30 April 2010

Tamil Nadu

Sorry I havn't blogged in so long. When we were in West Bengal, the internet kept getting messed up,  and mom had to use the computer to prepare for her class. The class went very well.

We are in Tamil Nadu. The town is called Tiruvanimalli (spelling?). It was suposed to be a work trip, but its turning out to be vacation too. Today, for the third time we went into the villages. We've taken lots of pictures, and given lots too. Since the sun and heat are bad for the printer, tomarrow we have to go back to two villages to give people their pictures. Some of the pictures didn't work well when we went to the first village, so we will have to go back there too. We have also been doing alot of listening to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me and This American Life on mom's iPod and doing patchwork. Right before we left, my art teacher showed us how to do pachwork so I had a good project for while I'm gone. I'm almost finished with my peice. I also took some scraps so I can make another when I finish. We have an AC unit in our room, and it's spoiled us. Its hot here, but cooler than West 
Bengal, but I melt when I leave the house. It's made us soft. Oh well, we'll ajust when we get back. 

I should go because we're in an Internet cafe. I'll try to write more soon.

-Celia Echt

25 April 2010

The evil step dad is foiled!

Hello all, Steve here. Celia gave me permission to post to her blog. What evil things can I say? MUA HAA HAAAA! (I better not - Jack might bite me.)

The girls are in Tiruvanamali (Tiru) now, but do not have Internet access. Reports from the field are that Tiru is nice, and the hotel has AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!!!!! WOO! So they are taking a bit of time to just relax, do some needle point, and bicker ... uh ... spend some quality time together. (Don't worry, I just made the "bicker" part up.)

I will give more updates as I learn more. GO CELIA!

16 April 2010

New Year

Yesterday was the start of the Bengali new year. We spent the day with Anapuna and her family. Her sisters were both there, and her cousins and mother. We learned how to make these embroidered patterns from one of her cousins. It was really fun. We also had lunch. It was a really special lunch because of the new year. There was rice, greens, curry, fish, sweet curd, eggplant, lots of different kinds of green mango, dol (lentils), sweet rice, and all the dessert things we brought. It was really good. After lunch, we looked at the pictures from Wednesday. Mom went with Anapuna and her mother to a festival (I don’t remember the name) for the new year. It was apparently really hot and crowded. I didn’t go because they had animal sacrifices. Mom also had Punjab, which is blessed food. After we looked at the pictures, we went out to the garden. They have two love birds, one yellow, and one blue. The blue one likes baths, and the yellow is too stupid to figure out how to get out of the water. It was pretty funny to watch. The blue one raises itself to the water and just sits in it, perfectly happy. It was strange, but funny. Then we saw they’re garden. There were lots of different plants. They gave Mom two peppers and a papaya. I got cotton from a cotton plant. We were leaving, but then we started taking pictures, then we took pictures of the goats. There were about 17 goats, possibly more because they kept moving. There were 4 adults, a bunch of kids, and 2 babies. They kept rolling in the dirt, and head butting each other. There were two that kept climbing on chairs and benches together. They were very funny. It was a fun day.

13 April 2010


Ok, so the pictures won't work. I'll try again later.


On the 9th, we picked up the outfits we had made at the tailors. I meant to post the pictures earlier, but we couldn’t get them to work. Well, here they are:


Me in my salwar-kamiseDSCN0779.JPGMe in my sareeDSCN0781.JPG

Mom in her sariDSCN0780.JPGDSCN0782.JPGMom in her salwar-kamise

Saree Dressing

After we got our tailored clothes back, Manju offered to teach us how to wear them. Here are the pictures.




We really like the Alcha Café (owned by our friend Kaya), so we went for breakfast the other day. Every time we got there mom gets the egg rolls. They’re eggs cooked in roti with chillies. I’ve gotten egg rolls, crepes, pancakes, sandwiches, and French fries. They also have really good tea. When we were there, mom wanted to take pictures.


Me with French fryDSCN0783.JPGDSCN0784.JPGThe Alcha Café sign outside the gate

11 April 2010

Language & Anapuna

This morning we went to our language lesion. It was really interesting. We learned how to say the different vowles and how to write them. We also learned a few words.

After we were done there, we ran into moms “village guide” (she takes mom into the villages), Anapuna. We went to her house and met her family. Her sister and cousin were doing embroidery, so Mom and I helped untangle some of the thread. Now mom says she’ll buy me thread and fabric and needles so we can learn how to embroider. I should have brought my box of embroidery thread. After we spent some time there, Anapuna showed us her studio. She makes ceramic murals. They’re really pretty and interesting. She also had these rocks that turned out to be pieces of clay that she made! It looks exactly like rocks. I liked one so much, she gave it to me. It was really nice. After seeing her studio, we went back to her house and had tea. Then we went home. Later, Mom is going to take me to the market so we can get some embroidery supplies. It should be fun!

-Celia Echt

The Saturday Market

Yesterday, we went to the Saturday Market. It was not what I was expecting. There were lots of little stands (well people with their things on blankets really) with lots of different things. There were wood things (keychains, boxes and lots of other stuff), musical instruments, food, fabrics, and paintings. Mom bought me and Gunja bracelets made from pieces of grass weaved together because she got a necklace when she was in the villages and visited the man’s house. She also bought a small painting and an embroidered wall hanging. I’ve already decided where it will go when we get home. It was fun to see all the peoples different crafts.


-Celia Echt

10 April 2010


You have never been really embarrassed until you are walking through a crowded street, and ten rickshaws start screaming “HELLO! RICKSHAW!” and honking their horns at you. Everybody stares. Although most people stare anyway.

07 April 2010

The House

Everything is pretty good here. We have to get a new battery for the inverter because the one we have only lasts about an hour if we only have the fan on, and when the power on it gets low, it screams. The guy was suposed to come about 50 minutes ago, but still isn't here. The fridge is great, but we have to turn it off when the generator is running because it uses a lot of power. Today, I found out that the shower head in the bathroom works. That was really nice. We have two western toilets, and this giant fan thing that runs on water. It works really well. This morning for breakfast, mom used the stove and fried some patatoes, or aloo bhujia. It was really good. This afternoon, Gunja and her family might come over, so that will be fun. I'm really liking this house.

-Celia Echt

04 April 2010

New House

We finally have a new house. We officially took it last Sunday, but I forgot to blog about it. We bought lots of stuff in Kolkata. We got knifes (very hard to find), forks, spoons, bowls, pots, washcloths, towels, sheets, bed covers (for dust), T-shirts (not for the house, for sleeping in), and lots of other stuff. We have been moving lots of stuff into it. We had an inverter installed for when the power goes out, and a fridge put in. We’re rearranging some of the furniture so in the bed room we can be under the fan and so there is a couch in the front room. We also have done a lot of cleaning. It was hard work! Tomorrow we move officially move in. It’s really pretty there. There is a huge garden with lots of fruit trees and a big veggie garden. Lots of pretty flowers too. The people who own it live in Kolkata and come here about once a month. But the caretaker lives on the property. Can’t wait to move in!

01 April 2010


Kolkata was good. We took the train there on Monday. It was a long ride, but had good scenery. When we got there, we checked into the hotel, then went shopping for some household things. After we shopped, we went to Ed's goodbye party. It was fun. We met some new people. It turned out Ed had an extra phone SIM card though, so, since he's leaving, he gave it to us. We said our goodbyes, and went to the hotel. It wasn't the best hotel, but not the worst either. It had running water, a western toilet, and a television. It was pretty dirty though. Oh well. On Tuesday, we went to the American Center (of course we got lost, very lost) and met with Sohini. Mom is working on getting the class she is doing on April 23rd ready. Then, Sohini was supposed to help us shop, but she had lost of work to do. Instead, a man who works at her office (we can't remember his name, how embarrassing?) showed us different good places to shop. We bought some books. I got Sense and Sensibility and Tale of Two Cities. We also bought spoons, knifes, sheets, bed covers (for dust) night-gowns, doupatas, and I got salwar/kamise/doupata fabric, that I have to get made at the tailors. When we were all done shopping (and sick of getting harassed at the market) we went back to the hotel to rest. We didn't know what to do for dinner, so we went out to find a place a man at the hotel suggested, but we ended up going to a different restaurant. It was very good, and fancy. I got prawn fried rice and mom got prawn curry. They even had little fingerbowls to wash our hands in. After dinner, mom bought me a phone to put the SIM card Ed gave us in. It's really cool. It doesn't have color or a camera, but it does know where I am at all times and has a flashlight! Wednesday, we got up and made sure everything was packed. Then we went to check out and ended up playing with one guys pet monkey. He was so cute! Very small though, he was just a baby. The train back was cold, and nice people we met that live just outside of Santiniketan told us when the stop at Boulpur was because we weren't paying attention. We had to take two rickshaws home with all our bags.

-Celia Echt