Summer Travels and whatnot...
Wow, it's been a long time since I updated! I've been traveling a lot in these past few weeks, so I'm trying something new with the slide show--let me know what you think :)
Jill and Varanasi
After all our adventures with our two teams that were here, my friend Jill came to visit from Louisiana! I was SO excited to see her--it'd been almost a year since I'd seen anyone from home--and we had a really great time. We hung out in Pune for a while and she helped me do some follow up with work our teams had done. Then we headed up to Delhi, did some MAJOR shopping, and hopped on a train to Varanasi. Varanasi is an incredible place--it's on the bank of the Ganga river and known as one of India's most "holy" cities. Jill spent the summer in Varanasi 2 years ago, and before I came to India, most of the stories I'd heard had been from her about that summer. I was really excited about finally seeing this city that I'd heard so much about, though it was a totally exhausting journey! We spent two days running around the city and then barely made the train out of town due to a festival that was going on. Oh the madness that is India!
The night after Jill and I returned to Delhi, she headed back to the US and I headed to Thailand for our annual meeting. Last year at this time I was still in training in Virginia, so this was my first time at AGM and it was AWESOME!!! So many people from all over--truly an extrovert's dream come true :) I had a great time hanging out with old friends and made some new ones as well, and the conference was really a blessing. Everything was extremely well done and it was obvious that a number of people had put a whole lot of work into pulling it off. And of course, there were also plenty of fun things to do in thailand, like shopping at the night market, eating really good food (hamburgers!), and even bowling!
After our conference, me and 3 friends headed to Vietnam for vacation. I know what you're thinking--Vietnam??? I wasn't really sure what to expect (since I'm not a planner and was just along for the ride!), but it was incredible! It's a beautiful country, with a strong mix of both the traditional/history and the modern/global.We visited 2 major cities (Hanoi and Hoi An) and got a fun taste of both city life and the beach. We shopped around town, had clothes made by fabulous tailors, ate lots of really good seafood and sticky rice, took a boat tour in the bay, and drank some amazing coffee. My favorite part of our vacation, though, was getting to spend time with friends and just relax on the beach. This did, however, result in a pretty wicked sunburn, but it was worth it!
Back to Delhi...and a visitor from Spain!
After Vietnam, I headed back to Delhi to pick up Tep, a friend who came to visit us from Spain! Before I continue with this though, I have to pause and talk about airlines. They are insane, and this summer has proved it. In all my travels, I took 10 flights in about 3 weeks (not to mention the trains, buses, taxis, rickshaws, sung taos, boats, etc etc), and while most of these flights were pretty good, we did have some misadventures getting from Vietnam to Delhi (3 flights, 3 airlines, over weight luggage, customs 4 times, sketchy man sitting next to me...the Delhi airport was the best part of the day, and that's saying a lot!). After all this insanity, when I picked up Tep at the airport, her luggage had not made it to India (this is the 3rd piece of lost luggage we've had this summer...insane). It made it to us 2 days later, so all was well.
Tep and I spent a few days in Delhi and had a great time visiting with people. Then we headed back to Pune and hung out here for a few days. The monsoon season is here in full force, so it's kinda gross, but everything is green again and it's much cooler than when I left. It was great to have Tep here for a few days though, and we were sad to see her head back to Spain. The funny thing is when she left to go back to Spain, the plane couldn't take off because "parts were missing" or something sketchy like that...gotta love traveling overseas!!!
Well, I think that's a pretty good overview of my summer so far. New roommates/coworkers move in on August 1st, so it might be a while before I update again. Peace out!