Meanwhile, a boy turns nine.

Kid A asked for a cheesecake, and wonders! We are in a town that has a bakery with the greatest cheesecakes! This would not have happened in Goa, or Pokhara Nepal. Nope.

(It got a little muddled on the scooter ride home. But that didn't effect the taste at all!)

At nine, he is an old pro at blowing out candles.

So, he is nine. And he is still exactly the same.

Ever since he has been old enough to grab, he has watched sand run through his fingers, sometimes for half an hour at a time. When he was really little, he would ignore playground equipment and just sit and let the sand run through his fingers.

I'm writing his birthday letter still.

(Our trip was successful! And exhausting. It was like driving from San Francisco to LA, then turning around and driving back. In hours driving, that is. In other ways, it was not at all like that. Because I've never seen albino water buffalo on the I-5, or so many people sitting in the beds of trucks, or quite so many edible bamboo stands.)