Hold on to your flip flops!!!
So today was an incredible day. I mean, words cannot describe today. Wow. We did our regular Sunday morning things with our friends, which was fun because we love getting to spend time with them. Then we all went out to a really good lunch, and headed for coffee at Cafe Coffee Day after than. We were enjoying our coffee in this random little Coffee Day, which was in the upstairs part of a gas station (way less sketchy than you'd think!) and what comes walking down the street? AN ELEPHANT! My roommate starting yelping and pointing and I was like, what??? and then I saw it. I was like a kid at Christmas! We paid for our coffee very quickly and ran down stairs and climbed abord this massive creature. I think the funniest thing was that we weren't in some rural location--we were riding down the middle of a fairly busy street! After riding for a few minutes, the guys stopped the elephant and were like, 200 rupees (about $5). I said, no, 100, which made him laugh. So I said, I'll pay you the 200 only if you take us back down the street, which seemed a pretty fair deal. So anyway, we had quite a fabulous adventure. Check out my yahoo pictures for more shots of our trip :)

Mira nam???
During my first week or so here, someone told me I had a South Asian name. And there's actually a city in the north named Mandi, so I was really feeling pretty special. But no one ever told me what my name meant until the other day, when I was informed that it means something like vegetable or fruit market. Today this was confirmed when my roommate pointed out the sign about the fruits and veggies at our grocery store. Fabulous.
So as of yesterday I've been in South Asia for 6 weeks, and as of Saturday I've been in my new city 3 weeks. I still can't really believe it--somedays it seems like time is flying by, and others just seem to drag on. Several people have said that it just takes longer to live life here and they're right. While this is a fairly modern/western city (compared to the rest of the country), life definitely moves at a slower place than in the US. Part of that is because we're still trying to get settled and find our way around--I imagine that once we start meeting more people things will pick up.
We're still very much in the beginning stages of our work, trying to meet students and learn the language and just seeing what opportunities are going to be available. I feel very blessed because our supervisors ROCK and it looks like we're going to make a really great team. I've also made a few friends from going to the gym near our house, which has been a lot of fun. This weekend we're going shopping with our neighbors, who are very fun and friendly.
That's about all for now. Check out the link to my photos on the right for more pictures of our city. Hope you're all doing well, esp. you all back home in LA--stay safe!

So we made it to our city! Our apartment is great and so are the people we're working with. We've been busy getting settled this past week, which has been an adventure, but also really WAY smoother than I could ever have imagined. Anyway, hopefully we'll get internet at our house and I'll be able to update more then, but I just wanted to let you know we made it and say thanks for thinking about us!
(This is a view from the roof of our apartment building).

Me and a friend wearing wearing our matching salwar kameez (we picked out the same material at the fabric shop). Posted by Picasa