Friday, May 29, 2009

Mini-Trip

This week we took a mini-trip "out of town". We were actually still in the Capital, but a little over an hour away from where we live, so we stayed in a hotel in that part of the city. A bunch of fun college students were in town and we were helping with their orientation :)
On our way over to the Hotel, we saw this:That same thing is on the back of our 500 rps Bill. I didn't know there was a statue of it. It was pretty cool to see. It's actually a statue of the Salt March to Dandi on March 12, 1930 which was a part of the Salt Satyagraha. I know that probably lost most of you, but this was actually a pretty big event in our county when they were a Colony of the Brittish. It was actually a non-violent protest against the Brittish Salt Tax. Over 80,000 people were jailed as a result of it. The campaign had a significant effect on changing world and British attitudes toward independence in this country, and caused large numbers of South Asians to actively join the fight for the first time. This march actually had a significant influence over Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here's a close-up of a part of the statue :)
OK, enough of the history lesson. Here's my friend Anna ;) We met her when we were in the states and she's here for the summer! yay!! She also brought me a some special goodies I had been craving :) She ROCKS!
Here's another one of those yellow trees I like. I think they're so cool because everything is pretty brown outside (not much green in the trees, not much grass, etc) and they just appear in the brown as a pretty yellow tree - it's pretty cool :)We spent most of our time in the hotel, so I don't have tons of pictures, but Aashini had her picture taken TONS! There were lots of families at the hotel on vacation, and they wanted pics with Aashini. She usually likes the pictures, but during this one she had had enough :) haha!
Aashini was treated like a princess while we were there. Most South Asians in our part of the country don't really discipline their kids until they are 5 or 6. They don't like them to cry and they'll do whatever they can to make the kids happy. So, that means that if Aashini wanted something, she got it :) haha! The guys that worked in the place where we ate lunch gave her everything and would carry her around and play with her while we ate (which was nice!!). On the last day one of the guys held her and fed her ice cream :) It was funny :)
We had a great time and it was a great "getaway". It was fun :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Random Fun :)

Here are a few random pics from this past week :)
This little boy is living at the construction site next door - his mom is working at it. He's really cute :) We had House Meeting at our house this week. We told a story from the Book and decided to act it out with Aashini's puppets so that it could help us learn it better :) Aashini thought it was so cool! She jumped up on the "puppet stage" and went crazy over the puppets :)
Afterwards we played a little Wii... When people play Wii, you can get some pretty fun pictures :)
Another Wii picture :)
This time of year there are these beautiful yellow flower trees blooming! They are so cool!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fish Therapy!!!

Have you ever heard of "Fish Therapy"?? My friend Sharon in Southeast Asia wrote about it on her blog about a year ago (click if you want to see her post) and I thought it looked so interesting and I really wanted to try it but we didn't have it here. Well, today during our Sunday afternoon fun time, we went to the mall. We kept seeing advertisements for Fish Therapy so we had to go check it out and at least look at it! We got there and they said I could do a 30 minute session for about $5 so I just had to try it!!
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So what is fish therapy?? Basically there are these special fish - Garra Rufa (from Turkey) that are in a big tank. You put your feet in the tank and the fish attack your feet and eat off all the dead skin and calluses! OK, so here's a pic of me when I first put my feet in... it tickled BIG TIME when I first put my feet in!!!!

Then, after a minute it quit tickling and it felt like my feet were kinda tingling...

They went crazy on my feet!! (that's my heel below in case you can't tell) :)
Aashini thought it was awesome! She kept saying "fish! fish! Wa-wa (water) Fish!" The water was at the perfect level and she couldn't reach it :)
Look at those fish!!! I think it's so crazy!!! There were so many fish and they were all going crazy!!! Another couple came to get it done when I was there and the fish didn't go very crazy for their feet! I must have some pretty nasty feet - haha!
This lady came in to get her feet done while I was there. It was funny to see her crack up when they first started :)
OK, one last picture of the fish :) It was so cool!! My feet felt really cool afterwards!! Seriously, my feet have never looked so good! I wear flip-flops all the time, so my feet get pretty beat up, but they were lookin' good! It felt like I had soaked them in peppermint or something afterwards too :) Way cool!!
If you looked at Sharon's blog post you would have see that the place she went was super nice and you sat on cushions in a fancy spa-looking place... well, as you can see from the picture below, the South Asian version wasn't quite so fancy... and it was pretty much out in the middle of the mall! haha! it was hilarious because everyone came up to watch and point and laugh! I loved it! haha!
So, that was my experience with the doctor fish - it was awesome :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Purple Carrots!!

I wrote about these a long time ago, but since then I've learned a lot more about them so I thought I'd re-share... besides, they're really interesting to me :)
I hadn't seen (or heard) of purple carrots until we arrived here in South Asia. I remember learning the word for Carrot and then going to the veggie seller guy to ask for carrots. When I asked him, he pointed to some red carrot-looking things and some purple carrot-looking things. I thought he didn't understand my Hindi, so I repeated the word but got the same response. So, I decided to try the purple carrots.
I read up a little on them (there's not much out there), but aparently they originated in the Middle East around Afghanistan and then made their way over to South Asia. I also read that carrots used to be very thin, red, purple and black - and terribly bitter. The orange color didn't appear until the 16th century when enterprising Dutch growers used a mutated yellow carrot seed from North Africa to create a carrot in the Dutch Royal Family's official color - orange. I thought that was interesting :)Anyway, they tasted almost the same as a regular carrot. If it was a blind taste-test I probably wouldn't have noticed. BUT one thing I did notice was how they make great dyes... my cutting board and hands turned a light shade of purple - as well as my teeth and tongue! :)
Anyway, thought I'd share (I don't have much to share right now since I'm not out so much... I only have 1.5 weeks left in the 1st trimester, so hopefully I'll get out more :))...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Something New...

Well, being pregnant, Adam is always on the lookout for things that I'll eat (I'm the pickiest eater when I'm in the early part of pregnancy)... Anyway, at the hospital there is a little food area called "Whole Foods" (different from the big "Whole Foods" stores in America). Anyway, the other day they had Toasted Watermellon Seeds - I didn't know you could eat those!

They were pretty good. They had Masala flavor on them too :) haha!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Construction...

Before we went to the states, they started tearing down the house next door ... since houses here touch walls, our wall was somewhat exposed when they tore down the house next door... sooo... when it rained, our walls would get wet... That's why Our Wall fell apart not too long ago... ANYWAY, they finally started building the house next door... This might be boring for some of you, but building houses over here is VERY different than building in the states... There's one BIG thing missing... but we'll get to that...
First, they got rid of all the debris and started to dig... it was fun to watch - I felt like I was watching an archaeological dig... they kept uncovering random brick formations!
They kinda gave up on some of the brick formations and just left them and started to make the support beams. These beams our made out of rebar and have a pretty solid concrete & rebar base.
This is the guy that was in charge of the begining part of the construction. He's from a state below us that is very colorful and fun!
OK, so the missing thing... When you build a house in America, after getting the ground ready, the very FIRST thing you do is build the foundation - right??
Well, here, with this house, they DIDN'T BUILD A FOUNDATION!! Instead, they got a bunch of sticks (that were all about the same lengh) and used them to prop up a make-shift floor made of metal plates... You can see this in the picture below. There is a very small wall that was built, and the support beams, but other than that - nothing sturdy to build a floor on....
Really! Look!
So... THEN, they started pouring the concrete for the 2nd floor!!... WITHOUT A FOUNDATION!! There isn't even a first floor! Does anyone else think that's weird??
So, then they started building the 3rd floor...
Currently they're building the 5th floor and there's still no foundation - the whole house is still standing on those sticks!!! It's pretty crazy to me. We do live in an earthquake zone... that doesn't seem earthquake-proof to me!! Crazy!