Sunday, October 31, 2010

the Adventure Comes to an End; ✈ Homeward Bound

We're on our way home; right now in the middle of layovers (two 9 hour layovers each, by the way!). We've had such issues on these flights home, including the airline not finding our tickets for quite a while- we said to ourselves that it must work out that way, just to get us in the end. But after about another day, we'll be home! Thank you to everyone who has followed this blog and who sent us messages throughout the trip. We love you!! 

There are a lot of things that happen abroad that we realize we won't see at home- the awkward stares, the lack of personal space at all times (which we've nicknamed 'nothing like hugging a stranger'), the laughing tuk-tuk drivers, the accents ("Ladyyyyyyy, you want cold drink, one dolllaaaaaa?).

I'll post pictures soon, so check back soon!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Last set of photos stolen from Jody

One day at a temple we got caught in a downpour!

Cells at S-21 Prison in Cambodia

S-21 Prison

Killing Fields

Hole in the ground for mass grave

War site in Vietnam

Killing trap used during Vietnam War

Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam and Cambodia have been some of my favorites throughout this trip. We've seen so many famous sites and learned a lot about the history. I've really liked seeing everything here.

Today is our last day of the trip. Tomorrow, we start flying home, although it will take a couple days. I'll be posting all my pictures online in the next couple weeks, so check back for those!

Monday, October 25, 2010

No Money, No Honey

Yep, that's the phrase that our awkward Vietnamese tour guide loves to use. Besides that though, our communication is comically limited. He also keeps calling Jody by the name of "Jary" so we've now nicknamed her as 'Jaaar.'

Ho Chi Minh City is awesome! Besides my obvious favorite of Delhi, I'd have to say this is my favorite city of the trip. It's modern and has lots of places to explore, the shopping is amazing (I don't even know what I've bought at this point), and there's so much history here.

Today, we went to a War Museum which was really amazing. The three of us got the opportunity to really check out photos from the Vietnam War and I learned a lot. I can't imagine what any war veteran has really gone through and seen. Yesterday, we went to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels and saw some war death devices and also got to go underground into the first level of the tunnels.

 Vietnam has been wonderful!!

Sara Andrea Jody - in the Cu Chi Tunnels

Yet another photo stolen from Jary's blog - The women in Ho Chi Minh dress in full pajama outfits!!!!

Tomorrow, we're taking a bus back to Cambodia. We'll have to go through customs again at the border, which is really interesting to do when you're not at an airport! They swindled us into not getting multiple entry visas, so we'll have to pay again to re-enter the country and waste another page with a 2nd visa in our passports. They win.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Winding up the flights

After a full day and three flights later, we are in Cambodia! I'm excited because I've been wanting to come here for about 10 years now. Tomorrow morning, we leave on a bus for Vietnam for a few days, and then we'll be back to Cambodia. We're with Jody now, so it's the 3 of us! Here's another pic from India:

Here are some of our plans for what we'll be seeing during the next 10 days in Southeast Asia!!!
Phnom Penh – Ho Chi Minh – Cu Chi Tunnels – Phnom Penh – Seim Reap – Angkor Temples:

 Ho Chi Minh City; wartime American Embassy, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Sai Gon Post Office, Saigon’s Chinatown aka Cho Lon, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Ben Thanh Market, Cu Chi Tunnels.

 Phnom penh; Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers, Silver Pagoda, Wat Phnom.

 Siem Reap; South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King, Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng Hill, temple of Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Sra Srong, Ta Keo, Thommanon, Chau Say Tevado.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"You're going to Shitwad?"

No! We went to a town named Chitwan and got to see the Chitwan National Park. We saw a lot of animals!! Highlights were: Sara getting bitten by a leech, Me eating a chilli.

Our tour guide at one point casually said, "If the rhinos get too close, we can hopefully find a tree to climb." Oh ok, didn't realize I even knew how scale a tree, but at this point we've scaled many a mountain, so why not, right? Anyway, we saw a lot of birds, rhinos, and elephants. One guide we met had a crack nail that was about 8 inches long, but he wouldn't tell me what it was for. I've convinced myself that he plays some unique instrument with it.

Leaving Nepal on Thursday, and then we have a full day of layovers until we arrive at our next destination on Friday. Apparently, there aren't a lot of flight options from Nepal to Cambodia, even though they're so close and it should be a short travel time! We'll be spending quality time in Duty Free and the book stores lol, we've come to know them well!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nepal is the only country without a rectangular flag

Nepal is cool! We've been going to a whole bunch of temples which are really beautiful. Of course, after a while they all start to look the same. But still, seeing temples is always a favorite sight-seeing objective for me! Kathmandu is both dirty and crowded yet grassy and beautiful, depending on where you go. There's a lot to look at and take in.

Today, after a billion and one people asked us if we wanted tour guides, one man in particular decided that 'no thank you' wasn't good enough and he followed us around trying to convince us. No matter how many times we said no, he still followed. I finally said, "Can you please leave us alone now?" To which he replied, "You are the two ugliest Americans I have ever seen in my country!!!"

We also saw a lot of dead animals today near some temples. Most of them were missing heads and had the blood all around them. It was pretty gross but interesting to see. Obviously, this happens at home every day too, just not in front of us! Pre-wrapped Foodtown meat seems totally different than blood-soaked sidewalks with hooves on the side.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More stolen pics from Jody!

This past Sunday, we went to the Taj Mahal. The security women were very concerned about the fold-up neck pillow I had in my bag. One finally said "Ma'am, make sure you don't use this inside." I looked at her and said 'Um, it's a pillow." She replied, "Yes, please don't use it inside." Um.... ok. Wasn't really planning on taking a nap at the Taj.

On Monday and Tuesday, Sara and I took a train to the city of Amritsar to see the Golden Temple. The highlight was driving about 35 kilometers away to the Pakistani/Indian border to watch the changing of the flags. It was so cool!!  We could see Pakistan and the guards, and the guards on our side did a whole ceremony.

Here are some more pictures stolen from Jody to hold you over until I'm home:

Anj Jody Sara Alex - crammed into a rickshaw

Jody & Andrea at a tomb in Delhi

Andrea Jody Sara - at Taj Mahal

Monday, October 4, 2010

i love smelly delhi.

Delhi has been great! Hanging out with everyone has been fun. We've all been enjoying dinners, rickshaw rides, and the Delhi Metro together. Shopping and bargaining has been a success. I'm buying a lot of scarves and materials! Most of the sales people laugh at me because I bargain so hard and then they give in and tell me I must be an experienced bargainer. Too good!

On Saturday, Sara and I went with Jody to see her placement at Mother Teresa's Home for the Dying and Destitute. I was excited to see it because Mother Teresa's started in India originally. Jody's been working there for a couple months and I can't even imagine how attached she must be to all the women there. The women who live there have been abandoned and it's not the easiest place to wrap your head around.

We also went to the movies this weekend to see the latest movie 'Anjaana Anjaani.' I really liked it! Here's a little clip from it. Enjoy!

Today, Sara and I went to a Mobile Creche to volunteer with the kiddies! They are so cute I can't stand it! There's a little boy I already want to steal, of course. Today, I spent time with some of the older girls and they laughed at the Bollywood songs that I know and sang along with them. We looked through newspapers and pointed out the Indian actors. They asked me to bring in nail polish and eyeliner for tomorrow to play with. Love the kids!

Jody just posted some pictures so I'm going to steal them and post some here for you all to see:

Sara and Vicky

Andrea - Jody - Sara         -         Foot Mendhi