Feathered friends

Blue-throated barbet in the fig tree

We’ve really been enjoying watching the birds in our fig tree this week. This shot of the blue-throated barbet was my favorite – love the camera! We have rose-ringed parakeets who come with the barbets to eat the figs – they love them! Click to see ┬ámore birds in our yard.

Last Sunday, we went with a group from the Embassy to Taxila, just outside of Islamabad. Taxila is a small town with several ruin sites around it – it’s interesting because the ruins are of Buddhist temples, monasteries, etc. There’s a lovely museum that was built by the British after they began excavations.

It was interesting being in this little town – they definitely aren’t used to a lot of Westerners. We were the objects of much┬ácuriosity!

Very curious children, Taxila, Pakistan










They do a lot of marble work there, and a big business is making coffins (mausoleums?) by the side of the road, and other pots, etc. I enjoyed poking around and taking some photos. Click to see more photos from Taxila.

Street scene, Taxila. Making some sort of stone pots.







Barber shop, Taxila, Pakistan













We also were fascinated by the drive through Islamabad and out to this small town. It was the week before “bloody Eid” when Muslims make an animal sacrifice to Allah, so we saw lots of goats, water buffalo and even some camels for sale in ad hoc markets along the way.


Public transportation, Taxila














Public transportation













We’re reaping the benefits of Eid this weekend, enjoying four days off thanks to the lunar calendar that governs when it is celebrated. I made it a point to stay in today, so I wouldn’t see any of the animal sacrifice. Basically each family buys a goat or cow and they kill it and butcher it in the yard sometimes with the help of a roving butcher. John saw part of it going on from our upper-level balcony in our neighbor’s yard (it did look like the butcher truck had come to them – not sure, as I ran back inside as soon as I realized what was happening). Anyway, I’ll take a pass and continue to buy my meat pre-packaged.

Thursday night we went to a nice dinner party with John’s co-workers to welcome a new human resources officer. We met a young fellow there who graduated from the Air Force Academy with James’s step-son Jason – they also went to flight school together. What a small world, hm? It was funny thinking that I had been at this young man’s graduation back in 1999 and was now having dinner with him in Pakistan!

Friday morning, I went to work for just a little bit to check on some visas, then John and I went to a yummy brunch at Joseph and Sunera’s. It’s was a nice group and folks and a great way to kick off the Eid holiday.


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