Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2011

The Royal Enfield

In India in the winter of his thirty-fifth year, Michael fulfilled one of his childhood wishes.

He purchased a motorcycle. 

It's a Royal Enfield, an iconic bike for road trips across India. Mike has to wait a few years for his riding partner to be a little older, though, before he takes off.

But Where Are All the Kites?

January 14 is Makar Sankranti, which is a Hindu solstice-harvest-new-year festival. Different states and regions have different ways of celebrating the holiday. Here in Andhra Pradesh we have ceremonial burning, rangoli chalk drawings, decorated cows, and most importantly, kite flying.

We woke up to a smokier morning than usual. Mike had the day off from work so despite the smoke we went for a walk to see the neighborhood preparations for the holiday. Women were out making the colorful rangoli and there was a band going door-to-door with its decorated cow. (They leached us out of quite a few rupees to get Muffin's picture taken with the cow.)

We discovered the source of all the smoke -- the first thing to do when celebrating Makar Sankranti, at least in this state, is to burn all of your old wooden furniture at dawn. It symbolizes getting rid of bad habits and vices and starting the season with a clean slate.  Dozens of houses we passed had little fires burning or piles of smolder…

This Week

I also posted at Undercover Mommy Blogger and What I Eat.

Also this week, Muffin's hair fell out.

Hittin' the Books

Last spring I started taking online courses for my master's degree in political science. Eventually the pregnancy got distracting and between that and getting ready to leave Africa and move to India, I decided to take a hiatus after those two courses.

As of the first of this year I'm a student again, again. Each month I'm starting an eight-week course, so now I'm taking one course, as of the first of February I'll be on the tail end of this one and starting the next one, etc., through June. It's busy and scary and exciting. I love that my brain is getting a workout. Dr. Seuss's ABCs is a classic, but I need to read something more stimulating every now and then.

I'm not working and even though I have a baby, I also have household help. Our housekeeper is great with Muffin and Muffin loves her; they can sit and play together for about an hour at a time. Muffin is also sleeping more regularly at night and is playing independently for longer stretches at a …

The Obligatory Year End Roundup

This year we left Burundi after twenty-two months of tropical fun. Sure there were some civil war remnants, but nothing serious enough to make us put down our fresh pineapple juice or stop us from enjoying beautiful sunsets on the terrace. And as one of my coworkers pointed out before I left, we have the greatest souvenir from our time there (see next paragraph).

This year Sophie Olivia came into our lives. It's sounds so cliche (and so does that), but we can't imagine life without her. She's happy and thriving and I can't believe how much she's changed in the first few months of her life. She started eating some real food this week, and with gusto. I'm so anxious to see how she develops further.

Finally, this year we moved to India. So far we are loving it here aside from a few transition pains. We've spent the New Year holiday unpacking, as the remainder of our household items -- aside from the car and the cat -- arrived on Friday afternoon. The New Year i…