Celebrating Dashain During Crisis-Updated

October 25, 2015 update: We have been told the border to China will open on Tuesday, but please keep up on the news. If the deal falls through this is what you can expect:

It seems most Nepali were able to get back to their family’s village for the Dashain festival in spite of the current fuel crisis. Our hilltop is alive with families enjoying this most special festival.  We have this giant festival swing for both young and old alike to enjoy. Swinging on it during this festival will keep you young and I can testify to that. I’m feeling younger already.

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Babies Are Still Being Born in Nepal in These Harsh Times

Many people were left homeless and alone after the devastating earthquake April 2015. When I look out from the window of the bus we can see many temporary camps with tarps and aluminum shelters along the side of road. This week we went to a camp in Bhouda to distribute some clothes for new born babies. Imagine being born in Nepal during this time, or being suddenly a single mother due to entire families being swept away. 

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Holi Festival-Tips for Having a Great Time in Nepal

What an incredible festival! It’s a combination of paintball, and tag. It’s a lot like a water balloon fight, but everyone is playing-even people who don’t know it. As far as my research tells, March is the best time to come to Nepal to celebrate Holi, but be sure to check to see the actual date.
A few years ago I my Holi companion saw a couple of older tourists just walking along minding their own business. As she took off to pitch a water balloon at them I laughed so hard I couldn’t tell her not to do it. They just had no clue what was happening or why. So, be advised that if you go outside you will play Holi. So, just be ready and get your old sour puss in check. This is the day to let your inner child out to play.
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How to Find a Toilet in Kathmandu

People often remark on the lack of infrastructure in Nepal and I agree. Sometimes even finding a clean toilet can be a problem. I’ve learned a few tricks during my 5 years in Nepal this is one of them.

First, you can ask to use the toilet anywhere and no one ever seems to mind, however you will find toilets locked in many businesses. Someone will be happy to provide you with a key.

You will come upon some toilets that are monitored by a woman who sits there and expects 5-20 rupees per use. Sometimes these toilets are a bit cleaner, but not always.

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Infrastructure in Nepal-1 year later

We always hear about police in developing countries and how bad they are for corruption and such. Being an expat here in Nepal I had been curious about the police and have been pleased with most encounters that I’ve had with the police here in Nepal.

After the first earthquake last year I went to the police department with a guest so she could see about getting evacuated. The police department in Changunarayan is located on a hill at the front of the village. There had been about 5 small buildings there, but they had all fallen quite badly the day before.

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How to be a Good Tourist

If you’ve lived in a tourist destination you will appreciate this discussion. I lived in Florida, US, near the ocean for many years. It was nice, but even though I put up with the monsoon and lived there all year the tourists crowded us out during the best parts of the year. Seriously, the beach was like a big party with blankets spread out for as far as the beach allowed. Yes, we complained about them and even had jokes about them. Do you know what a ‘god damned tourist’ is? It’s one that comes from ‘up north’ and brings his family and stays. I was one of those.

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Spectacular Dhulikhel

One of the most enjoyable things about Nepal is going around a corner to see the majestic, snow covered mountains. Dhulikhel is one of the best places to catch amazing glimpses for quite a ways in this area. There is another reason to plan to spend a day or two here, particularly if you are from the US. Dhulikhel is home of the Kathmandu Teaching Hospital, Dhulikhel. This modern facility is the place to go if you need dental work. Even for Europeans, the tooth cleaning is usually under $5. I’d suggest booking a guesthouse in Dhulikhel for a few days enjoying the views and getting your teeth cared for. There is also an eye department where you can get your eye glasses or contact lens prescription. The exam price was well under a dollar and I bought a pair of reading glasses that came with about 6 magnetically attached sun glass lenses in a variety of shades, perfect for anyone who needs glasses. The sun-glass lenses have UV, too, for only $24. http://frugaltravelsnepal.blogspot.com/2014/05/dental-values-in-nepal-seriously.html So enjoy the lovely views, rest up from your flight and get whatever medical issue looked at. As a side note, any tests are completely private. They do not even ask for your ID. If you are worried about a particular issue the Kathmandu Teaching Hospital is a great place.

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Dashain Festival-It’s almost Christmas

Dashain is one of the most anticipated festivals in Nepal. Prior to this festival you will see clothing stores with sales and special, dressy fabrics for Nepali women to make clothes. But what is it like for the average tourist? Your Nepali friends will, no doubt, invite you to their homes for the celebration. Their enthusiasm will be contagious; it sounds tempting.

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Getting the Most Out of Your Shopping Experience in Kathmandu

How do you make the most of shopping without addresses, referrals, road signs, marked prices, coupons, sales, discounts, promotions, corporate stores, etc? In Nepal there are little in the way of any of these things and you literally need to pick up an object and say, “Katee ho?” or “How much is this?” Then they look at you and you can almost hear the cash register bell going off in their heads as they size you up. We call it ‘white tax.’

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Dogs, Dogs and More Dogs

It is difficult not to compare Nepal to India and that comparison is no less obvious than with the dog situation. You will see dogs everywhere in the Kathmandu Valley. They aren’t so bad during the day, but shortly after dark you will want to keep a wide breath between you and dogs while walking back to your guest house. “What’s a goat doing at the temple,” you ask? At certain times of the year you can see and hear many additional animals at the temples.

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