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Saturday, January 29, 2011

This is a lot harder to update with no internet in the house! We are still enjoying the new house and the new people we are meeting. The past few days have been pretty exciting. On Wednesday it was Republic Day. There was a parade on TV and celebrations everywhere. There was no work that day but we went to a local radio station where we were all interviewed and it was broadcast on the station a few days later. They asked us many questions about our respective countries and how they were similar/different to India and what we liked about each. We also discussed some issues that we thought needed to be addressed here and back home. It was very interesting because most of us were all from different countries. After the interview we came back, got dressed up in our sarees and headed to the school for a celebration.  The children had been working very hard for weeks to put it all together and it was fantastic. They prepared dances and songs and presentations as well as making food for all the guests and decorating the park. They were very excited to see all of us in our sarees. I have pictures and videos of the children that I will put on as soon as I can get back on my laptop! Friday when we went to school one of the teachers offered to take us to a few different houses in the village to show us how they are living. Some of the houses are quite large but they are very basic. Many of them have earned enough money for homes by selling land that had been left to them. Everyone was very kind and loved showing us around and telling us about their lives and families. The rest of the volunteers are away this weekend to I am enjoying a relaxing weekend with lots of tanning, writing, and reading...which is made even better by thinking about the fact that its only January!! I hope to travel to Amritsar next week with Laura, one of the other volunteers. We will spend the night in an Ashram, visit the Golden Temple, and watch a big ceremony on the India/Pakistan border with lots of music and dances. Hopefully by then I will be able to put new picture updates online. Enjoy the weekend everyone!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I was planning to take about a week to pack all of my things but I guess now I know I only need one night! We changed to a different house today. It is still pretty close to where we were before. They have their own set of projects but we all decided to stay at our school. None of us were ready to leave the children. The host family is very nice and they have a great home. Plus they have a washing machine, which was very exciting for all of us after all this time hand washing our clothes. There were already two girls living here when we moved in and one more is coming at the end of the week. I am hoping to plan one last trip before I leave, I just can't decide where yet. There are so many amazing things to see and do here, it will be hard to leave. Last weekend another volunteer and I went to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. It was about a 4.5 hour bus ride each way, which was alot better than the 10 hour bus ride I took  in November to the Tiger Reserve. The city of Agra is not very nice but the Taj is beautiful. I didn't have a working camera at the time so I will upload some pictures that I got from another volunteer when the internet gets fixed at our new house. On the 26th of January is Republic Day and the children at school have been working very hard to prepare. They have been learning song and dances as well as making posters and cards. A teacher at the school is also a seamstress and she has made outfits for all of the children to wear for the celebration. I can't  believe it has already been almost 5 months. It seems like I got here a week ago! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and I will update with pictures soon!