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A Stone House in Pokhara and other tales

This book is about the building of Mike Frame's house in Nepal, with digressions. There are stories and commentary on subjects as diverse as the scatology of pigs, how to grow the biggest rack of bananas in the village and a love triangle played out in the mountains. The book includes letters written home between 1962 and 1966, when Mike was a Peace Corps Volunteer, giving the reader an intensely personal account of a particular time and place.

Farm boy from Minnesota, Peace Corps Volunteer to Nepal, farmer, builder, restaurateur, innkeeper and writer, Mike spent most of his adult years in Nepal. His restaurant in Kathmandu, Mike's Breakfast, became a gathering place for people from all over the world.

Fifty percent of any profit from sales of this book will be donated to non-profit organizations working in education and health care in Nepal.

Purchase "A Stone House in Pokhara and other tales" from Amazon.com or from the Larchill Press Web Site.

About the author: Mike Frame (1940-2008)

Mike Frame

"Okay thousands of us know Mike Frame was a laid-back hard worker and a terrific friend. A Stone House in Pokhara, wonderfully edited by his sister, Mary Ellen Frame, is a chance to spend hours with him talking directly to you in that familiar pun-filled voice about what he did and saw in Nepal as he did and saw it. His letters home to family are especially moving in their trust and intimacy as he chronicles gardening with no topsoil, trekking with no roads, doctoring locals, and building houses out of what's on site with no machines. And that's just his entry into transforming Nepal's agronomy. He bakes cakes with no oven! When he describes house construction that keeps out "rain and tigers" you know you're party to an adventure beyond anything you could make up. Fascinating, detailed, a gift." --- Mary Moore Easter

Excerpts

“I can only say that the overpaid overseer overlooked my plans except that his plans had some of the same basic dimensions as mine. The building permit came out in due time. The overseer's plan was somehow lost and so we just followed the original plan (almost).” (p. 15)

“The plumber will listen to the householder's requirements, then figure out the longest way to run water from point A to point B. He will then make a list of fittings that will be needed, adding in twenty percent extra of each, because some of them will be sub-standard (but don't worry; he can get rid of the junk later). Then he'll go to whichever store gives him the best commission (but we're not supposed to know about that).” (p. 67)

“As far as I can remember, the last time a Minnesota boy went over the trail between Dharan and Dhankuta, he fell seventy feet and landed in a hospital in Duluth but don't worry, Mom, people are also eaten by tigers.” (p. 149)

“We had a good time in Dhankuta when the Ambassador and his wife came to see us (she walked; he came by helicopter.) We had our servant cow-dung all the floors, and I baked brown bread and a couple of sour cream pies for the occasion which is about as royal a welcome as we give anyone.” (p. 180)

Contents

  • Building
    • "Barrows and Gilts - Nineteen and a Quarter" p. 9
    • Houses 12
    • A House in the Village p. 17
    • Waiting for the Millet Harvest p. 25
    • Traditional Houses in Pokhara p. 29
    • The Planning p. 33
    • Building Green p. 48
    • Building the House p. 57
    • Earthquakes p. 81
    • Social Change p. 84
    • Mani Rimdu p. 86
    • Tale of Calcutta p. 94
  • The Letters
    • Introduction p. 99
    • Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, 1962-63 p. 101
    • Dhankuta, 1963-64 p. 153
    • Khatare, 1964-66 p. 187
    • Return Visit to Khatare, 2004 p. 243
  • Glossary p. 253

Publisher's Web Site

You may find more information on this book on the Larchill Press Web Site.