Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Best thing about Kathmandu is that there seem to be little temples or shrines or monuments or religious sculptural things just lying around all over the place. Some of them still obviously active, others perhaps active but also just spots that kids use as jungle gyms or old guys use just to sit on and shoot the breeze. One detail of one such monument, though I have no idea which, above.
Monday, August 22, 2011
We met a few people who said they couldn't believe how dirty Kathmandu is. Which maybe, more than anything, demonstrates that Nepal is a swell place to visit for people who have never been to the developing world before. I would put it right in the middle of the developing-world curve for dirt, pollution, trash on the streets, etc. Exhibit A: this woman who I assume did not herself drink enough coca-cola to generate all the plastic garbage in this giant bag of plastic stuff. And assuming she gathered it from the streets, that presumes there is someone paying for recyclables, which isn't bad for the developing world, or even for the U.S., really.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Starting off our Nepal coverage with a bang... I don't know if there's really more to say about this one beyond "Dog versus Cow." Photograph taken in Kathmandu Durbar Square, the historic heart of the city, filled with dozens of temples, thousands of pigeons, and occasionally, a dog fighting a cow. (The dog and the cow faced off and put on aggressive displays but sadly, in the end, they did not actually fight. At least not while we were present.)
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
We have a massive backlog of photographs. And words, I suppose. Since the founders' intent for this blog was mostly to amuse ourselves, and to keep notes about what living overseas was like, we sort of feel obliged to recall the stories that went with these pictures. In rejection of all the blog medium's conventions, we have never prioritized timeliness and are set to explore new frontiers of un-timeliness now.
So. Some time in May, your intrepid correspondents took their fourth of four awesome vacations from Kabul. I will reiterate here these talking points about leave:
1) Yes, we got a lot of leave from Kabul.
2) Embassy management did their best to ensure that the American taxpayers got their money's worth out of us while we were there.
3) But the intent of the leave is so that the civilians who never signed up for any of this years-away-from-the-spouse-and-kids nonsense when they joined the Foreign Service could have several chances to get back and see their families. You can't seriously object to giving people a chance to see their kids, right? Or do you just hate family values?
Since we had no children or spouses back home to visit, we took advantage and visited cool places that are closer to Kabul than they are to the United States.
Thus, our fourth vacation of the year, we went to Nepal and undertook a trek to Everest Base Camp, with some time in India thrown in for good measure. Over the coming days and weeks - more pictures from South Asia.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Seven weeks of Home Leave. Seven weeks of Home Leave. I consider myself quite lucky because I'm sure most honest people don't get a seven-week vacation at any point short of retirement. We tried to make the most of it, which included an almost-total internet silence. Limited email, no Facebook, about the standard amount of Twitter (i.e. zero), and no updates on the Holla. Sorry, loyal readers.
Now we're back in Washington, working like a dog for the man. Sort of. In any case, we're ready to attempt a regular publication schedule again, mostly working through a backlog of late Kabul material and Home Leave photos from Alaska and California and Colorado. E.g., above, from Surprise Lake, in the Eagle's Nest wilderness near Kremmling, CO.