*Sadly, I am now home from India but have a couple of blog posts I wrote over there that I was unable to share before.
We’re finally starting to get some nice weather in India! Monsoon season was really late this year so the rains that bring the cool breezes have been scarce. Right now I’m sitting outside enjoying probably the most beautiful morning I’ve had yet. The sun is shining, the sky is clear, but there is also a light wind swaying all the palm tree leaves and keeping me cool. Some nights we now need to cover up with our towels because the winds are so strong and we don’t have blankets (never necessary before when it was 95+ degrees). The nice weather is pretty short lived because by noon it heats up again, but it’s nice to go to bed cool.
This week we went to a volleyball tournament in a town about twenty minutes away. It was so fun to go cheer on about 40 of our brothers. We rode the bus with the boys and then watched the games outside for hours. This pretty much solidified our positions as having the worst farmer’s tans in history, but it was worth it :). We had so much fun cheering them on and treated ourselves to ice cream, soda, chips, and this bread/whipped cream sandwich thing from a shop down the street to cool us down.
I also had the best time talking to three of the young teachers at the high school. Two of them are 22 and 23 and I think the third may be just a little older. We started talking because I’m interviewing people for my honors project and they all speak good English but we got off topic very quickly. They all pulled up chairs next to me in the staff room after school was done for the day and asked me about differences between the US and India, my interests, friends, family, and favorite Indian food. They also said they would dress me up in a sari, the wrapped fabric or silk outfits that Indian women wear here once they turn 20ish. I don’t think there’s enough time left in my trip for it but the offer made my day.
Today we went on an epic cycle excursion to check out the area around our campus. We asked the office staff if they knew of any bikes we could borrow for a few hours and they immidiatly dropped their work to brainstorm who they knew that had bikes and called people on the phone to arrange them for us. One thing I really love about Indian culture is their generosity and hospitality. They will do absolutely anything for their guests and friends. Once we got the bikes we took off down a dirt road and explored around for hours through pastures, sand dunes, and little villages enjoying the scenery. It was so nice to get out and see the country side of Tamil Nadu before we leave in 2 short days. We saw some of our students riding around on their bikes enjoying the three day weekend we’re having and they were all so surprised to see us. We usually draw some attention when we’re in bigger towns so I’m sure it was quite odd for the farmers of the tiny villages to see four white girls riding bikes in the middle of nowhere. We also finished painting the mural of the world in the boy’s hostel. They did a lot of the painting and we aren’t perfect artists so things came out a little skewed (Florida is half the size of Central America, for one example) but I absolutely love it and it brings so much more color and life to their compound.