Saturday, April 23, 2011

my ponderings.....

i know i need to add the india blogs up here and i am working on it.  this week was tiring since it was my first week back, but i do have to say it was a good one.  the new unit i working on with my kids is exciting and school went really well this week.  i actually felt like i knew what i was doing.  as a team, we are organized and doing well making a plan.  it felt really good to be "in the groove" this week at school.

on the home front, paul has been super busy working on his current projects.  he spends a lot of time working, but we have managed to do things here and there this week too.  friday we had friends over for tacos (ming made) and called it "fiesta friday".  it was so fun to have friends over and just hang out.  we looked at pictures, laughed, talked, shared a meal and just were together.  i really love this in my life.....i am definitely made for community and need to be surrounded by others.  thankfully my maker, God, had the same idea....yeah for Him!

today we slept in and had an epic rest.  i love saturdays for this reason.  my day of rest.  we woke up at 1:55 when our neighbors texted an invite for lunch and fun.  J & T are awesome and live just downstairs.  they were actually how we found our new place and they are AWESOME.  they same a 10 month old son, I.  (i like to use first initials to protect privacy b/c i am sure not everyone wants to be made public on our blog).  we had chicken fajitas and then played Settlers of Catan.  i had never played before and it was quite a bit of fun!  i am definitely hooked and hoping to share this game with my friends and family this summer.  i came in 2nd place with 8 points while J took the glory for winning.  the boys tried to keep her from winning, but their strategies weren't panning out.

after the game, I was hungry and needed to start his bedtime routine.  paul went to get fatboy subs and then we watch four episodes of modern family with J & T.  we thought we would be watching a movie, but that did not work out.  it was a great day.

hard to believe it's easter weekend.  it rained like mad here this evening and i am hoping it will help with the heat.  this week has been especially hot and sauna-like.

some goals for myself---

  • post india blog posts
  • upload pictures to flickr
  • read and rest

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

India Update....

Day #2 was good.  we did more shopping and eating.  will write about it more later.....

Day #3 was trying, very trying.  we went to Agra where the Taj Mahal is.  it was super hot and kind of anti-climatic.  paul is not feeling well and i am still trying to process the day.  we are back in delhi...paul is asleep after taking two tylenol.  he might have fever, but we aren't sure.  i hope he is okay.  i will sit, process and pray.  we are okay, so don't panic.  it was just a very trying hard day in many ways and on many levels.

more to come.....paul's computer shocks me when i type and that sucks.


Monday, April 11, 2011

day #1 in Delhi was a full day of shopping and taking it all in--the people, the colors, foods, clothing.  it was amazing!  we had breakfast and a cup of chai before heading out with mrs borges to go to a few markets.  we rode the metro which is quite nice to our stop.  at the front of every train they have a "ladies only" compartment.  mrs borges told us it was especially helpful when the train is super busy and crowded at the peak hours.  i am determined to try it before we go.

our first stop was the dilli haat market.  it's open air and full of artisans from each state of india.  it quite the place and it costs about 30 cents to get in.  this helps keep out beggars and pushy vendors selling sunglasses and other items one has no need for.  we walked around for a while....stopping here and there learning about all the wares for sale.  we looked at rugs, shawls, kurtas, sarees, toys, food, etc.  i bought a kurta which is a cotton, tunic like top that is awesome.  at this market items tend to be a bit more pricey, but nice quality.  they also had my size as which i learned later in the day is hard to find.  many curvy women have their kurtas stitched to fit.  paul bought a small string guitar that he played with the seller for a bit.  i loved that.  he sat on the ground and strummed away with the seller learning how to play his new toy.  i also bought a child's toy that you pull and these small sticks beat on a little drum.  it was fun and each item was about a dollar.  the local currency is rupees which is fun to say.  this first market reminded me of what a bazaar might have looked like centuries ago in this area.  lots of archways and wares hanging up all over.

for lunch we also ate at dilli haat market.  again, they have food from each state in india which makes for a diverse experience.  mrs borges made the lunch selection---chicken fried momos, a thali, a paratha and some tandoori chicken.  it was all totally yum!   the momos are like dumplings (gyozas, mandu, etc) and they were served with spicy tomato sauce.  the thali set is like a set meal that gives variety.  ours had a little cup of dal makhani, mixed veg, and paneer (local made cheese made with buffalo's milk) also comes with two chapatis (bread), rice and a pappa (large tortilla like chip with roasted black pepper inside).  the paratha has panner and coriander inside which was delicious.  it's another kind of bread that is made with whole wheat flour and stuffed. we also had some tandoori chicken which is straightforward but oh so yummy.

after lunch, we got in an auto rickshaw (like a tuk tuk) and made our way to the sarojini nagar market.  a very busy place indeed and reminded me of the markets we have in phnom penh, but a bit nicer.  the crowds were there for sure.  we walked around taking in everything.  paul had an indian treat at a famous little dive of a place.  the treat was a breaded like cup like thing that they put spicy water in.  it was good too and quite cheap.  you got three treats for 10 rupees ($1 = 44 rupees)  i am not sure what the treats are called now.  i ended up buying another kurta in the market.  our last stop at this market was the saree shop.  wow!  it was such a colorful shop and the experience was cool.  i picked out two and it cost about 20 dollars which was cheaper than i expected.  we then had to buy the two separated pieces for each and then they have to sew in some bits in the saree to make it ready for wear.  i am excited.  i cannot wait to wear them.

we made our way back to the b&b for a rest before dinner.  we both had naps after our bout of shopping.  mr borges picked us up at 8pm for dinner at their house.  mrs borges had made homemade dal makhani (paul's favorite), paneer curry, some veggies, and chana curry.  wow!  it was all super amazing and we ate until we hurt.  it was nice to see how they live as locals and also have great conversation.  it was soo good.  mrs borges' dal makhani has set a new standard for us that may never be reached any where else.

for the first time we experienced a power cut which happens often in delhi.  many have back up inverters that keep minimal power going like a few lights and fans.  it was quite cool last night, so it was okay that the air con was not working.  paul stayed up and worked and i went straight to bed.  the power came back in the middle of the night.  the interesting thing i have noticed here is the entire schedule of many people are shifted later......dinner is much later than our usual time which is fine, but just interesting.  many people don't eat until 8:30 or 9pm.  then the mornings are slow to get started as well.  it makes it nice to be able to rest and live in a place that likes our schedule too.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

welcome to india!

after a full day of travel we landed in new delhi!  i cannot believe we are really here.  it's still surreal a bit especially since earlier this same week i was awfully ill.  we had a warm indian greeting by mr and mrs borges, a teaching colleague's parent.  they are lovely and so warm!  i feel like we are visiting relatives.  we got our phones and sim cards sorted and then made our way through the large airport to the taxi.  we aren't too far from the b&b.  we got to see lots of cards and transportation on the way from the airport and had fabulous conversation as well in the car.  our b&b is great!  the room is large and the bathroom spacious.  we had our first chai tea in india this evening with mr and mrs borges at the b&b.  so fun!  i was excited and we waited to see what they would do with their tea before we sipped ours.  :)  it was nice, warm and flavorful.  i have had chai before, but not in india.  :)  we settled up our plan for tomorrow and then said good night to our lovely hosts.  paul and i need to get some rupees from a cash machine, so we went out and about.  it was nearly midnight, but things here are still quite awake at this hour.  we walked down to the PVR cinema near the b&b where there is a small area with food stalls.  we had a peep around and then decided to try  mcdonald's.  we had read that there burgers are made with lamb and not beef, so we were intrigued.  tonight's menu just had chicken though--paul had a spicy chicken wrap and i had a spicy chicken sandwich.  we are back at the b&b and settling in for a good rest before our outings tomorrow with mrs borges.  cannot wait.  india is great so far!