Summer is here in full blast! It has been dry and hot the last week, but we really have nothing to complain about… It is much worse at lower altitudes and closer to the equator. In KTM, hot, but bearable… Some of the recent highlights include (1) a French Family Band concert, (2) a Choir concert, and (3) an adventurous mountain biking ride!
We are fortunate to have an expat google groups where folks post about houses for rent, items for sale and cultural happenings all around town. There was an advertisement about a French Family Band who would be performing in a French Restaurant in Thamel (the most touristy part of KTM). We decided to check it out along with our friends, the Spear’s (the family who builds the cool bikes!). What a special treat!! Their band consists of the Dad (guitar and vocals), Mom (clarinet), 13 year old boy (accordion) and a 9 year old girl (numerous percussion instruments and a bit of vocals too!). They are from France and have taken a year off of their ordinary life to travel the world in their family-van and sing for people, specifically for schools. They spent 3 months in India, 3 months in Nepal and are soon heading back to France. Their songs were mostly in French, but also in German and English. What a fascinating family! Their simple style, sweet smiles, and joyful enthusiasm were very inspirational 🙂 Checking out the french restaurant was cool too (fresh french bread, apple momos, chocolate cake – yum!)
The Kathmandu Chorale performed last Saturday night at The British School auditorium. WOW – what a talented bunch! There was 1 director, 1 pianist and 40 singers – all (approximately) aged between 18-65. Per the demographics of the group, I felt like we were back in North Carolina!! However, the (approximately) 80 degree auditorium temperature quickly reminded us that we were in Nepal :-). They sang Latin, French and English songs – impeccably high quality production. An instrumental portion was also included in the concert! There was a quartet of flute, oboe, piano and bassoon – 4 super talented individuals synergizing into melodious tones… The most memorable song of the choir was “Gloria” by Antonio Vivaldi.
On Tuesday mornings, several British School parents set out for the surrounding hills of the Kathmandu Valley on their mountain bikes! This week, I joined Adrian, Andy, Roger, Clare and Katheryn and together we cycled for 27 kilometers (~16 miles) in about 3 hours. What an adventure… Much of the way was paved, but a fair bit was gravel, dirt or small rocks. We crossed over the Bagmati River twice on 2 metal, pedestrian, suspension bridges. Oh and there were hills – numerous ups and downs! Once or twice I had to walk the bike up the steep hills, but mostly I managed to ride. Basic stats: total elevation climb = 1925 feet ; highest elevation reached = 4500 feet above sea level ; peak speed = 32 miles per hour. This was an awesome introduction to mountain biking and hopefully I’ll make it out on more rides through the hills of the valley… Here is an image of our route – go to Google Maps to see a more detailed image of the roadways and dirt paths.