Saturday, June 23, 2007

Today I learned that there is a right and wrong way to sacrifice a goat...

OK Nepali readers... this one may upset you... I share this for those who are not here... because I had an excellent day, really!

The most mind blowing thing happened today... we took our 19 students to a village about 20km from Kathmandu (amazing) and then we started to walk to a Hindu/Buddhist temple complex way up on a mtn...

The professor decided that we should all stop out in the middle of a rice field (nice, spectacular view, etc) and (a resting place with little but very old altar temple like place with Hindu rites going on....). So we brought them all together, and we were talking about things to look for ethnomathematically.. .and there was a family who decided to sacrifice a goat while I am talking. I found out later that the students were upset because the family doing it was doing it wrong (apparently NEVER to Ganesh, etc)... so today I learned that there is a right and wrong way to sacrifice a goat... not that I want to sacrifice a goa t, ever, but nice to know I guess...

It was such a mind blower... the rest of the day was equally amazing... but I wanted to share... pictureless as I can't get to my pics or my computer until tomorrow... amongst other things we ran into a guru who talked to us about math and learning, some amazing geometric Buddhist chaitras, looked at a lot of architecture, etc... all sorts of things as we climbed the hill and the forest then back into town that will give them years of research and mathematical models...

The students are amazing... really good folks, really creative... I am truly blessed (with out the goat... please).

Friday, June 22, 2007

Evening Rainbow





Corn three weeks ago from office window and now

















Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pictures from Patan






























Patan is a 10 minute walk from the School of Education.
The rice now growing freely in the paddy outside my office window is about a foot tall now, and the corn which was just about a foot tall is tasseling already (3 weeks!) woo hoo!

I might be able to finagle a free flight to Namche Bazaar - the kickoff point for Everest treks... 3480m (a mere 11400ft). I guess they have a great Saturday market there... you know what they say "when the tough get going, the tough go shopping at 3400m!"

How Much Land Does a Man Need?

My colleagues were asking me if I had read these stories... very timely tho written a longtime ago by Tolstoy.

See: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/other/tolstoy.html

The Wedding














































This morning I was invited to accompany a colleague to a wedding...

also some snaps of the up the Durbar Marg towards the Royal Palace.

From my son... I can't be prouder!

Hey everyone, I just came across this great article about the Monument that was constructed to all of the dead and disappeared. I'm currently working on a team that's doing a second pass at the names. The monument is great but it's nowhere near complete. http://www.elsalvador.com/noticias/2006/11/02/nacional/cambio1.aspthe article is in Spanish, but you can use something like babelfish to translate the entire webpage for you. you just have to copy the link of the article into the box in babelfish. http://babelfish.altavista.com/enjoy!Spencer

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


obrigado Sonia!

notice that each number corresponds to the number of angles...

Ruminations...









Ruminations from late lastnite...
I think my colleagues think it’s funny that I think the cows are funny. Not in a disrespectful way though, having spent time on ranch, I like cows… they seem pensive. And here of course, they decide where they can be pensive… anywhere they want! This evening when I was crossing the very busy street to the cyber house – I was in a large crowd of people walking across the street, and nearly tripped over a cow who was just sitting on the sidewalk, right where people needed to cross, chewing his cud. The sidewalks are jammed with shoppers between 5 and 8pm – when hundreds of people all over the city can place a piece of fabric out and sell all sorts of Chinese made goods – the same goods that I see on the sidewalks of any city in Latin America. I think I already wrote about my theory.
I am struck constantly by our similarities... the people seem the , almost familiar, there are a lot of teenagers out – it is at time to meet friends and just walk around – buying some street food, flirting with the opposite sex. Yesterday I bought a set of speaker headphones to try and skype folks for 250 rupees (1$ US = 65 NPR) – similar headphones in the States begin about 19 dollars.

I am so moved by the similarities of peoples. It is refreshing to be in a country where there is little evidence of drug lords, gangs, graffiti and evangelical missionaries disrupting the cultural fabric like they do in Latin America. Here the poverty is all around us, the environment is difficult at best, travel is difficult in Kathmandu, but people are happy, and honest, and kind.

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This morning before work, I went to the stupa at Boudhanath… walked around it a few times a good way to start the day!




Girl walking home from School...

The Kathmandu Main campus at Dhulikel - rated best future sabbatical site




this man is my father's same age...



Tea with the vice chancelor (university president / reitor) in his office


Another truly grand day out, began by a walk about the neighborhood I noted this banner thanking Jimmy Carter for his four day visit to mediate between t all the political factions. Then the Shashi and our brave driver showed up at 830am to go to the main campus about 30km east just outside of the valley. A stunning drive by Bhaktapor and then a climb out the valley and over the ridge to campus near the town of Dhulikel.

Then we walked about the campus which is truly a lovely place, with all sorts of construction going on. We met with faculty members in various departments and then we had a quick meeting wit the Dean of Engineering and the Vice-chancellor (university president).

Then we went to lunch in a place overlooking the hills (with numerous pictures of the amazing Himalayas that cannot be seen for the cloud cover (drats!). We saw a small hamlet below us and I suggested that we investigate… so off we went down the mountain… and met a family (seethe snaps) the man is the same age as my father and was making tomato stakes from large pieces of bamboo. On the way back up the hill we were met with kids walking home from school. Some in groups and some all alone like this little girl.

Dhulikel gets my vote for best place for the next sabbatical in 5 years… fairly close to the madness of Kathmandu, yet calm, safe, clean… pleasant… and the promise of killer views of those illusive Himalayas! How on earth can something so damn big hide like they do this time of year?

As I am writing there is a great sunset… I see I happened to catch a crow enjoying it as well!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

More from Pokhara...

Looking back from the hotel at where we had been.

Made it!






looking back where we came from...




Visulaize 6997m tall Machhupachhare inthe mist behind us inthis foto!

Can you see the heart?

rice!





Water Buffaloes and rice tilling

More snaps... from my Pokhara trip..

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