Covid-19

Adventures in Nepal XVIII: Swayambunath, the Monkey Temple

January 29 was Emma and Elizabeth’s last full day in Nepal. They started with breakfast at the hotel and exploring the hotel grounds.

Good advice for us all:

Emma’s mom had arranged for the girls to have a guided tour of Kathmandu. They were both feeling better after a good night’s sleep, but to be on the safe side they opted to wear masks for the remainder of the trip.

The first stop was Swayambunath, the “Monkey Temple.”

The monkeys of Swayambunath are considered holy. According to Buddhist lore, Manjushri —- the bodhisattva of wisdom and learning who raised the hill that the stupa is on —- let his hair grow long. He got head lice, and the lice transformed into the monkeys.

Overlooking smoggy Kathmandu:

More to come!

Categories: Animals, Covid-19, environment, Family, food, Friends, Holidays, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | 2 Comments

Weekly Sketch: Elk

Back in May, the kids and I took an exploratory road trip to Colorado, in order to make a final decision about whether to move here and to decide which front-range city we preferred. While we were in Denver, up near Genesee Park, we saw a majestic herd of elk walking alongside the highway. A bit farther on, I stopped to let a big graceful doe amble across the road. I was enchanted by the idea of living in a city where elk wander freely amongst the humans.

Alas, I haven’t seen a single elk in the week and a half since we moved here. I suspect it was the Covid shutdown that had emboldened them to roam so near the city.

Categories: Animals, Artwork, Covid-19, environment, Family, Life, Road trip, Travel, Weekly Sketch, Wildlife | Tags: | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal XVI: International Mountain Museum

January 27 was an eventful day in the Covid-19 saga. A prominent virologist in Hong Kong gave a three-hour presentation on YouTube basically warning everyone that the new virus was way worse than people thought. First cases popped up in a few more countries. The first confirmed asymptomatic transmission was reported in Germany. In the US, the Surgeon General dismissed the coronavirus as “low-risk” and urged Americans not to worry about it. The President was likewise unconcerned.

Emma and Elizabeth were following the news, but at that point it was an interesting story to monitor as it unfolded rather than something to actively worry about. This was they day they visited the International Mountain Museum.

They wandered for a bit, trying to find a bus going in the right direction.

Eventually they found a bus and got to the museum.

Adorable girls are adorable.

The museum grounds are lovely.

Blep!

This mandala is made entirely of colored sand!

Too sexy for my beads.

More derpy taxidermy.

Is…is that a Yeti?

This is a really pretty museum. I’m keeping this post reasonably short, but the girls took billions of great photos here.

There is a temple inside the museum.

Outside, a scale model of Mt. Manaslu and Machapuchare (Fishtail Peak, the highest point in the Annapurna range) lets visitors try their hands at mountain-climbing.

This was the girls’ last full day in Pokhara. On the 28th they returned to Kathmandu to begin the long journey home. I am so glad that they got to share this experience before the virus surged and the lockdowns started.

To be continued!

Categories: Animals, Artwork, Covid-19, Friends, Health, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | 2 Comments

Adventures in Nepal XII: Quest for Fruit Snacks

The only notable activity on January 24 was a search of the Pokhara markets for a particular kind of fruit snacks that Emma wanted Elizabeth to taste. Once the snacks were procured, our young heroes returned to Paljorling camp to relax.

This was the day that China’s entire Hubei province went into quarantine. In Vietnam, the first confirmed incidence of human-to-human transmission outside of China was documented by the WHO. The second case of coronavirus was confirmed in the US.

This is a short post, so here is a bonus random water buffalo that the girls saw roaming the streets near Sabita’s house on their way to Disneyland.

To be continued!

Categories: Animals, Covid-19, food, Friends, Holidays, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | 2 Comments

Adventures in Nepal XI: Into the Sky, Part 1

The next day, Emma and Elizabeth went paragliding over Phewa Tal.

For those following the pandemic subplot, January 23 was the day China suspended all public transportation in Wuhan, including all outbound trains and flights. The mysterious virus was still just a story on the news for most people in the US, interesting but not particularly alarming.

The girls took a shuttle van from the hotel to a nearby mountaintop overlooking the lake. During the drive they filled out paperwork and received wooden tokens with the names of their pilots.

Paragliders circled over the mountainside like giant birds:

It gives me a Jurassic Park vibe, like a flock of colorful pterodactyls over a tropical island.

A trail leads from the shuttle dropoff site up to the takeoff point. No stairs this time!

Pre-takeoff selfie!

Getting rigged up.

Ready to fly!

And off they go!

To be continued!

Categories: Covid-19, Friends, Health, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | 2 Comments

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