india :: day 8, weekend sightseeing

On our second weekend in India, we spent some time traveling and playing tourist. While it was a frantic, whirlwind weekend trying to fit everything in, we saw some remarkable sights. First we visited some of the temples in the town of Kanchipuram, which is considered to be one of the seven holiest cities to the Hindus. I loved the colorful shops outside the temples...

And inside the temple.

Blessed by an elephant!

Young couples wanting a family tie these little wooden cribs to the sacred tree in the temple, hoping they will be blessed with a baby.

Kailasanatha Temple...

After the temples, we drove on to Pondicherry, a former French colony.

We visited a silk shop on the way from Pondicherry to Mamallapuram. So beautiful watching them work the looms...

This was all in one day. Exhausting. Day two to come...

india :: day four and five

We lost our internet connection 4 days into our trip, so I wasn't able to post photos from India. I am home safely now, have hugged, kissed and snuggled my kids (ok, maybe over-snuggled) and am so happy to be home. I have so many photos to share with you all now... I had written this post while there, but never posted, so I'll start here... Monday was our first day in the schools. We spent the day getting acquainted with the children, and taught our first lessons. I have been assigned to the lower kindergarten and upper kindergarten classes, so I am teaching primarily 4 and 5 year olds, with a sprinkling of 2 and 3 year olds in the lower K class. The first day teaching was pure mayhem. The teacher turned the classroom over to me and then left me to my defenses. Like any typical 4 year old American classroom given a free pass with a substitute teacher, the orderly children quickly devolved into a state of pure chaos. Climbing on the tables, yelling, biting each other, not listening... it was clear that I had no authority in the classroom. The next day the teacher scolded the kids for their misbehavior, made them say sorry, stayed in the classroom with me, and we had a productive day of learning letters, numbers and singing songs. Tuesday the kids started creeping into my heart.

A few days ago we had purchased some material to be made into a salwar kameez, and Monday we took it to a tailor to be made. We all had our measurements taken, and chose necklines and pant styles from pattern books. It was clear that I was one of the tallest clients they had ever had, because there was some concern about having enough fabric to make the pants long enough. I pick up the outfits tonight, I'm so excited to see how they turned out!

My students at Grace School...

Two teachers at the school...

Our trip to the tailor...

The streets of Chennai...

Our Global Volunteers host's little son, Roshan, "making soup" in the kitchen.

Banana peppers from our backyard. Delicious fried.