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roaming the world and enjoying the scenery...

Ramona and Chuleta

The middle school drama group is putting on a production of Romeo and Juliet this week, and Alea was very excited to be able to attend a sneak preview during school. We were talking about it before the big day, and trying to explain why it was a comedy, love tale, and sad story all in one. “Romeo thought Juliet was dead, so he died of a broken heart. When she woke up and saw him dead, then she died of a broken heart too.”

Breck tried to get into the conversation as well, but those darn Italian names really threw him for a loop. Romeoa became Romano and Romanetto, which quickly coalesced into Ramona, which mom and dad thought was pretty funny. Now the latest from Bill Shakespeare, a tale of star crossed lovers fighting the rampant homophobia of medieval Italy, come and see Ramona and Juliet.

As mom was fighting off tears at the table, Breck – pretty oblivious to what he was saying and how funny we all found it – started to try to say Juliet. He made it through Julietta but stopped pretty quickly on Chuleta. Again, a great choice, since that means “pork chop,” which was Alea’s favorite food in Honduras.

So by the end of the meal, we were all laughing pretty hard imagining poor Ramona dying of a broken heart after she lost her beloved pork chop. Ramona and Chuleta – sounds like a great Mel Brooks movie.


BB the turtleAnd here she is, our second pet. Given almost the same name as the original gecko we caught outside, Be-Be ended up in our lives as kind of an afterthought. The kids had been pestering Susan about getting an animal, but she wasn’t budging (although I hope to persuade her about a cat some day).

Stella, our housekeeper, happened to be in the room during one of these conversations and she told Alea that she could get her a turtle the next time she went back to her village, as they were all over there. Well, we didn’t think much more about it until the day that we can home from school and found her swimming in a big plastic bowl in the kitchen (Be-Be, not Stella).

Susan ran out and got a fish tank and some rocks, and Be-Be has inhabited a corner of Alea’s room since then. We started her off on a diet of carrot slices, rice, and chopped veggies, but she has since moved up to chomping on any bugs we can find for her. It is a source of great amusement for the kids (just as the gladiator shows probably were for those little Roman children) to watch her chase bugs around that are twice her size, trying to take a bite out of them before they escape. Susan loves to watch Be-Be for signs of ‘surfing,’ which is when she climbs up on a rock and sticks her arms and legs out to catch the heat.

Happy Halloween!

Stutz family at Halloween 2007So here it is, one day after our Diwali shindig, and we had the big Halloween get together. (You can bet the kids are just going nuts at school with all the parties, candy, days off, and break coming up.) We had a trick or treating night at our apartment building, and all staff kids were invited to go up and down the stairs, knocking on all the doors and getting tons of candy. There were even ‘adult treats’ being cracked open in one of the apartments.

A few more pictures of the evening are posted here.

Breck and Alea did pretty well, and held their own in the trading sessions that followed. I was pretty excited to see that someone had even gotten ahold of Reese’s somehow, and so I made sure to ‘encourage’ them to trade for those!!

Susan the pirate picked up the same cold that Breck and Alea had, and so she stayed for a bit as the pirate greeting the kids, but then she did make her way around to give holiday greetings to all. She was not feeling any better this morning, but still decided to come in to school, but was not sure if she would make it all day. (I find it amusing that our driver has the day off on Thursdays, and that is the day of the week that everyone in our family has been the sickest!) Hopefully she’ll be feeling better by this weekend!


Oktoberfest 2007Was a blast! We had a great crew of people show up, and we ate, drank, and danced the night away. Breck and some buddies were the ‘no shirt club,’ keeping things under control in the apartment, and Alea and her friends were very excitedly dancing to all the songs. It will absolutely become a Bombay tradition as we go forward from here. I have to run this morning for a week in Matheran, but will post a picture of the yummy keg we were able to get. Auf wiedersehen…

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.