Life in Northland

We walked out of our tiny (y’all…tiny!) apartment the first morning in Northland and took a deep breath. The air was clean and crisp. Our little neighborhood was peaceful and quiet. The view was breathtaking.

Outside apt

Most of this last month has felt like day after day of taking deep breaths. Don’t get me wrong, India is chaotic on the best of days. But something about living in a smaller city has slowed down our pace of life and given us room to rest and breathe a little easier.

A map of the neighborhood we live in
A map of the neighborhood we live in

So what does life look like here in Northland?

Every week we spend roughly 15 hours in a classroom with a personal teacher. By the end of the week we feel full to the brim of new words and grammar!

If we’re not in class, we’re probably studying Hindi. The school follows the curriculum of the book we affectionally call “The Green Book”. There are 30 lessons in this book that, upon completion, should get you to a conversation fluency in Hindi. It’s full of grammar points, reading practice and suggestions for oral conversation. Right now we can really just talk about where something is, what color it is and tell you our names. Every week we’ve seen our vocabulary and understanding increasing exponentially!

Green Book

In between classes or studying we’re either doing normal life stuff  – grocery shopping, cooking, paying bills, doing laundry, cleaning the apartment – or keeping in touch with all of you! A store opened up near our house about two weeks after we got here called Big Bazaar that carries everything we normally need for a week. It’s a treat to have a store so close where I can get everything. We still make trips to the local bazaar, though, because the produce is cheaper and it’s such a fun experience! I [Emily] cook all our meals on a two burner, gas stove top. I’ve had to get creative, but I’m enjoying coming up with fun things for us to eat even with such limited resources! A favorite as of late was chicken taco soup completely made from scratch! Luckily my least favorite chore, cleaning our house, is super easy right now because it’s so small!

This day was a VERY good day!
This day was a VERY good day!
Some school girls waiting for a bus at a bus stand near our home
Some school girls waiting for a bus at a bus stand near our home
A vicram is a popular and cheaper alternative to riding an auto here. It's made for six people, but you better believe more than six Indian can manage to fit inside at a time!
A Vikram is a popular and cheaper alternative to riding an auto here. It’s made for six people, but you better believe more than six Indian can manage to fit inside at a time!

Here are some pictures from one afternoon out at the local bazaar:

This man is dying a scarf to match other pieces of an outfit. He would put small amount of powdered dye into the hot water to darken the color. He would then "blanch" the scarf to cool it off, dry it over the flame and check to see if the color matched.
This man is dying a scarf to match other pieces of an outfit. He would put small amounts of powdered dye into the hot water to darken the color. After swirling the scarf around, he would take it out and  “blanch” the scarf to cool it off, dry it over the flame and check to see if the color matched.
I don't normally buy my veggies from this guy, but I couldn't resist taking his picture with all his nicely arranged subjee (Hindi word for vegetable).
I don’t normally buy my veggies from this guy, but I couldn’t resist taking his picture with all his nicely arranged subjee (Hindi word for vegetable).
We bought these momos on a whim and have already returned again for more! These momos are by far some of our favorite food we've eaten in India thus far!
We bought these momos on a whim and have already returned again for more! These momos are by far some of our favorite food we’ve eaten in India thus far!
A close up because they were that good!
A close up because they were that good!

On the weekends we take a “Hindi break” and explore our city together. One of our favorite adventures so far was a day trip to neighboring city that’s more situated up in the mountains. We were invited by some fellow Westerns in our city to tag along for the day, and we quickly took them up on their offer! The city was beautiful, full of fun things to do and yummy food to eat! It was definitely good for our hearts to hang out with like minded people who understood all of our American jokes! 🙂 One of our friends from Waco was even in town that weekend to study Hindi. It was a treat for us to get some time with her!

The foothills of the Himalayas (You know you want to come visit!!)
The foothills of the Himalayas
(You know you want to come visit!!)
We finally saw some monkeys!
We finally saw some monkeys!
Rush
Friends who travel windy roads into the mountains stick together!
This town had a very interesting ferris wheel...
This town had a very interesting ferris wheel…
...that was man powered.
…that was man powered.

Even though the decision to change cities was made quickly, we really do feel peaceful about moving up north. All the twists and turns of our journey here, no matter who unexpected, are a part of an incredible story being written for us. It’s felt as crazy as that ferris wheel ride did…but at least we trust the one who’s spinning us around!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. jennypang says:

    You guys are incredible. Loooove reading your update! Praying for grace in language learning, a wonderful new landlord and the happiest anniversary you’ve had thus far! Sending love from Wacolandia!

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