Saturday, October 11, 2008

What do we do all day?

A bunch of you have asked what we do all day, and honestly, there's no easy answer yet. We're still working on getting things up and running so everyday there is a new project or shopping trip or something to attend to. Our hope is to start "normal life" on Monday. Chris will go up to Sarnath to work and the kids and I will start developing our own routines.

For now though we usually get up around 7 and try to scrounge up breakfast. As far as I've been able to tell most people here eat something like lunch or dinner for breakfast but we're not there yet. Grocery shopping has been a challenge (no grocery stores, per se), but we've finally found peanut butter, oatmeal (strawberry flavored, but still), and cream of wheat, so we're in business. Meals seem to take longer here, so after about an hour we're all done eating and getting on with things.

Most days we don't brave the shower until evening. It is rather hot in the morning, but that cold shower really feels best right before bed, when its still in the 90s in our house. Good times. I know you all are dying for bathroom pictures, but I'm holding off until either the bathroom cleaning woman comes or I can screw up the courage to fully clean them myself.

Then the chess games begin. Both kids are really into chess lately and play a lot through out the day. Ben can beat me outright and he's getting to be a good match for Caitlin too. Chris is still the undisputed champ.

Caitlin reads a lot, and Ben plays all of the usual stuff since we brought a big stash of Legos, Star Wars guys, etc from home.

Chris often is called away to consult with Dr. Maurya, the landlord, or Nisha about various house issues.

The waves of help start coming around 9:30am and demand a certain level of attention and input and protection from the dog. My second Hindi sentence is "Kuta bund hey" which means literally, "The dog is closed" but can be translated as, "The dog is put away (in it's kennel)."

Journeys away from home take at least half a day, often more. Yesterday we went down to our friend Mike's neighborhood and our absence completely threw off the cleaning/cooking/laundry/milk man schedule... We'll have to figure out how to have our household continue to run even in our absence.

Speaking of the milk man, we have to go out to the street a few times a day to buy veggies or fruit or to collect our milk. My Hindi is now good enough to transact the purchase of bananas or the hijacking of someone else's milk man, so I'm feeling pretty proud.

Next week we'll start up our little English playschool for Nisha's daughter Gun-Gun and 2 of her friends. The kids are eager to teach the neighbors and Chris and I are hopeful the teaching will work both ways. Also for the kids, we have Hindi lessons and tablas lessons in the works too. Caitlin has expressed some interest in studying yoga, and I'm interested in having music lessons and doing yoga too, so perhaps we'll coordinate all that somehow.

Much farther off in the distance I still harbor hopes of connecting with women doing some sort of birth work here. Yesterday in the bookstore I overheard an American woman talking about a midwife she's working with here, but I didn't have the gumption to barge into the conversation and introduce myself... Once my Hindi is a bit better I'll start asking around.

Sun goes down promptly at 6 and dinner follows shortly there after. By Indian standards we eat VERY early, but by the time we're done the kids are ready to crash and often so are Chris and I.

Hope that answers everyone's curiosity!

There will be pictures next post, I swear. Every internet shop is different and now that I've found one I like and have learned their picture uploading protocol the real fun can begin!


Sunflower Hill Farm said...

Hi, Maggie! I'm here too, reading with interest. I can't imagine how stressful this must be. I think I've only thought about the adventure but boy, oh boy, I bet there is some stress involved! I bet I'd be in a heap crying "why, why" (Nancy Kerrigan style...). If any woman can handle it, you can. Hang in there. I bet in just a short while you'll be leading discussions about birth! Take care.
Love comin' your way from SW WI,
PS. We really miss you at Meriter...

paul said...

i want to play chess!! i'm really enjoying the blog and looking forward to more pictures. nerdy question, but i'm curious what malaria meds yall are taking.

margaret said...

somehow it never occurred to me that you all will be needing to learn a new language. doh~! sounds like you're well on your way. i enjoyed reading the description of your daily routine, and the fact that you have one sounds like big progress. b.u.e. will want to play chess with caitlin and ben when next he sees them.

margaret said...

also, the playschool sounds delightful! wish i could be in on it!
stay cool,