You Know Your in India When…

You know your in India when

  1. Cows wonder the streets and act as roadblocks
  2. You have Chipoti for EVERY meal
  3. Not only do monkeys wonder the streets but you also can’t look them in the eye  without fear of your life
  4. You can’t wear half of your clothes due to dress code
  5. Honking is it’s own language
  6. Tok-toks are a regular form of transportation
  7. The Himalayas are at your back door- literally
  8. Your host family doesn’t have toilet paper
  9. Fireworks go off at all hours during the week of Diwali
  10. Henna is a normality and is called Mandhi in Hindi 
  11. You are offered a cup of Chai at least three times a day (and of course you say yes everytime!) 
  12. You haven’t had meat yet….living the vegetarian life 🙂
  13. You hop across a stream and climb 4 sets of stairs to get to work 
  14. You almost forget to take your malaria pills every morning
  15. Losing power is a normal part of your day
  16. Your bed is a wood frame and your pillow feels like a rock but you still sleep great!
  17. Your host grandma only speaks Hindi and thinks that the louder she speaks the better you will understand her (No hand gestures either)  
  18. You find out Adele dropped a new single and your entire group freaks out about it
  19. Your on an overnight train and there is a convict shackled to his bed in the room next to you and two policemen with AK47s – completely normal situation
  20. Celebrating Diwali changes your life- it’s like 4th of July, New years, and Christmas combined!!!
  21. You find out the difference between Namaste and Nameskar (Nameskar is more formal and respectful)
  22. New Delhi is the most overstimulating and vibrant city you’ve ever been in
  23. Painting your house is a yearly routine and is done in preparation for Diwali as a form of cleaning
  24. Squatty Potties are the only option in public areas and surprising aren’t that bad
  25. You release a floating lantern off the roof of your house and watch it float away until your host mom tells you to get down before the monkeys come…
  26. You walk past herds of baby sheep at least every other day
  27. The students have school on Saturdays (Only Sunday is off) 

India is awesome! It’s so different from any place I’ve ever been and I love it. We are staying in Palampur which is in the state of Himachal Pradesh, at the base of the Himalayas. It is absolutely gorgeous. At least 3 or 4 times a day I look up towards the mountains and watch paragliders soar in the air and I have the realization that this is actually real life and also my home for the next month!

But as amazing as India is, I’ve also had certain challenges. I’ve been teaching in Om Private School where I have a limited amount of freedom with the lessons I plan based on their teaching structure which has been frustrating. But I love challenges and am determined to get through to the kids somehow.  And another challenge has been health (both mental and physical).  Luckily I am yet to get sick but many members in our group have and it definitely lowers group morale. Mentally, everyone in our group is exhausted. Balancing lesson planning, seminar reading, and spending time with family makes it pretty easy to burn out quickly. Especially when our seminar reading discusses topics like oppression, volunteer work, and student-teacher relationships. I’m definitely looking forward to this weekend and catching up on sleep and hopefully going in to town to buy/find peanut butter (I miss it so much) and a suit -traditional Indian dress- so I fit in with the schools dress code. 

Mandy- my roommate- and I are living with an awesome family! We have a father who is a 10-12th grade teacher, a mother who is absolutely gorgeous and makes amazing food, a 12 year old brother who speaks some english and loves fireworks and scaring me with his fake snake, an 8 year old sister who I nicknamed Hannah Montana and has been sick with the chicken pox this past week, and lastly Nani (our grandmother) who is just starting to get that I don’t speak Hindi or understand anything she says to me 🙂

Thanksgiving is next week and our group will be celebrating in Armitsar and visiting the Golden Temple. I have always loved thanksgiving because it meant spending quality time with my family and extended family and eating so much delicious food and pumpkin pie. This year, although I won’t be celebrating with my blood family or having a traditional Thanksgiving meal, I will be celebrating with my TBB family and giving thanks for many things I never realized I was grateful for. I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving filled with lots of joy, thanks, and yummy food! 

Patty Dougherty

15 thoughts on “You Know Your in India When…

  1. Lisa Walera says:

    Patty,
    Thank you for keeping up this blog and sending such beautiful thoughts and pictures! It sounds like an amazing adventure. Keep an eye out for those monkeys!
    Happy Thanksgiving. The entire San Marin community misses you!
    Did you hear about Nick Williams winning the big award? Check out:
    http://www.milkeneducatorawards.org educator of the year awards.
    Lisa Walera

    Like

    • Aww I miss you guys all too! Wow please tell Mr. Williams congratulations from me! That is an amazing award and he’s the best person to receive it! I hope the school year is running smoothly and that you have a fantastic Thanksgiving break!

      Like

  2. Jo Ann Prange says:

    Thanks for sharing Patty! Have a Happy Thanksgiving, we will be thinking of you! You are always in our prayers. We always enjoy following you. Be safe and healthy! Love and hugs for now! Loren & Jo Ann

    Like

  3. Norma says:

    Hi Patty, I love how you paint your experiences with words. What an amazing opportunity you are having. Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving with your host family. Stay well. Norma

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patty, It is so good to hear from you in a new country. You are so positive about the different culture you experience. You are a good traveler and ambassador. We will miss you at Thanksgiving but we will feel your presence. Camille will not be home, either. Has the snow come already where you are? It will be a cold month for you. Stay well and hope you find the peanut butter.

    Much love and hugs from Grandpa and Grandma.

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    • Aww I will miss you all so much! Hopefully I will have the opportunity to call on thanksgiving while you all are together! I found the peanut butter yesterday! Love you both so much!

      Like

  5. Raana Mohyee says:

    I think this is your best post yet. I’m glad you’re learning so much and having so much fun at the same time. I can relate to the burn-out and the stress of exploring heavy topics like the ones you have mentioned; I’m having a similar experience with a research paper I am writing. And also my Comparative Politics class. Syria makes me sad. I’d love to hear more about what you’re teaching at the private school you mentioned. I look forward to hearing about that and the rest of your stay in India.

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  6. Shasta Parker says:

    PATTYYY!! I just read all of your blogs and it sounds amazing and we all really hope you are having a great time. The team definitely not the same without you but we are actually doing pretty good so far (8-1). We have a chance this year, MC lost two of their best players so now they aren’t that good. Our biggest competition this year will be Tam, we are going to break the streak of a private school winning every year!!! Just wanted to inform you a little about what’s going on over here. But it’s really great to see how you are doing, keep up the good work hope to hear more about your trip soon.

    Shasta,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Shasta Parker says:

    PATTYYY!!! I just read all of your blogs and it sounds amazing and we all really hope you are having a great time. The team definitely not the same without you but we are actually doing pretty good so far (8-1). We have a chance this year, MC lost two of their best players so now they aren’t that good. Our biggest competition this year will be Tam, we are going to break the streak of a private school winning every year!!! Just wanted to inform you a little about what’s going on over here. But it’s really great to see how you are doing, keep up the good work hope to hear more about your trip soon.

    Shasta

    (Sorry if I sent this twice I just wanted to make sure it sent)

    Like

    • SHASTA! How are u? It’s so great to hear from you! Im so glad to hear that you guys are kicking ass this year- although Im not at all surprised! Has preseasoned ended? I hope my parents make it to some games this year! Who’s on the team? Do u still go to Redwood bagels? I miss bagels so much! I can’t wait to play basketball with you guys this summer- i miss it so much. Hope all is well with your sophomore year!

      Like

      • Shasta parker says:

        I’m doing great. In preseason we went 11-1, the team is the same this year but adding Lauren, Reagan, Naomi, Hannah Persky a freshman, and kalea is playing too. Dan still brings us redwood bagel after practices sometimes and it’s so good. Well I can’t wait to hear more about your trip and to see u this summer!

        Like

  8. Alice Parker says:

    Patty! I absolutely love your posts! What amazing experiences! I love the “You know you are in…” format, great! You are learning so much! I read the South Africa and the India posts, I can totally imagine the language differences and the cows in the road! Can I tag along with you? I really enjoy hearing about how much you are connecting with your host families, it just shows that people are amazing the whole world round.
    The San Marin team is off to an amazing start, 9 and 1, can you you believe it? They are really congealed as a team with everyone playing well, you would be so proud.
    Keep up the posts when you can it is great to hear how you are doing and learning!
    Love, Alice

    Liked by 1 person

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