February 7, 2014

Watching Rahel Grow Up in Pokhara and Here

with Rahel in "John's room" at the Pokhara house

I love my three grandchildren. I'm fortunate they all reside in the Washington-Baltimore area and are part of my life today. When they were growing up, I didn't actually live in the same house with them. But I've had that experience with Rahel, the son of Laxmi and Ramesh.  

Rahel was born November 2, 2004 -- right in the middle of my Nepal years (2001-2009). During that time, I visited Nepal twice a year, and spent at least two weeks every year living with the family in their Pokhara house. I've always had trouble relating to young children. With Rahel, it was impossible NOT to relate. 

I could go on and on about this terrific kid. Instead, I'll let these pictures do the talking.

Rahel with his mom and dad on the front  porch:

Rahel is dressed up for his Pasni (Weaning) Celebration
A centuries-old Nepali tradition, Pasni is the occasion when a six-month-old child is first fed rice. Modern science has established that a child's digestive system is ready to process solid food at about six months.

Rahel is dressed for the temple, where we'll celebrate his first birthday:

John, certainly the elder in this family, gives him tika:

Now he appropriates John's toothbrush:

Rahel gets all dressed up on third birthday, a big one in the Nepal:

It's a party, with tika and cake at home . . .

. . . before going to the temple in Fewa Tal (lake) . . .

. . . and capturing (and later releasing) a pigeon:

The family is happy: 

Now we're four years old:

This is the sad/happy day in March, 2012, when Rahel and Laxmi prepare to leave Pokhara and fly to Washington with me to join Ramesh:

The new immigrants look happily adjusted to life in America:

Rahel may have adjusted too well:

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