* Animals! Angora goats, sheep, yaks, snakes, and one beloved bear. (YaYa, our resident adorer of animals, was of course right smack in the center of everything.)
* An old Himalayan village with carefully crafted wooden buildings, stables underneath for the sake of the heat. Women carrying basket after basket of greens up the hillsides for their cows. My favorite is when the purple clover is perched on the very top.
* The traditional village women here wear handwoven wool wraps. One day I saw a woman weaving one. She let me watch her for a while, but declined a photo.
* Orchards everywhere with teenager apples in the midst of growing up to be adult apples.
* The monsoon has come. I still get nervous with the heavy heavy rains, not yet used to the fact that it's completely normal. Everyone has been waiting for the rains. We are so glad for them.
* Good conversations and good coffee.
* A long walk through a forest.
* Solo is no longer a baby content to sit quietly with us while we wait for our food in a restaurant. Chinua and I pass him back and forth like a football, each of us holding him until we can't amuse him any longer. Kid A, on the other hand, simply looks for a chess set. Things get complicated, though, when he is playing with YaYa and she gets frustrated and starts knocking over the pieces.
* A beautiful jam with a Swiss accordian player, Israeli guitarist, and Chinua on the mandolin. The Swiss couple happened to have a tin whistle and I thankfully played along, although it had been a couple of years since I played one. The muscle memory was somewhere back there, waiting. As we played, pieces came back to me bits at a time, like a small child waking up from a nap.
* Tomorrow we leave, piling into the jeep, singing, playing 20 questions, excited to get home to our house and kitchen. (Mama is excited to make herself numerous cups of tea in the morning.)