Sunday, August 29, 2010

the road collapsed...

We were driving out to the mountains last Monday (we are still here), and I was thinking while we were driving how normal everything seems here now. Things that used to feel so weird are so ordinary. I think we thought we would never get used to them! Such as the delays that happen every time we travel (lots of landslides and road construction), and the odd "semi" trucks that look more like huge blue dump trucks, and the crazy way people pass each other--even if they are on a crazy sharp mountain curve, etc. Anyway, the point is, it's all become somewhat normal--we don't really think twice anymore about the stares and the dirt and everything here.

So, it shouldn't have come as a surprise that we were going to get to have an adventure two days after arriving at the guesthouse. We got everything set up--it's nice because we have room to spread out and put out the crib and mat on the floor for the boys in sorta separate rooms from Johnny and I. And we were in for the week and a half/two weeks that we were supposed to help out here. Our second full day in the guesthouse, the boys and I walked down the mountain--we do that every day for supplies (if I get too many in one run, I can't carry them back up by myself). But our little neighbor saw us leaving and pointed out this area of the road that had a huge crack in it and said, basically, 'be really careful--walk fast and get back in a hurry!' So we did. We just got our daily drinks, fruit, and yogurt and got back up the mountain. Next thing, the power went out because the village officials were concerned about the power line that was in the middle of this cracked road. Not to0 unusual, and the boys and I like playing outside anyway, so we went for a while to play with the dog that's downstairs, and suddenly, a crowd had gathered at the road--also not too unusual here. BUT then the crack got bigger as the road fell down the mountain...

So we had all sorts of folks coming into the guesthouse telling us to evacuate--it wasn't safe. Too many landslides. We had to get everyone out, including ourselves . Picture a really well dressed woman standing in front of our bar and saying over and over again, "you have to get out. It isn't safe. You can't stay. It isn't safe." So we stayed two nights with our friends. It's defini
tely something different than we have ever experienced before!

And they absolutely won't let the guesthouse open, since there's too much danger of foreigners being caught in a landslide.
Notice the electric pole--it used to be in the middle of the road, and even though it's hard to see, it has completely fallen over!

The picture below was taken the day after the collapse (the guesthouse is the cute house on the left). All the dirt showing under the houses used to be road--I wish we had a before picture but we don't. They aren't letting anyone open the guesthouse for a while. We took the opportunity to take our friend
up north 4 hours and spent the night in one of our areas--that was really fun, but it will be fodder for another post.
Since all the excitement happened, we have been shuffling around from friends' apartments to hotels. And while we have been enjoying our time here, it is about time for us to get home and get showers and clean clothes and into different rooms to sleep.

Classes should start next Monday or the one after, and it sounds nice to be in a routine--our poor boys are really tired and we think they're ready for a bit of normalcy again...
It really is always an adventure around here--even just when I think everything seems normal...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

on to the hostel

We have a bit spotty internet here where we live, but we made a purchase yesterday that helps our internet work--we can now do facebook AND blogger. I wish we could promise to keep up better with our blogging, but...

We leave tomorrow to go for a week and a half to the mountains. We delayed the trip a day #1 because the roads are bad between our city and the one we're traveling to, and #2 because Jace had some sort of virus yesterday that gave him a fever and really upset stomach. So, we get to travel all together (if the roads had been open, Johnny would have traveled today), which is a huge plus since that means we can all ride in a car together--and we can pack Luke's bike and Jace's pack 'n play. Simple and yet so significant for 1-2 weeks in the mountains!! We may even stop at Starbucks on the way out for a little treat to kick off the potentially 8 hour road trip! We have done really well this past month and a half eating at home and saving our treat money :).

So, we will be helping our friends who run a hostel--I think the business itself is running really smoothly at this point, but it's just nice to have more than one person out there managing (and/or go-fering in our case).

Life in the mountains is simple. No coffee (except what we bring from the big city, which has already been packed), no butter as we know it in the west, definitely no cheese, and it's kinda hit or miss on what meat is available. So, we're taking some simple things like this for me to cook while we're there. We will be living on the side of a mountain, and it's a good hike for me--much less for Little men, so the fewer the trips down the mountain, the better (for them, of course). I try to look at the whole experience as training for our dream of living out in the mountains someday :)!

Something really special about the mountains is that when we're there, we don't live in a high rise apartment building. We live in a place where the boys can open the door and be right outside--hence the want for Luke's bike to go with us. That is such a treat for me as a mom--simple pleasures!

We often say how much we wish everyone could see where we travel. We feel like we get to see some really beautiful places that have yet to be touched by many humans, much less westerners. We want to make it our goal to try to give snapshots into our life out there...

We'll write from the mountains!