Seattle People Unite!

By: leelefever on October 17, 2006 - 1:20am

One of the things we miss about being on the road is contact with our friends and family and even a little contact with fellow Americans.  Sachi was saying yesterday that she has gotten so used to English with an accent now that it sounds normal.

Luckily, we’ve had a few occasions to hang out with friends from Seattle to get our fix.  What has made this extra special is that we never made specific plans to meet anyone – it was purely good timing. We both want to give a quick shout-out to a few folks that made the effort to meet us along the way…

A few days before arriving in Hong Kong, our friend Christi realized that we would be there at the same time as our mutual friend Kerry.  Sure enough, we were there at almost the exact same time and spent a day and night together, including a little karaoke.

After that we heard from our friend Jake Ludington that he would be in Beijing for a conference and sight seeing and sure enough – the dates coincided nearly perfectly.  We ate Peking Duck, drank beer over the Forbidden City (below) and in a couple of neighborhoods around Beijing.

With both Kerry and Jake, meeting them really made us feel like we made new friends.  We knew them both before, but not very well.  Now though, having shared international experiences together, we have great new friends.

Lastly is our friends in Amsterdam and The Netherlands.  Betty and Josh got married months ago and planned an Amsterdam honeymoon.  Once their date was set, so was ours and Amsterdam become a far off date for us to make. As it worked out, we had a great time with them over a few days, including a Heineken Experience.


I’m lumping Lilia and Robert into the Seattle people because Lilia lived there for a while last year.  This is the same Lilia that also met us in Moscow.  She and her Dutch husband Robert opened their home to us in the town of Enschede, Holland and we got a chance to meet their friends at a party for Lilia’s birthday. Their friends also included Ton Zylstra, a blogger that I’ve known online for a long time and finally got to meet in person.  It was such a great experience to see a glimpse of their normal lives in Holland.

Sachi, Lilia and Ton at Bad Bentheim Castle near Enschede...


 Our hospitable hosts, Lilia and Robert...


For the next couple of months we’ll be in Europe – so if anyone out there is visiting and would like to hook-up, please do contact us – we’d love to meet you…

Avoiding Reverse Culture Shock

By: leelefever on October 14, 2006 - 9:40am

Our friends Kathy and Sharon have finally reached home in the UK after 420 days, 60 weeks and 60,000 miles and 50 countries.  In a recent post they were concerned about "reverse culture shock" from coming home and suggest these treatments (edited for length):


... brushing teeth out of a cup; drinking warm water out of large bottles; mixing up tuna mayonnaise in the tin and continue to use plastic plates and share cutlery; hide money upon our persons; wear clothing with lots of pockets; take photos of random images and people in the street; dry ourselves using our travel towels; not use a hair dryer; hand wash underwear each night; wash up any cooking utensils before eating a hot meal; buy a bus ticket & see where it takes you; talk to strangers and ask them how long they have been travelling for;  sleep in a bunk bed with ear plugs in; etc.

 These totally identify with us and we have a few additions:

We may continue to...

  • Shower with flip-flops or sandals
  • Share deodorant
  • Never plan for more than a week into the future
  • Wash laundry in the sink
  • Communicate using the metric system
  • Wear a shirt too many times before a wash 
  • Randomly give shopkeepers incorrect change
  • Communicate in only "hello", "yes" and "thank you"
  • Blog and video everything

And finally... continue to use only three pairs of underwear. 

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Spoiled Dog

By: leelefever on June 24, 2006 - 5:51am

Climbing into the car, originally uploaded by markksullivan.

As you likley know by now, Sachi's bro Mark is taking care of our dog Amos.  Amos is getting a little stiff these days and Mark has built him the old-dog assistance apparatus pictured above.  Perhaps this is to make up for the lawn incident? Either way, we know Amos is in good hands.

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Jewel of the Neighborhood

By: leelefever on May 24, 2006 - 1:42am

We owe Mark, Sachi's brother, a huge debt of gratitude for everything he's doing for us while we're gone.  First and foremost, he's taking care of our dog and our house.  Actually, I should say that he taking care of part of our house.

You see, he hasn't quite embraced yardwork. As we learned yesterday, he recently mowed our front yard- FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE OUR DEPARTURE 160+ DAYS AGO.

Poor dog, our Amos. Mark said that he stopped going into the front yard because the grass was so high. We have our fingers crossed for more lawn mowing this summer, lest our neighbors stop talking to us forever.

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Happy Mother's Day!

By: leelefever on May 14, 2006 - 4:46pm

 We hope you have a great one, even though this is a tad bit late.  We miss you!  Love, Lee and Sachi.

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March of Dimes "Share" Community Nominated for Webby

By: leelefever on April 12, 2006 - 12:46am

I got some news today that makes me very happy.  As some of you may know, I am an independent consultant and I work with organizations to create and manage online communities.

Today I found out that one of my favorite, most rewarding projects ever, was nominated for a Webby Award in the "community" categoryNancy White and I worked with the great folks at the March of Dimes on the current version of their "Share" community web site, which is based on enabling parents to share their stories and support one another using blogs and message boards.  

I'm so happy for the March of Dimes and all the people that keep the community going today- especially the members.  Congrats on the nomination everyone! Fingers crossed!

Also, there is a "People's Choice Award" and if you'd like, you can vote for Share! :)  Yay!

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Updated: Coming Home (April Fools!)

By: leelefever on April 1, 2006 - 6:05am

Coming Home, originally uploaded by LeeLeFever_TwinF.

After dealing with so many issues in India, we need a break. We're headed home to Seattle in the morning to recharge for a while. Mark, don't tell Amos- we want it to be a surprise. :)

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Watching Amos from India

By: leelefever on March 20, 2006 - 7:05am

First, it looks like the we'll be able to use the Treo 650 smartphone from India. Yay!

Second, we were happy to catch Amos on the Skype video cam. To be in Mumbai India and see and hear live video of our dog so easily is almost unbelievable. We do miss that dog.

Third, I am a huge nerd.

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Dog Video Cam via Skype 2.0

By: leelefever on January 1, 2006 - 11:59am

Sachi's brother Mark, a super-gadget-geek, is taking care of our dog and house and has hooked up the perfect solution to allow us to get our Amos fix while on the road.  It's a video web cam focused on his bed that we can call "call" into using Skype 2.0.  Only one person at a time can use it, so we can't expose the feed.

We can even hear sound along with the video and if there were speakers, we could talk to him, but we figure that might drive him crazy.  Mark has been using it to watch Amos' movements during the day (he's a sneaky dog).

Mark, can you comment on the set up in terms of what people need to do something similar themselves?  Thanks!

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The Last Moments of Home

By: leelefever on December 11, 2005 - 12:09am
With over a year of planning leading up to this very night, you'd think things would be 100% in order and we could relax and take in home for the waning moments of our normal lives.  Not so.  Tonight has been a surreal fire drill, with mutiple lists going, things getting lost, champagne getting drank, and emotions running high. We could use just 1 or 2 more hours.
The clock reads 12:1O am and today is December 11th, a date that has been top-of-mind for a very long time.  We can't really believe it's here. Tomorrow we will wake up at 5:30 am and soon after, board a plane to New York City, leaving all normalcy behind for a year. It all starts in about 5 hours.
I just asked Sachi and the only words she uses to describe the feeling right at this moment is "free".  By the way, her words came as the walks around the house with her backpack on.  When, I asked "how does it feel" she said "heavier than I thought".  I had to say, "not that - I mean how does it feel to be living this moment?"  I guess "free" is a good way to put it, though it's a pretty damn heavy feeling too.

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