthusiastic/bored performers, and awful service - we waited around 15 minutes and got no help from anyone), we went to listen to a Nepali cover band play at an empty bar. They sounded pretty reasonable, though the singer was for sure the weakest link, and their repertoire was all rock covers - the Pink Floyd they played as we walked in was as good as it got.
Food here is good, typical tourist fare, but after fulfilling some cravings (steak, ice cream, Mexican food, Japanese food, pasta that's not chow mein) we are mostly back to the daal bhaat (lentils & rice) diet, which is readily available and very affordable. The cheese here is also quite delicious, tried some local fruit wine this afternoon with 150g of cheese - a tasty post-hike reward.
We also had some great (water) buffalo the other night, a restaurant was running a cheap special (40 Nepali Rs = around 60 cents) for buffalo momos (stuffed dumplings), chow mein (noodles), thukpa (noodle soup), or fried rice (fried rice). We stuffed our faces, it was simply scrumptious, though at times a bit chewy. We joked that the restaurant probably lures in water buffaloes off the street with food when they need a fresh supply!
Speaking of food, we're headed to dinner shortly, since we are attempting to begin our day somewhat early tomorrow.
The Royal Trek is pretty flat, so we can cover a lot of ground quickly, which is a nice change from the nonstop climbs we have done before. We'll be staying in small tea houses along the way, so it's only limited roughing it :-)
Will post again before when we return from this trek, before heading on the Gandaki 6-day trek, which we may extend mood dependent. We are planning on going on that trek starting on Friday, once our friends Claire & Iain - who are from South Africa but whom me met in Greece (and then again in Hampi) - arrive from Kathmandu.
Peace from Pokhara,
Anderson & Liz

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Quick post, once again...
Left Thakurdwara today, finished up teaching after 2 very rewarding weeks. Hard saying goodbye to the kids, their sad faces definitely showed they will miss us, as we will them...Will post plenty of photos of them as soon as we can, as in not today, but hopefully soon from Pokhara. Have a few hundred or so, so in addition to eating some much-missed beef products (steak, teriyaki... yum, yum), we'll be nerding it a bit. But just for a few days, then we'll be trekking in the mountains, according to the current plan!
We did go trekking at Bardia one more time, got soaked by the rain but we didn't see any tigers. Just a few wild boars frantically crossing the river in the rain, plus a mixed-species pack of spotted deer and monkeys. After waiting, soaked, we started itching as we dried out and the humidity kicked in, so we decided to award victory to the tigers and retreat back to civilization, though we did wade a river on our way back, and then spotted a bunch of amazing pied hornbills flying through the jungle.
Back to teaching, it was a very enjoyable experience, and has us freshly excited for our planned year in South Korea. While teaching in Nepal and teaching in South Korea will undoubtedly have little in common, we think the first day(s) will be much easier having at least a little experience under our belts. In the next couple of weeks we will begin researching Korea more thoroughly, to start determining the many things that we need to: what age students, public/private school, location (city/more rural), what recruiter we wish to work for/through, etc., etc.
Fortunately we have a lot of valuable resources available, not only, but also our several friends who are currently teaching there, plus some fellow travelers that we have exchanged contact information with along the way. Obviously we'll let you know once we start making any real decisions :-)
That means that our current itinerary is as follows (though it will probably change, knowing us :-):
We'll continue traveling in Nepal up until around June 15, when our visa expires. Most of that time will be spent in and around Pokhara, then Kathmandu, trekking and visiting cultural/architectural/archaeological sites... you know, what tourists "do."
Then we will head back to India, since our multiple-entry visa there is still valid, though we do not know for how long, or even where we will go, given that the summer heat is going to be just about unbearable wherever we are, never mind the monsoon rains. We would like to see Sikkim, home of the rare red panda, if we can, which is also near Darjeeling, home of the famous tea, but we shall see. We will, inevitably, fly out of Calcutta, since it is the cheapest sub-continent flight to our next destination: Thailand.
A while ago we had dreams of teaching there, but apparently the current situation with the government makes that difficult, such that the low-paying jobs that are available are unreliable and usually illegal. So we will be visiting only with a tourist visa, which lasts for 30 days. We may try and squeeze in a visit to elsewhere in SE Asia (Cambodia, Vietnam, or Laos), but we will have to see how our finances are by then :-)
From Thailand we are then planning on flying to South Korea, and start teaching English there essentially right away (our flight should be paid for, as part of our teaching contract).

So that's that for now, hope all is well wherever you are!

On the American end of things, we are super excited for our dear friend Brian, who will be heading to Moldova to teach English as part of the Peace Corps, starting in about a month. His dog Lucy will be a new member of Anderson's family, as his parents are going to be taking care of her. Brian has a new blog at, I'm sure he'd love it if you checked it out!

Also, our equally dear friends Hunab will be dropping their debut album within the next two weeks, if you live in Iowa City be sure to go to their CD release party/show at the Yacht Club on May 19, we obviously will be there in spirit, but would prefer to be there physically! Hopefully you'll be able to buy it soon off of their website, - right, Luke?

Hope all is well wherever you are,
Peace and much love from Nepal,

Friday, May 04, 2007

Another quick post, again on slow and expensive internet, but we are still in Thakurdwara, near Bardia National Park. Our second week of volunteer teaching went well, highlighted by a half-day due to a teacher's wedding, a holiday for Buddha's birthday, and then today we took Class IV, V, & VI on a field trip to the nearby Crocodile Breeding Center and Tharu (native people) Museum. Our focus was on conservation, both of the animals and environment, plus the cultural heritage (since many of our students are Tharu themselves, as well as first-generation school attendees). The kids enjoyed the out-of-the-classroom learning, and the conclusion was quite climactic since a pre-monsoon rain storm drenched all of us on our way back to school!
Tomorrow we are going on our second jungle trek, in hopes of seeing a tiger. That means we'll spend most of our day sitting by the river waiting, so we will be well-prepared with books to read! Sunday then, being the first day of the Nepali week, we will head to Nepalganj to attend to some Western-world business (ATM, post office, proper internet), which means 6 hours will be spent going to and from via bus. We wanted to go today actually, but were unable to go due to a strike stopping the buses, so we hope that that situation has cleared up by Sunday. If not, who knows when we'll be able to leave :-)
Things are going very well, teaching is still trying at times, certainly, but we are getting more and more used to our "jobs," the children are getting better acquainted with our teaching style and our pronounciation, and though we don't have a lesson plan exactly, we are able to build upon what we have taught previously. The lack of school supplies and teaching materials is definitely troublesome, but we have adjusted, and have taught the kids some typical American games (Thumbs Up, 7-Up - Duck, Duck, Goose - Dominoes, amongst others), and lately have been working on listening comprehension and cursive writing.
Hopefully a more thorough report will be able to surface soon, but for now this will have to do...
Peace from the jungles (in many senses) of Nepal,
Anderson & Liz

PS - Getting close on the ol' blog contest... keep on reading, someone's gonna win some cool stuff!