Four Countries in 6 Weeks

Yeah, we’ve been back for a month now. One would think I would be updating this blog more often since I am not working this year. But I have made it my goal to lose weight, spend more time with our baby, set up an herb and salad garden, and start a book project and all these things have kept me busy enough. But I’m done procrastinating, and here’s my report on our summer holiday where we traveled to four countries with our baby.

Overall it had been a productive summer. Baby J had the least tantrums when we took him everywhere, so we never stayed in the same place for more than a week. He was baptised in both the Philippines and the US, in Catholic and United Methodist rites, respectively. Not only did he meet a lot of relatives, he was also introduced to some of our friends, former colleagues, and former students in Thailand.

The road trip to Vancouver to visit our Canadian friends resulted in an instant reunion with more former colleagues from our previous school in Thailand. Like us they have all moved on, one couple returned to Seattle to raise their two sons, another settled in Miami, while another got a job in Singapore. Our hosts are currently residing in Hong Kong with their two-year old son, who was born in Shanghai. It’s amazing that we all met in Bangkok but managed to get together in Vancouver, when we don’t even live there. Needless to say, nobody was interested in visiting us in Pakistan. But we love Vancouver and will definitely visit again, hopefully next summer. We enjoyed the time spent at Granville Island and Capilano suspension bridge, and wish to see more.

So we’re back to our boring routines in Islamabad, regardless of what the headlines say. Just got an e-mail from my brother because my father is concerned about the political turmoil and continuing violence in the north and tribal areas.

“The funny thing about agriculture-based countries,” my husband observed, “is that politics seem to have little immediate effect on the man on the street” … who, by the way, is trying to deal with rising fuel prices and six or more hours of power outages a day.

Even we are not immune from these economic problems, not to mention the slide of the rupee from $1=Rps.60 to $1=Rps.75. We have adjusted the salaries of our household staff, who have requested for cash advances. As my husband is the only breadwinner for now we are also keeping an eye on our savings and investments. We made the decision last summer that this is the best time to invest, rather than just save.

In the meantime, we continue to pray for this beautiful country.

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