Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Next week is the holiday called Diwali (the "W" is not a "w" or a "v", it is a hybrid of both. Try to pronounce it, it'll be fun). The only thing I know about it is it is when a god is supposed to come to their homes, and they light candles for the god to find the way. Over the years, things have gotten bigger. The started building camp-fires in front of their houses, then bonfires in the streets, and after a while they have retorted to fireworks. Now it is THE firework holiday of the year. Even a week before, I cannot sleep at night because of the explosions outside my window.

So, not to be left out, we decided to join in. We set off some a few days prior, (so we are not celebrating that holiday, we are just having fun) and I must say that the types of fireworks you can find here, you would need a licence to acquire in the states. Observe in the picture, does this look like $30 worth of fireworks? Well... it is. And yes we still have all of our limbs and eyebrows, despite the larger tube throwing shrapnel 30 feet away.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

This is going to be a fun one...

I am learning firsthand about the lack of privacy this country has, whether I like it or not. I am in an internet cafe right now, since I am waiting to get a connection in my apartment, and this is the third attempt at posting this thought. I came a few days ago to check my email and after a few minutes, I had two guys with their chins almost resting on either shoulder reading out loud what I had received from my sister and was asking questions about everything. The first time was funny, but I came back the next day to post this and they were back for a few minutes at a time. I even added a few written pauses to say they were back, and at one point I thought about posting what I had and saying I would have to finish it later, but one of them pulled up a chair and proceded to do the same thing he was doing, but this time he did not come and go sporadically.

After a few minutes, I told him that in my culture to read someone else's mail is extremely rude and his only response was "There are many people who come to this place and I think many of them will read your emails." I continued to argue with him for a little bit, but I don't think he understood. After I went home, I bypassed the authority of my landlord, bulding supervisor, and president of the something-or-other association and applied for a connection. Hopefully it will come in soon.

Oh, and another thing, I was asked at least three times this week why I had spots on my arms, so I had to explain what freckles were, partially in the local language :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Made it to my city

[This is a view from my apartment balcony at night. Note the split in the headlight-trail, they are dodging a cow in the road.]

Ok so it's been a while since my last post, but that's not my fault... ok so it is my fault. I haven't gotten internet in my apartment yet so I am relying on a cafe whose ceiling is not tall enough for me to stand up in and none of the computers have a usb drive so I can't upload any pictures yet.

On to the important stuff. I made it into my city a few weeks ago, I have an apartment with a nice balcony and I just got a language tutor the other day. The time is spent at two extremes, some days I have nothing to do and others, I can't get it all done. I've been on one trip to a neighboring city to see what a volunteer group was doing and to get some contacts to do some work in the villages surrounding the city. I'm excited about what is going on here and I should have more pictures soon.