Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Two events

Two interesting things happened yesterday.

One bad, one good.

Hopefully you'll be able to determine which is which.

I was driving home from work at about 5:00 and I see that while at work I had missed three calls from Marcus. I called him and he told me that he had been trying to get a hold of me tell me that earlier in the day, his dad blacked out (due to his diabetes), fell down the stairs, and broke both of his ankles. He is in the hospital and will be having surgery. Yikes.

Then about two hours later while I'm sitting in orchestra, I get another phone call from Marcus. His sister, Becca, is engaged!!!

What an evening!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A little birthday event...

So, I guess there is life after India...

We've had a good week getting back into the swing of things and getting over the jet lag. A full week at work (minus MLK Jr. Day) and extra curricular activities snapped us back into reality. Wednesday we had some friends and family over to show pics and video of the trip, which was a lot of fun. Friday night we headed to Moline for about 24 hours to spend some time with our parents and family there to show pics and video and have dinner and show our Indian clothes and whatnot. It was a short visit, but I cannot express how fabulously easy to was to have our families combined... all together!!! No running between houses or anything. It was wonderful and a lot of fun.

Then today, we've been busy! This morning at church we played in the orchestra, stood up front for our India team to be interviewed by Pastor Lutzer, were on coffee/donuts/greeting duty at Sunday School and then headed off to a brithday party...

My friend from work has one of the cutest little girls. She is so funny and sweet and although Marcus and I haven't spent loads of time with her, we totally love this child (and I think she finds us pretty cool, too.) Her birthday was actually back in December, but a first birthday party is better late than never! We had a great time and will hopefully get to see this little one again soon, as well as the baby sister who's coming in about a month!

Our assistant principal at work makes amazing cakes. She makes them for all the showers at school and different events. This one was too cute. There was a little banana "smasher" cake for Maddie as well. :)

Does this pink cardigan come in my size!?

Not so happy about this whole cake idea...

Haha, tears or smiles, the first birthday cake pics are always fun to look at. :)
Happy Birthday, Maddie! You are so precious!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sites to See

Although we didn't make it to some of the really well-known sites in India, we did get to see some really neat places.

First, we went to the "Mini" Taj-Mahal. This place was built in replica of the real Taj Mahal. So I don't mess up the history of it, I am copying this caption from:

Both the famous Taj Mahal in Agra in north-central India,
and the lesser-known Bibi Ka Makbara, are monuments of love.
The original is the final resting ground of Mumtaz Mahal.
Her husband, Emperor Shah Jahan, had it constructed until
his favorite wife passed away in 1629.
The Mini-Taj is a tribute to a mother.
Prince Azam Khan, son of the Mugal Emperor Aurangzeb,
built the Bibi Ka Maqbara in 1679 to honor his mother Rabia Durani.
He modeled it on the original Taj Mahal.

I apologize for the low quality of pictures. Our camera had died that day so these are taken with the camera that is in our camcorder.
The next site to see if you ever in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India is the Ellora Caves. This time I am copying info from Wikipedia, which explains the random blue print. :)

Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture.The 34 "caves" – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills – being Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples and monasteries, were built between the 5th century and 10th century.

These were pretty impecible. They were all built from the top down and the detail is just amazing. They were also all painted and in some places you can still see the colors.

Many of the caves have jade in them- huge chunks of it.

And of course, one of the most fun things to see in India are the monkeys. They are so cute and friendly. We saw them mainly at the caves, but supposedly they are throughout India, similar to squirrels in America.

You could even feed them. They were so gentle and cute. :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Henna/Mende Experience

It starts out almost like puffy paint...thick and puffy...and black...then it dries. After a few hours (ideally, overnight) you pick it off, or it falls off, or you wash it off, and it looks brown. Should last for about two weeks.

Men normally only get it on their wedding day, so the ladies were giggling a lot while doing Marcus's mende. They thought it was funny, but he wanted it nonetheless. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Indian Garb

Rule #1 when dressing appropriately for India: COVER YOURSELF.

In India, although it seems that it is perfectly fine to show your stomach at any moment, it is not fine to have your butt (in pants) showing, therefore shirts must be long. You may not show your arms and any clothing must be loose fitting. It's almost as if you should have no known figure whatsoever. So, even though I went shopping before we departed, it turned out that none of the clothes I got were actually appropriate. SO, we went shopping on one of the first days and all of us gals got some clothes that were appropriate. Every single Indian outfit comes with a scarf, which at times I used to cover my arms, but mainly I had to wear long-sleeves under these outfits (even though it is in the mid-80s there).

The pants in India are quite different than ours. They are really huge and baggy, although often tapered. They are made of silky flimsy material which is really comfortable, but hard to get used to. For the most part, I just wore my jeans, which, unfortunately offended some of the locals. :)

Here is a pic of the pants that came with this top, but they were too short and I did not wear them out in public.

Here are the ladies of the team on our first day actually dressed appropriately. Actually, my arms should not have been showing. Oh well.

Here we are at the Mini-Taj-Mahal. I liked this top a lot and the scarf it came with was very pretty.
I really loved the color of this one. It was a bit tight, but by the end of the day it stretched out a bit and I could breathe. This picture was taken at the beautiful Ellora Caves.

The girls at the orphanage surprised us all with outfits as gifts. Here I am (bad pic, sorry) demonstrating the pants. M.C. Hammer, here I come!
The complete (Easter-y) ensemble.

Marcus in his shwermani (which could have fit three of him)...he was told at church that morning by an Indian man, "This is more than your size."

This one has some sparkles which I like. I dressed it up with some khakis and think I might actually wear this to work.

I wore this on the last day. It is my fave, I think. It's quite dressy, but I guess you can't really tell that in this pic. I also loved the scarf that came with this one.
Many of you were asking to see the clothes I got, so there you go! :) Hope you enjoyed. What I love about the Indian clothes is the bright colors. We were told that in India, what you wear reflects what is on the inside of you. This is why, other than in the Muslim religion, you rarely see black in India, which would reflect that you are "sinful" on the inside. So, the brighter and more vibrant your clothes, the more happy and good you are on this inside (supposedly). I think in America we should adopt the bright colors. The scarves are also beautiful and I think it's neat how they incorporate them into every outfit. They are used for many purposes: beauty, prayer, work, and more. We were shown they many ways to wear them for the different purposes. It brings a flair of femininity to every ensemble, which I think is great.

I'll be posting much more today and this weekend, and will try to group the posts by topic like this one.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Hi all!

We are home!! It is great to be home. We are exhausted and are adjusting to the time change and the weather! After doing three loads of laundry and napping off and on, I am going out into this freezing cold night to get some groceries...if I can dig my car out of the foot or so of snow it is buried under. :)

I will post pics and stories when I can, but for now the focus is on adjusting enough in order to be able to to function at work tomorrow. :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Just a few

Real quick cause we're leaving...

Here we are at Ellora Caves-- some ancient cave-temples built into rock. Incredible.

Making a craft at the orphanage.


We're Good!

We're safe and having fun! The internet hasn't really been working, so I wanted to post this quickly. :) I'll try to load pics and more info, but no guarantees. :)

Adrienne & Marcus

Monday, January 5, 2009

Shopping in town

Amongst the teaching at the Bible College, many huge meals, and evenings with the girls at the orphanage, today we managed to fit in a little shopping! Here are some pics from the time in town.

The streets are incredibly narrow and somehow there are two-way lanes, parking on either side, room for pedestrians and bikers, and more. Below is a picture of a cell phone store. There are farm animals wandering EVERYWHERE and this shows how they are even outside of storefronts, not on farms, where we'd typically see them in the U.S.

Then, right next door to a nice a store, you'd see a big pile of trash, like this. There are no barriers between what is nice and what is somewhat gross. Very different from the states.This shows the narrow roads. This is taken from the steps of a store where I bought some great clothes, which are being tailored to fit each of us. So neat...and so cheap. Five outfits, custom tailored for about $70.
It is late and we really need rest. Good night! :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Two pics from India

Here is the view from our room last night! Sunset!

Everywhere we go here we are greeted with a shower of rose petals and are given "lays" -I have no idea how to spell that the right way. :) Here we are with our third one. They smell AMAZING. We were given one outside the airport, then at the Bible College (shown here) and then again at the girls' orphanage later last night. Maybe we'll get them again at church today?

We're here!

Hi all,

This is going to be quick because we are exhausted and ready for bed, but we wanted to let you know that we're here safe and sound.

We've had a great time so far, traveling TONS. We flew from O'Hare to Newark, New Jersey, which took 2 hours, then to Mumbai, India, which took 14 hours. From there we drove about 20 minutes to a nice local hotel and then in the morning took a 30 minute flight to Pune. Then we drove three hours to where we are now, which I can neither spell nor pronounce. :) After eating a deliciously homemade Indian meal, we took a nap and then went to the first orphanage. The girls had prepared dances for us and it was so neat! Pictures and video to come...

Please think of us and pray for us- we are soooo sleepy and I have been pretty motion sickness and dizzy throughout the day. Marcus is just pooped. We are so happy to be here and it is beautiful. The people are so kind and we've had a great start to the trip. :) Tomorrow is church, and hopefully some shopping in the afternoon. In the evening we have our first official session with the girls where a member of our team will be teaching and another member and I will be leading the girls in a craft. :)

Time for sleep! Love you all!