Sunday, December 21, 2014

Australia Here We Are

We were in the New Delhi airport on December 15th watching the news of the hostages in the Sydney cafe.  We were holding boarding passes to a flight to Sydney and wondering if we were going to make it to our holiday travels.  We arrived the next day with the hostage situation resolved, and a city much the same as before.  The sleet and snow of the Himalayan Mountains were behind us, and the sun of Australia ahead of us.

 We are now on Kangaroo Island after 4 days in Sydney and a night in Adelaide.  Here are a few choose photo of our Australian travels so far.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Have You Seen Christmas?

3rd and 4th grade Christmas play.  Enjoy.

6th Grade Christmas play.

Caroling after the play.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Just out our front door

We've loved all the walking up and down the hills, but we've really enjoyed all the beautiful scenery.  Here is just a couple views around our house.
This is what we see just out our front door,
and this is what we see from our driveway.

This is looking just past our current house at sunset.  The purple color is from the reflecting sun.

Here is what we see half a km from our house.

Sunset walking home after school.  The sun actually sets above the horizon, a phenomena known as winterline.  Winterline can be seen in late fall and early winter in Mussoorie and some place in Switzerland.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving.  We had our first "celebration" with my mom and dad on Sunday.  We roasted lamb and sweet potatoes and enjoyed some family time watching "The King and I".  We will have Thanksgiving lunch at Woodstock with the all the students, and will stop by a friends house for some pumpkin pie and wine after Oscars Fall Choir Concert tonight.  We will skip the big celebration on Saturday with the rest of the expats, instead we will travel to Dehradun with the girls soccer team to play against Hopetown Girls School.  Next Saturday, we will participate in the chili cook-off- I think I have the contest in the bag.  My dad brought some freeze dried ground beef- beef is something that is virtually impossible to find in India.  Hopefully we will get a chance to decorate gingerbread houses, this depends on my baking the gingerbread and our friends securing the decorations.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Quarter Break Travels

The kids had a week off of school, so we took the opportunity to travel.  We traveled by train, bus, and plane.  Oscar had a chance to catch up on a bit of sleep.
We visited Agra, Jaipur, and Jodhpur, with a night in Delhi.
In Agra, we saw the Taj Mahal.

Our friend, Patty, came to visit us and traveled with us.
Jaipur, The Amber Fort

The journey home we took the overnight train from Delhi to Dehradun.  The kids and I locked ourselves into the 1st class- meaning we had a pillow, blanket, and a locking door- cabin, while Gregg was on his own a few doors down in a double room.  The kids slept just fine, the rocking of the train and the noise of the tracks was no hinderance to them.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween in India

OK, Halloween is not truly an American holiday, but Americans have embraced the celebration the past 50 years.  But now I hear that Australia and other countries, mostly due to marketing I think, have started celebrate Halloween.  Friday morning at Woodstock, there were several zombies, some vampires, spiderman, Jesse from ToyStory, and several other costumes that Gregg and I spotted.
We hosted a small Halloween get together at our new house.  The kids enjoyed the bobbing for apples, and the pumpkin soup disappeared.  The best was hanging out with some of our new friends.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hikes and Treks, Part 3

10th grade trek to Kedar Kantha.  I filled in for a teacher that had to leave for family reasons.  There were 17 students and 2 other adults on the trek.  We carried our personal gear, but had donkeys to carry our tents, food, and cooking equipment.  Oh yeah, we also had 6 people to cook for us and take care of the donkeys.  The kids were great and we had spectacular views the first 2 days, but on the day we summited, we had clouds and snow.  Some of the kids had not seen snow before, so despite the lack of views from the summit, but snow was a treat.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hikes and Treks

Now that the rains have receded, tis the season of hikes and treks.
Gregg and I joined the 3rd and 4th graders on their day to hike around Woodstock campus.   We made it down to Midlands Stream where the kids took water temperature readings before we hiked back up to have lunch at Ridgewood Field.  We took a different path back up, and ran into a bunch of nettles and leaches!  I think the kids enjoyed salting the leaches, and showing off their leach bites- leach bites take a long time to stop bleeding due to the anti-coagulant that they inject into their victim.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Packages from Grandma and Grandpa, by Zibby;)

This is a picture of the packages that Grandma and Grandpa have sent us.  (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!)  The boxes that came were crumpled and smashed.  In them, were dried fruit, trail mix, 10 different kinds of granola bars, Nutella, goldfish, fruit snacks, freeze dried food, Beano, and beef jerky.  The freeze dried ice cream sandwiches tasted like ice cream sandwiches only dry.  They melted in my mouth.  The freeze dried pasta we had to add boiling water, but we could have eaten it crispy, but we didn't.  My favorite is beef jerky and fruit snacks, because there are no fruit snacks here, and beef is rare, instead there is the occasional buffalo meat that they call buff.  

Menu at Dev Dar

I'm going to talk about Dev Dar which is a restaurant that serves mostly pizza.  The menu at Dev Dar is about 2feet by 3feet.  The menu is made out of cardboard and tape and it is hand written with Sharpie marker.  My favorite things on the menu are "Finger Chips" and Cheese Pizza.  Finger Chips are basically french fries that are a bit soggy and spicy.  The cheese pizza is circle of crust with chunks of tomatoes with cheese on it with a little tomato sauce.
by Felix

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Just another Saturday

Our Saturday started with a bit of a sleep in.  Of course, the dogs do not acknowledge that it is Saturday, so it becomes more like they call it here and in the UK a lie in, because we are in bed relaxing, but not sleeping.  Zibby and Gregg were up the hill at 8am to the Chukker (the road above Bethany) to register Zibby for her cross country meet which Woodstock was hosting.  They came back to join Felix and I for breakfast.  Zibby dashed off to watch some of the earlier races and hang with her friends.  Her race started at 9:45, 2.5km around the big Chukker.

Side note:  The Chukker is a road that has two loops, with a short connector in-between, that form a kind of figure 8.  Bethany is in the middle along with the Kellog church.  The big Chukker includes Char Dukan (translation, 4 shops) where Gregg and I take our Hindi lessons and eat lunch, but is also a destination for the weekend crowd.  The little Chukker, 1.2km, has Dev Dar Woods restaurant and Inn and Sister's Bazar.  Sister's Bazar only a few shops, but the important one is Prakash's.  Prakash's shop is a grocery store with imports and locally made goods.  He sells his own cheese, home baked breads as well as the occasional doughnut and cinnamon roll, and jams and peanut butter.  He also sells imported goods like spaghetti sauce, mustard, and candy.  You'd be surprised how much he can fit into his 200 square foot shop.

Zibby was amazing.  She is not on the cross country team, the 5th and 6th grades only had 1 team member, so they allowed other students to fill in their 8 spots, 4 girls and 4 boys.  She ran the course during the Woodstock all-school cross country run, then again this past Wednesday to try out for the meet.  She insisted on a practice Friday, dragging Felix and I along, but left us in the dust.  She finished 20th out of 40 runners for grade 5 and 6 girls.  
Here she is with her 3 classmates she ran with.  Pippa, who finished 3rd, Zibby, Lily, and Addya.  (The 3 in white are also on the soccer team.)

After watching her race, Felix, Gregg and I left Zibby to watch the next race, and walked down to Woodstock.  Gregg and I had arranged for our Hindi tutor, Rani, to meet Oscar at Woodstock to give him a lesson. Oscar has been struggling with Hindi a bit, but after just 2 lessons with our tutor, his teacher was noticing a big improvement.  Hindi like Chinese, Arabic, or Thai, is truly a foreign language, since it has a completely different script.  Oscar, like Gregg and me, has struggled with learning the new alphabet along with the new words and grammar.  Gregg and I also took a lesson with Rani before we caught a cab up to Char Dukan.

We walked to Bethany where Zibby was kind of working on homework and had lunch.  Thanks Grandpa for sending beef stroganoff, it made a good lunch.

The rest of the afternoon was homework and vegging.  We walked back to Char Dukan to meet Mark and Annie, a Woodstock couple, for dinner.  We walked some more down to Doma's restaurant.  Doma's is a Tibetan/Chinese restaurant that we haven't eaten at until tonight.  The service, like the food was inconsistent.  The kids were not impressed with their mo mos, but Gregg's meal of noodles, chicken, veggies, and nuts in a soup was well worth the trip.

The kids and Gregg watched X-Men, while read some email, watched some of the movie, and wrote this blog.  Good night!