Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Amazing Amravati

Since our arrival in Amravati, we've again been shown superb hospitality and are seeing a new city with slightly different food and culture than Nagpur.  Our host families are treating us to delightful new dishes and yummy treats.  I had a dessert made with custard apple on Monday evening.  My hosts are Bakul and Neeta Kakkad and they have included me so much in their language (they are VERY patiently helping me with names and a few words.  The language and dialect is so different from English that I find it very difficult to recall words that I have been introduced to).  

Neeta has an early childhood school called Naveem.  She loves children very much and we have had many talks about teaching and education in general.  After seeing photos of her children, talking about her students and programs all week, I finally met her students as headed to her school this morning.  It's Diwali season in India right now, and the teachers had been working hard with the students to welcome me and sing a Happy Diwali song.  I will upload some photos when I have an opportunity.  Following the Diwali songs, the children shared a series of songs and dances that they have learned since coming to school.  I was able to share one of my students' favorite songs, "Five Green and Speckled Frogs", too.  Thank you, Neeta, your teachers and the children.

We are off to a Rotary Club meeting and will present this evening.  We are also celebrating Alain today on his 30th birthday.  

More to come soon.  Glad you're following.

We received beautiful flowers from students at a village school.  Neeta removed the rose petals and arranged them beautifully in a bowl of water.  

Breakfast following 6AM yoga.  The round orange treat on the left is a tasty sweet cooked in oil and then dipped in syrup.  One of my new favorite treats.
This is Neeta's early childhood school, Naveem.  She has 22 students and she is maintaining a teacher-student ratio of 5:1.  The teachers and students had been busy preparing for a Diwali celebration.  

Well, my Canadian teacher friends, these talented ladies
performed a traditional welcome dance and lit candles
to begin Diwali celebrations.  
One of Amravati's rising stars performing a Happy Diwali dance.
Paper mache Diwali lamps.

Lunch at Neeta and Bakul's on Wednesday.  The chipati on the right is made on special occaisions.  It is prepared with a sweet filling (it's not all spicy food, here!!).  The dish on the top left is spicy and made with the white flesh of watermelon.  Delicious and juicy!

Bay-backed Shrike
We headed out of town to bird watch this afternoon.  Becky will have to help with naming the species.  The sounds all around were bird calls.  So peaceful.  We had chai with the local farmers before heading back to the city.

Happy Birthday, Alain!  The Rotarians arranged a cake for  Alain's 30th birthday and they helped us get a cricket bat for him!  

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