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roaming the world and enjoying the scenery...

Google for Educators presentation

Google Education Summit in Jakarta

Getting my geek on this weekend: My teaching partner and I are presenting at a Google Summit being held here. Name of our session? Forms As Reflective Tools. We have so much fun with acronyms!

Free Verse Friday – Ode to the varieties of Indian stomach ailments

I have been neglectful in Free Verse Friday lately, so in honor of this week’s Caf-ASB, here is my ode to various regional stomach ailments:

Here in Mumbai, we sometimes get food sick
From restaurant, kitchen, or picnic.
The belly distends
Kicks out waste from both ends
Accompanied by internal music.

This year’s not been really all too rough
We’ve only had one round of that stuff
But with watery stomachs
And quivery buttocks
I swear once is more than enough.

The first hint is often quite bitter
A bubbling that shouts out “Don’t fritter!
You’ve no time to wait
You’d better go straight
And plop yourself down on the… toilet!”

But one thing we’ve noticed in three years
Is a pattern that constantly reappears:
The BMs reflect
The vacations they’ve wrecked
Like a matched set of runny brown souvenirs.

Our first trip, in a hotel so smelly
Alea’s tummy got sick from some jelly
In India’s heart
Ruined trip from the start:
An authentic case of real Delhi Belly.

The second time, as you will soon see-a
Was based on the self same idea
Poor Breck took the throne
In our very own home:
Struck down by Mubaiarrhea.

Dave’s ill was not like his daughter’s
But still was a set of the trotters.
Eating Cochinese shrimp
On his trip, put a crimp:
He sailed down the Kerala Backwaters.

Our last trip involved the ole poop pots
When we went to see Indian hot spots
In the desert a-cruisin’
The ailment caught Susan
And she got the Jodhpur Camel Trots

We’ve suffered on hikes, boats, and car rides
Strange stuff coming out of our backsides:
From Goan Groanin’ sick
To Jaipur Diaper ick
To colossal Himalayan Mudslides.

Pondicherry Derri-airy, Bangalore Blasts
Hyderabad Hot Squirts, Taj Mahal Gas
The Rajasthan Runs
Of course, Mysore Bum
The Calcutta Quick Step and Amritsar Ass.

Now, don’t think our stories pure unkind
We’ve usually had a real good time.
We remember our trips
Not by what we take with
Butt rather, what we’ve left behind!

Haircut

Didn’t think getting a haircut was a big deal? It is when you walk through an Indian neighborhood to get there. I’ve wanted to document the walk down to my hair cutting “saloon” for quite some time, and I finally got around to it last weekend.

I go to a local place – a step up from the sidewalk emporiums since it is actually housed in an old cargo container with electricity and everything!

Check out the pictures from the walk, just another glimpse at the sights from our life in Mumbai!

Sunday morning irony

Breck is off at a sleepover, so it is a mom, dad, and Alea morning in Mumbai. Since waffles are a favorite weekend breakfast, we are sitting around the table, each enjoying our own topping: Alea has Nutella, Susan has Karo syrup, and Dave has syrup.

Staring me right in the face was the syrup bottle, and I just had to laugh at the label. Maybe I’ve been overseas too long, but it just struck me on a funny note, and I thought I’d pass it along.

Good old fashioned American Garden syrup...

Not usually what jumps to my mind when I picture an American garden…

Slacking off

There haven’t been too many posts this week due to a new distraction in my life. For better or for worse, however, there is a long backstory that you’ll have to wade through to get to the good stuff!

Electronics in India are a hot or miss affair. Some things are very reasonably priced and of good quality, others are horrendously expensive and/or are shady knock offs. When I’ve wanted to get something expensive, I’ve usually tried to get it from the US – still showing my regional bias, I suppose.

Susan wanted to find some specific pictures from when we were in Belgrade, and the fuss and hoopla that took place in trying to find them in our stack of picture dvds was out of control. As I surveyed the wreck that our living room had become in the quest to find a few silly images, I decided that I needed a new external hard drive on which to store all our media!

One of our colleagues was planning to go to the US for a conference, so I cleared it with her and ordered a one terabyte drive from Amazon to be delivered to another colleague’s apartment (where she would be staying). That is a thousand gigs! Crazy – how am I ever going to use that all (of course, I remember saying the same thing when we bought our first computer with an enormous one-gigabyte hard drive!)?!

As I sat in front of the computer ordering, I figured ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ and ordered a portable mp3/video player as well. Well, I must’ve missed the email that said it was being sent under separate cover – because when our friend got back, she only had the hard drive, but did say that “a really small and light box from Amazon was at the apartment as well.” Guess I’ll have to figure out a way to get it this summer!

But the hard drive is here, and so I’ve spent much of the past week transferring music and pictures over to it. There are still some doubles to weed out and some ‘floaters’ lost on individual disks around the house to put on, but all in all it feels good to have everything in one place. Of course, I spent an hour last night looking through old scans and pictures I haven’t seen in years, and got nothing done on the Egypt pages…

And that’s why there haven’t been any blog entries this week. But I promise, there is a good one tomorrow!

Mutts and Mangroves

ASB in the mangrovesToday is our Community and Social Responsibility (CSR) day in the middle school, and all the classes are off doing service projects around Mumbai. Alea’s sixth grade is working with a group called Welfare of Stray Dogs, while Dave’s seventh grade advisory is off to clean up mangroves. We had an earlier experience at both these places last fall, and so this is the follow-up to those visits.

We are looking forward to an engaging and interesting experience – hopefully filled with lots of dog hair and mud! I’ll see if there are any pictures to post this afternoon…

UPDATE: A super full day – not as muddy as we’d thought, but hotter and stinkier. We’re trying to put together a ning about what we’re learning (a ning is a social-network type site), so you can check out how we’re doing and see a few pictures!

NCAA Champ 2009!And oh yes – I almost forgot to show off my second-year-in-a-row NCAA bracket championship! I won with my other bracket, the one I didn’t post here. Go figure…

Surprise! Happy Birthday and a half…

Huge weekend plans for Breck – his birthday is on Monday, which is also Chinese New Year this year as well as India’s Republic Day. Since that is one of only two national secular holidays, it is celebrated with parades and fireworks and a day off from school; he is pretty darn excited about having no school on his birthday.

Since this is a great opportunity to have a lot of fun with him, we had a ton of stuff planned. On Friday he took treats to school and then went to a friend’s house to play (while mom and dad both had separate TGIF parties to attend). On, Saturday we had a birthday party for him at home with some friends, after which Dave took them all to a nearby mall (nearby meaning a little less than an hour in traffic each way) for video games and Pizza Hut. Today he is enjoying all his friends’ gifts – righ now he is trying to figure out how to play a new Star Wars computer game. And on Monday, we’ll do a family thing with him. What a lucky guy!

Susan was really annoying me, however, all day on Saturday. Because of the vagaries of trying to ‘time’ how long it will take to get anywhere, we had told kids’ parents that we’d be done around 6 in the evening. For some reason, Susan kept calling the whole time we were at the mall and coming home: “What are you doing now?” “Are you eating yet?” “How come you haven’t left yet?” “What’s taking you so long to get home?” etc… I was tempted to just shut off the phone, and was getting tired of being nagged so much.

We finally rolled in at 6:20, which I thought was pretty darn good. As I walked in the door, Susan grabbed me and said, “I need you to help Alea on the roof. She’s gotten into a huge fight with one of her friends up there and I don’t know what to do about them.” So here I am, after a full day of babysitting a bunch of 4th graders at the mall, being dragged into some kind of middle school catfight. Sigh.

Dave's party

When we made it up to the roof, I turned the corner and a whole bunch of people started singing, “Happy Birthday.” My first thought was that I needed to get Breck up right away, since he was missing his song. Then I noticed that they were all looking at me and laughing (which, granted, isn’t that unusual an occurence), so I figured that something else was going on. When the voices stopped, Susan explained that it was my half birthday, and since I have never had a full on birthday party (because we and our peers are always dispersed across the globe by the time June rolls around), she had set up a surprise “Half Birthday” party. Seeings how my next age change brings up the big 4-0, that fit even more splendidly into her plans.

Having a huge group of people waiting around explains her ‘nagginess’ during the day, as she wanted to make sure that I would be home at a reasonable hour, so I guess I can forgive her! It was a perfect evening for a party, and there was a ton of barbecued meat, catered snacks, and cold drinks. People kept saying “Halfy Birthday” which I thought was cute, and brought all sorts of fun gifts for an old man. One of the most original was “Four Teas for Forty” – a selection of herbal teas, each of which is supposed to help shore up different bodily functions for the elderly: mental agility, iron absorption, bowel regularity, and, ahem, “physical fitness for matrimonial relationship building.”

As things turned out however, that last tea wasn’t needed after the party. Nope, not needed at all:

It turned out that Breck’s teacher brought cigars, and Breck was so distraught at seeing his teacher smoking (having seen very graphic pictures of the effects of smoking during our trip to Thailand) that, after the party, he had to cuddle with mom all night.

So I ended up just kind of cleaning up on the roof after my own party. And then crashing, alone. Thanks alot, Mr. Jordan.

The new school pictures are here!

Check ’em out – Alea and Breck ready to take on the world:

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(you can also see the pictures from last year, as well as those from even earlier grades…)

Mangrove mania

As part of our school mission, ASB is in the process of developing relationships with various non-governmental agencies (NGOs) in Mumbai. There are certainly many areas where we have the opportunity to “enhance the lives of others” in this sprawling city, and in the middle school we’ve targeted three sectors for the different grade levels: 6th grade focuses on animal welfare, 7th grade on the environment, and 8th grade on education.

This past Friday was our first full day of working with the various groups, and both Dave and Alea had the chance to go ‘into the field’ to get some hands on experience. Alea’s group went to an animal shelter affiliated with the one we visited in Udaipur at the end of October (sigh – those pages are still not created or posted. Patience, patience) where they got a crash course in some of the issues and treatment options for city animals at risk. (Rumor has it that she also fell in love with a beautiful black kitten, which Susan will not let her bring home.)

Dave’s 7th grade class went to visit a patch of mangroves on the eastern side of the city. Mangroves are trees that grow in brackish water, where outflowing rivers and streams meet the sea and get ‘backflooded’ when the tides rise. Providing shelter for many types of sea and land life, protecting coastlines from erosion, and scrubbing a disproportionate amount of carbon dioxide out of the air, these important coastal features are threatened by development. Most of the original groves around Mumbai have been destroyed, and construction by both the fabulously wealthy (who want seaside views and golf courses) and the desperately poor (who want shantytown shelter in any place they can find it) continues to this day.

There are a number of organizations dedicated to working to halt the encroachment of population centers on the mangroves, and our school has partnered with the Mangrove Society of India, which works in Mumbai to explore the issue. With Rishi Aggarwaal as our guide and mentor, we headed to the mangrove sanctuary sponsored by Godrej, a manufacturing company that has set aside a huge swath of land outside their factories.

Lionfish with kids in the backgroundThe kids spent some time learning about the mangroves and their importance, seeing some of the different fish that make their home or spawn there (including the cool-looking but deadly lionfish), and going to a local school that runs a mangrove awareness program. It was quite an experience (despite getting devoured by mosquitoes!) that we look forward to building on when we return later in the year. We’ll probably get more engaged in “doing” things in the mangroves – this trip was more of a getting acquainted with the issues visit.

Of course, ask any of the kids for the highlight of the day, and getting into the mud would be your hands (or feet) down winner! The kids schlopped and schlepped through the thick goo, and anyone who did not have shoes that went over the ankle became a prime candidate for being a shoe-loser. Few things in life are more fun than a school day that includes playing in the mud!!

New Knee

Dave\'s knee under repairBreck was dinging around with the camera the other day, and took a nice closeup of my knee as it recuperated outside. The big black thing is the brace that keeps the knee straight, so there is no shearing or slipping of the rebuilding muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other assorted leg things in there.

Because the ligament graft was taken from the tendon connecting my knee to shinbone, there is a vertical incision straight down the front of the knee. Those white ‘bandaids’ are covering and protecting the stitches from that cut.

Recovery has been making great progress in the past weeks. The brace has been adjusted to give me 30 degrees of movement in the joint, allowing it to start working on expanding the range of motion with weight on the leg. In the past two days, in fact, I have been able to start walking (ok, lurching is more appropriate a term, but you get the idea) around more without a crutch. Things are still pretty slow going, but I am feeling good about the progress – compared with things the way they were just a week ago (to say nothing of immediately after the surgery), what I’m able to do know is astounding.

And now, that’s enough about the knee. I’m going to settle in, put ice on my leg, and watch the All-Star game!

Inside the knee

Dave's wrecked ACLWant to get up close and personal with the inside of my knee? We got some pictures from the doctor when he did the surgery, and I’ve posted a little play by play description of what is going on. Nothing too graphically gross, actually pretty cool if you’ve ever wondered what the viewpoint to an arthroscopic surgery looks like.

There is also a picture of the kids helping to make me feel better, if that is more to your taset.

Enjoy!

Your father’s mustache

That is what my mom would say when we kids did something that she plain did not understand. I suppose it implied that whatever behavior we were exhibiting came from “the other side of the gene pool” (and not from those brave Spartans!).

As I work through my recovery from knee surgery, I am in the middle of one of those “Your father’s mustache” periods with my wife and the kids. There is quite a good backstory to all this, so just bear with me. As you’ll soon see, I have plenty of time on my hands…

So the set up: Before I got the surgery done, I had to have the issue diagnosed, right? Waiting in the doctor’s office, I read a Sports Illustrated article about baseball in Alaska. Of course, the thing that catches my eye isn’t the story per se, but the idea that they actually sing a different song for the 7th inning stretch – one that sounds kinda interesting. I grew into baseball with Harry Caray at Wrigley, so the idea of anything other than “Take me out to the ballgame” sounded sacrilegious at first, but I was intrigued.

Fast forward to this week, after surgery on Monday. The general therapy for me this week has been: Sit, with your leg elevated, and ice the knee for most of the day. Do two sessions of stretching and muscle building exercises during the day, and try to walk around the house three times putting a little weight on the bad leg. Then go back to sitting with your leg elevated, and put more ice on the knee. All day long. A perfect setup for wasting time on the internet, which we luckily can get through the air here.

“Wasting time on the internet?” Whoa. I wonder if I can track down that song they mentioned in the article. Oh yes, I could and I did. Now, this was apparently quite an underground hit for the band at the time – the mid 80s – which also happened to be my time for music, but I’d never heard it. The band is called the Beat Farmers, and the song is called Happy Boy. Here are the lyrics:

I was walkin’ down the street on a sunny day
hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba
Feelin’ in my bones that I’ll have my way
hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba

Chorus:
Well, I’m a happy boy (happy boy)
Well, I’m a happy boy (happy boy)
Oh, ain’t it good when things are goin’ your way? Hey hey

My little dog Spot got hit by a car
hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba
Put his guts in a box and put him in a drawer
hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba

(chorus)
(kazoo solo)
(beer gargle solo)

I forgot all about it for a month and a half
hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba
I looked in the drawer and started to laugh
hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba

(chorus)

With a chorus like that, and a kazoo solo, AND a beer gargle solo, how can you go wrong in only a minute and 22 seconds?! We tracked down the song itself (which you can watch and listen to via the youtube video below), and now I’ve got the kids wandering around the house singing about putting little dog guts in a drawer and saying “hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba” all over the place.

And poor Susan is just rolling her eyes at the silliness of us all. Apparently her mom didn’t have a phrase like “Your father’s moustache” to express her feelings (all she had was a good “tsk!”), but I am ascribing to Susan the right to say it, even though I don’t have a mustache. As an official Stutz, she should be able to use that saying. Especially for teaching the kids a song about squishing a poor pet dog. Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba.

PLAY BALL!!

Kneetly done

Well, the incisions have been incised, the grafts grafted, and the sutures sutured. All seemed to go well with the surgery on Monday, and I have spent the last 2 days encased in a metal superstructure designed to protect the knee and keep it from bending.

Seeings how it is my birthday, I have also had a pleasant stream of phone calls during the day. As the pain is getting to be quite noticeable, such calls are always a great interruption in a schedule replete with not much to do. Per Susan’s orders, today is another do-nothing day, but tomorrow will mark the first physical therapy meeting. Knowing how the joint feels just sitting here, I am a little apprehensive about getting out and working it, but that is the obvious point of PT.

But on a happier note, I got an email from my college buddy Samer confirming that he is getting married this July. While I will obviously not be able to make the ceremony, it gives me great pleasure to enjoy his special day (vicariously) with him.

Knee knews

So here’s the latest, and it ain’t pretty.

We got called in today to go over the results of the MRI, and right away knew that summer plans were a-changin. Everything is off for us this summer, because it looks like my surgery and recovery are going to be a bit more complicated than earlier thought. In addition to a torn meniscus – a “bucket handle” tear of the cartilage which apparently has flipped under the bone and is blocking my knee from straightening out – I also destroyed my ACL – the main ligament through the middle of the knee.

The good news (to frame at least something in a positive light) is that because of the severity and type of tear, the surgeon wants to get in there and fix everything up as soon as possible, so I am scheduled to go under the knife on Monday morning. It is an outpatient procedure, so I should be back at the folks’ house that same afternoon. Since they are taking off to Russia for 2 weeks the same day, we’ll be able to watch their house (and new puppy!) while I’m recovering.

As far as further plans for the summer, we talked with the doctor about recovery time. Since the surgery, recovery, and physical therapy resulting from the ligament injury is quite a bit more involved than that of just the torn cartilage, it basically grounds us from further summer travels. So we’ll not be making it out to our beautiful cabin after all, and the scheduled reunion taking place up there will go on without us.

Not really the way we planned on spending the summer – but we are certainly counting our blessings that things are as ‘fixable’ as they are. There are plenty of other incidents and situations that could have been so much more life-shattering than this. It throws a wrench into our summer plans, but we’ll make the best of them!

Didn’t kneed that!

Oops – just as things were falling into place for all the summer travels, we’re having a major shake up in plans. I went with my sister-in-law to play volleyball last night, and the sand just didn’t agree with my knee. I heard a pop, felt a ‘catch,’ and now all of a sudden my left leg looks wildly out of sorts; all bent up and bent out. I can’t walk on it, and am very glad Grandma had a pair of crutches in the house.

Susan took me over to a doctor today, and as I suspected when it first happened, it looks like I’ll need surgery – thankfully just a “scope” and not a “cut.” MRI scheduled for tomorrow, operation next Tuesday. Ugh. Obviously, the whole summer schedule predicated on my leaving tomorrow is scrapped, as well as my quiet “guy time” driving out to Montana!

We’re going to try to keep most of the itinerary intact: Suz and the kids will still fly out; I’ll just be joining them later than planned (getting there after instead of before them). The real trick will be, of course, them managing at the cabin without all the stuff I was supposed to drive out (camping gear, for example).

Never a dull moment for the Stutz family!! Oh well – what’s that old saying? “Want to make the gods laugh? Tell them your plans!”

Pi Day!

Of course we celebrated Pi Day this year at school and at home. Breck and Alea have been singing all the Pi Songs they can remember. For those of you who might have forgotten, March 14th – 3.14 – is Pi Day (get it?). And of course, as a middle school math teacher, I do all sorts of Pi stuff at school and it has kind of rubbed off on the kids. I let my students earn some extra credit by recording Pi songs or videos: here is a link to where I parked a few of the audio files as well as some I’d previously found on the net. We had our annual digit memorizing contest – this year our high scores were 95 and 83 – both were by 6th graders!

Breck’s Soccer TeamSaturday was a full day at school. Dave got up early to go in for middle school girls’ volleyball practice (no, he’s not playing on the team – he’s coachingthe team!). Breck’s indoor soccer season then wrapped up this weekend with a tournament that afternoon at the school. The kids played hard and stuffed themselves between games on all the food parents had brought for the pot luck dinner. Alea got to go swimming during some of the matches, as one of her friends was at school (also to watch her brother – who was on Breck’s team – play in the tournament). In the end, his team ended up with a 4th place trophy, lots of smiles all around, and some standing invitations for play dates.

We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing around the home with friends from Kiara as the temperatures start to soar. We plan on getting the pool opened up and going for a dip this afternoon. The ACs are running full time now, and we can only sweat and anticipate what April and May are going to be like!

New links added today:

ASB Unplugged

ASB UnpluggedThe whole school is aflutter this week because of a big technology conference we are hosting. There are administrators and tech personnel coming in from at least 26 international schools, and the 3-day conference is a huge showcase for the day-to-day uses of tech in the educational arena. Many teachers are personally delivering workshops: Susan is leading a group on the use of a digital document camera in the first grade classroom while Dave has ‘farmed out’ his presentations to students – they’ll be showcasing subject specific programs to the conference attendees.

It is a pretty big deal for the school, as ASB is very much on the cutting edge of computer use in the classroom. In the middle and high school, all students have a tablet computer (think “laptop with swiveling screen”) that they bring with them to all classes. The elementary school kids have a good deal of computer exposure as well – witness Alea’s webpage and Breck’s class blog. Of course, there are also a million other things going on, from grades being due to a PTA formal party, so there’s no chance to sit back and bask in glory!

Just to keep things in perspective, however, I did have to laugh at what I got when I googled the asb unplugged conference:
ASB Unplugged on Google

I was relieved to note that – no, people didn’t (necessarily) consider the conference to be ‘dangerously irrelevant’ – this is the name of a blog run by Scott McLeod, one of the keynote speakers at the conference. Whew!

MathCounts

ASB Mathcounts Green TeamWe held ASB’s first ever Mathcounts competition this weekend, and I think things went off pretty well. We’ve had up to 16 kids coming for practices, but with other events (including an Iron Maiden concert here in Bombay – talk about a phrase I never imagined ever writing in my life!) we had 8 show up for the meet. That works out perfectly, though, as the team events involve 4 kids on each team, so we had 2 groups to go head to head.When the individual events finished on Friday, we had one person who was clearly ahead of the pack, but then a big logjam behind him. Our team competition on Saturday was very close, and our individual “Countdown Round” was a huge success, with several upsets and people changing final placement.

ASB Gold TeamI think the parents enjoyed the day as much as the kids, and the pizza afterwards didn’t hurt. We had really sweet looking trophies made, and hopefully the ‘buzz’ generated by the event will help get even more participation in ‘doing math’ as we go forward. All in all, a great end to our activity and a great start to the weekend.

Week without Walls update

As promised earlier, and just in time for our weekend off, the WWW pages are now posted. Enjoy!

Eid Mubarak

Eid celebrationWell the kids are in bed, but the fireworks are just starting to go off all over. It is Eid, the end of a month of fasting for Mulsims, and our neighbors downstairs are gearing up for a big party tonight. I wonder how that will compare with the Oktoberfest party we are planning for next Saturday? Many of the drivers at school are Muslim, and most have been fasting, so the afternoon rides home – when they’re feeling the effects of a full day with no food – have not been for the faint of heart!

It is pretty interesting to live in a place where all these different festivals coexist so well. The Ganesh season just wrapped up and there is another Hindu festival happening now too (with however many hundreds of god there are, it is no surprise that there always seems to be a party going on). And the Christians have… Halloween right around the corner!! (let’s see how many hackles get raised with that comment!)

Elementary soccer teamHad the big elementary school soccer tournament today – last day of coaching for me (yay!). We went 2-0-1, but the team we tied won on goal differential. Oh well, it was a fun day in the sun. The tough part about it was that Breck wanted to be on the team, but there were only 12 allowed (and 63 went out). Kind of a rough deal to have to make cuts in grades 1 through 3.

Anyways, after swimming with the kids, we all spent a quiet afternoon getting ready for Monday. We will be going to an Eid celebration tomorrow too, so will be interested in seeing how that goes.

The saga begins…

So Uncle Rob wrote me a nasty email the other day saying “You ought to list everything that you show on the front of the webpage. What’s wrong bonehead, haven’t you ever heard of a blog?” Or words to that effect. So we’ll give it a try. No guarantees on how often it’ll be updated, but at least I’ll try to get links in to our most recent stuff and all.

I don’t understand it, though. I thought the cool thing about the web was that you could see things – you know, pictures, videos – cool stuff. Who wants to sit around and read a bunch of text? Well, apparently Uncle Rob does.

So what is the story so far? Our family, after living for four years in Belgrade, Serbia (actually, Dave lived there 4 years, while Susan and the kids went back to the states after 3, but that is a long enough story to preclude it’s being retold or explained here), moved to Bombay (Mumbai) India in the fall of 2007. The parents are both teachers – Susan is doing 1st grade this year, and Dave has middle school math and technology – who are riding the international circuit – and their two kids are in 3rd (Breck) and 5th (Alea) grade.

We’ve had a family webpage for 10 years (8 at the present domain name), with one of the more voluminous areas being the travel pictures we post. When we came to India, we started right up showing people what our life was like.

We’ve spent the first two months settling in, and I guess that is what got Dave’s brother Rob all bent out of shape. We’d posted a number of pages with the things that we’d seen, but apparently not well enough organized to keep him happy. Here then, in the order that we did them, are the pages that already appear on the India webpage. Sorry for the late start, but I’ll try to keep things more to your liking from now on. Satisfied now?

Our first pages were built on letters that we wrote to family and friends about out first impressions. Interestingly enough, we called them “First view of life in India” and “Second view of life in India.” I forgot to warn you about the strong literary streak running through my blood, didn’t I? Then the kids and I discovered a gecko on the roof, so we shared info about “Our first pet.” Guess I’ll have to put something up now about our second pet, seeings how we’ve got one now. But you’ll have to wait…

After we got settled in a bit we made a trip downtown shopping at Chor Bazaar (the reason I’m not writing too much about these is that I’m playing catch-up ball, and the info is already located on the pages themselves. We then took a weekend trip to Lonavala, which was where all this fussin hoopla started, because it was there that we visited the Karla caves – named after my sister (and after Susan’s too, but hers is with a C not a K).

We were here in time to see the Ganesh immersion festival, attend an arts and crafts fair, and hike around Matheran. There is a lot more scheduled to happen, including a trip to Goa at the beginning of November, so hopefully this will keep Uncle Rob satisfied.