My friend Dominique is an elementary teacher back in the states and her classroom read the book Flat Stanley http://www.flatstanley.com/) . Basically, Stan gets flat somehow and then goes all around the world in envelopes. I took photos with him in various places around town. I had the photos that go along with it printed at her local Walgreen’s and it worked out great. Here’s the silly letter Stan wrote back to the kiddos:
“Hello from India!
How is life and school in Indiana? The flight over here took two long days. By the time I got here, I was ready to get out of my cramped traveling space (pic in envelope with Sandi). Going from the Indiana cold weather to hot India was rough- right now the heat feels about 104 degrees and May is only going to get hotter! I should tell you a little of what I’ve seen and done so far while in Kolkata, India…
First, I’m staying with an Indian family and a few girls from the states in the village Santospur and commute to Kolkata everyday (picture of me on the veranda/porch of a 4th story flat in town).
The village is rather small with some shacks on stilts but ours is a newer and nicer house (pic of me in front of the house).
We don’t have a fridge, or a microwave, or any couches, or air conditioning, but the family is sweet and the meals are fresh. Outside of the house is a large field where I see boys play football, or soccer in the states, each morning and afternoon. To get to the big city, I take a bus, two autos and then the metro, or a local train (picture of me waiting for the bus with Sandi and Nicole).
Kolkata is a very large city. There are 13,216,546 people living here. The whole population of Indiana would make up only half of Kolkata! The culture, or the way people live, is similar in some ways, yet very different in other ways. Not many people drive cars but rather drive a motorcycle or take public transportation (pic of me by a line of bikes).
India is the only place that rickshaws are still used. That is when a man pulls a little carriage thing that carries a couple of people or stuff behind him (pic of me, Sandi, and the rickshaw guy).
If you think people in the Olympics are impressive runners for the distance they can go, think of these guys and all the miles they run each day!
The food is really good once you find stuff you like. We eat a lot of rice dishes with different types of sides. We don’t eat much beef, but chicken and fish are pretty available. My host, Sandi, took me on a tour and we had great soft served ice cream.
Here, we only pay 5 rupees which is only 10 cents! What a deal! We went to the market where I saw a sweet boat shaped cake (pic with the cake).
We stopped by the fire station and saw the big red trucks (fire brigade picture).
I still want to go to the zoo where I will see elephants and other big animals!
Since the tour, I’ve gotten into a weekly routine of activities that we do. During the week, I volunteer at Missionaries of Charity which was started by Sister Mother Teresa. She was a very important person when it came to compassion and serving the poor. One Friday, I helped baby sit and played Pretty, Pretty, Princess (I got to wear sweet green earings)
I climbed a tree afterwards to feel a little more “manly” (pic of me on tree, or in a plant. depends on your size.)
Since today was Easter, I went with my host family to an Easter church service and Gita wore a Sari (picture with her).
They have some beautiful sarees and I hope to take photos with some of the kids to show you what they wear! It is getting late and I need to head back to the village. I think the mom of the family is teaching us how to cook! Have a great day and I hope Indiana is treating you well!!!
Later Duders and Chickas,