Good Morning =)
We've been in India now for 2 and a 1/2 days and have been having a great time so far. We are staying with Bonkys friends the Elliotts and are being truly spoilt!
On Monday we went to teach english with Nikki which was really interesting. She helps every monday morning at a school set up by a charity which is on a building site in town. Over the weeks they go through the alphabet teaching the kids how to form the letters as well as lots of new vocabulary beginning with that letter. This week was the turn of the letter 'B', so we spent a long time drawing birds, bananas and balls with various levels of skill (Billy's were definitely interesting!), though the children didn't seem to mind! I was with two little boys of about 7 who had limited interest in the letter B - they far preferred holding 5 pairs of scissors on two fingers and then chopping them towards my face, Edward Scissor-hands style. Boys will be boys! Afterwards we went to have lunch and a swim at the Elliotts' health club which was very nice. Unfortunately Billy didn't get to swim in the sea (all sorts of icky things in there..), but their saltwater pool on the seafront was a pretty good alternative.
Yesterday we took a tour with Nikki and Geraldine (another friend who's staying with the Elliotts) through Dharavi which was amazing. Its one of the biggest slums in Asia, with over a million people living in 1.6 square kilometres. One toilet is shared between 1500 (they actually didn't smell as bad as we expected!) and despite the less than great living conditions the turnover of the area is 600 million US dollars per year. Our lovely guide took us to see all of the different industries thriving there - virtually all working illegally - from chapatti rolling to melting down tin cans into big blocks to reuse. At some points the smells were not so wonderful and we rather regretted our footwear choices - not the best place for flip flops! As its the school holidays there were lots of children playing and taking great delight in shouting 'Hi!' to us whenever the opportunity arose. We made friends with three little girls who were looking after a baby and took a shine to my fan - they were very cute. At the end of the tour we went to see the community centre the tour company runs along with a school and nursery. Billy and I also got kitted out in matching 'I <3 Dharavi' t-shirts from their office. Unfortunately we weren't able to take photos inside the slum, but they're going to email us some that have been taken before, so we'll put those on here when they arrive. We had lunch in a glitzy aircon shopping mall - a huge contrast - before returning home for a well deserved foot wash. Later on in the afternoon we took a trip to 'FabIndia' which is a chain store selling amazing indian clothes. I have a new salwar suit which is really pretty and Billy has some wonderful new trousers. The cat seems to have taken a liking to my new scarf though - I keep finding him nesting in it whenever i put it down. Strange cat.
Today we're having a cooking master class with Nikkis maid - think daal, samosas, chapattis and veg curry is on the menu. Yummy!
We'll try to upload some photos, though it isn't letting us log in at the moment so we have to email this entry. Fingers crossed it'll stop being silly soon.
Lots of love,
See you soon,
Billy and Rosie xxx