My life has changed a lot, during the last half of a year. Who am I kidding, though? It's been a full year of change. Now I am adjusting again. Wowsers.

This house is wonderful. Small, simple and deep in a tiny village neighborhood, it is just where I want to be. Our next door neighbors thresh their rice on their rooftop and feed our scraps to their pigs. The men in the village come to the well we all share to take their showers. I'm not sure where to look. Of course they are wearing underwear, but should I go inside, if I am sitting on my porch? Is a public bathing time private?

I guess I will find out.

Yesterday was a little bit rough. Our water problems have been solved, largely, by moving here, although we are a little wary of the fact that all our water is well water now. (There are fish and a turtle living in the well.) But yesterday morning we woke up without power and there was no power all day, and eventually the tank on our rooftop ran out of water and there was no power to pump more up. And we had very little food. And it was very hot and because we had no power, we had no fans. I mean, it's HOT. Hot hot hot. There was a strike throughout all of Goa. A strike here is different than a strike in North America. Basically an extremist group says, "Close your businesses or we will hurt you." So everyone does.

So I did what any mama with four young kids does on a day when there is no power and no water and it's HOT.

I let the kids watch a DVD until the battery ran out. There are times when you realize that the day's goal has been simplifies to: Get through this in a loving way.

And then we all walked to the beach, where they rolled in the surf and I stood there up to my calves in the water with the baby in the wrap on my chest and watched my kids laughing.

A man came along and wanted to sell me some things, and although I told him I didn't really have money to buy jewelry right now, he told me about his children, and that he had no business. So we sat down in the sand and he laid his livelihood on a sarong for me to rifle through and critique. We settled on a couple of things, and he told me to pay him the next time I see him. I told him to say hello to his wife, and he thanked me for the business.

The kids and I walked home and saw what YaYa called a "pile of goats."

("A pile of goats would be goats stacked up on each other," interjected Kid A, and I laughed out loud, which embarrassed him because he didn't understand that what he said was genuinely funny.)

And about half an hour after we got home the power came back on and I filled up the tank and ran the filter to fill up the water bottles with stuff to drink and was just glad.

There are moving pictures here.