WOW! This was one of the smoothest, most effortless moves we have ever executed… Largely because our belongings (clothes, books, toys, kitchen items, bathroom items and few electronic items) currently fit within 13 suitcases and a dozen small reusable bags; we also have 5 bicycles, but at the moment, we have NO furniture, cars, or any cardboard boxes! During our six previous moves, Prakash and I have never had so few items to move. Yes, we did downsize tremendously, but the majority of our remaining belongings are in an air shipment on its way to Nepal; it contains 60 cardboard boxes, 1 queen size bed and 1 rocking chair (a family favorite we’ve had since Janani was born, none of us felt like parting with it).
I was able to pack up our belongings in less than 1 day – record time for me! Several people helped us on the day of our move (July 1) which made for extra smooth sailing… Ribika, the driver of our Dutch friends from ICIMOD, Flip and Houk, helped us with a mini-SUV. Bharat (the body guard of our old landlord’s brother who is a Member of Parliment) and Tilak (a jack of all trades employee of our old landlord) helped load our heavy suitcases into the car. We drove the short 1 mile distance to our new house and Tika Dai and Sonu Didi (our new house helpers) helped transferred the bags inside the house. That’s it – within 2 hours, the move was complete!
This house however, is very EMPTY! I did purchase over 2 dozen household and furniture items from the previous family, but it still looks like a blank slate. We made a list of some initial necessary items (cleaning tools and fluids) and Ribika and I went to Bhat Bateni (our version of Super Target + Sears). I stocked up on groceries too knowing that I didn’t have to cycle them back home. By afternoon, I unpacked most of our belongings and brought the kids to our new home!
The rest of the week went by in a flash… Getting acquainted with the new house, remembering where I put everything, figuring out which electric switches worked which lights, and packing for our trip to India (July 9 – 29).
Let me introduce Tika Dai and Sonu Didi – our family of 5 now feels like a family of 7! Sonu Didi takes care of washing clothes (by hand and with a machine, hangs them up to dry, collects the clothes, irons and folds all), some cooking (all basic Nepali cuisine including lentils, curried vegetables, rice and salad), cleaning (floors, bathrooms, dusting). She is enthusiastic, pleasant and pays attention to detail. Tika Dai performs a wide variety of tasks including gardening, running errands, paying bills, cleaning large items, playing with the kids, making morning tea, and washing dishes. His personality and work ethic are remarkable – always happy, content and ever ready to do any task swiftly, efficiently and effectively. Neither speak English, so my Nepali is coming in very handy.
Here are a few highlights of the house from the kids:
A — Avocado trees — they are big and they have lots of avocados; they are small babies now but will be ready in a few months
B — Bamboo tree house — in our front yard, there is a tree house made of bamboo, but it isn’t a real tree house, because it isn’t attached to a tree
C — Chicken house — there were lots of chickens, but one day a cat came and killed them, so now it is empty; Tika Dai is going to clean and paint it for us as a play area
D — Dog — the dog always comes and sits on the front door porch ; the dog is very peaceful, friendly and quiet
E — Excellent sunlight — even in the rainy season, we get so much sun pouring into the house
F — Ferret — we’ve seen a fast, furry, brown ferret scurry around in the garde
G — Garden — the most mature, beautiful, abundant garden we’ve ever had – in addition to avocados, there is a huge veggie patch, lots of flowers, and many herbs
H — Hospitality — our house helpers make it feel almost like we are living in a hotel – cleaning, laundry, gardening, simple errands and some cooking are all taken care of
I — Internet — Aai uses the computer lots of times like for blog posts; the internet connection came really fast
J — Jumping from the Swings — in our garden there are two swings which we swing on and jump off of and we take turns swinging and jumping and it is really fun
K — Kitchen — the kitchen is very nice and even has a separate room for the pantry and fridge
L — Lizards — Janani and Aai saw a baby lizard one day behind the kitchen door
M — Mosquitoes — in our house, there are much less mosquitoes than there were in the apartment
N — Natural — there is no air conditioner or heating, just natural breeze from the many windows
O — O-Shaped Chair — when we cuddle, it is so big that 2 or 3 people can fit in the chair
P — Paintings on the Wall — it is a long line that is near the ceiling of the stairwell and it has vegetables, plants and trees on it
Q — Quiet Street — our house is on a very quiet street; there isn’t very much cars or motorcycles that go on it because it is a dead-end road
R — Room of beds — there are 3 beds in one room and we all 5 share 3 beds ; sometimes people even sleep on the yoga mat
S — Sonu Didi — she is nice, helpful, polite and gentle
T — Tika Dai — he is brave, strong, energetic, fun and always has a good attitude
U — Unfurnished — our house feels very empty because there is not much furniture and our shipment is yet to arrive
V — Very Old House — our house is very old; you can tell because the plants in the garden have grown so much
W — Windows — there are so much windows in our house and it is so much fun looking out
X — eXtraordinary House — we have a tree house, swing set, and a big garden
Y — Y-Shaped Tree — there is one tree in our garden that Janani is able to climb; it is a pine tree and is shaped like the letter Y
Z — Zig-zag stools — we have two colorful Nepali stools made out of bamboo with a zigzag design and a broken tire at their base
Hope you come visit soon!