Hi all! Sorry I've been so out of touch. My last entry was a week ago which is also the day I came down with a lovely case of gastro-intestinal-why-the-hell-did-I-come-to-India-itis. I spent a solid day in bed, but I was back up on my feet after about 36 hours. So far, I'm the only one who has been significantly sick...must be a White Girl Special.
Last Friday we took the train to Kanpur where we spent three days with my father-in-law's side of the family. In India, it's traditional that when a woman gets married, she leaves her family and goes to live with the husband's. Even though that tradition isn't strictly adhered to anymore, the first time a daughter-in-law comes to the husband's family's home is a cause for celebration. So, 14 years after my wedding, I was treated like a new bride with ceremonies, gifts, singing and dancing. While it was a bit overwhelming at first, the outpouring of affection was so kind and genuine that I was truly touched by it. Our visit brought together scores of family members who had made the trip from various parts of India to see us. I think it was the biggest gathering of family there since a funeral several years ago. I really enjoyed getting to know people and there were cousins for the kids to play with. All in all, despite the polluted air and the lack of wireless service, I wish we could've spent more time there.
We took the train back from Kanpur early Monday morning and spent the night back at our hotel in Agra. Tuesday morning we took a 6 hour drive to the neighboring state of Rajastan to visit the city of Jaipur. Last night we went to a touristy place called Chokhi Dhani which is basically a recreation of a Rajastani village where they have performers showing traditional dance and crafts. There were also animal rides, places for the kids to play, and puppet and magic shows. The kids had a total blast, even though it was probably the least authentic thing we've seen yet.
Today we're doing a day of sightseeing in Jaipur aka The Pink City and tomorrow we drive back to Agra, as the engagement party is Friay night. I'm hoping to have internet access for the next few days and to get the next batch of pictures uploaded. Maybe this time I'll even have the chance to add captions.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We miss everybody and can't wait to see you!