Monday, November 10, 2008

Long OVERDUE update.

Alright, so I have been at my internship for the past few weeks….we DO have (limited) phone service, BUT no internet!!...and NO English newspapers…so no real connection to what is going on in the world…don’t worry though, I heard that Obama won…I am not that disconnected. Plus I am living with TWO VERY BIG Obama supporters…so they were SCREAMING and jumping when they found out. It is interesting being here in India while the elections are going on back home…EVERY Indian that I have talked to thought that Obama was definitely going to win because the newspapers here tear McCain apart and glorify Obama…so there is NO way that an Indian would even think that McCain had a chance….anyhow enough about that….

My internship is wonderful. (although I am excited to be home soon) The name of my NGO is Gravis. I am at the NGO with two other girls from my program, which is nice because we can laugh about things together.We are living at one of their centers in a village that is about a 2 ½ hour bus ride outside of the city Jodhpur ( so I am about 10 hours from the city of Jaipur) There are a few families that live at this center and all the men that work for this center live here on work days, while their families live in villages that are at least an hour away. All of the men that live here are very nice and laugh at us all the time because I guess we do funny things. I have sooo many funny stories so I will just highlight a few of them….

1. There is a well on the Gravis’ campus (as they call it)…so the women from the surrounding areas come and get water every morning and evening. The first day that we were here there was a camel cart filling up with water and THEN a bunch of ladies came to get water and approached us by saying “namaste, namaste, namaste”….so we sat there and they began to pick at us…yes, like moneys pick at each other. I was wearing a pair of linen pants and a shirt…normal outfit right?...WRONG!...haha…no its just that the women here all wear skirts with petti coats underneath them and TWO shirts…so this women (actually a girl that is my age, but married so she seems like a woman to me) named Kabu, she was laughing at my pants and then picking at my shirt, she even LOOKED down my shirt to see what I was wearing underneath…haha…and she lifter up my sleeve so I FLEXED!!! HUGE muscles and she thought that was really funny…haha…they laughed at the fact that we had our hair in buns and pony tails…our hair was supposed to be in BRAIDS!!!...duh!!...and why didn’t we have earings in and bangles and necklaces and anklets???? They were freaking out because we did not have JEWELRY on !!!...baaaaaaaaaah…I DON’T wear jewelry!...haha…they are changing me here…I wear jewelry everyday! Crazy huh?

2. We usually take jeeps out into the field…which ACTUALLY feel like the Indiana jones ride…(Disney did a great job)…BUT ONE TIME…we took a tractor…yep, a tractor!!!...haha…it was SOOO painful!...supposedly we will take a camel cart one of these days. (so they say)

3. It is a regular activity in the evening to go to the sand dunes near by and run up them…which is O SOO tiring!!!...and then we watch the sunset over the desert and then jump off the sand dunes and see who can jump the farthest down the sand dunes and take pictures, and laugh and pull countless POKEYs out of our feet.

4. We drink chai at village homes that we visit everyday.

5. I sit with the kitchen lady in the morning or evening and pull the skin off of garlic or onions…sometimes we get into minor food fights. She ALWAYS tries to get me to eat chiles everytime that I go in there. She likes to have me sit with her and roll the chipati dough with her and make the chipatis…while bugs and rats run by us on the floor.

6. We probably have worms because we are drinking the ground water here, well water, basically anything that any villager gives us…haha…don’t worry I will take parasite medicine when I get home to kill whatever might be growing in my stomach.

7. We often DREAM about Christmas dinner and Christmas treats and in-n-out and sushi…basically ANYTHING…haha…our meals whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner consists of vegetables cooked in LOTS of yellow oil and chipatis (kinda like tortillas but not) and dal (lentils)…I am still not a fan of eating vegetables in the morning for breakfast but I get it down.

8. The children that live here LOVE hanging out with us…and it can be rather TIRING…and they ALWAYS want us to give them gifts…haha…because previous students that have been here have given them gifts…so sometimes we share a little something with them.

OK, enough stories…there are SOOO many. I think that I will just tell you what a typical day looks like for me and then I will be done.

-wake up at 7:30 for prayers…which is a prayer to all gods and then there is a short

meeting of what tasks the day consists of. Everyone shows up in their pj’s and all of the

men’s hair has yet to be combed.

-tea time

-breakfast around 8:30

-take showers and sweep our rooms

-leave for the field around 9:30…usually includes a trip to a few places where they have

implemented water harvesting devices…talk to a few self help groups..and ask lots of

questions to learn about the impact of these things that Gravis is supporting

-come back for lunch

-usually rest from 2-4…because it is WICKED hot and no one else does anything during

these hours

-play with the school children (there is a school for the village children on the campus that

we are living)

-tea time at 5

-walk to the sand dunes, watch the sunset, jump off the san dunes

-come back and help Sita, the kitchen lady, with dunner

-dinner time around 8ish

-go to a cultural program or play with children or get henna done or watch a hindi film…so

many options…

-bedtime 10-11pm

I am learning tons by just interacting with the villagers and loving it. I am still healthy and alive so that is a good sign. I get more and more excited about going home and seeing all of you and being able to go to church, but until then I am doing my best to take in Indian village life at its fullest!!!...and let me tell you there is A LOT to take in. Love you guys!!!! I definitely will not be back to internet for another three weeks…so until then…ENJOY LIFE! J

Saturday, October 18, 2008


ALright, I am heading to my internship on Monday morning. I have NO idea what it will be like, how many hours i will be working, if i will have internet access, what type of accommodations i will have....hahaha....but i am EXCITED!!!...basically this message is just to tell you that if i dont update this for forever or respond to e-mails that i am STILL ALIVE!!!! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thunderstorms, Tibet, and Terrible Transportation…but a marvelous trip.

SO this past week was a LONG festival, holiday celebration for India. It was basically a NINE day holiday that ended with the burning of HUGE statue of the Ram god. Because of this holiday we were given 6 days of travel time. I chose to head up north (with a group that I have been traveling with to all the other places) to a place called Dharmsala where the exiled Tibetan government resides, including the Dalai-lama.

Lets just say that the train ride was the WORST train ride that I have been on. In the past it has been REALLY easy for us to get train tickets and this time we had to get a SPECIAL ticket (pay extra) because the train was booked…and IT WAS DFEFINITELY BOOKED. One berth on the train is meant for six people and then across from the berth on the other side of the isle way are 2 beds…meant for two people. At one point (WHEN WE WANTED TO GO TO BED) there were 18 people in our berth…18!!!...a place meant for 8 people. Then we finally got the point across to these Indians that we were going to put the beds down…and we ended up with two men sleeping on the floor, one man on MY bed while I slept, and 3-4 more men sitting on the bottom beds…it was SOOO hot…and our fans for out berth DID NOT work…but by now THAT did not surprise us. Along with MANY other things, it worked out to being the WORST train ride….but we survived nonetheless. From our train station we took a public bus to Dharmsala…which was ALSO a hot, and crowded and rough ride, but we made it to Dharmsala nonetheless.

Once we arrived it started POURING…mind you this city is at the base of the Himalayas and we have been living in DESERT weather the past two months…so basically it was cold and we were wet and NOT prepared for rain…ALL of us looked like a dirty mess by the time we found a guesthouse to stay in. While we were in Dharmsala, we SHOPPED, ate MARVELOUS food…I had a chocolate pancake, hot chocolate, PESTO PASTA!, Tibetan food, omelets, toast that was NOT white! was like heaven….we walked the Tibetan prayer walk, went to the place where the actual Exiled Tibetan government resides (I think that place was the highlight of my trip), went to a Tibetan museum, saw a dog with RABIS, took a short hike to a waterfall, met TONS of Muslim shopkeepers that were from the North (I just say Muslim, because we did not meet a single Hindu and that is pretty unusual but I guess its not in the North). It was gorgeous up there and the weather was a WONDERFUL treat…NONE of us wanted to leave. It felt like we had been on some kind of retreat…people were not trying to make us take their rickshaw (in fact people said NO to us when we asked for a rickshaw ride…which is UNHEARD of here in Jaipur)…shopkeepers were not walking the streets and PULLING us into our shop…it was just wonderful.

THENNNN we had to leave….and the craziness began…we had to wake up at 3:30 AM!!!! order to catch a bus…when we walked outside it started to THUNDER, and LIGHTNING and POUR!!!!...then we get on a bus and it is still DARK outside and we are driving down a narrow, windy, steep road…and OUR BUS DRIVER IS BRUSHING HIS TEETH!!!!!!!! From Dharmsala we headed to Amritsar, which is known for its Sikh temple, known as the Golden temple.

Once we arrived in Amritsar, we immediately realized that we had returned to REALITY…men got on the bus while we were stopped in traffic and started to BUUUUG us about taking their rickshaws and hotels and blah blah blah….we ignored them and said NAHI! (no!) Our first adventure in Amritsar was a trip to the Pakistani boarder crossing!!!...I WENT TO THE PAKISTANI boarder crossing…this is a HUGE attraction to Indians and foreigners alike because the soldiers of both countries perform a ceremony EVERY night at sunset and open the gates and take their flags down…this ceremony is actually REALLY funny because it consists of soldiers doing high kicks and grunts…and funky outfits…I don’t even know how to explain it. (Tammy if you are reading this you should ask David if he has ever been to this ceremony in Pakistan.) Then we ventured back to the Golden Temple….which is gorgeous at night!...and rather impressive. The next day we headed back to Jaipur…OF COURSE our train was late so we arrived at 9:30 am and went STRAIGHT to school. The trip was FABULOUS!!!

SOO a lot of things have changed lately…. I have a new homestay that I have been living in the last few days. It is REALLy nice…we have internet sometimes, our own rooms, hot water, two bathrooms, and a little couch room all to ourselves (Molly and I)…it’s a lovely set up. Our new mom eats everything including meats and onions and garlic…and she STUFFS US!!!!!...i can not even lay on my stomach when I go to bed because she piles SOOOO much on our plate!!! (I actually REALLY miss our old food, it was so simply Indian, healthy, and just enough…but this food is pretty good too. Just know that I have YET to feel an ounce of hunger since I have arrived in this house. In addition to the new homestay…. I leave for my internship on MONDAY…this coming MONDAY!!!...baaaaaaaah. I will be heading to a village to work with a non-profit called Gravis in a village that is 1-2 hours outside of Jodhpur. I have NO idea what it will be like, but I am supposed to be working with some micro-finance women’s groups in the surrounding villages. There are two other girls from the program that will be working in the agriculture sector of the same non-profit so I will be with them. In addition, one of the boys from our group, Jesse, will be working in the city of Jodhpur…so I will have a few people around me.

I can not believe that I am already moving onto my internship phase….i have less than TWO months left!!!!...that is sooooo crazy to me. I am looking forward to coming home, especially for the holidays!!!…but I am excited about this new phase. I think that I am ready to get out of the city…I hope that I can build some more relationships with people and HOPEFULLY play some soccer with kids….something I have yet to do here. I will miss seeing all of my fellow programmers every day…but I think that I can manage. Anyhow I am missing you guys…don’t worry there are NO Indian people replacing your spots in my heart…

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Taj Mahal in a TRUNK.

Alright…so I gave you guys the WRONG information this past post (or you can just take it as evidence of how life works here in the India) Sooooo I THOUGHT I was going on a camel safari last weekend, but I ended up going to the Taj Mahal!!!

FIRST I must tell you about our field trip that we took last week. This trip was to a unique area in Rajasthan called Shekawati…it is unique in that it is just the name of an area that is a part of three different territories. We were accompanied by a man, Shri Rambir Singh, who grew up in the area during the British rule and his family is very visible throughout the area. This is because his family was an estate family that owned the surrounding lands, so they had lots of land and close ties with the British. We received many connections throughout our trip from him…his family owns the PALACE in town so we were able to stay in the palace one night and our second night we stayed in refined MUD huts (modeled after the ones used in the village). Here on this field trip we learned about the British rule sooo much. One day we just sat in what would be equivalent to the living room of the fort and talked to Shri Rambir Singh about his life growing up here and his relationship with the British. (his family still lives in this fort)

In addition to this we visited two organic farms to learn about the organic farming that takes place and their new techniques. It was cool to see and learn about, but honestly that is not my topic of interest so I found my mind wandering as we stood in the HOT sun looking at a pile of compost being digested by WORMS!!

There is just SOO much that I learn and experience each and every day that I almost find it frustrating or intimidating to write about it, because I don’t know how to narrow it down for all of you guys…so please realize that I am only hitting the top of the icebergs with these posts…if I told you guys about everything then I would not have time to go and explore, I would just sit in my room and TYPE…and that’s NOT an option….haha.

So once we arrived back in Jaipur we had class and THEN… Saturday afternoon I left with 7 other people to visit the Taj Mahal. We stopped in a hotel on the way to spend the night. This town is known for its bird sanctuary so we woke up early and rode bikes through the bird sanctuary at 6 in the morning. It was a delightful morning ride…and we saw LOTS of birds, monkeys and a horse/cow looking animal. I am SO glad that we did this in the morning because it has been SOOO hot here recently and it would have been straight up miserable to do that during the day. Let alone the birds and monkeys probably would not have been out for us to see. After our BIRD excursion we headed to the TAJ!!!...

When we arrived at the Taj parking lot, we were hassled by SO many people to buy whatever cheap little thing that they were selling…yesssssss…I finally gave into a young boy…I just couldn’t resist him…he was riding his bike up next to us on the way up, trying to show off and then talked to us when we came out…SO I JUST BOUGHT a keychain. (We are hassled ALL the time NO matter where we go…so don’t think that this is anything different than normal…I guess the only difference is that this little boy…(he likes to go by bobby) actually had a conversation with us and it was sweet of him, but also his plan ALL along so that we got SUCKED into buying something.) In order to get into the Taj, of course, you have to buy a ticket…the CRAZY thing is …if you are an INDIAN then you only have to pay 20 rupees…if you DON’T LOOK Indian then you have to pay 750 rupees…like 20 dollars versus 50 cents!!!!! Getting into the Taj was kinda SKETCHY!...but we survived…I think people here are SOMETIMES scared of white people so they let us do whatever we want to do…other times they just try to take complete advantage of us. Then we headed back to school/home on Sunday afternoon. We had the option of going to a fort on the way back, but we were all WORN out from the sun and the early morning bike ride, so we just went home. It was a lovely trip and I am REALLY glad that I went.

PS…our mode of transportation was a tazi, which was an Indian SUV with NINE people in it…2 in the front, 3 in the middle and 4 in the back…basically they stick FOUR people in the trunk of a small SUV…and then they drive as crazy as they can! And hit every bump so that our bones BREAK…and we no longer have tailbones.

It is OFICIALLY festival season here in India. We have had SO many holidays…its kinda unreal. This week coming up we have four days off…and this past week we had two days off. For this upcoming week I am traveling up to northern India to the base of the Himalayas which I am REALLY looking forward to. Supposedly its supposed to be cooler up there…but who’s to say that, because it rained for a MONTH longer than it was supposed to and its BLAZING hot right now…so the weather is not on track here.

On top of all these holidays, Molly and I were thrown a curve ball!!...we were told yesterday that we are going to have to move homestays. It was NOT the best of news…and I was overwhelmed at first and SAAADDDD, but I learned today that I get to EAT eggs at this new HOUSE!!...woo hoo!!! I guess what happened was that our mom signed up to host some other students from another program also, and when she said that she would host them she did not realize that she was not allowed to host us at the same time…basically it’s the OTHER program’s fault. Our mataji has LOTS of integrity and she did NOT want to go back on her word, so she set us up to live down the street at her best friend’s house. Our new host mom and our mataji go on walks every morning together…and our mataji has told her what we like to eat so I think it will be a smooth transition. I am still REALLY sad that we have to leave, as is our mataji. Our mataji said that we can still come by WHENEVER we want and come eat at her house, we just have to warn her!! I will definitely do that. I am getting all choked up writing this because Molly and I have LOVED living here, and they have taken such good care of us…and they have become like family to us (including the servants)…BAAAHHH!!! But its all in the Lord’s hands (thankfully)!

I LOVE ALL OF YOU GUYS!!!! I cant believe that it is already OCTOBER!! I have been here for TWO months and I would not change it for the world! The first month time went by somewhat slow, but this past month things DEFINITELY flew by. I hope that this blog finds you healthy and jubilant!...haha. I know that it is getting pretty crazy over there with the stock market and all, BUT know that the Lord is in control in EVERY aspect of our lives, BIG or small. It also has been pretty crazy over here in India. Bombings are continually being found or going off in cities. In the last week and half, I think that there has been at least three bombings. In addition, there was a HUMAN stampede at one of the temples in Jodhpur in which 180 people died from being trampled on. The cause of the stampede is unknown…but I cant even begin to imagine being trampled to death. With all that said, please keep my safety in your prayers! Like I said, I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

No hurry, no worry, no chicken curry! -The wise words of an Udaipur Rickshawvala

Sorry that I have been SOO awful at keeping this thing updated! It has been SO wonderfully busy since all the other MSID students have arrived. There is always an option of doing SOMETHING after class whether it is visiting someone’s house, walking to the ATM, going to the grocery store, attending Yoga classes (which I do NOT do), doing homework. The problem is that we don’t get out of class until 4 in the afternoon!!! (unlike before when Molly and I were done by 1:30 and had SOOO much time to kill) Our classes start at 10 in the morning and continue until 4, with a short tea break, a lunch break and another “whatever break.” The fact that everything in India takes longer than in the US is SOO true. Like I mentioned above, going to the ATM is a task that takes up the whole afternoon, so you cant really plan to get more than one task done each day. Classes are great and our professors are SOO intelligent. The head of the program here teaches one of our courses about India and she has published a 3-inch thick book about the history of Rajasthan (the state that I am in). You can look up the book on the internet and be impressed for yourself…her name is Rima Hooja and the book’s title is The History of Rajasthan. We continually have guest speakers that are SO interesting sharing about the farming and grazing patterns of villages, or government regulations, or water control…people are just SO smart. We basically have THE hook-ups!

We are beginning to research our internships. I have to look for ones that interest me and they recommend a few from the past. Of course I am doing an internship with alternative economics or micro-finance so I just basically have to pick the NGO that I like the best. I will probably be stationed outside a major city and then travel to various villages in Rajasthan, which sounds SOO great! J Please keep me in your prayers while I am in this decision process, so that I may choose the place that God wants me to be.

Like I said….WE HAVE THE HOOK-UPS!! Mostly every Friday (until the internship phase) we have some kind of field trip. One Friday, we went to a blue pottery factory, block printing factory and a hand-made paper factory. It was QUITE the experience. I have explained it as something that you hear so much about, but yet it you NEVER get to experience it. WELL, I experienced it. The paper factory had the biggest impact on me. We were not allowed to take pictures in the factory, because basically they did not want pictures floating about showing the conditions of their factory. NOT that the conditions were AWFUL (like rats running around and dirty floors), but they were monotonous and I am guessing the hours were long and the motions were repetitive. The paper made here was shipped all over the world to stores such as Wal-Mart and private boutiques in the U.S. It was crazy to see them making things that are on the shelves at Wal-Mart. They are in the process of making things for Christmas, so I got to see things for Christmas BEFORE they were even on the SHELVES of wal-mart…HA!...I was able to talk to some of the girls working there through broken English and broken Hindi. It was overall crazy because the process of paper-making was so interesting, yet the conditions were shocking.

Our other field trip was to a village. It was RATHER empowering and exciting because we basically just sat and talked to a women’s self help group (micro-finacnce group…MY KIND OF WOMEN!...ha.) and listened to what they have done for their village. Basically every improvement in the village is accredited to them!! They told us that when they wanted to build this small dam like structure (but its not a dam) that has helped raise the level of the underground water the men did not want to join them, so they decided not to fix the men meals until they agreed to help with the manual labor!...isnt that great?...because men CANNOT cook here…like they just DON’T!...(well unless they are a servant, but I don’t think that the villages really have servants)

Two weekends ago I traveled to a city called Udaipur…aka THE MOST ROMANTIC CITY!...ha. It was GORGEOUS! It had SMALL little streets where we risked running into cows, donkeys, elephants, camels, people, scooters, other rickshaws, cars, shopkeepers…you name it we probably ALMOST hit it. All the buildings are SUPER tall because they are all competing to be the tallest one so that they could calim to have the best view of the palace out in the middle of the lake. At night, all of the palaces in the town are lit up with lights…so GORGEOUS! We went to a palace called monsoon palace that was placed on the top of the hills and it overlooked the entire valley/city of Udaipur and then on the other side it overlooked PURE green land! We rode in the MOST ridiculous rickshaws!...these drivers think that they are invincible (and I am beginning to think that they are)…and they LOVE to get a reaction out of us, so they would drive out of control just to hear one of us squeal (I don’t know if that’s the right noise, but it will do, you never really know what noise will come out of your mouth when you think you are going to HIT a donkey!) Some of the rickshaws had some BANGING music…and by banging I mean like there is NO volume control…its either LOUD or off. Others had banging music WITH black lights. We were busy the WHOLE time that we were there…but a good busy NOT an overwhelming busy. ALL of us LOVED the city!! In order to get there we took a train late Friday night and arrived there in the morning on Saturday and then took a train back late Sunday night and arrive EARLY Monday morning BEFORE classes. (just enough time to take a short nap, shower, and eat breakfast.)

SOO the trip was great but the aftermath of the trip was NOT the best. I think that I caught some kind of cold on the train or during that weekend. For the past week I have been sick with a head cold. It started with a sore throat on Monday and then worse on Tuesday and somewhat feverish and now I am just CONGESTED!! I was MORE than blessed with a package from some of my friends from college, and it was SOO encouraging, the Lord’s timing was PERFECT! J ...You know how when you get REALLY congested you cant TASTE anything??...well, I don’t know if I have just never been this congested to experience this LACK of taste or if I never realized that my taste was GONE because I already knew what EVRYTHING tasted like in the States…well ANYHOW, I cant taste ANYTHING right now…and I REALLY don’t know what things taste like when I eat them. For example I went to a restaurant on Saturday and I got a dish that I have eaten at other restaurants and my friends asked me if it was better than the others that I have had…and I realized that I had NO idea because I could NOT taste it…ha! The only way I knew if it was spicy was if I felt the stinging sensation on my lips. Crazy huh?

Because of my little sickness, and HOMEWORK (can you believe they are giving us homework here?) I decided not to travel this past weekend, along with the majority of the rest of the group, so we just explored Jaipur…which mostly constituted of walking around the Old City and get attacked by the shop keepers…if you are going to shop DON’T go to the old city in Jaipur…they are ridiculous!

FUNNY story…my mataji is a RATHER funny character. She told Molly and I a while back that the WHOLE world was going to EXPLODE in two days, because of that scientific tube that they were going to turn on in Switzerland. She said, “Where is the US? They wont let other countries have atomic bombs that only destroy a country and this tube is going to destroy THE WHOLE WORLD and the US is doing NOTHING about it!!!???” Later she heard that the tube was not a threat and that we would survive through the week…I think I need to start keeping documentation of my mataji’s one-liners…like a quote board…yeah K2N??...she is SOO funny!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


For those of you that follow international news and know that there were bombings this weekend in Delhi...I would like you know that i am ok and alive. Delhi is about 4-5 hours away, so everything is OK here in Jaipur! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

GReen GOA!

DAY ONE…half day of hindi, made tea and it boiled over, ate warm curd for lunch, went to the train station, WAITED FOREVER!!!, sat on the train for 20 HOURS!, slept on the train

DAY TWO…arrived in Mumbai (TWO hours late…haha…o India time), walked around lost for a little, ate at Mc Dondals (for the first time here), met up with Reverend Diwakar and drove in the RAVI-mobile, took a WARM bucket shower, ate a deliciously spicy lunch, watched Diwakar’s daughters wedding on DVD, chilled at the house with the house helper that was our age, Alka, saw RAVI (and he remembered MEEE!!), Diwakar shared his testimony and we ate ANOTHER delicious meal.

DAY THREE…breakfast, Diwakar and his wife attended the funeral of the mentally-ill child that attended their church, Sneha picked us up and we had lunch at their house, LAUGHED A LOT with them about our Point Loma trip last summer, had dinner, went to the bus stand and waited for the bus for an hour, left for a 12hour bus ride to Goa.

DAY FOUR…went to a sketchy-McSketch-Sketch bathroom at 2 am with the bus stopped, arrived in Goa, asked around to see which bus to take to Anjuna, found our guesthouse “The Orange Guesthouse,” settled in, went to the grocery store, walked around town, watched T.V., went to bed.

DAY FIVE…apple & peanut butter for breakfast, walked to the beach, bombarded by ALL the shopkeepers, sat at the beach, took pictures with Indian boys (UGH!), ate lunch (well I had a breakfast plate for lunch, cause it just sounded SOO good), found internet, bought ali-baba pants, peanut butter sandwiches for dinner, watched TV, went to bed.

DAY SIX…woke up and it was RAINING, peanut butter sandwiches for b-fast, walked to the ali-baba pants shop in the rain to exchange because they HAD A HOLE!!, packed up our stuff, went to Dominoes for lunch, paid 35 rupees (less than a dollar) for an individual pizza, blessed with PERFECT timing to catch the bus to Mapusa and then to Calangute (another beach), found our guesthouse with the help of a friendly man (otherwise we were wandering around and in people’s yards…hah.), Johnny’s Place, not the cleanest of places but it would do, walked the beach of Calangute to Baga and back, walked around town, found internet, took awhile to find a place to eat, walked back in the dark because they took FOREVER to give us the BILL!!!...but the Lord is watching over us, right?

DAY SEVEN…searched for a loaf of bread, walked to Baga on the beach, had lunch, found a place with a loaf of bread, sat on the beach for awhile (fully dressed), watched the Indians LOVE the beach, girls in full attire and boys in their little briefs (such a crack up), was attacked by all the ladies selling jewelry and men that were giving semi-permanent tattoos, MOLLY got REALLY sun-burned, bought a DELICIOUS milkshake!, went to the internet place again, walked the streets to shop, ate PB sandwiches for dinner, packed up our stuff, went to bed.

DAY EIGHT…went to the MOST delicious breakfast place, it was like a bakery at home, I got a chocolate chocolate chip muffin!!!!...soooo good, PS. This day was Ganesh’s birthday I think, caught a bus to Panjim and then to Vasco, ate a little samosa snack, took a taxi to the airport, checked in, flew to Delhi, in which the plane was like ONE-FOURTH full!!!!! was SOOO empty, there was lightning while we were in the air and a REALLY sweet sunset, talked to these two goofy guys while waiting at the airport, drove to the hotel that all the NEWBIES were staying at.

DAY NINE…arrived at the hotel at like 2 am in the morning, woke up and went to breakfast and began to be introduced to the other 21 students, SOOO EXICITING!!!!!, learned that one of the guys here is from DUARTE!!! town and we live like a block from each other and know some of the same people!!!, and here we are meeting each other in India, sat through MULTIPLE orientation lectures, went swimming, sat in a room and just talked to everyone, went to bed.

DAY TEN…woke up, knew more names of the people than then day before when I woke up, breakfast, more orientation, more laughing, more getting to know each other, more similarities and differences discovered, sat out by the pool and laughed a lot, I LOVE THAT THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE!!! much fun, sat in a room with a few girls and just talked (girls are usually good at that).

DAY ELEVEN…delicious b-fast, became really excited for everyone else to meet their families!! J, took a short drive-through tour of Jaipur with the group in our taxis, went to the MSID office for the first time with the group, sent off everyone to their house, and returned to our humble abode, in which our mataji was waiting patiently when we opened the door.