note: I'm like super behind with posting because INDIA can't go without power outages long enough for me to get anything up. yay india, I heart not having wifi :))
One week and one day, and I seem to be on a promising path to conquering India.
Today I woke up feeling like I had cuddled with death in my sleep. As all humans do, I immediately started self-diagnosing myself with every disease- both Indian borne ones and not. It started out logical, like I was convinced I had contracted malaria. But then it slowly progressed to the made-up variety, such as the Taj Mahal flu.
Panicking, I called my mom, cocooned myself in bed (which is totally counterintuitive in 100 degree weather), and began picturing my vacation from a hospital room. Alas, I was just dehydrated. (Note to self: water)
Ten minutes and two colossal water bottles later, my symptoms lifted. I made my way up to my last Hindu lesson of the trip and sipped on tea. It was my last day with all of the other volunteers together in one place and it was definitely bittersweet. Although we are all spread out now in terms of where we are volunteering and living, there were already plans in place to meet up the following day for dinner.
One by one, volunteer pairs split off and we're taken to their homestay. Group sizes ranged from 2 to 5. I was paired with one other person, a guy named Ethan, and he's a total rockstar. At 2:00, we were one of the last groups to leave. By 2:30, we emerged only slightly scarred from the Delhi roads and onto the quiet street of our homestay.
This house, like the last, was three floors. However, the main floor of this home started on the second floor. In a man vs. suitcase manner, I lugged my belongings up the first flight of stairs and cursed myself for packing a miniature dinosaur of a suitcase. By the time I had made it to the second floor, I had accepted defeat and told myself myself that the living room floor looked rather comfortable. Thankfully, I was given time to catch my breat. My momentary misery was eased by the mother, Mamta, who warmly greeted us with tea and cookies.
Mamta is the director of the school we're teaching in. Her mother, husband, and 14 year old twin sons live with her. The grandmother- Nani- is precious. She speaks about as much English as I do Hindu, yet she is honest to god convinced that Ethan and I can comprehend her every word. Accurate depiction:
her: "Jdkakdooas akhfan suahdhakabahd hhf"
Me: *stares blanky, smiles awkwardly*
Her: "hdj anand hshs ahsh a"
Usually it ends with a valiant "yes!" and a prayer for the best on my part. Ah, the sweet lady.
Ethan and I got ourselves unpacked and began planning for the week. We're both taking on double shifts. Mamta canceled school next week due to the heat so we have a free week to explore- we're set to venture into the Himalayas.
At 6:30, we accompanied Mamta and one of her sons, Varun, to the market. A tuktuk whisked us down the busy Faridabad streets and we only took out 6 people. Kidding, but the roads are unbelievably crowded with people and bikes/cars alike. Mamta and Varun were shopping for clothes, while Ethan and I were in it for the sights and the experiences. The staring hasn't stopped, if anyone is wondering.
On the way back, I bought two mangos and an apple, which were promptly enjoyed by Ethan and I and the twins. The twins speak pretty good English but were painfully shy, so Ethan and I made it our mission to make them come out of their shell. Our clever strategy? American food and board games. We promised the kids a cooking lesson and enticed them into a game of scrabble. The twins whipped our butts... maybe fairly, or maybe with a bit of subtle score enhancing on our behalf. The world may never know.
Dinner was... Drumroll... Rice and Curry!!!!!! Th grandmother said/asked/told me something and proceeded to pile rice on my plate like I had never seen food before. I'm not kidding, if rice has ever resembled the Himalayan mountain chain, my plate was doing a pretty darn good job. At this rate, there's a 200% chance I'll be buying bigger pants before coming home.
We concluded tonight with showers and research on our travel plans. Both of us are hugely excited to start teaching tomorrow, and we're been anxiously throwing around ideas for lesson plans.
be on the look out for a few posts within the next few days... Oops