Some Wild Things in Kerala!

Hi, Kids —

The south of India has great food and great animals. I could have ridden an elephant, but decided to wait. Maybe in Thailand, where I know how well  their owners take care of them. 


I went on a long boatride one morning and afternoon on the “Backwaters.” That’s where I saw these birds and (wild) dogs

CRANE looking for lunch.

DOGS looking for lunch, too.  

FISHERMEN on Kerala Backwaters…they found their lunch!


Missing you already, but…SO THANKFUL!

You six…SUMMER and FALL — remember these moments?

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The driver wasn’t outside Gate 6, but in a little while he appeared, smiling, and talking on his phone!

This lovely family and I shared stories and tips – they are here for a family wedding – during our very, very long flight. 


Look at the driver tying the suitcase to the top with A SINGLE BUNGEE. And it worked!


I think we could put this sign in my apartment courtyard, don’t you? For the bunnies.


This morning, Thursday, I was able to go out to Jeevan  Jyoti, the orphanage run by the Daughters of Charity here in New Delhi. The sisters were lovely, and since it was a Prayer Day, there was just one other volunteer, a young woman from Poland.

The sisters let me join workers doing physical therapy with very disabled, very young  children.   I didn’t see any  babies as young as you, Francis, but one little boy sounded just like you when you get excited. ! Someday, I will tell you all more about these beautiful kids.


(Prayer Day is  also laundry day for the sisters!)




Blind Kids Learning in Chiang Mai – FIELD TRIPS!

Hi, kids — 

     Special thanks to Ceci and Finn for the great videos telling my students about snow! I know it’s hard to tell  kids who can’t see, about something they’ve never experienced.  BUT YOU DID IT. They  still tell me they don’t really understand how — or why — you go outside and actually PLAY in it, but I think that’s because winter here (now) is 80 degrees or higher,  don’t you?

Today, I thought I’d tell you about 2 trips we’ve taken  (if you click the photos, I think you can make them bigger) —

                          THIS WEEK WE WENT TO THE COUNTRY, TO A RICE FARM.

In fact these students go out to the country nearly every week – to learn where rice (and sometimes other fruits and vegetables) comes from, and how it is harvested.

After working in the morning, we made lunch —



The kids can't see, so this is how they figure out what pukins are like: how they're shaped, and where they come from

As you know, the kids can’t see, so this is how they figure out what pumpkins are like: how they’re shaped, and where they come from



Hi, Kids — 

Mary, I know you’re back home, and Cronin kids, I think you didn’t have school on Wednesday (Finn, you called it: -40 with the wind chill). BRRR I wonder what you did  all day?

Maybe tonight or tomorrow you will have time to look at pictures From a few weeks ago, from  Beijing. As you know,  I was with Uncle Roy and Auntie Elizabeth. There are even videos  for you, Gus, Kieran, and Mary…

Elizabeth toted  my very heavy bags from the airport…

Elizabeth  met me at the airport.

One day I visited a huge palace, with many buildings, and many rooms in those buildings. It is right in the center of Beijing.  Can you guess why this huge palace, many palaces, actually, which is about 600 years old, is known as THE FORBIDDEN CITY?

Inside The Forbidden City

Inside The Forbidden City. This looks like a very old picture doesn’t it? I took it in December 2014!

I also made a very quick visit to TIANANMEN SQUARE (ask mom & dad) —



One evening we went to see many things, starting with the Chinese National Stadium, called The BIRDSNEST.  Nearby, is this tower. If I’d taken a video, you could see that the changing colors make the lights look as if they are moving.


That night we also visited a huge place called The Water Cube. It was built for swimming competition at the 2008 Olympics. Elizabeth took this video for you:

Inside the Water Cube is a long water path, covered with glass — can you see what WE saw as we walked along the path?imageWe went to see a performance of Beijing Opera in the Water Cube. This introduction by the director gives you an idea of why the singers sound strange to our ears:

…and here are a few seconds of the opera. Ceci and Finn, can you read the words on the red sign? That might help understand what is going on here. Beijing Opera is what is called “stylized,” and what I call “complicated.” I’ve known some who just call it HARD on the EARS. What do YOU think?

One morning,  Roy took me out to a great bakery on”Lucky Street,” near their apartment. Best bakery and cafe in Beijing?

He and Auntie Elizabeth think so - best GERMANY bakery,

He and Auntie Elizabeth think so! Mary, tell your mommy and daddy that it is a German bakery, and I think they’d like it, too.




“La Mille Miglia”

Hi, Ceci, Finn, Gus, and Kieran!

This week in Italy there is a big auto race. Well, when it started in 1927, it was a race. These days, it is more like a car show, driving  from the city of Rome to the city of Brescia…and back again. By the end, the cars have gone nearly 2 thousand miles!

Of course, we wanted to see all the cars, especially the really old ones, called “Vintage” cars. We decided to go to the laundromat because we knew the  cars would be driving down that street!

In this photo, I am hurrying out of  the laundromat with my camera.  I was afraid I would miss  the cars! Can you see the “1000 Miglia” flag falling out of my purse?

Many others wanted to see the cars, too. Several people waited with us on the street. 

A  big crowd waited in Siena’s main piazza, called The Campo.  It’s where the great bareback horserace takes place on July 2.

 I’ll tell you more about that race another time, but NOW FOR THE “MILLE MIGLIA”  — 

First, we saw about 75  Italian, German, and British cars that looked like ones some people drive today.

Some of the cars looked the ones in “Cars”

I think Dad, Uncle Matt, and both Uncle Toms would like some of these,  don’t you?


This green Porsche was the first of the Vintage cars to arrive.

It was the most fun I’ve ever had doing laundry!