First Post!! (Written on Saturday, April 26th)

Hello Everyone!
Life in Kathmandu is GREAT!!!!  Highlights of this week include school, meeting new friends, getting to know the town
School — The kids started at The British School on Wednesday and had a GREAT first week!  The kids’ teachers are really friendly, warm and engaged in welcoming J, Sa and Su into the classrooms.  All kids have a few friends in their classes already.  On Friday afternoon (every week), the school holds an assembly where some subset of the kids do some sort of presentation.  This week, 3 sets of kids enacted a story of Saint George – Sumi acted as a dragon!!  Another group of kids told about their holidays between Term 3 and 4 – so neat to hear where all they traveled to, WOW!  J, Sa and Su have had PE, music, singing, library and dance specials so far, and hopefully will also start learning Nepali.  Timings are from 8:15 – 2:30.  From this week, they’ll have clubs from 2:30 – 3:30pm.  Janani will be doing gymnastics, choir, crochet and soccer.  Sajjan will be doing tennis, soccer and craft.  Sumi will be doing musical theater, craft and soccer.  Okay, here it is called FOOTBALL, but didn’t want to confuse ya’ll 🙂  School is a 4 minute walk from home!  First time in our kids’ life that they have been able to walk to school – what a luxury that many of us had when we were kids and now is almost a thing of the past in the US…
The kids on their first day of school!

The kids on their first day of school!

Meeting new friends — On Wednesday, we were pleasantly surprised to meet several of the moms and dads of kids at TBS.  Many of them meet at the neighboring coffee shop right after dropoff.  We learned of many neat things in our neighborhood.  Secret bakeries (SO yummy), kids activity places (haven’t visited these yet), and places to exercise (gyms, pools and bike routes.  prakash and i will join some parents on their routine Tuesday morning bike ride into the hills of kathmandu!!).  We’ve been invited to 3 birthday parties this week – totally unexpected!!  Prakash’s colleague’s husband’s bday, 1 of Sajjan’s classmates bdays and 1 of Sumi’s classmates bdays.  We’ll attend 2-3 of these parties.  It is nice to meet so many new people all at once…
Janani playing a birthday game of cutting up chocolate with a fork and knife as fast as she can before her turn is up!

Janani playing a birthday game of cutting up chocolate with a fork and knife as fast as she can before her turn is up!

SO many neat families here!!  Families working with the UN, World Bank, British Embassy and other ICIMOD folks too.  People from all around the world, some who are on the “traveling circuit” who have lived abroad for several years, and a few like us who have been posted in Kathmandu for their first assignment abroad.  And such neat lines of work!  World Food Program, Family Planning, Development Agencies, Bee Keeping, and several others…
The locals are so WARM!  Namaste is the greeting used by all and is said so often and so sincerely…  Nepali people are simple, kind, sincere people.  I’m looking forward to learning Nepali and conversing with them – I feel there is so much to learn from them 🙂
Getting to know the town — We live in probably one of the best parts of Kathmandu!  Okay, maybe not, but we really like this neighborhood.  It is (RELATIVELY) clean and quiet and feels VERY safe.  There are numerous foreigners here and it is very walkable and bikeable.  Within a 30 second walk, there is a small grocery store ; within a 1 min walk there is a corner store where we buy our milk and some basic veggies ; within a 4 min walk there is a dry cleaners who is helping us with our laundry since we do not have access to a washing machine ; within a 10 min walk there are 2 great bakeries who offer fresh and HOT bread every morning, also biscuits, pastries and cakes ; withing a 15 min there is a full grocery / catchall store (as close to Target as we get!)
Prakash bought a bike for himself on Wednesday.  His plan is to ride to work daily (except in rainy season when he’ll take the company bus).  His ride should be about 20-25 minutes.  On Thursday, we had 2 appts (house searching and a work meeting for Prakash) both got canceled, so we made the most of it!!  I rented a bike and we rode around a few neighborhoods in KTM, areas where we were recommended to look for housing.  What a ride!!  Some parts were smooth and fairly normal.  Others were bumpy / rocky and others had such steep grades!  We managed to ride most of it, only had to walk our bikes for a bit here and there.  Rode around, looked at new neighborhoods, had lunch and headed back to get the kids – great day!!
Me with my rented bike, helmet and face mask (similar to what doctors wear but is made of cloth and reduces the pollution entering your body ; very commonly worn here in Kathmandu).

Me with my rented bike, helmet and face mask (similar to what doctors wear but is made of cloth and reduces the pollution entering your body ; very commonly worn here in Kathmandu).

We shopped for cellphones on Wednesday and have narrowed down the search.  Hope to have our phones within a few days and be in better touch soon!  Hope you all are well!  Drop me a line when you can – would love to hear how you are doing…  Thanks to those who have written with life updates 🙂  LOVE reading your emails…

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