Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Flying out in just a few days, almost certainly via two days in Singapore. And, as these things go, I suddenly have lots going on!


Yesterday Pauline took me shopping for my saree- I needed one, intended to get two, and walked out with three. You know how these things go. I found the perfect saree for my last day at school, but I found it in two perfect colors! I knew I'd regret whichever one I didn't get, so I got both. They even have coordinating trim, so I can wear the blouse intended for one with the other and vice versa, so it's like I got four for the price of two! Right? They're insanely beautiful, and while spending more than 1000 rupees on a single item boggles my mind after a few months here, it actually works out to be $20. The third and final one is one I've intended to buy for years and years- sometime in high school I got it into my head to own a black and gold saree. And now I do!

After saree shopping, we went to a swanky little ice cream parlor (cookies and cream tastes different here, but is still delicious!), bought glass bangles to match my saree, and then rushed off to Boys Home on a dual errand. Tuesday night is normally when we go to Boys Home, plus one of their neighbors is a lady who could stitch my saree blouse! Rosalee, the house mother (as well as my favorite teacher), insisted on accompanying us, which turned out to be very fun and useful. She was suitably impressed with my selections, and she LOVED the black one and wants it for her birthday. Putting my hair up so it wouldn't get in the way of the measurements led to a five minute demonstration of my awesome hair comb. And she explained to the seamstress how soon I needed the work done!

My favorite picture I have taken at Boys Home- Gopi looks like in this moment, his life is as perfect as he has ever imagined

Today my big item was finally picking up the last of my churidars from the tailor. Just in time to wear everything once and go home! But now I'm prepared for return trips.

Check out the fancy detail they added on this neckline (using fabric from the pants):


Tomorrow is going to be hopping! Directly from school, Pauline and I are going to the small local mall for mehendi- those gorgeous intricate henna tattoos all over my hands. So excited!! Will probably also pick up some sort of necklace, because apparently it will be a tragedy if I don't wear one with my saree.

The henna will take some time, and then it's straight off to Boys Home again for final fittings for my blouse, and to confirm plans for Friday morning with Rosalee. Once that is done, it's back to the flat for a girls night in with Dominos pizza. Pauline has never partaken, and specifically requested to join in.

Friday morning, it's up bright and early to hustle back to Boys Home one last time so Rosalee can help me tie my saree, do my hair up with jasmine flowers, and anything else I need to be properly fancy for my last day. Then it will be my last day at Little Lambs! A few weeks ago I couldn't wait for that, but now it all feels a little fast! I'm very excited about what I'm moving on to, but still.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Next Stop

Ladies and gentlemen, it has been decided:

I'm moving to Cancun, Mexico for six months! I will be working at a hostel a few blocks from the Caribbean. 

Last week in India! It has gone so fast. I'm going shopping for a saree tomorrow, as it is tradition for volunteers to wear sarees on their last day at the school. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Puppies and Plans

I should have news within the week about my next stop on this crazy journey- not absolutely definitely, but things are moving quickly and positively on multiple fronts. 

In the meantime, here are some new pictures of the puppies at Boys Home

P.S. I've added a widget on the side (if you are viewing the desktop version and not the mobile site) that shows you some of my recent Instagram posts. Little snippets that might not deserve their own post, but give more frequent updates. 

Friday, July 10, 2015


For reasons unknown to me, I have become the Artist in Residence at school over the past month. There are several open slots in my schedule most days, and I decided not to fill them in with any classes just to give myself time to work on all of my projects. 

My first one wasn't any great shakes, just a bunch of tiny figures to decorate the edges of the bulletin board for the preschool class: 

But apparently that was enough to get the ball rolling. I'm still very uncomfortable drawing something from scratch, but I'm getting fairly accomplished as an expander- taking a small picture and sketching it to take up a full page. 

The kindergarten teacher has me do a lot for her (she also randomly ambushes me with leftover breakfast, but that's another tale for another time). My biggest project thus far involved making full page color illustrations of domestic animals (which in India are mostly variations on cattle) and wild animals. For some reason I was really taken with my cow:

My fanciest project to date is my most recent. The house mother for Boys Home is also a teacher at the school, and asked me for the national symbols of India to put on the walls at th Home: the national bird (peacock), the national flower (lotus), the national tree (banyan tree), and the national animal (tiger). I think the banyan tree came out horribly, but she seemed to like it. The tiger is pretty nice (the head is wrong, but oh well), and the peacock is my pride and joy. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Children's Home fun

I met a baby parrot at Children's Home this week!

No name yet, but they are teaching her to talk and dance. 

Spent my non-parrot-communing time learning to play a sort of board game that seems to be like pool, but played with checkers instead of balls and fingers instead of cues. I've gone from terrible to occasionally good over the last two weeks, but I'm still learning how to hit the checker without brutalizing my fingers.