Monday, February 16, 2009

9/2-15/2 The Greatest Week of My Life

So check one item off my “to-do list”, learn how to make Indian tea.  I came, I learned, I mastered.  Indian chai, real chai, not the coffee shop junk, is the best beverage I have ever had.  Everywhere you go there’s always somebody making or selling chai.  It is India’s national drink.  And not only is it amazing and everybody makes it, but every single batch tastes different.  There are so many different ways to make chai, but I learned the basic way.  Step one, mix liquid.  Now there are two combinations of liquid for making chai.  You can have all milk, or mix milk and water together.  Whatever you want, the important thing is that you use the exact amount of liquid as you are going to drink.  So for me, Daddy always has one cup and I usually have two cups, so I mixed two cups of water with one cup of ox milk, in the villages it’s goat milk.  After that you add two teaspoons of sugar for every cup and one teaspoon of tealeaves for every cup.  Since Daddy has the same sweet tooth as Mommy, he calls it just “liking my tea strong”, I added one more teaspoon of sugar and leaves.  Then you boil it.  Once it starts to bubble you turn off the heat and pour through a strainer into your cup and you’re done.  So simple, yet so delicious.  So now I know how to make tea, next is learning how to make dhal fry, my new favorite dish.

On Tuesday I held English class and I felt I had a successful session with my high schoolers.  I gave back their “Who you are” stories with a copy of my corrections to them.  I explained a few things on the blackboard like how if you write about the names of your friends, all the words in that sentence need to be plural, like, “My friends’ names are…”  A lot of them wrote, “My friend name is…” and then they would list three names.  They also made a similar mistake when talking about their favorite subjects and their age.  They would write, “I am fourteen year old.”  I also told them that it is more correct to say that you live in a village, and at a home.  So after I explained those few things I had them rewrite their stories with the correct grammar and punctuation.  I told them that it needed to be perfect because I was going to e-mail them to Doug Uncle.  After they finished I had each student read their final draft out loud to the class so they not only got a lesson in writing correctly, but talking correctly.

On Thursday I got experience the frustration that is shopping in India.  The DVD player isn’t working at the Home so I wanted to try and buy some cables that would allow me to hook my computer up to the TV so I can show them my new video I made.  I knew none of the stores would have one of the cables I needed, but I thought for sure I could find an S-video cable somewhere in this town.  Daddy took me to one store, they had no idea what I was talking about.  We went to another store, they had no idea what I was talking about.  Went to another store and again they had no idea.  I even showed the workers the backs of their DVD players they sold in their stores and the port for the S-video cable.  I said, “I need the cable that goes in here.”  But no one had it.  We must have gone to ten stores.  It was insane.  And then to add to my frustration while I was ordering the cables online, wouldn’t deliver them here.  So I had to shipped home, and then have my mom ship them to me, which will most likely take a month for them to get here.

Saturday I went with Mommy, Daddy and Danny to a wedding in Yavatmal.  It was very impressive.  All the decorations and the beautiful colors all the women were wearing.  In India, they use weddings to show your prestige, so everybody was wearing their most expensive saris.  The reception was were the most money was spent though.  It was outside in this large garden area guarded by two guards at the entrance.  There were so many people there and the food was amazing.  I’ve never had better buffet food.  It seemed as though all the who’s who of Yavatmal came out for this one, I wish I had brought my camera.

Sunday could have been the greatest and most fun day of my life.  It seemed as though it was an all day party.  It started with me doing everything in slow motion in an attempt to slow down time.  But not only was I trying to slow down time, it also made things more dramatic and exciting.  Mommy explained why I was walking slow to the kids and they thought it was very funny.  I even got some of the kids to help out with my cause.  After church some of the boys were playing cricket.  I asked where the girls were and they said no girls.  I said sarcastically, “Don’t worry.  I will get them.  I’ll be right back.”  They all told me no but I left anyways to go round up some girls to play cricket.  The girls wouldn’t come and I pleaded with them to come, and I even started crying.  After about ten minutes of this little Salomi came around the corner.  I grabbed her and brought here out to the field, where the match was already in session.  Shortly thereafter it was time to switch sides.  I told the boys to let Salomi bat, some of them didn’t want her to, but Stavan also told them to let her.  So Laxman threw three balls to her, and she hit two of them.  That made her day.  I took pictures of her batting and she kept having me show everybody.  This prompted me to inquire about something that hopefully will turn into a longstanding tradition here at the Home.  I told Mommy and Daddy that I wanted to have an only girls cricket match.  They both said that sounded fine and then Daddy suggested that this could be a new thing, every Sunday the boys cook dinner and the girls play cricket.  So when 17:00 rolled around it was time for girls cricket, although dinner was pretty much done, so we’ll start the tradition next Sunday.  Mommy told me to stay and explain how to play because the girls “Don’t know how to play.”  I quickly found out this was not true.  Not only did they know how to play, but the rules too.  And just like a while back when the girls started playing kabaddi just for fun, the laughter from these girls while they played was amazing.  As lighthearted as they played though, they were also serious about the game, but it was a peaceful relationship.  I took plenty of pictures during, and after, the match.  After dinner we had a singing session.  This was incredibly fun.  The boys told me to play the drum for the songs.  After I did this for a while Mommy was asking me what I wanted.  Some of the boys were telling me Marathi phrases to say, but I decided to use one of my own.  I yelled, “Mommy!  Ghosta!(?) (story)”  The kids yell this every night before devotion because they love Mommy’s stories.  So after some back and forth banter between Mommy and me, some of the kids circled around Mommy and sat down.  I got up and yelled “Ghosta!” and sat in the middle of the kids and I gave Mommy my undivided attention.  This made it very difficult for her to tell her story because every time she looked at me she would start laughing and forget where she was.  While she was talking I would nod my head yes and say, very interestedly, and say “Yeah, yeah!”  All the kids loved this.  After Mommy had me pray in Marathi, all the boys dog piled on me.  I don’t know why.  But then it was time for bed and ended a very fun day, and week.  I wish all my remaining days here last that long.

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