Leslie Lethridge


Leslie Lethridge

Trying to see all the places I should have seen in my 20's. Sometimes with friends, or on my own if no one else wants to or is able to join me, off I go as soon as the travel fund allows.

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum February 18th 2013

Sunday, February 18, 2013 Trivandrum We have finished a week of work. It's been a week of ups and downs. I went to a local clinic about my cough and the doctor gave me a diagnosis of, "wheezing bronchitis." He fixed me up with numerous unnamed medications, including an injection of some sort and told me to rest for 3 days. So the first few days of work were missed by me due to illness (mine and Jane's) and activities related to efforts to locate Jane's missing suitcase. Six days after arriving here and after our second trip to the airport, Jane was finally reunited with her bag, which apparently, never left Amritsar until the airline began looking for it. We now know why so many locals advised us, "Never fly Air India." The agent who ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum February 10th 2013

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 - Trivandrum We enjoyed our visit to Amritsar. The hotel was quiet, clean and all food is room service. There is no restaurant. The hotel's clientele come mainly from Sikh pilgrims. The shower had sufficient hot water and staff were extremely polite and considerate. Our local guide, Rinku, is a 26-year-old Sikh, who elects to cut his hair and beard and looks like any other 26-year-old hip Indian man. He turned out to be the polar opposite of our Agra guide, not bringing us to any restaurants, shops or factories and soliciting our opinions on what we wanted to do. He gave us a thorough and intimate tour of the Golden Temple. We learned that the Sikh religion is based on kindness to all living things, vegetarianism, and charity to the poor. ... read more
Golden Temple official

Asia » India » Punjab » Amritsar February 8th 2013

Our northern tour is almost at an end. We've managed to hit all the highlights, some were better experiences than others. We have been taken to too many carpet cooperatives and handicraft studios, where we were assured that their items were unique and not available anywhere else. One guide rushed us through the Taj Mahal, so he could take us to a marble inlay shop, where I had a minor meltdown and everyone in the shop kind of stepped back a few paces! It saved Jane from having to buy a wall hanging. We took the Shaheed Express from Delhi to Amritsar yesterday. Our driver miscalculated the time it would take to get to the Delhi Railway Station from Agra where we were on Wednesday and we had a Mr. Toad's wild ride on National Highway ... read more

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires November 21st 2012

(Written Tuesday, Nov. 20) Judy and I are relaxing in our hotel room near the domestic airport in Buenos Aires. It's required some effort to get here. First, my initial flight out of SFO was delayed because of a "security breach" which closed down Terminal 3 and set back most flights by at least one hour. I had a 2 hr 22 min. Window to make my Newark to Buenos Aires flight, so things got a little hairy and the stress level began to build. My flight was more than an hour late, but we picked up a tailwind which got me to Newark with about an hour before the next scheduled takeoff. I met up with Judy who had been whiling away the time at the United Club Lounge. This flight was complicated by a ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa November 11th 2011

Beginning of week 2 - Nov. 7 Saturday we had our first experience applying the chicka (mud) to the walls of a structure. A mixture of fine dirt, water and straw is formed into balls and thrown against the stick frame wall, then smeared to fill in the spaces. There was much apprehension towards this job because of what we knew to be in the mud around most homes here. It was explained that this chicka dirt is obtained from quarries and cleaned before it is delivered, as well as the straw. It turned out to be quite fun, although incredibly messy, especially when one is inside the room, handing the chicka balls to the chicka plasterer. The Habesha work barefoot and bare-handed, while we're all covered up, including gloves. Mud is literally flying and I ... read more
Coffee ceremony
Priests singing at St. Mary's Church, Entoto

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa November 4th 2011

Nov. 3 A little info about our accommodation in Addis. The Wabe Shebelle Hotel, where the team is staying, is a long established hotel, probably formerly posh, where many visiting groups stay. Presently, we are sharing the facility with a medical volunteer team from Seattle, who are involved in training staff at a local hospital, 180 newly minted Ethiopian doctors, who are in training before they are dispersed to complete their 5-year term of required service to repay the cost of their education; a male athletic team of some sort and various tour groups and individuals. The hotel is a bit shabby and was recently returned by the government to the grandson of Haile Selassie. Perhaps it will be restored to its prior grandeur. It appears that locals are subject to frisking and bag searches, regardless ... read more
Aby, Emebet and Me
School girls
School kids

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa October 30th 2011

The trip started out rather poorly. Arrived in time at SFO thanks to Moose, checked my luggage through to Addis and got to the boarding gate in plenty of time. Then I learn, oh-oh, the flight is delayed, and I have a 55 minute window between deplaning and boarding my next flight in Amsterdam. Find out some inspectors are going over the plane before boarding can be allowed. We leave 45 minutes late - I'm screwed. Add to that the fact that I'm in a middle seat on a 10 hour flight. 3 movies and 2 meals later, we finally land in Amsterdam at 9:50 am and my next flight leaves at 10:10. I have been rebooked on a flight scheduled to leave in an hour via Nairobi. I have no way to let Boots and ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region October 27th 2011

Oakland, CA: Tomorrow I begin my journey to Ethiopia for another Habitat for Humanity Global Village build. First leg will be flying from San Francisco to Amsterdam on KLM. There I will run, run, run through Schiphol to catch the next flight to Addis Ababa. I have only a 55 minute gap between arrival and departure. Fortunately, Boots and Ramsay will be on the 2nd flight, so maybe they can hold the plane for me! In addition to my personal luggage, which includes tools for the build, food to snack on, innumerable electronics (and their accompanying adapter/chargers) and toys for kids, I've packed a medium sized duffle bag filled with school supplies, some toys and diapers to donate to the Children's Home Society and Family Services in Addis. This is the agency through which my cousin ... read more

North America » United States » California » Oakland July 25th 2011

Every 3 or so years our sort of distant cousins in Canada hold a huge family reunion. We've found them to be a fun bunch, so we kind of grafted ourselves a little closer in on their family tree. I think this is the 5th or 6th reunion we've attended. Due to work schedules, etc., my son, Moose, and his significant other, Cory, and my daughter, Nikki, will be flying up to Lethbridge on Friday and just staying the weekend. Tomorrow morning my Mom & Dad pick up me, my granddaughter, Aria, and my aunt, Arlene, in their little Honda Civic and we head east on 80. The reality of 5 people traveling in the Civic will actually be even worse than it sounds because Aria is only 4 and has to use a car seat. ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Pokhara April 13th 2011

Sunday - april 10 Up early and head to Tashi Ling Tibetan Village to attend a morning service at the village temple. We tiptoe into the small temple and settle on the floor as the chanting continues. There are about 10 young monks in two rows on either side of the room. One adult monk sits on a raised platform beside the entrance. After some time he just got up ad left. Four older monks closest to the altar appear to lead the chanting and at certain points ring bells, move kernels of rice and make meaningful hand gestures. As each verse appears to be coming to an end one of the older monks revs up the next stanza. The littlest monk leaves and returns with salt tea for everyone. The chanting is hypnotic and familiar ... read more
Winding yarn at Tibetan Carpet Center
Pedaling on Lake Phewa
Lake Phewa

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