Sunday, October 18, 2009

Diwali Crackers!

These are not the kind you eat! In India fireworks are called "crackers." You light them on Diwali, so we bought some and lit them off with our friends. Diwali crackers are very loud. And they have smoke. Lots of smoke! Our Dad said we could only get small ones, so that's what we did. We had some that were small (chakkar - spinning fireworks) and some that were big (flower pots - shoot a shower of sparks in the air!) A lot of boys were lighting crackers and throwing them.One of our friends is only nine. Our Dad helped us with our crackers. One of the boys took dry leaves and lit them on fire with a cracker which made a big mess.
We were out in front of ATS and almost got blown up! It was like World War 2 out there. There were millions of fireworks. They were flying and spraying and crashing. Our Mom was a little scared. When we were coming back we had to watch out for fireworks coming down from the balconies. People were shooting bottle rockets and pistols that shoot out fireworks! IT was CRAZY. We were tired and it was hard to got to sleep because of all the noise, but we did. Our Mom stayed up until midnight. We had a lot of fun on Diwali.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Visiting Darjeeling!

We got to visit the town of Darjeeling. It is very famous for the tea they grow nearby. There is lots to do in this mountain town!
We went to several monasteries. Our favorites are the ones with the BIG prayer wheels... you spin the wheel to send the prayer up to heaven. Some of them are very colourful. There are monks in the monasteries. We got to talk with some of them. Some have been there for 30 years. One told Evan he was his age when he first became a Buddhist Monk. The boys (and sometimes girls) learn their lessons, chant and sing prayers every day. Evan likes Monasteries because they are very peaceful.
In Darjeeling there is a very famous toy train. The train was very nice, but it was slow and a little dirty. We got to ride it to the town of Ghoom. The sky is very Gloomy in Ghoom. We stopped at garden on the way called Batasia Loop. We had to go through many traffic jams! Then we went to the Train Museum in the Ghoom Train station. There was a model of the train and and tracks and pictures about the history of the toy train.
The funniest place we went to was Tiger hill. (It did not have tigers). We got up very early in the morning (3:30am - Ed.) and road a jeep up to the top of the hill. We had to wear jackets because it was cold. We stood in the dark and saw the sunrise. It was very crowded.We had some tea and got some Postcards in the shop there. This is where you see the best view of Mount Kanchenjunga!

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Friends in Kalimpong

We went on a trip to Darjeeling District. It is pretty far away in the Northeast corner of India in the Himalayan Mountains. We stayed at a hotel, Holumba Haven, that was very fun. This place had gardens and swings and a cage with rabbits and guinea pigs. They even had four dogs. A family owned the hotel and they had kids too! A boy and a girl named Robdin and Dwenka. We made friends with them in a short time.
There are two games we played. They are called "Police and Thieves" and "Water and Ice."
In Police and Thieves some kids are police and some are thieves. The police try and catch the thieves and put them in jail. Then they guard the door. In Ice and Water one person tries to tag the others. If they do they yell "Ice!" Another player has to come and say, "Water!" Then the frozen person can run again. The tagger has to catch all of the people to win the game.
We got to stay in a cabin called, "Magnolia" and we saw the third tallest mountain in the world right from our porch! Mount Kanchenjunga... It is 28,167 feet tall!