India Update: Photos from January 15

Crosswalk on my route to school. You can't get up on the sidewalk at the other end. Hmm.

Crosswalk on my route to school. You can't get up on the sidewalk at the other end. Hmm.

These sweet kids asked me to take their photo on my way to school. "Photo! Photo, Madam!" They live on the same street where KYM is. <3

These sweet kids asked me to take their photo on my way to school. "Photo! Photo, Madam!" They live on the same street where KYM is. <3

Smoky air on Friday - people were burning symbolic fires to get rid of negativity at the start of Pongal. This is looking out of a window on the 3rd floor of KYM.

Smoky air on Friday - people were burning symbolic fires to get rid of negativity at the start of Pongal. This is looking out of a window on the 3rd floor of KYM.

This is my flower garland guy. He speaks a tiny bit of English. His shop is usually just one crate and a piece of plywood where he displays and sells flower garlands for offerings at the temple or to decorate photos of relatives or your home. Sometimes he mans the shop, sometimes it's his wife, who is equally friendly but speaks almost no English. On this day, Friday, the start of Pongal (the Harvest Festival), his shop was greatly expanded to offer sugarcane (a special treat to eat, or to decorate your house), fruits, and other plants and herbs.

This is my flower garland guy. He speaks a tiny bit of English. His shop is usually just one crate and a piece of plywood where he displays and sells flower garlands for offerings at the temple or to decorate photos of relatives or your home. Sometimes he mans the shop, sometimes it's his wife, who is equally friendly but speaks almost no English. On this day, Friday, the start of Pongal (the Harvest Festival), his shop was greatly expanded to offer sugarcane (a special treat to eat, or to decorate your house), fruits, and other plants and herbs.

This is my friend Helene from teacher training. She's awesome. She's French and she used to live in Chennai for two years with her husband and 4 children. Now they live in the US. A friend of hers loaned her this big bike to use while she's in town. How cool that she knows how to ride it! :)

This is my friend Helene from teacher training. She's awesome. She's French and she used to live in Chennai for two years with her husband and 4 children. Now they live in the US. A friend of hers loaned her this big bike to use while she's in town. How cool that she knows how to ride it! :)

This sweet girl asked me to take her photo on my way home from school. She's wearing a school uniform. On the ground behind her you can see some terra cotta pots. The one with the gap on the front of it and the bowl on top is where a traditional Pongal food is made. They cook rice, lentils, milk, and sugar in the bowl over a fire made with wood. They intentionally let the milk overflow as a symbol of abundance. What a nice tradition! :)

This sweet girl asked me to take her photo on my way home from school. She's wearing a school uniform. On the ground behind her you can see some terra cotta pots. The one with the gap on the front of it and the bowl on top is where a traditional Pongal food is made. They cook rice, lentils, milk, and sugar in the bowl over a fire made with wood. They intentionally let the milk overflow as a symbol of abundance. What a nice tradition! :)

A typical heavy-duty work truck, like an 18-wheeler in the US. They're always painted this shade of yellow and always decorated with colorful stickers of movie actors, politicians, or maybe painted on the side with flowers.

A typical heavy-duty work truck, like an 18-wheeler in the US. They're always painted this shade of yellow and always decorated with colorful stickers of movie actors, politicians, or maybe painted on the side with flowers.

These two kids followed me down the street and asked me to take their photo. Love their personalities. <3

These two kids followed me down the street and asked me to take their photo. Love their personalities. <3

After I took their photo they insisted we do a selfie. I can't imagine how they even know that word. lol. 

After I took their photo they insisted we do a selfie. I can't imagine how they even know that word. lol. 

After a LONG two weeks of classes with only a single day off, we went to my friends' hotel rooftop bar for happy hour. We had a (small) pitcher of beer. Or maybe it was two. I'm not much of a beer person, but we had an Indian beer called British Empire and it was good. The is the same hotel where I stayed with my family in June. They have a lovely rooftop pool.

After a LONG two weeks of classes with only a single day off, we went to my friends' hotel rooftop bar for happy hour. We had a (small) pitcher of beer. Or maybe it was two. I'm not much of a beer person, but we had an Indian beer called British Empire and it was good. The is the same hotel where I stayed with my family in June. They have a lovely rooftop pool.

My friends walked me back to my apartment (2 blocks) after happy hour. We seem to have been having a good time! :)ind

My friends walked me back to my apartment (2 blocks) after happy hour. We seem to have been having a good time! :)ind