November 8, 2011

Life is an Indian Adventure

“If everything was easy, there wouldn’t be any fun.”

During the midst of a bit of confusion at the mall, a hallmate of mine uttered this with a smile on her face. There wasn’t mass chaos, just confusion about what cookies were wanted and where exactly to pay and check out. I don’t think there is a quote more fitting to apply to my experience in India than this quote.

My Indian experience has been marked with new experiences in new places, new sights, new smells, new languages, new cultures, and new and different things every day. Sometimes we met frustrating experiences from dealing with the bureaucracy trying to register as foreigners or trying to make our ID cards with the  Dean's office. Seriously, some of those crazy stressful moments are the ones that we can look back and laugh at the hardest. They are the most fun to think about. I have learned to laugh at difficult moments and laugh at them hard. I have found so much joy in the difficult things of this experience.  

Exhibit A
Travel to Pondicherry from Chennai
On our way to Pondicherry we rode the train to Nungambakkam, which is about 45 minutes away. Then caught an auto outside of the station to the Coimbatore Bus Station, which is about 20 minutes away. We then had to ask which buses went to Pondy and we ended up jumping on a bus on Platform 3, instead of 2. Our bus was very comfortable with individual seats and room for luggage above your head. Once the bus starts moving, a ticket master comes by and collects Rupees in exchange for a ticket. We were caught in early morning traffic and it took about 2 hours just to get out of the city and then another 3-4 hours to get to Pondicherry. We got off the bus, found an auto, and made our way to the Hotel.

Travel from Pondicherry to Chennai 
However, going home to Chennai we found our way to the Pondicherry Bus Stand. We asked a police officer which bus was headed to Chennai, especially Tambaram, where we live. He pointed us in the right direction. We found we had to stand in line, to receive a token to reserve a bus seat for us. JJ did that kindly. This bus more closely resembled a city bus and we climbed on and experienced chaos. We didn’t realize that our tokens reserved actual seats for us with numbers and everything. So, we all sat together near the front. Then people whose seats we were occupying came by and were rather frustrated that we didn’t understand the procedure. The aisle was full and 4 of our seats ended up being in the very back. JJ and I made our way to the very back and sat with another gentleman on a 3 seater. I had a big bag, because I bought an extra to take home while in Pondi and had stuffed my backpack into it. I sat that upright on my lap and then JJ and I just kind of laughed at the whole situation. The ticketmaster offered to move my bag to the floor by the door, which was nice. Then, however, we realized that the seat in front of us was broken and the seat leaned back until it was on top of our knees – putting pressure the whole time. This bus didn’t take us straight to Tambaram, we had to get off and then find another bus, but that really wasn’t a big deal. People in India are super helpful.

Clearly, the ride home wasn’t as comfortable as the one to Pondy, but there was no use wasting energy by being miserable over a situation I don’t have control over. Besides, JJ and I couldn’t help by smile and laugh over the craziness of boarding that bus bound for Chennai. If we had expected the EXACT same situation on the way home or even something a little less crazy – we would have been disappointed and upset. But we managed to find the hilarity in the craziness, which is truly where the fun lies.

Today, I was reflecting on why people become disappointed with something. It is when their expectations of a person or a situation are not met as they had originally anticipated. Then I thought that was a little silly as most things we become disappointed in are things outside of ourselves, events or circumstances outside of our control. (Unless we are disappointed with our own performances or thoughts or feelings.) We don't have full control of what happens to us, but we do have full control of how we respond to it. 

Living life should not be an inconvenience, nor should it be smooth sailing. Life is an adventure and sometimes things are crazy or difficult, but learning how to find joy and purpose from those moments are what life's all about. The world isn't all about you, but the world is FOR you. God is FOR you. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4


November 2, 2011

Banana Pancakes!

One of my most vivid memories is the taste of Grandma and Grandpa Shirey’s pancakes and King Syrup on Sunday mornings before church. When I was younger, I would spend the night at their house on Saturday nights and on Sunday mornings I would wake up to griddle cooked pancakes. It’s so funny how the taste of food can linger in your mouth, even if you haven’t had it for years and years. Sometimes they would even make the pancakes in K’s for Katie.

We made banana pancakes for dinner tonight to celebrate the end of our finals and to take a break from writing a paper due tomorrow. We are so close to being finished with Academic India, that I can hardly believe it.

Initial Pancakes just like Mamaw and Papaw used to make! 

Peacefully. Simply. Pancakes. 

Can't you see that it's just raining?
Ain't no need to go outside...
Baby, you hardly even notice

When I try to show you this
Song is meant to keep you
From doing what you're supposed to
Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
I'll make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it's the weekend now

And we can pretend it all the time
Can't you see that it's just raining?
Ain't no need to go outside

What are some of your favorite meals from your childhood? Do you have any particular food memories?
Only 11 days until I’m on a plane to Virginia! I am soaking in the last bit of India right as monsoon has kicked in full swing. 


PS - There is totally a trail that is more or less in South East Asia known as the Banana Pancake Trail.It's kind of a tongue-in-cheek reference to the number of BnBs and cafes that have sprung up along said route, in order to cater to Westerners.

November 1, 2011

Halloween in India

Happy Halloween! 

Well, Happy Post-Halloween! Have you worked off your candy coma? 

Halloween and I have an odd relationship. I love dressing up in costumes and over-indulging on some candy for a day. However, I do not like scary things. Not. at. all. I once escaped from the Haunted Barn during the middle of our tour and sat on the outside while the rest of my friends and family continued the tour. I was probably five. Then one year, I watched some horror films and then I went to the local Haunted Corn Maze with some friends. This was the stupidest idea. Ever. I didn't fare well. I made it home, but couldn't make it through the night at a house that wasn't my home. My mom had to come and get me. I may or may not have been a sophomore in high school. I'll let you decide.

This year for Halloween, my BCA friends and I decided we wanted to celebrate Halloween, because it is such a fun holiday. (Scary stuff aside!) Sparky's, Chennai's American Restuarant, was hosting a Halloween buffet for 500 RS. After being in India for 4 months, 500 Rs was waaaaaay too much for us to spend on a meal. So, we decided to have our own shin-dig in our Hall! Complete with costumes, a dinner of brains and guts (Pasta and Sauce), candy, and a scary movie!

This year for Halloween I decided to be a Cat! I used an animal print dress and leggings. Then I made my cat ears, using Holly's black headband and a fruit loops box! (Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.) Meg, the goddess of the Earth, was kind enough to complete my face with some marvelous whiskers and big cat eyes. My Little Shorty Robinson even got into the fun, by dressing up as a cat toy for Halloween! I know, it was a strecth. MEOW!

We grabbed some Indian candy from Fresh, our local trusted grocery store, and went around the hall in our costumes doing some reverse trick or treating! 
First up, Gnanamani!

When we handed out candy, most people had NO IDEA why we were handing out candy! We all said, "Happy Halloween!!" in unison. Then we had to explain what Halloween was. It's really common for people to hand out candy to OTHER people on their own Birthdays or Anniversary. One guard asked us if it was our birthday. No, sir, just a kicking holiday of mischief and candy. 

Kheya, our Literary and Debate Secretary, was really excited about candy! She grabbed a handful for some late night studying. Get it, girl! 

The BCA girls of Martin Hall: A Cat, G.I. Jane, Demeter, and a Pirate! 

I cut tomatoes and green peppers for our pasta sauce, they served as our delicious guts! One of the biggest things I miss about the US is fresh vegetables with every meal. So, whats the best thing about cutting vegetables for our pasta sauce - obviously, stealing a couple fresh pieces of green pepper to eat! 

Holly and I preparing food like champs! Smashing garlic and making garlic bread!

Our BCA crew (including Pirate JJ) and our lovely Martin Hall MSW girls - Gnanamani and Linda. 

These are the pumpkins we carved for Halloween! Mine is the one on the top, she's supposed to have a little smirk...but it turned out to be a huge half-grin. Also, she was green! B and Holly toasted and salted the Pumpkin seeds this morning and we have been munching on them all day, in between studying for exams and writing our final paper!

Finally, we watched THE GRUDGE, which I thought was going to scare the pants off of me. Somehow, it ended up not being so bad, which may or not have be contributed to how long my pillow was in front of my face! Seriously though, it was a little worse than the Sixth Sense and Signs for me, which people say aren't scary. (Whatever, they so totally are!)

There are 12 days until I am headed home! The countdown has truly begun. I can now say I will be home THIS MONTH. Get outta town!


PS - A HUGE thank you to my fellow Martinian and BCAer Holly for letting me steal her fab Halloween pictures. (And for taking pictures of me as a Cat!) You can check out her blog over here on tumblr:

October 29, 2011

Updates from September and October!

I have not updated in forever! My apologies!

September and October were a whirlwind of school work, conferences, and BCA excursions. Just like at BC things tend to get a little crazy towards the end of the semester. Instead of writing an individual post about each big thing that happened, I’m going to give some summaries below.


Excursion to Hyderabad 

The highlight of this excursion was all of the beautiful Indian countryside we were able to see! It did wonders for my little green soul that gets tired of polluted city life. We visited a number of old forts that provided beautiful sweeping views of the countryside. The first picture is me doing a cartwheel on the lawn of a resort! No big deal. :)


Excursion to Delhi and Agra

We visited the Taj Mahal in Agra and there were SO MANY people. It's a good thing that this wasn't an excursion we did early in the trip, because I think the culture shock factor would have been a bit much. Now I'm to the point of - "Oh, there are a lot of people here...when aren't there a lot of people!?" 

Completing Fieldwork at Sahodari. 
I finished my fieldwork at Sahodari, which was bittersweet and hard to believe I had finished my time there. I finished back on the 11th of October. I don’t have a social work background, so working at Sahodari was difficult for me at times. However, I am so thankful for my time there. I have learned so much about myself, especially, in terms of how I relate to people from a different culture, when I come in as a dominant minority and what that means to our interaction.

I was a Convener for an Unconference that my department hosted. Our Unconference was called “Unconference on the Application of Cross-Cultural Knowledge.” We had sessions on Culture Shock, Relating Skills Learned, Dealing with Clients from a Diverse Cultural Background, and the Globalization of Social Work. An “unconference” essentially means that we are the resource people, those who are putting on the conference, instead of bringing in an expert from outside – we become the experts.

Farewell Party!
Our Department hosted a farewell party for us after we finished our exams and our internal fieldwork interviews. It was a lovely hour of fun and games. They even made a slideshow for us and sang us this beautiful song, which made me cry! Also, our parting gifts were Departmental Mugs with our faces on them!!

Cha-Cha Slidin' Through Life

Any Opportunity to do the Cha-Cha Slide and we’ll take it! We finished our Unconference with the Cha-Cha slide, it really was a fun/informal day! Then our BCA farewell party ended with us all doing the Cha-Cha slide one last time!

I have two finals and a paper to write and then I am done with this semester by November 3rd. I'll be home in 16 days!


October 8, 2011

Fair Trade in India

As my friends head off for their Alternative Fall Break in New Windsor, Maryland to volunteer at SERRV, I wanted to reflect on a woman who has empowered other women through Fair Trade in India.

Meet Annie Joseph. She is a beautiful and inspiring soul. I first met Annie when she visited our Social Work Department to tell us about her organization Ankur Kala in Calcutta. Ankur Kala was founded by Annie 30 years ago for the intent of women empowerment. Ankur Kala's motto is "Sowing Seeds of Hope." Calcutta contains some of the worst slums in India. AK helps 600+ women who have been affected by poverty and violence. Alcoholism is a huge social problem in India and many women have husbands who waste their meager expenses on alcohol. AK helps women to become self-sufficient. Meanwhile, they work with trafficked or prostituted victims, aiding in prevention strategies and helping them get out of their economic crises. AK sends the children of trafficked women to school, helping to break the cycles of poverty.

They teach impoverished women how to cook (for catering purposes) and tailoring. They work with women artisans to earn a fair trade for their goods and collaborate with organizations like Ten Thousand Villages. Maybe you’ve seen their cute owl change purses? I bought one for my sister last year. Yep, they are from the women of Ankur Kala in Calcutta, India. And their scarves are beautiful! Check them out! 

Annie is a visionary. I saw Annie again at the Millenium Development Conference, where she served on a panel discussion. As a young girl, Annie volunteered with Mother Teresa on her days off from school. (Seriously, how awesome is her life!?) Annie shared stories about how she has worked against corruption since she was a young 20 something starting Ankur Kala.

One such story involved Annie going to the Post Office to export a package. The men at the post office gave her trouble and told her to wait for some time. She waited into the afternoon. Then they told her to come back in the morning. She came the next day and waited. They told her to come in the afternoon. She came and waited. Things carried on like this for a few days. Most people would give up, but Annie was persistent. Finally, the men were curious about this young woman and mailed her package. Now, anyone can go to that local Post Office in Calcutta and mention the words “Ankur Kala” as if they were magic words. She closed with, “Don’t underestimate yourself. Believe in yourself. Do what you have to do.”

Annie is a patient and stubborn soul. Another story involved Annie attempting to get NGO status for Ankur Kala. She visited the proper offices and they asked for a bribe to “help” the paper work go faster. She refused, unwilling to give into corruption or justify that practice. Again, she was given the “Wait, Come back. Wait, Come back.” It took her 2 and ½ years to achieve NGO status for Ankur Kala because she was unwilling to give into corruption. She finished with, “Voice your protest. Don’t hold back. Don’t give up. Don’t compromise. Be persistent. Be stubborn.”

It does take personal sacrifice; Annie made no doubt about that. She could have paid the bribe and had a smooth sailing with Ankur Kala’s registration, but what kind of person and organization would she be building if she paid a bribe justifying corruption? Instead, she stood firm on the seeds that had been sewn around her and was unwilling to compromise her personal values. I think Annie practices Jesus’ Third Way beautifully.  

I will never be able to look at the products that come in from SERRV or Ten Thousand Villages again. I already felt an inside connection to the products at SERRV, because I had volunteered there the past 3 years for Fall Break seeing the products arrive in their foreign packaging, only to unpack them and repack them for sale in America. But now...I've met a lovely woman who helped to start a beautiful fair trade organization for women's empowerment and I won't be able to separate her face and her mission from the fair trade products I buy. I think that's the beauty of fair trade - behind every item is a story of a community, or a person, or personal growth and empowerment. 

Happy Fair Trade Awareness Month!


PS – Here are some helpful links if you want to find out more about any of the organizations that I’ve mentioned above.

September 29, 2011

We are pilgrims, not tourists.

I enjoy conferences. I enjoy them so much. It’s hard to say if I like working behind the scenes more than I do attending. Well, it’s probably an even mixture. The past few days, the Madras Christian College Social Work Department has been hosting: a National Study Conference on the Millennium Development Goals and Human Rights. I was blessed to participate a bit behind the scenes with setting up the hall and being part of the Exhibition Committee and the Documentation Committee, because I’m currently a member of the MCC Social Work Department. :)

Our BCA crew and our lovely MSW professors. Prince, Priscilla, and Miriam.
Our Exhibition Committee was created on the Friday before Conference! The BCA kids had come to the Department for a big meeting about conference and everyone was gathered in their committees, but at the time we didn’t belong to any committees. So, Prince came over and told us that we had become the Exhibition Committee. Our role as the Exhibition Committee was to make sure that all of the poster presentations were hung and that we coordinated with those from other schools to make sure everything was in order with those. Our task was to make sure it looked “academic.” We decided to call ourselves the X-Team.

X-Team Assemble! JJ and I taping up some posters in the Hall. 
At the same time, Prince also asked us to collaborate amongst our team (The X-Team!) and design some posters to be hung up. No big deal. Go design these, bring it back this afternoon, and we’ll take a print out tonight! So, we hustled back to our hall to design 3 different posters. I opened up photoshop and made some designs, while our team helped to create catchy slogans to put onto them. I was really pleased with what we created and so was Prince. (Minus, the setbacks when we tried to first get them printed – something weird and technical that caused the images to be distorted when brought up at the Print Shop. God Bless, Karthik, and his patience for having to deal with that mishap on Friday and then having to go again with 3 different copies of each design on Saturday just to make sure nothing went wrong, because we did not have any more time!)

Working Together for a Better World
One Step at a Time
On Monday of Conference I had to present my poster! For my second CA (Continuing Assessment – i.e. exam), I researched a topic in relation to India and the MDGs and Human Rights. My topic was forced migration, which I have not researched much about at all until now. So, it was exciting to learn so much more about forced migration and internally displaced people in India. During the half hour, Conference participants wandered around asking each presenter questions. 

Photo Credit: Jess and Hannah, thanks! 

Photo Credit: Jess and Hannah, thanks! 

I was talking to Richard (II MSW) on Sunday before the Conference officially started and he was talking about how he was designing the booklet and it was all pretty much left to him. I asked if he needed help. He said, “Yeah, do you know how to use photoshop?” Oh, goodness. I do have some experience. So, each night of Conference I would help design some pages with Richard and Daniel (Documentation Committee Chair) to put into the book. 

Late nights, little sleep, and lots of work!?! Count me in!

Get this, though! After each day of Conference, we would have dinner and then the attendants would go to the Department to sleep and the MCC students would go to the auditorium for a meeting that started around 8:30pm. The girls who live on campus in Martin and Margaret Hall had to be back no later than 10pm. So, they would have to be hurried out as soon as our meeting finished. Then some local off-campus girls and hall/off-campus boys would linger to finish some things up for the next day. Since I am an exchange student, the Hall curfew is not as strict for me so I was allowed to stay a bit later. However, Professor Prince would always drive me back to my hall around 11:30pm or 12. He wanted to make sure that the guard would let me back in – he wouldn’t challenge a Professor, but he might challenge a male student walking me back late. It made collaborating or working on designs difficult in case Daniel wanted to assign something else or would want to make changes to something I made, but we made it work. Essentially, I would receive homework to do after I left. I didn’t mind leaving too much, since I was allowed to ride on the back of my Professor’s motorbike!

Conference was such a wonderful opportunity for us to spend more time with our fellow MCC MSW students. You could spend all the time in the world with students in a classroom, but you truly get to know someone when you have to work alongside them or collaborate. I have grown so much closer with so many of them over these conference days. Especially, with working on the Conference book with Richard and Danny and asking for tasks from the Hall Chairman, Karthik.

At the final meeting among the Department after Conference was over, Prince mentioned a lovely phrase that I think really sums up my experience of the weekend. We are Pilgrims, not Tourists. Yes!  This completely describes my conference experience! My greatest fear is that I’ll be a tourist on this journey, instead of forming friendships and having meaningful moments with all of my new friends. I am so thankful for these moments as a pilgrim.
Photo Credit: Larsen Michael. 
These people are so fantastic and they KNOW how to put on a successful conference! <3 


I realized that you might not be aware of the Millennium Development Goals. I wasn’t aware of them before I arrived in India, probably because I’m from a Developed Nation. They are a set of 8 goals drafted by the United Nations for developing nations to achieve by 2015.
The 8 Goals are:
1. Eradicate Poverty and Hunger
2. Achieve Universal Primary Education
3. Promote  Gender Equality and Women Empowerment
4. Reduce Child Mortality
5. Increase Maternal Health
6. Combat HIV/AIDs, Malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability
8. Develop Global Partnerships
(Booyah! I wrote all of those from memory!) 


PS - I'll do an update post on A) my excursion to Hyderabad and on B) what I actually learned at conference and more reflections about it! 

PPS - I go to Delhi in two days! I finally get to see the Taj Mahal!! 

September 11, 2011

A Rural Sunday at Gnanamani's

Away We Go! 
Joel, Mohan, and I departed around 8:30 to get to Gnanamani's. We are headed to her village which is about 2 hours travel away from MCC. She had invited the MSW department to her home for a house warming. So, after a bus ride for about an hour to get to a town outside of Chennai, we rode in an auto for about 20 minutes. We soon caught up to this motorist ahead of us. Guess who that is!?! Gnanamani! This girl is TOO cool. 

"Had your breakfast?"
"Had your breakfast?" is a common phrase we hear ever day here. Above, is the breakfast Gnanamani's family served us upon our arrival. (From left to right: Banana, Idlee, Rice something, curd something, sambar, and a glass of water.) Being able to eat breakfast demonstrates that you are more well off than most.

These are a few of my friends from the Masters of Social Work Department at Madras Christian College. G- had invited us all to come to her house warming day and we took a walk through some of her farmland.
(From left to right: Joel, Mohan, Michael, Gnanamani, Grace, Linda, and me)

Gnanamani can swim! 
While on our walk through the fields, we came upon Gnanamani's irrigation well that her family uses to pump water to their field. She knows how to SWIM! Most girls in India don't know how to swim, because of modesty issues that can occur from tight, wet clothes and it can be hard to get lessons. Gnanamani just jumped right in - kurta and all! 

Swimming, swimming...
We couldn't let Gnanamani have all the fun so I jumped in after her and then we were all in! Out of the whole bunch only 3 of us knew how to swim, but the others waded on the steps. It was SOOO refreshing! 

Teach me how to dive, Katie!
Since the well was so deep, I dived in a couple times! Poor Joel, attempted a dive and it ended in a belly flop. :/ Thank you Mom and Dad for time at the Beach and Pool and for those swim lessons oh so long ago! 

Chief Guest: Katie 
Somehow (because I'm American) I was the chief guest of the day. Oh, goodness, you have no idea how humbling that was - I am not worthy to be a Chief Guest for anything! I was asked to place the shawl, first, on this man before I received the shawl myself. I believe he was a local minister.

Receiving the Shawl
Then, this woman placed the shawl around me and a prayer was said over the house and family. At least, I think so. It was all in Tamil. Gnanamani's Uncle did explain that their village was started in the 1930's by American missionaries and an American has not visited their village in over 70 years. So, they viewed it as a very big deal that I would visit their village. How could I miss an opportunity to visit a rural village and Gnanamani's home!? Thanks girl! 

"Do you know how to climb a tree?"
Mohan asked me. "Of course I know how to climb a tree!" I exclaimed. Well, not this kind of tree it turns out. A boy from Gnanamani's village climbed this tree to toss down some coconuts for the MSW students and I to have. How impressive is that!?

Drinking FRESH Tender Coconut
So, I have had Tender Coconut before...but that was from a stall. This coconut had just been dropped seconds before from a tall, tall tree that a young boy climbed. This coconut was much tastier - plus NO STRAW. Joel just told me - "Put your lips around the opening. Drink and don't think about it!" Thanks, Joel.  Apparently, TC can stain your clothes...I didn't spill a drop on my clothes thankfully!

Eating FRESH Tender Coconut!
Once I finish drinking the water from my coconut a machete is used to cut it wide open down the middle, exposing an orb center with a coconut meat in it. I'm given a nifty coconut scooper to scoop with. Joel lends me a hand and shows me how it's done properly. Then I have a go!

Rural India
Can we just have a moment and marvel at beautiful, rural India? Ok. Thank you. It smelled like home - cow manure. I don't know why everyone at BC is so averse to this smell. I'm so weird, but I just love it and it doesn't bother me at all. It was such a nice smell after coming from air pollution, sewage, and trash. I breathed deep and marveled at the green. Oh, my heart.  

Mohan Commandeered my camera. Obviously.
At first, I thought Karthik was really quiet and sometimes we have a hard time understanding each other because of our accents - but I am so glad he was there today. I make faces in response to some situations and Karthik makes his own faces in response to mine and then we laugh together. Oh, thank you, Karthik! We were walking along to get coconuts and he asked where my other BCA friends were and I told him they were busy. His response was, 
"Clearly, I like you." 
Of course, I'm thrown off guard, but he finishes by saying, 
"Because you came today!"
They all have such good senses of humor. We all had such a wonderful time!  
(From left to right: Karthik, Jarthro, and Mohan)

Me and Gnanamani in front of her new home. 
Meet Gnanamani. She is a delightful girl who lives in my hall and is in the MSW department. She is a second year post grad. She is the ONLY girl from her village to pursue a post grad degree. Her parents were very adamant about their children getting proper schooling. She has spent a lot of time in hostels in Chennai going to school, because there aren't proper schools near her village. 
She and her family built this house with their own hands! I have seen her Monday mornings exhausted from spending a weekend at home working laboriously on their home. Somehow she manages it all and is the smartest student in our classes and gets the top marks of anyone. 

September 7, 2011

A View of Pondicherry through Mealtimes!

I’m not a food blogger. Sometimes I’ll post pictures of the cookies or peace cakes that I bake sometimes, but I’m not an avid food blogger. However, I am going to give you a taste of our Pondycherry vacation through “most” every meal that I ate! Feast your eyes on some delicious foods! 

Wednesday Evening
Our first evening in Pondy we dined at Don Giovanni's beautiful Italian rooftop restaurant! 
Spaghetti Pesto!
 Tiramisu (with legitimate Chocolate Liquor)

 Breakfast: Bon Bakes - Almond Croissant

Juice Break: Coffee Door - Apple Juice

The juices in India are always legitimate! You can't see through them because they are so frothy and full of real fruitiness!  

Pre-Lunch: Flunch - Croissant and Scrambled Eggs

 Snack: Ice Cream Parlour - ChocoCherry Sundae

Lunch: 24 Hour Coffee Lounge - Vegan Sandwich 
(It was so good I forgot to get a picture!)

Breakfast: Daily Breads - Caffe Latte

Lunch: Auroville Cafe - Guava Juice & Broccoli Quiche w/ salad
(Look at those veggies!!!!)

 Dinner: Don Giovanni's - Spaghetti
(Yep, we HAD to go back.)

Breakfast: Daily Bread - Walnut and Pineapple Salad

 Dinner: Anu's House!
Bhel Puri 

 The Spread: Poori, Stuffed Parota, Chickpea Curry...etc,etc. 

Breakfast:24 Hour Coffee Lounge - The Continental

Lunch: Mahaballeepuram - FISH
(No, I didn't eat this, but it's the catch of the day for display. The crab was still alive.)

Not eating Rice and Sambar was honestly the highlight of this vacation. Now back to rice in the mess hall! Honestly, I don't mind rice at all. I love eating rice...and thankfully I haven't grown tired of eating it. But I'm always an advocate of some diversity!