Monday, June 20

going to town

Today, some of the nuns and I ventured to the grocery store, Reliance Fresh. I was shocked (okay not really shocked... I guess it's to be expected) at the amount of bugs flying around that place... especially near the vegetables, which I was hoping to purchase. Unfortunately, there's not really any way to get around it, so I sucked it up, got in there and bought some red peppers, mushrooms and a cucumber (I figure I'll sanitize them before consuming them anyways). But the whole thing was a little nauseating. I guess it's just one of the many things I'll need to get used to... plus I am craving good vegetables, so you gotta do whatcha gotta do, right?! At the store, something veryyy exciting, we found plantains! And I told Romi and Natalia in my very VERY broken Espanol que "AHHH a mi me gusta platanos fritos!" Then they made a motion as if to smash the plantains first, then fry then and I got VERY excited... one of my mom's specialties AND my favorite thing at Sol Food. Needless to say, we bought a few. And garbanzos, too!

I've really started to bond with Natalia and Romi. They have only been here for four months, so they completely understand my situation and how hard it is to adjust. They are so reassuring and who'd of thought I'd be speaking more Spanish than English in India?! Nevertheless, I am thrilled for this opportunity to try and get back all of the Spanish I've lost since Madrid. We were joking today how we speak fluent Spanglish... I try to speak in Spanish and then they respond in English and then we correct each other, how perfect is that? Later in the day, though, I found out they will be gone the entire month of July :-(

For lunch, we had biryani, a type of rice with a bunch of really delicious spices and seasonings (although I'm not quite sure what kinds). Rested a little, then went and hung out with some of the nuns. They made the garbanzos we bought at the grocery store for a snack, boiled and seasoned them with a pepper and they were sooo good! They taught me that in Telagu (the native language in this state), garbanzos are called chanadrum. Good to know! I then discovered that it is in fact the "filtered" water that is making me feel so sick. I did a little experiment and only drank Coke for the morning and early afternoon. I was feeling great... until I had water with my snack. I think maybe I'll stick to bottled water for a while.

Then, we went to visit the kids, mainly the really young ones (some are as young as four but are so tiny they look much younger). Seriously, though, so in love. It's amazing how well-behaved they are. They all sit peacefully after class and do their homework with no problems or trouble at all. I do think they're a little confused, though, since they keep calling me "sister," to which I say "oh no no no, just Allie." I'm not sure they get it yet, but they will! And I can't even explain how unbelievably cute they are! I might be turning a little maternal on myself, which is kind of terrifying, but really, they are precious. Hopefully I'll get some good pictures soon and learn how to spell the names of the nuggets I've met so I can show everyone.

Exciting news of the day: I reworked my "AC" and I now no longer sweat while I'm sleeping! And to make things even better, I discovered a shower head in my bathroom! No buckets for me (except the spiders still like to hangout there and the water smells... those will be my next things to conquer)! Now, if only those mosquitos would find some new friends to bite, I'd be all set!

Quote of the day: "Where do you live?" (To which I respond, "California," since I've been there four years and will probably be there for many more years.) "Ohhh, California...the government is Schwarzenegger. His poor wife...what a pity." (Enough said.)

Fun fact of the day: Natalia told me that today that since I switched rooms and buildings, I'm actually living in a convent now. This makes me laugh. Apparently you can't live in a convent unless your a nun (duh) but they made a special exception for me. And my room's right next to the chapel. So now I feel slightly awkward/unholy watching movies like The Hangover before I go to sleep. Oh well!

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