Tuesday, July 19, 2011

* Jo & Jan's Letter

Prem, Maina & Shyam;
Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!

We always appreciate this time of year to reconnect with friends and family – and try to make a for being such lazy communicators the rest of the year!
This has been a busy year of travel for both of us. Jan’s made numerous trips to states bordering the Mississippi river – from Louisiana up to Minnesota - - for a new Mississippi River initiative for Audubon. Jo’s logged or dozen trips to Europe for her work with the child solders coalition and a United Nations study on violence against children.

We’ve also managed – eureka! – to spend a bit more time traveling together. In April, we spent at fabulous days trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal. The Mountains were spectacular and we thoroughly enjoyed the companionship of a great Guide – the same Guide that Jo and a friend used on her first trip to Nepal 6 years ago.

Our trip coincided with Nepal’s historic pro-democracy movement, which involved nation - wide strikes, massive daily demonstrations, and government – imposed curfews. As   we concluded our trek, public transit was suspended, forcing us to hike and additional ten hour day to get to the nearest airport. Jan flew home, while Jo stayed in Kathmandu for an additional 3 weeks. She participated in some of the demonstration and interviewed injured protestors for Human Rights Watch -- - visiting hospitals to talk to men, woman and children who had been shot or beaten by government security forces during the demonstrations. She also managed some additional trekking, yoga classes and some truly wonderful massages! She felt fortunate that she was still there to see the massive celebration when the king finally capitulated under popular pressure and agreed to restore parliament.

In November, we went to Belize and Guatemala to celebrate Jan’s birthday. We had a wonderful time bird watching, going cave tubing (floating in inner-tubes on a river that flowed through amazing caves), visiting Mayan ruins, and snorkeling in Belize’s barrier reef. We saw dozens of birds that we’d never seen before, and were in awe of the massive Mayan temples.

During weekends at home, Jo spends time in her pottery studio, and Jan’s favorite pastime is cutting down trees with his chainsaw in the backyard (or the neighbor’s, if they’ll let him!). Jo exhibited pots at two crafts shows this fall, including one at Lincoln Centre in Manhattan. And thanks to Jan, we have enough firewood for the next millennium!
We hope you are enjoying warm evenings as the days get colder. We wish you a wonderful holiday and great New Year.

We are so happy for one time with you last spring!
We look at our pictures of you and the mountains - - wonderful memories!!

Love: Jan + Jo
United States

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