February 10-25, 2012

Day 3

The group awoke again to the varying sounds of a Hyderabad morning, i.e. barking dogs, various clangings and car horns. While some munched on the last of the Reese’s Puffs and Pop-Tarts, many decided a traditional Indian breakfast was in order. The breakfast was surprisingly almost free of spice. We ate Dota, deep-fried unsweetened donuts, Vata, cone shaped sour-dough crepes, and more chai, which we now know will finish almost every meal. After a short conference about the previous day and to plan for the current we split into two groups and sped off to two different schools in different parts of town. The school I traveled to was a private school for lower-income students. The principal was very happy to have us there, and did not hesitate to make us feel at home. Cups of steaming chai were shoved into our hands within minutes of entry. There was a photographer on hand to record every moment of our time at the school. Apparently, we will be featured in the school's advertising campaign for the coming year (having foreigners come to school is a big deal). Our time today was spent mingling with the children, and discussing their favorite subjects, hobbies, etc. After a while, we set up laptops, and spent some time teaching the kids. The children were very receptive to our teaching, and enjoyed spending time with computers very much.

Leaving school in the mid-afternoon, we caught a local bus, then transferred to rickshaws as we made our way across town. We rendezvoused with the other team at a restaurant, where we had (in my opinion) the best meal so far on this trip. The waiters brought out endless platters of Kabobs and Naan, which were a welcome change from the curry and rice we have grown so accustomed to. After lunch, we hiked up a hill to the White Temple, one of Hyderabad's most notable monuments. After removing our shoes and going through a security checkpoint, we climbed dozens of white marble stairs on our way to one of the most amazing views I have seen. The Temple is situated on top of Hyderabad's largest hill, and offers a sweeping 360 degree view of the city. The unending urban sprawl was beautiful in the light of the slowly setting sun. The Temple is an amazing work of art in itself; entirely composed of white marble, the designs on the walls were intricate and stunning. The whole place had a feel of tranquility to it. We spent a half hour lingering on the marble railings, gazing upon the city below us. We received a blessing from the priest before we left, and began our journey back to the hostel. Exhausted from another long day, we all collapsed gratefully into our bunks, looking forward to another day in India.