Sunday, September 20, 2009


Yesterday was my host mom’s birthday. I wanted to do something special for her but I knew she wouldn’t just let me through her a party. So, I planned a surprise party. I talked to Salim(my host dad) about it and felt like I was able to explain pretty well what I had planned and that he understood the gist of it. Then I had Karishma(Sitara’s youngest) help me pick out some cloth to give her for a new suit. The next day we went to pick out bangles to match it. My cover was almost blown though when Sitara and I went there the next day to get bangles to match my Id(Eed, a Musl!m holiday) suit because the lady said something about my being there just the day before. I tried my best to just shrug it off.
On Friday I went to the Clover’s house to bake a cake. This was slightly difficult for me because I was fasting with my host family. (The last Friday of R0z0n is pretty important and everyone fasts. They’d been asking me for awhile if I’d fast with them. Suzy’s family was asking her the same thing, so we both decided to fast with our host families.) When I make a cake my favorite part of making it is eating a bit of the batter. I always leave a bit extra in the bowl to lick out. And I couldn’t do that on Friday. But I made it though. Then after dinner I went to Suzy’s house to frost the cake. I still haven’t been able to make frosting just the right consistency here yet, so my frosting was a bit thin and wouldn’t stay on the sides of the cake. I decided to let it sit overnight and fix it in the morning. When I went to Suzy’s the next day the frosting was in great shape to fix the cake. But I couldn’t decorate it because the two kids of the family Suzy lives with wanted to watch and they didn’t get home from school till the afternoon. So, I had to wait. When they got home(and after the parade) I finished the cake and headed home. We had dinner and I tried to get Sitara to let me wash the dishes after dinner, but she insisted on doing them. But I did the last half of them because she had to go answer the phone. Then at about 7:30 everyone arrived. Suzy came with the cake and ice cream and along with her was Amber and the boys(Stephen wasn’t feeling very well) and some new friends of ours(I had wanted to invite them but I didn’t have their phone number) that had met Salim in the market a bit before and said they were stopping by. Sitara was so surprised with everything, and VERY embarrassed!! But after everyone had left and it was just us again, she told me she had a wonderful time and thanked me for her party.

Parade number two!!

Early this week I went down to the internet cafe to print some things off. The family that runs it is Shik and told me that the Shik temple was going to have a parade on Saturday. And that they’d be giving out free food all day. He also told me that if I wanted to help cook the food with the ladies I could. I wasn’t quite sure about that cause I thought I’d be more in the way than any help, but I for sure wanted to make a point of checking out all the festivites on Saturday. 
So yesterday Suzy and I went down but were kind of confused about where to go, so we just kept walking and ended up sitting in a restaurant to talk and hang out. We both went home after a bit as it was getting close to lunch. Then after lunch I went back to Suzy’s because the parade was supposed to start at 2. Soon we heard the bands and knew it was about to start. Sure enough up the hill came the parade. They go up the fill first to the bus stand and then come back down again and continue on to the Library side of Mall Road. It wasn’t quite as exciting as the last parade, but it was still fun.
I was getting ready to go down and decorate Sitara’s birthday cake when Iube(Suzy’s host dad) said that there was going to be more festivities down by Clock Tower. So, Suzy and I headed down. She brought her camera and I borrowed the Clover’s. We got down there long before the parade ever did because we took the lower road to avoid all the crowds. When we got there we saw Salim and Sitara at one of the stores buying things for Id. I asked them if they were going to watch the parade and they said sure. 
We had to wait for at least half an hour before we heard the bands coming. At first I was kinda disappointed because it was all the same as we saw at the top of the hill. But soon that all changed!
The ambulance(which I thought was just trapped in the middle of the parade) came and the started taking things out of it. It started with a guy swinging this long tin whip around. It was crazy!! The tin was about two inches wide and maybe ten feet long!! I thought for sure someone was going to get whipped with it and start gushing blood! Then there were sward fights and stick fights and all kinds of crazy things! It all ended with a little boy laying on the ground with a banana on his tummy, a guy with one on his head, two boys holding one in their mouths, a guy with a coconut on his head and another guy just kneeling on the ground. Then the blindfolded a guy, gave him a sward and spun him around a coulpe times. He then proceded to cut the bananas in half, took his sward and ran it along the one guys nose and then was given a bat and smashed the coconut.
I got almost all of this all on video and thought I got the very last part, but when I looked at Suzy’s camera last night it wasn’t there. But I did post the rest of the videos, so check them out on my  videos page!!