Indian Hospitality

Everyday we spend here in India is much more cherished than the last as the end draws near. We spend as much time as possible keeping ourselves busy so we don’t have to think about the few and final days left at our schools. Here is an update on what I have been doing to keep the blues away. This past week on Wednesday (when we didn’t have school because of the bus strikes) Ayesha and Deepa took Jill, Liz, Laura, and I to Commercial Street for a little bit of shopping. Ayesha and Deepa are senior counselors at DPS-North and we have spent quite a bit of time with them as well as observing their impressive Psychology classes. We have been to Commercial Street before, but this time was a whole new experience because we were with experts who knew exactly where to go to get good deals. We would not have been able to find these great shops without their help as some were tucked in alleys and corners we didn’t even notice before. Laura and Jill were feeling the Indian vibes as Laura got her nose pierced and Jill got her ear pierced. I held Laura’s hand as the man shoved the earring through her nose; she took the pain like a champ! After a lot of shopping and bargaining we decided to go to lunch. Ayesha and Deepa got us rickshaws and told us to hide while they bargained for a price because when rickshaw drivers see Americans, they tend to jack up the prices. We thought this was pretty funny and also true because we have gotten ripped off one too many times trying to get rides home. We finished off the afternoon at a restaurant called Elements and sat outside on the patio and had some delicious food.

This Friday Abby and I went to dinner with one of her favorite teachers, whom she is paired with frequently, Maher. Maher had brought along her husband, and two adorable little girls. We went to one of their family’s favorite restaurants in Frazer Town called Savoury. The restaurant served authentic Arabic food which Abby and I have both never tried. The food consisted of a lot of spicy chicken on kabobs, chicken on the bone, buttered naan, hummus, and garlic sauce so needless to say it was AMAZING. I have a newfound love for Arabic food. Maher told us about how she and her husband, Sohab, met when they were quite young. They both claim that they were on a train, saw each other, and it was love at first sight. They then went on to get married and have two adorable girls who were hysterically funny. Faluk, one of Maher’s daughters, loves chicken so as soon as the chicken was set down on the table she grabbed as much as she could. Her reaction was so funny when her parents told her she had to share; she wasn’t very happy. We had such a great time getting to know Maher and her family outside of school. Since we had a late dinner the little girls were falling asleep at the table (not going to lie, I was too), so we left and they kindly drove us back home after giving us a quick tour of the hotspots of Bangalore. It was so nice to be with a family here in India and definitely made me miss mine even more.

On Saturday it was another day filled with visiting teachers outside of school and getting a feel for Indian hospitality. Sowmya, our coordinator who we spend most of our time with at DPS-North, (also our Indian Mom) invited us over to meet her family before we were to head over to Suniti’s house. Suniti is the wonderful teacher that let me teach my first lesson to her class and that I am frequently paired with. Sowmya and Suniti live in the same building so it was very convenient for us to stop by both places on the same evening. Abby, Jill, and I came over to Sowmya’s for tea and met her family that we have heard so much about. Sowmya’s family is so sweet, just like her, and again it was so exciting to see her interact with her family versus her students. Her family asked us a lot of questions about what our trip entailed and what we had explored in Bangalore over the past 5 weeks. Finally putting faces to names was great because we had heard so many great things about her family members. Including that they love Modern Family and Doritos. Nikhil, Sowmya’s son, told us about all of the foods that he loves from America including Oreos, Jif peanut butter, Doritos, Chips Ahoy, Cheerios, and much more. He told us that his dad brings back a lot when he travels to and from the US for work. We told him that next time we visited we would bring back as much as we could in our suitcases for him. Of course the whole time we were there Sowmya impressed us with her hospitality bringing us tea, apples, cookies, and so many snacks. They also gave us a tour of their beautiful home. I think if I lived in Sowmya’s home my favorite part would be all of the balconies with outstanding views of the city and palm trees below. At night everything was lit up so it really was a sight to see. Sowmya Ma’am if you are reading this you must come visit us in Missouri. 🙂

After our visit to Sowmya’s house we walked through the apartment complex to Suniti’s home. She lives there with her husband and two children Rohan and Suti. Suniti’s in-laws, Rajat’s parents, were also their visiting from Delhi. Suniti is so sweet and waited on us the whole time bringing appetizers and drinks to us as soon as we entered her home. Suniti is a new teacher to DPS as her family just moved to Bangalore from Delhi. Her husband, Rajat, is transferred frequently for his job so they have lived in many places over the years including Ghana, Delhi, Bangalore, and many others. What an adventurous life moving every few years to new cities and countries! They told us they were probably going to stay put in Bangalore for a few years but the place that they call home will always be Delhi. We are going to Delhi this upcoming Friday so they told us places to visit and what we should expect when visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra. Suniti prepared a lovely traditional North Indian meal with so much to choose from. There was chat, pasta, bhatura, salad, and chickpea curry. I made sure to tell her kids

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Suniti and me

how lucky they were to have such an amazing cook in the family! We finished off the evening talking about places they have traveled along with lots of conversation about school. That’s what happens when you get a bunch of teachers together, they just end up talking lesson plans and schoolwork. In fact, Suniti said that she told the head of the science department at DPS about my lesson and that she had all of the other 3rd standard teachers change their lessons to incorporate the activity I came up with. This was such a great compliment for me and really cool to hear from such an amazing teacher.

We have had so much fun visiting with our teachers and learning more about them. I can’t believe we only have 6 days left in India and 4 days left at DPS. Is there anyway I can extend my visa?

Until Next Time,

Sarah

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