Oh my gosh, today was by far one of our most favorite days in India thus far. Who knew we could do SO much in a day? Today was FANTASTIC! We woke up to run early in the morning. Then when we got back, it was tea/coffee time. Then, breakfast…We had this vegetable pizza like thing for breakfast, and our fourth variety of bananas. Breakfast yesterday, they were green and medium length, lunch they were normal, long and yellow, and for dinner they were long and reddish brown…all of them were delicious. This morning, they were super short and yellow! The shortest bananas I have ever seen in my life. They were like bite-sized, and apparently they grow in the mountains. They are all much sweeter than U.S. bananas. Tonight, we made chapatti with jam on it wrapped around the banana…pretty much the best thing ever! We are finally getting to know the many varieties of bananas I kept hearing about from all the India trip goers from last year. We went to a brick making place. They mold the bricks by mixing the clay sand and water, then they let dry for two to three days, then they stack all the bricks in these brick ovens (isn’t that ironic?) and put charcoal on both sides of each stack. Finally, they bake them for three to four hours, and they are ready to go then. There can only do this for three months out of the year.
Then, we went to a rice field and actually hopped into the water, up to just below our knees in mud planting rice seedlings into the water. We actually helped with almost half the field…then we went to see a random couple’s farm who grew jasmine flowers to use for garland amongst other things. And finally, we visited a HUGE joined family system that originated from eight brothers living together, and their significant others/offspring! Their house was beautiful. We visited an orphanage where all the children had the day off of school, and we ended up playing volleyball with a few of them, and all of them watching! Bryan’s team took down John’s team…and we also visited a local government office. We then visited someone who played some music for us, and in all these places we were welcomed, oftentimes served tea or coffee or Fanta, and biscuits (cookies). We miss some of the people at ICSA, like Raj, Irene, Srinivasan, Pownderai, and all of our favorite shop owners, but they have been far too friendly to us here to not enjoy ourselves. We will be spoiled for a week before splitting up forever…but we have quite a week planned: a wedding, a visit to an island on the largest saltwater lake in India (where tourists NEVER go!), amongst performances at the orphanage, and who knows what else is in store! Our week is packed full of fun, and I look forward to it! It should be a grand time.