Of course I am writing this post now that we’ve left our first location.  So all of the photos are from our first home in India.

We had a drab little room, which we were very grateful for, included in it was even a bathroom with a western style toilet!  Yahoo!  Here is our bathroom.  Maybe you wonder what the bucket is for… Well, in some bathrooms you have to fill the bucket and dump it in the toilet to flush it, ours actually has an official flush so that’s not what it is for.  Instead, the buckets are filled with water, and we use those smaller scoops to dump them all over our heads and that is how we shower!  Burke and I had the very rare water heater in our bathroom- it worked about half the time- the other half we joined the ranks of the rest of the group and delivered our empty buckets to the kitchen to acquire boiled water and then transport it back to our shower space.

Remember, we were the lucky ones.

From about 6:45- 8:15 every morning, there was no power in our bathroom.  There were a couple mornings this didn’t effect us, but mostly it would.  That played out in the form of a small station set up near the hazy window- contacts, make up, hair was done there.  I had a two inch compact so I could kind of see myself.  It was when I wanted to see the back of my hair that I got creative.  I received a flashlight-keychain for an early Christmas gift and have found in incredibly useful.  I took it into the bathroom, shone it on the back of my head, which was facing the big mirror, and stood facing the opposite wall with my compact in my other hand, positioned just so that I could see a couple inches of my hair at a time.

When we first arrived, we were told that the staff at our location would do our laundry for us.  Then we saw what hard work it was for them, and most of us began to do our own.  The most commonly sold laundry soap is in the form of a bar of soap.  It is held with one hand and rubbed against clothes, and then the clothes are scrubbed on a giant smoothish rock.  Cold water is poured on the clothes to rinse them.  Once they are all rinsed, they are whipped against the side of the slate to get rid of excess water before being taken to the clothes line.

Here is the kitchen.  You might be a little fearful of the food that comes out, but it was delicious!  In India, you have to take major precautions of the food you eat- the biggest warnings are against street food, raw vegetables, and “cold” diary.  So naturally, when we arrived we assumed they were preparing our vegetables to a standard that our western digestive systems could handle.  In only took a few minutes in the kitchen to see that they certainly were not.

Sometimes we "helped" make dinner; I think we slowed them down.

It is very common to cook/ store pots with food in them on the floor!

I made sure to document the making of naan bread.  It’s way more work and way less common than chapati (Indian tortillas).

When we first arrived, we were woken up by a pack of roosters. Our last week there, there were no roosters to be found... These skewers are put into the tandoor.

Naan dough, the best tasting, least healthy of the breads.

They make a ball and spread it over this wet cloth-covered rock and then push it against the wall of the outdoor oven.

It just sticks up against the side for a few minutes as it cooks. The oven has to be the perfect temperature other wise it doesn't come off.

They fish it out with these spears when it's done and then it is ready for dinner!

These are just a few of the menial things we did daily.  It was really fun to be in this position where we could laugh at our situation, yet fully, truly appreciate what we did have.  This blog couldn’t be complete without a couple pictures of the dogs at the location.  Towards the end I took these dogs on a daily walk and I am certain that they miss me already.

Rachi... maybe she is a little special.

This one on the left is Boyfriend. He may or may not have been the father to the babies on the right. That's Mama on the right.

The puppies!