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roaming the world and enjoying the scenery...

Holidays in the hotlands

We’ve got all the stuff up and running – Christmas tree, lights, garland, mistletoe: the works. As I type this, “Deck the Halls” is blasting over the speakers (a big shout out to my new favorite web sites of the week: ernienotbert.blogspot.com, bigballsofholly.typepad.com, inkydog.blogspot.com, falalalala.com, and christmasyuleblog.blogspot.com. These are a bunch of sites where they take old records that are out of print, rip them to mp3, and then post them for download. Free music, people!!) and I am just enjoying the lights and the mood.

A funny little aside about how our life here is different than in a more temperate climate: we have one of those (East) German houses with the helicopter rotor that spins when you burn candles underneath. Well, in Mumbai, we don’t need no stinkin’ candles to make the thing turn. We can’t burn candles in the house, since we need to have the air conditioner on all the time. But as it turns out, the breeze blowing from the AC is just perfect to make the house spin around. Its the most wonderful time of the year!!

(We won’t let a little heat get in the way of our annual White Elephant party either!)

Loose ends for the weekend

I’ve added a few pages to the website, but never got around to listing them here, so if you are among our readership (which I think is now somewhere between 3 and 5 people per week), here are some of the random new pictures and all you can visit this weekend:

Anyways, hope that is enough to keep you busy over the weekend. I know it has been a chore from this end (labor of love, yeah, yeah, yeah).

Some pictures today…

Breck talking with Minnesota’s First LadyFirst of all, here is Breck, asking a question of Minnesota’s First Lady. The governor made a trip to India a while back, and while he didn’t make it to our school, his wife did, and Breck got to ask her a question! According to our director, “he was very articulate.” Way to go, Breck!!

Now for some from our Christmas trip. These are the first pages, put together over the weekend. None of the page navigation is in, so you’ll have to keep coming “back” here to get to the next one, but at least it is a start. Enjoy!!

Happy New Year!

The Stutz family in front of the Taj Mahal!!We’re back from our “Golden Triangle” trip – safe and sound, battle scarred and road weary. Our trip was, in different turns (and often within minutes of each other) beautiful, dirty, frustrating, rewarding, restful, and stressful. We saw wonders of the world and soul wrenching poverty, experienced overwhelming environmental degradation back to back with fantastic wildlife conservation, and came away with a new appreciation for all that we have.

In fact, one of the most poignant moments was upon our return to Mumbai – as we were driving through the street, both Dave and Susan looked at each other and remarked at how clean and orderly Mumbai seemed!! After all our ‘comments’ about the quality of life here, seeing what things are like out in the sticks brought a new round of culture shock home to us.

In any case, we’re back and will begin putting together pictures and stories from the trip, but this will be a very time-intensive project (as you can imagine). Patience, and we’ll get these posted. In the meantime, Susan is taking off for a week in Jakarta, Indonesia to get some teacher training, so don’t expect to hear much from her!

Merry Christmas!

Alea and Breck on Christmas eve!Imagine being able to play in your outdoor pool on Christmas Eve!! That’s what we did tonight, as the parents grilled chicken, the kids ‘painted’ each other and chased the crows away, and we all sat on the patio furniture watching the sun go down and the bats come up while we got ready for Santa to swing by.

We are celebrating Christmas on the 23rd this year because of our upcoming trip to Delhi, Agra, and Rajasthan. Santa even sent us a text message one morning on our way into school confirming that he would be making a special trip to our apartment:

All ok 4 xmas on 23 dec. will make special kiara delivery to b and a. regards, kk

You should’ve seen Breck’s eyes light up when Dave’s phone beeped with that message! He was pretty excited, and texted Santa right back:

Thaks 4 coming 2 kiara on the 23. 2 thank u by leving out cookies and milk (mayb my dad will leave out som beer). Yours truly Breck

As always, we anticipate that the arctic wanderer will treat us pretty well, with early reports confirming lots of legos for Breck, woven baskets for mom, a rock tumbler for Alea, and (yet another) Cubbies hat for dad.

We’ve started a Christmas 2007 page with a few pictures from before and after the great present opening fest. We take off for our trip on Monday, and don’t anticipate being able to update the blog at all when on the road. If we are lucky, we might pop online and zap out an email or two, but the blog and webpage will probably be dormant until around the 8th of January or so.

Since that is the case, we’ll take this opportunity to wish everyone the holidayest of holiday seasons. Enjoy the snow if you are in the cold, lounge in the sun if you are in the heat, and make the most of each day that you’ve got. Adios until the new year!!

Holiday Greetings!

Our annual letter about all the stuff we did this past year is now posted on our webpage. Read, enjoy, and have yourself a merry little Christmas…