The ten of us had a great time bonding, planning, and just having fun. I think this next year is going to be really incredible, and I'm excited about getting to work with such great people. Here are some photo highlights of our trip:
so the roommies are watching LOST, season 1. i'm halfway watching, and halfway catching up on blogging. it's been a good week, and i'm doing a lot better than i was the other day. i can't say that i have a whole lot to say at the moment, but i do have some fun random pics from the past few weeks, and there are also some catch up posts down below this, so scroll down and enjoy:
creative sign at a house not far from where we live....
student discussion group at our house friday night
rat tails are totally "in" here!
guys dancing together at 3D Fun Destination (like Chucky Cheese + a bowling alley and a dance floor)
random pic from solapur
all dressed up in our sarees, with our friends over for dinner
pack of pigs running down the street!
yes, this guy is wearing a paisely shirt...
crammed in a rickshaw!
fun at the park...well, outside the park--the gate was locked. (note the "elephant" in the background)
preeti, sophy and a giant tank
more fun at the park (this one was actually open)
preeti tries out the crazy swing thing at the park
indian students' version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. one word: PRICELESS (and that's a guy in the dress, by the way)
yes, that guy is wearing a Simba hat...
i think i'm officially having "one of those days"...i haven't posted in a while, but, warning, this may be "one of those posts" that's more about me needing to vent than something you're really dying to read...just so you know...
my computer is being slow and annoying. blogspot is being even more annoying. i've been lazy the past few days, which can be nice, but also leaves me restless. my new ipod is not working--in fact, i can hear a piece rattling around inside of it and i have no idea why. i feel like i have a lot to do, but no real direction on what i should do, what to prioritize, and little motivation. i could use a hug, a real and good one, know what i mean?
my best friend Amy was here last week, and it was amazing. that's another post in itself, with pictures (for now, check out her myspace: www.myspace.com/holykiss). but now she's back in california and i'm here in India, trying to get back to "normal life." it's not working very well so far. i had such a great time hanging out with her, and just talking and being with someone who knows me so well and, well, i'm not sure how to adjust back to the way things were. or if i even should.
[i meant to post this about 2 weeks ago, but didn't have time before i headed to bangalore, so here goes...]
I really was psyched about being a better blogger for a while...I guess I still am, I just need to actually DO it...so here goes:
Our next door neighbor’s youngest daughter got married recently. It’s my third wedding here in India, and it was definitely the most random. We went to the church (Catholic wedding) for the ceremony at 4:30 pm. The bride wore a white sari that I first thought was a wedding gown. It was a pretty traditional Catholic wedding, with a few Indian twists—my favorite was the song played during communion—it totally had a beat like a Hindi pop song! The ceremony was over by 5:30 pm, but the invitations said the reception started at 7:30 pm, so we were kind of confused. Everybody else seemed to know what was going on, because they all left, so we did too. Around 8 pm, we headed back to the reception, which was just getting started. It was definitely random, but since we went and had coffee in between, it was time well spent!
Alisha and Sophy had an interesting adventure with the pressure cooker. They were trying to make beans and it started overflowing. I was in my room when I heard the familiar sound of the pressure releasing, only it didn’t stop and was accompanied by squealing and laughing. I entered the kitchen to see a volcanic eruption of beanyness spewing all over our kitchen. Gross but hilarious.
A local church here hosted a youth weekend for students and brought in a band and speaker from the US—Thomas Young and No Longer Strangers. Supposedly they’re somewhat of a big deal with college students back home, though this was the first time I’d heard of them. However, I can see why, because they were quite good and it made for a fun weekend. We also made some new friends and got to reconnect with several old ones, which was quite cool.
Now that the rain is starting to let up, the weather has been quite nice here lately, so the roomies and I headed up to the “mountains” near our house to catch a scenic view of the city and enjoy a picnic (gotta love egg salad!). It was a fun afternoon, and we took plenty of silly pictures of each other. The nice weather also brought back a flood of memories, and a longing for things I’d forgotten about. I found myself I dreaming of the Res back in Jackson, on a breezy fall afternoon. Lying on my blue knit blanket that lets the grass poke through just enough. Reading, doing homework, sleeping, talking, dreaming, whatever. I wish I could have another one of those carefree lazy afternoons.
The roomies and I headed back to Solapur (a city about 5 hours away) early Monday morning to meet with a friend we made when we took a team of students there in May. We had a great time with our friend, met with a bunch of ladies from her church, got fed WAY too much food, stayed in a questionable hotel room, and had quite an adventure on the train back this morning. We misread our tickets and ran back and forth on the platform several times before finally finding our seats. Gotta love the Indian Railway system!
Every year around this time, Pune breaks forth into complete madness for about 10 days for the celebration of Ganpati, a Hindu festival dedicated to Ganesh,. As it turns out, this festival is really only celebrated in our state (Sophy and Preeti had never heard of it before coming here) and is MOST celebrated in Pune. Little (and BIG!) mandals (shack like structures) are set up all over the city to house the idols and pay homage to the elephant-headed god. Every night, we’ve heard loud music and serious drum beats at the multiple mandals that surround our flat (I think there are somewhere over 7000 in the city!). On the final day of the festival, all of the idols, some of which are incredibly ornate, are taken down to the river to be immersed (they are made of clay and eventually will be washed away).
Tomorrow night I leave for Bangalore! This could be slightly complicated by the fact that it’s also the last day of the festival and the roads will be insane on the way to the airport, but I’m totally excited! I can’t wait to get to spend a week hanging out with my best friend—how great is our God for working out all the details on that! I will post more after all our adventures :)