(I've changed the name from "Rants" given that I can't really rant about many things that frustrate me here, at least not without getting into some sort of trouble. As such, you'll have to wait for the book.)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Nuptials, Hanging out in the Woods and a Little Almond Extract

It’s been a while. Much has happened since I last wrote. Lots of travel. Lots of time with family. Lots of fatigue.

We’re back in Burundi and gradually back into our routines. Happy to be here. With all its flaws, it is home.

 After my last posting Since I last wrote we were in Indiana for two weeks after a brief stop in Minnesota. We visited our friend Kathy and, as the travel gods would have it, were dealt with an odd storm that caused us yet another wasted day in an airport (and subsequently a hotel). We eventually made it out and were soon settled into our semi-annual routines at Priya’s parents’ place. Doing this pilgrimage twice a year, as we have been for the past few years, is good in that it does preserve some good continuity with family. A year is a bit long, particularly for the children, and so we’re committed to maintaining this sort of rhythm for at least now. We’ll see how it goes down the road but for now we are happy that the girls are getting to know their relatives and seeing something besides their African home.
April & Steve

The first big event was Priya’s brother’s wedding. Steve and April picked a date that seemed to work out ok for us and allowed us to be there a week in advance and a week after. It was a good time and it was nice to get to know April and her family. Otherwise, time was spent hanging out with family, working out, visiting Louisville, etc.  (and doing a bit of work on the side). Before long, however, it was time to return to the airport again and head west.
reception with a view
who doesn't like Dr. Seuss
Much about the trip to Idaho was as usual: hanging out with family, camping, outdoor activities, etc. There were a few interesting differences this time. One such pleasant opportunity was the ability to spend a weekend in our old family cabin north of Sun Valley. It’s a long story and I won’t go into it here but it was a weird and wonderful series of events that connected us to this cherished cabin that our family sold back in 1983. Entering the cabin for the first time after so many decades was, without a doubt, one of the highlights of the summer. It drove home once again how much I enjoy a mountain cabin. Hard to say if it will ever become a reality for us but it can’t hurt to dream.
the ol' cabin
We briefly went to Kimberly to spend a bit of time with my parents. It was tough on the kids to be shuttled around so much but it was also quite precious to see them interacting with her grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. 
start 'em early
The big camping trip was great as usual. My sister Cheryl had invested a ton of time in planning and preparation. We bought a big tent for the car camping experience. It worked out fine and I was glad to see the girls getting exposed to all the outdoor activities. 
who would have thought - something yummy in a Coors Lite box
Poor Kiran for weeks had been dealing with a nose problem. First it was sensitive to the touch. Then some blood. Then days and days of pus. Initially we thought it was a cyst of some kind but it never really improved. When we took her for her check-up, the pediatrician advised us to see an ear, nose and throat specialist. Forced to miss the Brazil-Germany World Cup match, we begrudgingly took her to the ENT guy. Very glad we did. It turns out she had a foreign object up her nose. I was in the role of holding my poor daughter down while the doctor busted out his crazy extraction tools, including a pen-shaped vacuum that sucked with enough force to pop the thing out. The bloody little mass landed on my forearm. Upon inspection we discovered that Kiran had been living with the bottom half of an almond far up her right nostril.  The thing was pushed up cone first, like an umbrella, which made a natural exit unlikely. Added to this is the nature of a nut to absorb moisture and expand. Once the thing was out, our little girl was rapidly on the mend. Must have been a huge relief. Ugh.
the manly way to cook a steak

lone swimmer (Curtis)

group shot

beautiful 4th of July on the lake
And so it was. The four weeks of travel are now a blur. We’re back. Planning birthday parties. Travel to Rwanda. Connecting with friends. Work. Etc. Here's to family.

"A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for." 
-Grace Hopper, computer scientist and US Navy Rear Admiral (1906-1992)

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