We started our training at the office on Monday, and so since nothing too interesting was going on this week, I haven't blogged. However, today was a different story. All kinds of interesting things, starting off with seeing two monkeys on our way the office. A guy on a bike had one monkey on a leash on the ground and another was on the back of his bike. One of the strangest things I've ever seen. I have a feeling it'll soon be relatively normal.
(as a side note, my husband just brought me 6 pink roses. Isn't he the sweetest? and they were only the $1.50. I love this country!)
This afternoon, we broke up into two groups, girls and guys. (there are 3 girls and 2 guys that are training, and 1 main girl and 2 main guys teaching) We had to go do ethnographic research, which I was so excited because it's what I did in Europe! Anyway, the first funny thing that was the girl trainer told us that us 4 girls were going to take one auto rickshaw. Haha! I didn't think we could do it, but we did! We sure were struggling up the hills, though! She took us to this real market, not a fancy one by where we live, and we broke up into pairs. A was my partner. This market is exactly what I pictured our country to look like. Narrow walkways, tons and tons of people, tiny shops with yards of fabric, jewelry, home decorations, etc. A and I went into a shop called Miss [country name]: the Dreamland of She Fashion. I think the name is a bit of an exaggeration, but it was fun to ask the shop owner all kinds of questions. We figured it would be easiest to strike up an informative conversation about clothes. You know - is this everyday or special occasion? what is a special occasion? are their parties here? what kind of parties? what do you wear to weddings? etc. This poor man was trying so hard to make a deal with us, but since we didn't begin bargaining with him, it was polite to not buy anything. We later went to the country's equivalent of Starbucks, grabbed some very tasty cold drinks, and sat by two girls our age who were very modern, in jeans and tank tops. They were college students, and were extremely nice. That's pretty much the way everyone is around here - so conversational, helpful, and just plain nice. They just thought we were so curious, with our white skin and our interest in their country. When the other 2 girls walked towards us, the two local girls said, "Are those your friends?" I said, "How could you tell?" and they bust out laughing.
THEN (I'm telling you, it was an interesting day!), us girls needed to go clothes shopping, since we are going on a citywide tour this Saturday, which includes temples. In temples, we need to cover our heads, and we really need to wear national clothes and not American stuff, so as not to offend the locals. So A and I went to a new market that is REALLY nice, and I found a suit (which is 3 pieces) and 2 tops for so cheap. That's all I'm going to buy until we get to our city because fashion is slightly different all over the country, and apparently, it's very important to get the style just right, or else they'll laugh me out of their homes. We also went grocery shopping! Let me tell you, anytime you can get a loaf of bread, eggs, 3 apples, a papaya, and butter for 25 cents each, it's a pretty pleasant experience. Even when you had to walk home. In the sweltering heat. In layers of clothes. Seriously, 25 cents?? (I did end up paying a total of $15, but that's because I splurged on honey bunches of oats and skippy peanut butter.) I also got milk (which was boxed, of course) for 50 cents, strawberry jam for $1.50, and 1 kg of laundry detergent for $2. Once again, I love this country! I know I'm being technically rude by discussing money so openly, but hey, we women love to brag about our bargains.
There is so much to do here! I need to go, since tomorrow is an early day for us.