Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Eve

The whole family going to the Resolution 5K walk/run in Wash Park

Back Home With the Fam

Opening presents from India.  Nate with a star from the South and Noah in his new URMUL shawl.
In my new jersey from Nate from England, and Mom with her Santa book
Nate with his new URMUL shawl
The brothers in their new URMUL shirts with Indian pants on! (Noah is wearing a pair we bought for him and Nate is wearing a pair of mine!)
Dad, Nate and Noah with their new URMUL shirts and Dad with his new hand-woven stole that I custom designed for him with Bogta Ram at the Pokaran Weaving Center

Trying to Get Home/Home

Friends from our flight hanging out in the airport.  We spent all night together in the airport.  We got to the airport at 9pm for our midnight flight.  We boarded the plane, but fog came in and we sat on the plane for three hours waiting to take-off.  Finally, at about 3am the captain decided we couldn't go and that our flight had to be rescheduled for the next day.  The flight had to be rescheduled 16 hours later because the flight crew has to have that much time in between flying.  So, we were stuck in Delhi until 5:30pm the next day.  American Airlines didn't do anything for us-the didn't even make general announcements telling everyone what to do until that time.  And, they wouldn't provide food or hotels for anyone.  It was horrible and really stressful.  But, a group of us stayed at the airport and spent all night talking and laughing and keeping each other's spirits up.  If it hadn't been for this group, we would have been toast.  The next day we finally boarded the plane, but all of check-in and boarding was a mess again.  We left Delhi at 7:15pm and arrived in Chicago at about 11pm on the 30th.  Then, we had to go through customs, immigration, wait for our bags and then wait in a long line to get new connecting flights for the next day.  American Airlines finally did put us up in hotels that night.  
When we got to the hotel, I was OVERJOYED to see this bed.  It was fabulous! The only downside is we were only there from 1:30am to 5am because then we had to go back to the airport to catch out plane to Denver.  The good thing is we got to rest a little bit and take showers (which was REALLY GOOD, because we had started to smell really bad after all that time in the airport and on the plane.)
In Denver! We made it! 


So, its really kind of lame, but we went to McDonald's in India.  The have vegetarian options so we went to check them out.  These are some masala shake fries.
Here's our McVeggie burger, Paneer Salsa Wrap and spicy fries.
The Lotus Temple
Mom's new rug from Kashmir
Me with the Kashmiri rug salesmen


So, Mom and I had just left the Nehru memorial and we were on our way to the Gandhi memorial when we saw an elephant on the road.  This was mom's first elephant siting in India, so we slowed down the car to take a picture.  At that point the boy on top of the elephant asked if we wanted a ride.  I agreed, so he stopped the elephant in the middle of the road (cars were honking behind us) and had him kneel down so I could climb up.  So, I did!  It was great.  We were sitting on top of an elephant on top of a bunch of sugar cane.  We walked down the road for some time and then he dropped me off.  The elephant was so beautiful, really obedient and super sweet. 

Last* Day in Delhi

Last* morning in Delhi
Mama Bear

Gandhi's memorial, Delhi

* At this point we thought this was our last day in Delhi, but our plane ended up getting delayed and we had to stay overnight in the airport and then the whole next day in the airport, so this actually wasn't the last day, but we didn't know it at the time.

On the plane back to Delhi and some old photos from Phalodi

Mom enjoying the snack on the plane
Outside the plane window
Vinu and Suresh
URMUL family photo on our last night of our internship at Phalodi before heading back to Jaipur to finish up the semester program 

Good-bye Chennai, Hello Delhi

The kind family that shared their lunch with us on the beach
Cathedral built above the tomb of St. Thomas, one of Jesus' disciples, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
At the airport eating a custard apple from the ashram
At the airport eating a passion fruit from the ashram
Kingfisher airlines is amazing.  This is what they call a "snack" (and its FREE!)

At the seashore

Cute little family

Fishermen brining in a boat
Peanut man on the beach (again, for Nate's benefit)
Eating delicious rice that a man on the beach just gave to Mom and me because we didn't have any lunch to eat.  He kept giving us more and more servings of the rice and a sweet from his family's lunch box.  He wouldn't accept any credit for it either.  

At the beach

Mom in the water
Flower petals along the shore from offerings
Flower petals 
This picture cracks me up because it looks like that little girl is creeping up on me-and i am totally oblivious!  

On the Train/Chennai shore

More train friends from our compartment
Train friends
At the beach!!

Goodbye Kodai, Hello Chennai

Relaxing by the water

Our train friends 
Train friend