After a couple of hours of class this morning we were given a lunch break during which Victoria, Katie and I joined Jazz in venturing to the Gurdwara on our street. A Gurdwara is a Sikh temple and Jazz was very excited to show us the proper way to pray to the Gurugranthsahib and we left with blessings. We had some time before our lunch mixer with the IES students so we went over the join the boys in the barbershop. It was funny watching their Russian hairstyles turn into an Indian hairstyle and the barber did each cut with such precision that each person was being groomed for over half-an-hour. When we arrived at IES the study abroad students traveling through the IES program were already there and lunch was delicious. The IES students were very happy because most days they only get peanut butter and jelly, so today was a treat. As we said our goodbyes we were excited to have made new friend and were hopeful to see them again during their time here even though their semester ends in two weeks.
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” –Sunita Ji
After lunch it was time to do some cooking! On the menu for today was Roti, Cauliflower & Potatos, Palak Paner and Chapaties. We all had so much fun learning about the different spices in a Masala Box and how to make the three recipes, but the best part was making our own roti and then enjoying it afterwards!
After the cooking class the IES students met up with us and we went to a nearby area to just hand out and get to know one another betters. Ironically, two of the three women students we went out with go to school at Fordham and Susan Lawrence, both schools that are only 15 minutes from my home in New York, how crazy is that?! On the way to Pebble Street Restaurant we saw two stray dogs on the ground each with a litter of newborn pups. My heart absolutely melted and I all of a sudden I fell in love with animals. We met Prateek who was standing by protecting the week old puppies and keeping them fed and safe until they are old enough to hopefully survive on their own. After dinner we revisited Prateek and after chatting with him for hours about animals in India, life in India and his desire to take his photography talent to America he took us to meet his family celebrating his mother’s birthday at a restaurant around the corner. We ended up joining for dinner and I was amazed by how much I learned about India over the course of the evening. I am really hoping to learn more from Prateek during our stay in India.