Monday, December 6, 2010

Shopping in Kathmandu

by Audrey and Evan Sayer

We had a nice time shopping in Nepal. We went there for Thanksgiving. We flew there on Spice Jet. We didn't fly over Mt. Everest, but we saw lots of tall mountains! When we got there the air smelled clean, but as soon as we got into the city the air smelled like petrol. We stayed in a hotel called, "Blue Horizon Hotel." Our Hotel room was average. The beds were comfortable and warm, but the carpet had pitch black iron-burn marks that were crispy and flaky. In our room there was a matchbox that had Tin Tin on the front.
We ate at the Northfield Cafe for dinner then walked back to our hotel and went to bed.
In the morning we had breakfast at the Pumpernickel Cafe. After breakfast we hired a taxi-cab to a temple or a site.
Then in the afternoon we went shopping. Audrey bought a Nepali hat with braids on the sides. Evan and Audrey both bought these mittens that can transform into fingerless gloves! They also found some socks or slippers or whatever they are. Our mom calls them "booties," but I call them slippers. They are handmade.
I also bought a traditional Nepali knife called a "Gorka Knife" as a souvenir. It has a bone handle and lots of decorations. Don't worry, it's not sharp! And last but not least, Evan bought an incense holder that can hold incense or a small candle.  There were lots of things to see and try on!
On the last day Audrey went in the markets to look for earrings, but didn't get any. That last night we ate at a restaurant called, "K-Too." It is named after the famous mountain. Audrey and Evan met a man from Florida and chatted away while watching English Soccer. We talked about movies, travelling and football. Then we all walked back to our hotel and went to bed.
In the morning we caught our plane and were swept away! (Back here to Delhi)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Camping in Hariyana

By Evan and Audrey Sayer

We took a two hour bus ride with Evan's Cub Scout Pack to a place called, "Camp Wild!" (The camp was not "wild" but we had fun.)  Our bus was a big orange one. We got chips and some juice on the bus. We talked and stared out the windows during the ride. When the pack got to the camp the Boy Scouts were also there. Someone helped us find our tents and cabins. Mom Dad and Audrey slept in a cabin because only the scouts were supposed to have the tents.
There was a ropes course that had a Tarzan rope, a rope bridge, a rock-climbing wall, a wooden balance beam and a tunnel. Evan was just about to get on the Tarzan rope when the pack had to go on a hike.
The hike was about one hour. It went up on a ridge. A couple of kids got hurt from some thorns. When we got back Evan did the Tarzan swing and the rock wall! The wall was kind of hard, but he made it to the top. It was 25 feet tall.
Later, one of the Webelos organized a game called "War," while we waited for dinner. It was sort of the Cub Scouts against the Boy Scouts. Everyone just sort of ran around. Audrey had the most popular team called "the Neutrals."
Then we had dinner. The food was pretty good. After that we had a bonfire. We sang songs, our Cub Master told jokes, the boys did skits (Evan's was about a dog that was in a bag.), and we roasted marshmallows on sticks.
Then it was time for bed. Unfortunately Evan was stuck in a tent. He was sad about it and the boys were loud. Dad came and moved him to the cabin. Then we all went to sleep.
In the morning we all brushed our teeth and went outside to play soccer with some of the other boys. Then Audrey and Evan went to sit with the Boy Scouts by their campfire until breakfast. We came and got mom and dad. Evan had three pancakes for breakfast which were pretty good. Audrey had one pancake and some apple slices.
After breakfast Audrey went off with Mom to do some real rock climbing and rappelling. Mom did it too. They both went up and came down a rock face that was probably 40 feet high!  
The pack had some skills tests. A skills test is when you do an obstacle course, or you get taught how to build a fire - we made one using only a single match! We also learned about first aid and how to use a compass. Then we learned how to play Kickball and Ultimate Frisbee which we will get belt loops for.
After that we we planted seven trees, washed our hands and had lunch. Evan had three grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches! Dad helped us pack up the sleeping bags and our gear and we headed home, back on our big orange bus.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Swimming Really Fast!

by HouseBoy

Audrey and Evan have been going to swim practice after school a couple of times a week this fall. They celebrated the end of the season on Wednesday (Nov 10) with their schoolmates and coaches. This special swim-practice included time trials, yummy snacks and plenty of cheering! The kids were all 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students.
Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun even though the weather is now getting a little chilly in Delhi for swimming...  Evan participated in the 50 meter freestyle and the 50 meter breast-stroke - always his favorite!
Evan was very proud when he easily won his heat for the breast stroke with a time of 1:05:07! He went on to place a very close second in his timed-heat for the 50 meter freestyle (53:45 seconds).
Audrey jumped in with both feet and competed in five of the six trials! 
She was very proud of easily winning the time trial for the 200 meter IM (this is a four stroke race - butterfly, back, breast and freestyle). Her time was 1:57:69, besting both the boys and girls in the group. Audrey obviously enjoys racing and having fun with her swimming buddies as well.
She went on to place in the timed-heats for the 50 meter breast, 50 and 100 meter freestyle, and the 25 meter butterfly.
Evan and Audrey are both becoming fast and very graceful swimmers!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Speaking French in India

By Audrey and Evan Sayer

We flew to Chennai on Indigo Air. We drove two hours to get to our hotel in Pondicherry. Pondicherry is a state south of Chennai. It is very tropical like Kerala. The hotel was called, "Hotel du Parc." When we got there we noticed it was cleaner than Delhi.  Some people still speak French there (but with an Indian accent). When we got our hotel we watched T.V. and went bed. In the morning we ate breakfast. Evan felt sick, so Mom gave him something called, "Pepto-Bismal." She also let me play on the hotel computer until I felt better. I played a game called "Moshi Monsters" on the Internet.
That day we went down along the beach to walk on the rocks by the Bay of Bengal. We took the "Heritage Walk" (Boring French Colonial walk thingie). We went in some shops and saw lots of old buildings. We went to a Ganesha Temple. He is the god of prosperity and the remover of obstacles. At the Temple there was a very big elephant. Her name was Lakshmi. When you put a coin in Lakshmi's trunk, she gives you a blessing and a pat on the head.  We also saw a colourful Catholic church, but we did not go in. The gates were locked.
We ate lunch at a Pizzeria. The pizza was made in a wood burning oven. Then we continued on our walk and went to more shops. We even bought some gifts for friends - and for ourselves! 
Evan chose an elephant key chain and Audrey chose a purple and green cow passport holder.  After that we went to the hotel to rest, we finally ate dinner at a place called, "Madame Shanti." On our way back to our hotel we met three people who were staying at our hotel.  We told them to go to "Madame Shant's" or the pizzeria.  Then we made it to our hotel in the dark and went to bed.
In the morning we packed up and went to the front desk to get a cab (taxi) to our next destination... a place called Mahabalipuram, in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Audrey's 10th Birthday!

by House Boy

Today Audrey turns ten years old! Dad says he can't believe it. Her celebration started early this morning with a special breakfast of pancakes and fresh fruit. Audrey opened a gift from her Grandma (new purple Crocs!) and a gift from Evan... an action figure of bad girl, "Aurra Sing" from Star Wars.

She chose a special outfit today for school and she received a call from Mom (who is working in Chennai this week). Mom sang "Happy Birthday" to Audrey over the speaker-phone and got all the details of the day so far.

In the evening after swim-coaching, Audrey and Dad made a special dinner - homemade pizza and tossed salad. There was Vanilla birthday cake from our favorite bakery in New Delhi, "Red Moon."

And, of course, more gifts... It was a great day!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Movies and TV in India

by Audrey Sayer

First I want to tell you about Indian movie theatres. They are basically the same as theatres in the US, except for a few interesting differences! 
You can buy a ticket for $1, $2, and $3 dollars.  If you go to a really fancy theatre it might cost $5! These have really big comfy seats and someone comes by to take your food order.  When you get your ticket you reserve your seat... just like when you are on an airplane. Every ticket has a row letter and a seat number on it! The seating is called "stadium seating" just like at home.
In the middle of a movie there is ALWAYS an intermission. They just stop the movie and turn on the lights. That's when we run to get some snacks or go to the bathroom. We all wish they did this at home.
You can get many kinds of snacks.  You can get Indian snacks and western snacks. They sell popcorn too, but sometimes they don't have butter. Just dry popcorn.
My favorite movie I have seen in Indian is, "Avatar." But we just saw a really funny one. Dad, Evan and I all liked it. (Mom was working) It was called, "Despicable Me." Our favorite Indian movie is "3 Idiots." We think Aamir Khan is funny!
In India TV is different too. Here are some of the reasons. It costs only about $7 a month here and $70 at home in Austin. Our TV is called "TataSky." We like to watch cartoon sometimes. The animation for Indian cartoon shows is sometimes pretty bad.
And the acting on regular shows is awful.  Dad says they act kind of like they do in US "soap operas." Everyone has wide eyes and open mouths when something happens. And they look that way for a
  r e a l l y  long time!
Our favorite Indian cartoon is called, "Chota Bheem." (Chota means, "little" in Hindi). It is about a little boy who is very strong and does good things for people.
Mom and Dad say we always have to read first, but we watch western shows here too sometimes. Evan likes "Kick Buttowski, and the cartoon "Mr Bean." We both watch "Phineas and Ferb" and "Ben 10." I sometimes watch "Aaron Stone," "Hannah Montana"  and the "Wizards of Waverly Place."  Dad downloads "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," from iTunes for us because we all like that! 
I hoped you like my explanations of movies and TV here in India!

Monday, September 6, 2010


We went to Mumbai last weekend for our Dad's birthday on Indigo Air. We got to the hotel in an A/C cab. We checked in and went up the super-duper fast elevator to the eleventh floor where our room was. We had a sea view room and a butler! He was pretty nice. Once all of the luggage was in the room and we had our "welcome drink," we took a boat to Elephanta Island.
That is where we saw the old Temple Caves. These are dedicated to the god, Shiva.
Boom!!! Bang!! Crack!!! A storm was starting. We had to walk up about 1,000 stairs (not really, but it felt like 1000) It was raining when we got to the caves.
We saw statues of Shiva and Ganesha, and thought we saw some bats! On the way back down we bought some "Kukare" - Audrey's favorite Indian snack. The boat was a little rocky on the way back, but nobody got sick.
When we got back to the hotel we had "high tea." This was actually like a big lunch with hot drinks and lots of desserts. Then Mom and Dad called for a baby sitter. The hotel brought Dad a birthday cake and champagne! When our babysitter came, Mom and Dad went to dinner. The sitter turned out to be pretty old, so she fell asleep before we had to go to bed. In the morning we went to the breakfast buffet and ate the yummy food!

After that we took a old non-A/C cab to go sight-seeing. Evan wanted to take one of these because it was an old Indian-Fiat "Premiere." They are pretty cool, old-fashioned taxis that you mostly only find in Mumbai. We saw a Temple and a famous old Mosque that looks like it is floating at high tide. It was a little boring since we have seen so many Temples in India. We went swimming in the Taj's pool in the afternoon.
After tea-time, we took a walk. A man took our picture in front of the Gateway of India. This is a memorial for King George V and Queen Mary. It was next to our hotel! There was a cool police armoured car outside by our hotel too! Then Mom and Dad walked with us to some shops nearby.
After that we took a horse-carriage ride around the city. When we got back to the hotel, our Mom and Dad went out to eat, so they got us a another babysitter. She was younger and watched TV with us. This one didn't fall asleep before she put us to bed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our New Apartment

Photos by Evan Sayer.

We thought we'd better show you some photos of our new apartment in Nizamuddin, New Delhi. It is a little bigger and nicer than our apartment in Noida. And the ceilings are a taller. We really like it here.
Here is our kitchen. You can see the new microwave and our new oven. We never had an oven before in India! The kitchen looks small, but it is bigger than our old one.
Our dining room and our living room make up one big place. This is where we spend most of our time when it is really hot because it has a big A/C. There is enough room for two couches, two chairs and our TV. We have a balcony and French doors that look out onto our street.
Our room has its own bathroom and our bunk beds. Dad let us keep our keyboard in here too. We have our own door to the utility balcony. That's where Dad does the laundry.
Mom and Dad's room is the same size as ours. They have their own bathroom and a big window that looks out onto our neighborhood park. Our bedrooms have big closets too!
The last room is made into an office. Mom uses that at night when she is on her calls. It has a desk, our shoe bench and the ironing board in it. Savita, our housekeeper uses that mostly. There's a little bathroom and a little balcony too!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


We went to Goa for a long weekend. We flew there on "Spice Jet."  It was very fun, but it was the rainy season there so we thought it would rain every day. But it did not! We were very lucky.
A cab driver named, "Raj" picked us up at the airport.  He had a Maruti "DZire," it was just like our car in Delhi! Then we went sight-seeing in old Goa for three hours that first day. We saw two very famous churches. They were the Cathedral of St Francis of Assisi (1660) and the Cathedral Bom Jesus (1590). This second church is where St Francis Xavier's body is kept. He is a famous Portuguese Saint.
We also visited a small church that was built in 1510. It is called St Catherine's. It is exactly 500 years old this year!
Then we drove two hours to our hotel in South Goa. It was in the town of Palolem and is called, "Oceanic." Evan was afraid the room might be moldy because of all the rain, but it wasn't. It was very nice. They have 2 cats a dog, a swimming pool and A/C! We had dinner and went to sleep.
The next day we went to the beach. We could walk there from our hotel.
We played in the sand and tried to go swimming, but the life guards would only let us swim when the tide was going out because the water was very rough. We jumped in the waves with Mom and Dad.
We found lots of shells and baby clams in the sand. One day we took a hike down the beach and found some rocks in a cliff that looked like a face. We climbed up them to get a closer look.
Mom found a really cool restaurant called, "Cheeky Chapati." It was our favourite. We ate there almost every day because the food was very good. They made yummy western and Indian food. The restaurant was run by an English family who have lived in Goa for six years!
On Tuesday we left for Delhi in the pouring rain. Raj, our driver from the first day drove us back to the airport. We found out what "Monsoon" really means because it rained a lot that last morning! We flew back to Delhi a different airline called, "IndiGo".
Even though it rained a bit, we still got to swim and play on the beach. Our trip to Goa was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Last Tour

Evan wanted to give you a tour of our ATS apartment before we move from Noida to New Delhi... so here we go!

Our apartment is quite big. Here are some pictures I took with Dad's camera:

Our living room has a sofa and some chairs and our television. This is the room we watch movies in. That door leads to our balcony. We can watch everybody from the balcony.

This is the dining room. This is the room we eat in. It's right next to the living room.

My room. This is the room Audrey and I sleep in. Audrey has the top bunk. We play a lot of games in here. Audrey and I like to play with our friends in here.

The bathrooms. We have three of them. These are the rooms we wash our hands in. We wash our hands a lot here in India!

This is my Mom and Dad's room. It is a little bigger. Thought the door is a small balcony. We hang our clothes out to dry on the balcony.

The Guest Room.  This is were people have slept when they came to visit. Mom works at night in this room when she is on her calls to the U.S.

And last but not least, our kitchen. Our cook, or my Dad usually make dinner. We don't have a regular oven, but we can cook on the stove and in our microwave. Dad says we will have an oven when we move into our new apartment in Delhi.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. We have lived in this apartment since January, 2009!

Evan Sayer   July, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Traveling the US - Summer 2010!

We went to the USA for six weeks and this is what we did...
First we flew from India to Atlanta, Georgia. Our Grandpa picked us up from the airport and we drove to Blairsville, GA. It's in the mountains. We stayed there for ten days.

While we were with our Grandpa and Nana we got to eat really good food, explore the woods with Georgia the dog and listen to some live "bluegrass" music. We even got to go hiking with our Aunt Melanie and cousin, Sarina!

While we were there we visited our great Aunt Jane in North Carolina. Aunt Sue and Uncle Bob lets us feed the chickens and collect eggs, we learned how to ride the four wheeler, shoot a rifle and play on the Wii!  It was a very fun three days!

Then our Dad found out someone knocked down our backyard fence in Austin, so we had to drive to Texas...

On our way to Texas we stopped at some famous Native American mounds in Alabama at a place called, "Moundsville."  The mounds are 1,000 years old.  They are sort of like pyramids.
In Austin we stayed in our house on Avenue C for four days. Evan and Audrey both had play-dates and we had a party with some of our friends.
Then we had a long drive from Austin to Buffalo to see our Grandma and our JaJa.  That part of our trip was 1,700 miles long!  First we stopped in Shreveport, Louisanna to see our Aunt Faye. We stayed for one night. She fed us some BBQ!  Then we drove through Arkansas, Missouri and then into Illinois. We stayed at a motel in Marion, Illinois.  The last day was really long. We drove on across Indiana, through Ohio and finally went across a little corner of Pennsylvania to Grandma's house in Buffalo, NY.  Nine states in all!

We had lots of fun at Grandma's house.

We went fishing with our JaJa and took a trip to Niagara Falls. At the falls we got to walk BEHIND where the water falls! 

Evan's favorite fact about Niagara Falls: "you can fill one million bathtubs every minute with the water that goes over the falls...."  Before we had to start home we also had had fun at a baby shower for our Aunt Heidi and Uncle Sujal.  All of the ladies wore big hats and drank tea.
After visiting Grandma's we drove back to Georgia.

We stayed a few more days with our Grandpa and Nana there in Blairsville. Dad says our summer "road trip" was over 4,000 miles long!
We are excited to be back in India this time because we are going to a new school - the American Embassy School AND we will be moving to an apartment in New Delhi soon!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Water in India

by Evan Sayer

There are three different kinds of water in India.  The kind that we should drink is in the bottled water that comes in a huge bottle (25 litres).

It is 100% pure water from "Aquafina."  There is also the water from the kitchen RO filter.  R.O. stands for, "reverse osmosis."

We use this water for cooking and for things that need boiled water like vegetables and tea.  And then there is the tap water which you should never drink! 

It sometimes smells like rotten eggs. We use the tap water for washing our hands, doing dishes, laundry and taking a shower.
When you take a shower, if you want hot water you need to turn on the "Geyser" (pronounced "geezer").

It takes 20 minutes for the water to heat up in this.  You have to remember to turn it off BEFORE you get in the shower because the geyser is electric!
And of course, last but not least, there is the ice in the freezer. We use the bottled water to make our ice cubes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Adventures in Malaysia Part 2

After a few days in Kuala Lumpur, we took a "VIP" bus to the Cameron Highlands. This is 2000 metres high in the mountains, so it cooler and very pretty there.
We got to go on a sight-seeing tour. We saw a rose farm (the roses were beautiful).
Then we saw a strawberry farm. They had a bakery there so we had strawberry tarts!  Then we went to a tea plantation and factory. We got to see the tea bushes. (They turn into trees if you don't cut off the leaves!)  This was our Grandma's first time to see a Tea Plantation, so we took a tour of the Boh Tea factory. Then we had a cup of tea in the cafe.  We had a great view!
Last but not least we saw a butterfly farm.

They had some really strange insects. Evan and Audrey got to hold some! The butterfly farm was the best.
Before we flew back to India we stayed for one more night in KL. 
That last day we went to a bird park. They say it is the worlds largest. We saw many birds we had never seen before.

 A red ibis, and a "victorian-crowned pidgeon." That one looks like a giant pidgeon with a very fancy hat!
Then we went a saw a bird show.  The first bird unicycled across a tightrope, the a lady came out and said, "Welcome to our Bird Show!"

Some birds were in bicycle races and also slid down a slide! But the best part was when Audrey got to feed a hawk. She held a stick up in the air with some meat on it. Then the bird swooped down and grabbed the meat right off of the stick!
We went back to our hotel for one last night. That was a good last day and a fun trip!