My 19th Birthday was Amazing! It lived up to all my expectations and they are high. Thank you to everybody for my Birthday wishes and gifts especially Sean and Cait who made it so perfect.
I was woken at 8am by Sean tapping on my window. He couldn't get into the room because Cait had locked the door to stop it banging in the wind as a fierce electric storm had played with our house all night. It was very beautiful but it did mean I hadn't slept so well. However all this was forgotten when I heard the tapping and saw the sun streaming through my window, the beginning of a wonderful day.
I quickly got dressed than ran down to Kanchan's house where she dressed me in my Sari. This is a very complicated business and took almost an hour with the help of various Aunts and a few comments from inquisitive neighbors. You can see the result for yourself on the photos that I'm currently uploading on a very slow computer so we'll see if it actually works.
When I arrived back at the house for Breakfast it had been beautifully decorated with Balloons and a big "Happy 19th Birthday" banner. Breakfast had been all laid out and Sean even managed to pick some flowers without, we think, being noticed by the land lady. I was so happy! I had porridge with fruit and chocolate and sparkling grape juice polished off with chocolate cake. I had to stop then because Sari's really don't give you much room for your tummy to expand.
At 10am we got a Taxi to Norbulingka, a Tibetan place set up to keep the Tibetan crafts and way of life alive. There are 5 workshops all specializing in different skills e.g Thangka paintings and carving. They also have a Tibetan doll Museum. It's an incredibly beautiful and peaceful place. I had a lot of comments about my Sari. One Lady said she thought I carried it wonderfully and her husband had thought I was doll (I'd been sitting very still outside the doll museum waiting for the others) so had got quite a freight when I stood up. It's very nice to get such kind comments especially as I was wearing their dress. The funny thing is that because of my white skin they think I'm incredibly beautiful and feel honoured that I choose to wear their dress. I always think they look much better in it but I suppose that's the case all over the world. Why can't people be happy with what they're given? I'm going to buy Tibetan dress next which is also stunning in a less flamboyant way.
We met Nyimatashi, Sering, Bodi, Rachael and the 2 children she home schools 3 mornings a week, Imogen & Oscar for Lunch. We sat in the Japanese garden and ate Chowmein. Imogen and Oscar are super sweet and soon we were having hopping skipping and jumping races round the garden. I seemed to lose all of them but I suppose Sari's aren't really made for that kind of thing. Rachael treated us to lunch which was really nice of her.
In the afternoon we went for a picnic with the kids. Because party food was being providedabout 40 kids between the ages of 3 & 13 arrived and we all trekked along a river bed, through poo and mud up a steep hill through the jungle and onto a playing field. It was quite an adventure especially for the young children. My Sari took quite a bashing but we all looked out for each other and the children helped me about as often as I helped them. It was a lovely day and we had a glorious view from the top and lots of very good food. Because it was my Birthday all the children shaked my hand and said happy birthday and I always had at least 3 girls clinging on to me. They LOVE having their picture taken. I've chosen a select few for my blog.
In the evening we had supper and Bridget gave me a lovely hand made card and Sering baked a scrumptious Chocolate cake! mmmm.
After we'd stuffed ourselves we went down to see Elise and Raja and more cake! We sat there chatting to them and laughing a lot. We told them about our national animal of Scotland the Haggis and had many minutes of hilarity while they googled haggis hunting. There are some lovely photos on the internet of wild haggis. Nimatachi also came down with his 2 Tibetan friends from Delhi and did some dancing for us. He's a very good robotic dancer. He also gave me a necklace as a birthday present which was sweet. We finally left once my Birthday had passed just after midnight. I had a wonderful night ending a wonderful day.
Over the last few days we've also bonded as a group more. Well I feel a lot more positive anyway but then I love Birthdays and the other two made such an effort to make it nice for me I felt very special and thankful.
On the weekend we're hoping to head to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple. Today we're off because it's the Indian Festival of Deshera (well that's how it's pronounced anyway) tonight big 40 foot effigies are burnt in the town so that should be exciting!
I am starting to thoroughly enjoy myself and I am very much looking forward to the rest of this trip as well as whatmy 19th year has in store for me. We'll see. xXx