Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our house

Our pictures have been hung on the walls with some care, with the hopes that a visitor (or two or three) will soon be here.  We had our first visitor here last week and it was a treat.  We knew she was coming, even before we left for our move.  It was a wonderful gem to look forward to as we tried to settle in to our new home, new life, new routines.
Our flat here in Delhi is by no means of equivalent proportions to the home we left back in the states.  It has ten foot ceilings, a bathroom to EVERY bedroom (four), the dining room alone has more floor space than our master bedroom had in the US, and that master bedroom was rather adequate. We have enjoyed such luxuries of living in Delhi.  Coupled with the fact that it is really hard to function without staff.

We have 24 hour guards that were in place before we even moved here.  We live in a multi-family structure and the guards came with the address, which was fine by us, we enjoy their presence.  We managed to hire a woman to do the "all around" work for the family.  She does the clean up, laundry, shopping when I ask her, she even cooks as long as it is an Indian or familiar dish.  She has been my personal trainer about the culture of India, my personal assistant as I try to get out the door or do a project, she meets the kids at the stop when they take the bus, the title "all arounder" doesn't seem to encompass all she does for this family (mainly me). 
We also managed to hire a driver.  We are still renting a car, and when that first started a driver came with the car.  We had a few issues with the rental driver that really came to blows when he neglected to come to work or call the ONE morning we had our first child leaving on a school trip to Chennai.  We were looking for excuses to sever that portion of the rental agreement and just hire a driver we chose ourselves so this mishap made for as good a reason as any other.  Through interviews and referrals mister and I selected what has turned into a great match for us as well.  He drives in a way that we are all comfortable, he is punctual and more than willing to work an extra hour or more of over time. 
Even the location of our home has turned into a blessing for us.  We wanted to be close to the school, walking distance was what we searched and hoped for.  Unfortunately nothing that met our needs was within walking distance and the bus is the only option unless the kids take the car and driver, which they do often.  But we have met our neighbors inside our building and on our street and we have a great area, great neighbors and great friends here already.
Now the only thing that could be missing is YOU.  We need to schedule our visitors and we would love to pencil you in for a time.  Please drop us an email and let us know when you think you might have a chance to spend some time in Delhi India.  We would love to see you!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Holi...

One week early we were able to attend our very first Holi event, hosted on the AES campus.  The kids were all given kites and water squirters when we entered the area.

Kite flying started immediately followed soon by the street food experience.  The food was a huge hit for our family.  We use extreme caution with the food here because of the gluten free diet most of us follow plus we were warned that the quickest way to really experience Delhi is eat the street food and find a bathroom.  Our tender American stomachs can't tolerate the ways of India as well as most native stomachs, so it is best to skip the experience of street foods.
The school cafeteria works with our girls to find gluten free options for them and are great about explaining to the girls what foods have gluten flour and what do not.  Both girls and the mister all went through the line with a food personal employee explaining what foods they could and could not eat.  It was a great food experience.  Now we need to remember the names of the foods so we can try to make them at home.  Although some are best left on the streets for special occasions.  Much like the cheese curds from the state fair, it is really best just to eat them once a year.

There were drums, like any good Indian celebration has.  Always drums and always loud by my standards.

And then there were the colors and the water.  The colors are in powder form and the water helps the colors stick.  White or light colored clothes are a favorite so one can see the progression of the colors as the throwing and water play continue.

After everyone had a chance to throw and play in water if they choose to, a game of cricket was played.  We haven't learned the game fully as of yet but kid three has played at recess from time to time.  It does look like something we all want to learn more about. Just the vocabulary alone is fun to learn: cricket, wicket, bowler, popping, striker.  You try it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

What a Week!

One can look at a glass half empty or half full.  We prefer to dwell on the positive.  Renting a car that is too small for our family is not the most comfortable situation for us right now but...we have a car to drive and are not taking taxis (as often).  Availability of extra curricular activities are not as prevalent here as were at home but...other activities are things we never even thought we would ever do in our life time.  I can certainly be a Debbie Downer with the best of them but we are all a little happier to look at the good instead of dwell on the bad.  So in rejoicing for the good in our lives we must say, "YEAH to A and B from back home!"  A.Our house is rented out and leased for the time we are away in India AND B. Our car sold and money was deposited so we are that much more secure to buy a car here.  We haven't really found the car we want for the price we feel is right yet so the fact that the car wasn't selling really wasn't our hold up but it is nice to know that is one more weight lifted.
Quarter three ended here for the kids and so far we all still love school.  All the kids have made friends and are the social butterflies they always have been.  Play dates, birthday parties and late nights just like they have always been but in a new environment.  We are very thankful the adjustment has been so smooth thus far.  Whatever you are doing is workings, thank you all for the prayers!