What's the date today? I can't believe it's the 22nd of January and I've been here almost one month. The time has just flown by in a whirlwind of activity, so I thought I'd take a moment to reflect upon some of the highlights of my time in India so far. Pictures included, of course. The Tare (pronounced Tar-ay, in case you were wondering like I was at the beginning) had the benefit of participating in the Essence of India event as part of our orientation, and what a great event it was. (Thanks SVs!!)
Here are just a few of my favourite things we did:
1) Sari, bangle, and bindi shopping on Laxmi Road
2) Exploring Phule Nagar, the neighbourhood across the road from Sangam
3) The Pune Challenge -- a bit like The Amazing Race (minus the whole "last team to check in may be eliminated" thing), where we had to navigate our way to specific locations via Rickshaws. Everytime I get in a rickshaw I feel like I'm on The Amazing Race a) because I'm never completely sure they've understood/know where I want them to take me and b) I have this crazy urge to shout "Jaldi! Jaldi!" which means "Fast!Fast!" in Hindi.
4) Visiting an Indian Family for dinner and having spicy food. The food at Sangam is farely tame, due to the 'international flavour' of the place.
5) Our Indian Afternoon, complete with a lesson in tying our saris (and then wearing them), chai (yum!), mehendi, and a traditional Maharastrian Wedding Feast -- and I mean feast! There is no end to the food. Oh yes, and playing badminton in our saris. I realize this is not particularly Indian, but it's really worth trying.
6) Learning about some of the WAGGGS initiatives to do with gender equality and the other UN MDGs.
7) Bollywood Dance lessons and a Bollywood movie night. We watched an Aamir Khan movie which in English is called "Every Child is Special". Not your typical bollywood flick, but sooo great. To all my teacher friends: you need to see this film.
At the end of the two weeks it was hard to say good-bye to Maxine, Anne, and Christine; they felt like part of the Tare team. But, the great thing about Guiding is that our paths could very well cross again.
Onto the next part of the adventure...the Community Program!