Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The food was also very different over there. They had a McDonald's and KFC, but instead of beef they use lamb. Needless to say...we did not eat at either of the two places. We ate out only three times in the city. In India, they put cury in everything. This is a different tasting Indian spice. We had a meal pre-ordered for us and everything was with cury. The other two restaurants were continental so they were pretty much compatible with our tastes. The other meals we received were either prepared by the hotel or the host families. The food, surprisingly, did not bother me as much as I thought it would since I am a very picky eater. I really liked most of the things I tried. Overall, this was an amazing experience. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to travel across the world. I definitely would recommend if any student has the chance to go to take it because it is a once in a lifetime experience. If this trip would not have been school related, I probably would never have gone to India in my life, but I learned so many things and have memories that will last forever!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
While visiting Mumbai I learned a great deal about other people’s cultures, different technology and different ways of thinking. One of the things I enjoyed the most was living with my host family. I was able to realize that halfway around the world teenagers are not so different after all. They dress the same, socialize in the same ways, hangout with friends and listen to the same music just as we would in America. It was really interesting to see how they live and interact as a family as well. They have live in servants, chefs and drivers. I only saw Ishan’s Mom one time while we were visiting; the servants do everything for their families. This was very different than my family. The food that we ate while visiting was very different than what I was used to. Over there many people are vegetarian therefore many of the restaurants would have vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. At first I will admit I was not that big of a fan of their meals but as the days passed it seemed to grow on me, although I was glad to be home and have some mashed potatoes and red meat.
The conference was one of the high points of the trip. When the conference began I was thinking to myself “wow three days of work this is not going to be much fun”, I was definitely mistaken. It was so cool to meet so many new people from numerous parts of the world. Many people I met shared the same interests as I did, it was really interesting to share favorite songs with them, and they even liked techno. At the conference we split into groups. My group was Hikaru, Jane, and myself. The idea was that each group would come up with various ways to help other people. Our idea was to show how technology could be implemented in the classroom and the advantages it could have if everyone was able to have a laptop. Unfortunately our idea was not selected as one of the top three.
When the conference was over I was excited and sad all at the same time. I had gained so much from this trip and have such wonderful memories. Although it was lots of fun I was happy to be going home to see my family and friends and start my normal life over again.
Thank you Mrs. Betty and Mrs. Vicki for taking me on this trip, it changed my life!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
The India trip is something I will never forget! The different lifestyles that I was exposed to and the great people I met changed how I view the world. The second I arrived in India, the hospitality was amazing and everybody had a smile on their face. It hit me, when we were touring the less fortunate areas of Mumbai, that my little problems are nothing compared to the starvation and the lack of hope of these people. The food over in India was very different from that back in the U.S. Since I always like to try new things, it was a new experience for me. Some of the food was actually good. The places we toured were very amazing from the architecture all the way to the exotic flowers everywhere. When it was time to attend the conference, my thoughts about it were mixed. I got there thinking it was going to be nothing but work, however it turned out to be the funnest part of the trip. The different people I met were amazing! I worked with other people from countries such as the UK, China, Korea, India, and various parts of the U.S. They were all very nice. Everybody had a different point of view on things which was interesting to hear about. The video that my group created made me really think about the aspect of students becoming the teachers in the classroom. The Flatclassroom conference taught me that students could come up with solutions to help improve education. All in all, I came home with a new view on life and an ambition to do something to help the less fortunate people back over in India.
Monday, March 1, 2010
We had lots of fun sightseeing.
On Monday we went to an Islamic Mosque, where Muslims go to pray and
worship, although a few people in our group were not allowed in the mosque
because they were wearing shorts, the Islamic faith has a very strict
dress code and if tourists are not dressed properly they are not allowed in to
see the mosque. The mosque is a very old building that was built hundreds of
years ago on a jetty that juts out into the Arabian Sea.
After that we went to a Jain Temple. The Jains are a group of Hindus that
are unlike most Indian Hindus today. The Jains never beg for money (They
feel that their gods will provide for them in their own ways), and the
Jains that have money give most of it to provide for the temple, they only buy what they need, not what they want. The temple was very beautiful, with many
statues of gods and elephants.
Then we went to Gandhi's house where he lived when he traveled to Mumbai.
The house is now a museum that has many pictures and exhibits on Gandhi and the work that he did while he was in India.
After Gandhi's house we traveled all the way back through the city to Juhu
Beach, Mumbai's biggest and most visited beach. We had an authentic Indian
meal of chicken masala, dal, and naan bread, and the best chocolate ice
cream i have ever tasted for dessert.
And finally we traveled back to the hotel. We were all so tired we all
went straight to bed and slept for about 10 hours!
But that was only the first day!
On Tuesday we took a ferry across Mumbai bay to Elephanta Island. This was
my favorite place so far! They ancient temple was very beautiful. The
temple was cut right out of the stone cliffs in the center of the island. Shiva
was the Hindu god that was worshiped in this temple, there are many murals,
rock cuttings,and statues depicting Shiva and some other gods as well. On this
island, monkeys can roam free almost everywhere. I have never seen so many
monkeys in one place in my entire life!
When we got back from Elephanta Island we shopped for the rest of the
afternoon. and returned to the hotel even more tired than we were on
Wednesday was the first day of the conference. But today was also the day that i got sick! I think i got because i took my doxycycline on an empty stomach! i missed the tour of Mumbai with the other students, but kaycie said i didnt miss anything, except another chance to shop. That night we stayed with our host families, Ishan was our host student, he is pretty cool. He lives with his mom and their two servants. Their house is pent house on the first floor with a big terrace veranda and a view of the sea. that night i slept like a dead baby because my medicine that i was taking made me so tired!
On Thursday, i met my teammates in my group for the Flat Classroom project. Beatrice was from Korea Intl. School, Jeongmin was from Beijing (BISS), and Arjun from ASB. We had 3 virtual participants, Riki from Japan, Nancy from Madrid, and some girl from Germany. Our project was IMPACT, Inspirational Museum Promoting Arts by Children through Technology. I think we had the best idea, and the most votes for our pitch.
Friday was just another work day, we worked on our project all day and gave our pitch and moved on to the next round with Like-Write and AHA! teams.
Saturday was the bad day. we advanced to the next round and the finals and had to create a video about our project. we worked really hard until about 1:30 when all of a sudden... ALL of our work was gone!!! we dont know how it happened but it did so we were pretty mad! so we had to work really hard and almost didnt make the deadline! Our video wasnt as good as we wanted it to be but Beatrice is working on a revised version of it so maybe we can get more votes and possibly win and get our project made into a reality!!! maybe...
That night was the night we left for home. Our flight left at about 12:00 midnight from Mumbai and then we took a 15 hour plane ride back to Newark and then we returned home! the first thing i did when i got back to Camilla was go to McDonald's and get Big Mac!!! it was SOOOOO good. then i went home , took a shower, and then slept for about 12 hours!!
This trip to India was a once-in-a-lifetime trip and i enjoyed it very much! I learned alot about technology and education. Next year i plan to go to Beijing for the next conference! i hope to see all my new friends there next year!!
Thank you mrs. vicki and mrs. betty for taking me on this trip!!! I LOVED IT!!
Our trip to India was very interesting. The flight over was around seventeen hours long, total. When we got to India, we were taken to a hotel where I realized just how large of a contrast there is between the living standards of the rich and the living standards of the poor. Here we were staying in a beautiful and luxurious, and right outside we could see the small dank houses of the impoverished. A drastic distinction between the wealthy and the poor was apparent. While I was in India, I learned how to bargain, I learned about the Hindu religion, and I learned much about the Indian culture. The traffic was outrageous and helped me to appreciate our traffic system and the value of patience much more. The cuisine was quite peculiar. In some places, it was entirely vegetarian. In other places, it was not vegetarian. In some places it did not seem vegetarian, but in actuality, the meat was stuffed with vegetables. We saw many interesting land marks, such as The Gateway to India, Elephanta Island, and an Islam mosque. The Islam mosque was very interesting because of its rules and regulations. I was not allowed to wear my shoes into it. Tayler and Ethan had to wait outside of it because in order to get in, you have to wear pants. They had on shorts. An interesting side note to me was that all of the citizens and tour guides claimed that there was little risk of danger in Mumbaii because all of the inhabitants were happy. Yet there seemed to be max security everywhere I went. Perhaps this security was just a formality to put the minds of the paranoid at ease. My host family was very hospitable and I really enjoyed their company. They had two live-in servants and a driver. This was very interesting for me, because I’ve never been anywhere that had a live-in servant before. We stayed with an ASB student named Ishan and his mother. He was a very generous host and taught us much about the Indian culture. We accomplished much during the flatclassroom conference. We prepared a presentation in about two days. My group’s project was about worldwide collaboration of literature. We did a short skit about how worldwide collaboration on a literature project can help to expand a student’s mind after hearing an opinion from another culture. Then we did another project which became one big presentation. My part of the presentation was to participate in a skit that represented the difference between a traditional narrow-minded teacher and a more tech-savvy teacher that uses Web 2.0 tools to teach students. Needless to say, the tech-savvy teacher has more of an impact on his or her students. We also attended a meeting in which we learned about new technology and methods of teaching. It was all very interesting and productive. I hope that more students will get the chance to experience what I have experienced this past week. This project is certainly an effective way to enlighten students and make the world more "flat."
Friday, February 26, 2010
Find more photos like this on Flat Classroom Conference
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Hello, I am in India at the moment learning all about these exotic things and I'm going to tell you about a few. Well, it all started right off the bat when we got into the car. I was put into a whole another world of chaos on the roads. Surprisingly the people don't have wrecks even though they have no restrictions. They mainly drive by the rule of I won't hit you if you wont hit me .
The Indian cuisine is very exotic in that it is different from the regular type of food we are used to eating. We ate a traditional Indian meal our second night in India, which consisted of boiled lemon chicken, flat bread, and spicy marinated chicken.
We woke up the next day and got to see the Gate Way to India which is a gorgeous monument next to the Taj Hotel. We rode on the local ferry for an hour before getting to the Island Elephanta. The island is solely tourist based and gets water from the top of mountain from the rain. We got to bargain with the natives for items for loved ones and got to see Sheba's temple with all the stone engravings .
We visited the house of Ghandi's cousin where Ghandi lived for at least 5 years. We have done so many things in India and we have gained a different prospective of life outside of America .
We started out by touring on Monday and Tuesday. We had our own personal guide that took us to the temples in the city as well as Elefanta Island and the Gateway of India. These were each very interesting. The temples were all different depending on the religion. Some you could not have your shoes on and the boys couldn't go in because they had on shorts. The Gateway of India was a huge monument which we went around to get on a boat to Elefanta Island. Here we climbed 120 steps with hundreds of shops aligned on both sides along the way. Once we reached the top, we saw a memorial with Shiva and other gods in it, relating to the Hindu religion. There were also many monkeys that we got very close to. Throughout these journeys we have encountered a variety of Indian foods. Most of it has spices in it including cury. It's very different from what we are used to, even the sodas taste differently. We are only aloud to drink bottled water and sodas out of the can because the rest is considered unsafe. After meals the waiters bring to you a bowl of water to clean your hands and some Indian mints that look like herbs. It's a very interesting experience to try new cuisines from a different country.
The American School of Bombay took us on a tour of the city today (Wednesday) where we got to do some more shoppping and sight seeing. After that, we got to meet our host families. Mine and Jordan's is very nice and hospitable. Their names are Rebecca and Ben Sullivan and they have 2 daughter, Emma (4) and Rachael (7). They are originally from Australia and have been in India for a year. Their home is very nice and cozy. I particularly like it because we have internet! We were expecting not to have it but were very relieved to find out we did! Right now we are just relaxing in our room and giving ourselves time to breathe. The conference officially starts tomorrow and I am looking forward to what is to come! So far it has been an amazing experience!
Street in India
Entrance to the Islam Temple
Lambs on the street
Inside the Hindu Temple
Garden in India
Gandhi’s place of residence while in India
Restaurant overlooking Ju-Ju beach
Our tour guide chose our traditional Indian meal for us Monday night. We ate on the balcony of a hotel restaurant that overlooked Juhu Beach, a favorite night spot for families here. She chose all the foods - ground chicken with something mixed in and fried served with mint sauce (yummy), barbecued chicken in a tomato gravy, a lentil dish scooped up with grilled flatbread, balsatti rice - all served with bowls of pickled onions, beets, guava, and something else?????? These were all salty, and it did not take much to clear the sinuses. W had ice cream for dessert. ine was a mixture of ice cream with figs and toasted nuts. It was wonderful. This was followed by dishes of crystalized sugar with different types of spices that served as breath fresheners. I did not find one that I cared for and wished that I had stopped with the ice cream. They brought perfumed, warm cloths before the meal to wipe our hands and also finger bowls with sliced lemon after the main courses. This was a first for our students.
Interesting McDonalds tips - No beef is served in India so McDonalds serves mutton burghers, fish burghers and chicken nuggets. They are a great favorite with children here. We have also seen Baskin Robbins ice cream and KFC but no other American franchises.
A breakfast buffet comes with our rooms. You can get a traditional omlette, toast, sweet breads, and fruits, including guava, figs, and pomegrante seeds. There is cereal, but the milk is at room temperature. One table is filled with cheeses and thin sliced meats??? The hot bar has eggs mixed with different things, chicken sausage, fried potatoes, pancakes, and french toast. Joseph says it all tastes like it has spices in it. Even what is familiar tastes a little different.
Not to worry - we are getting plenty to eat.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Mrs. Jaishri's contact information is below: Jaishri Vashisht Joyful Journeys Pvt. Lts. firstname.lastname@example.org www.touringindia.org Phone 26183779, 66302812 New Delhi (She covers the whole country and does wonderful student exchange programs. She used to be a teacher. I would really like to come back and have her take me on a "tiger spotting tour," to the Ganges, to New Delhi, and to the Himalaya mountains.)
Monday, February 22, 2010
Outside view of The Trident Hotel
Cool statues in the lobby of the Trident
We are uploading all of our photos to our web album that you may see below. As we upload photos, they are all going here.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
We made it safely to Mumbai after a long 26 hours of traveling. We arrived at our hotel at midnight India time, but 2:00pm Camilla time. Our bodies are totally confused. First impressions are hordes of mosquitoes everywhere , tight security at airport and hotel, heat and humidity, smoky atmosphere, poverty, horrendous traffic, and and endless construction. We have been scanned for drugs, bombs, my titanium knee, Vicki's curling iron, and medication we were carrying. Of course, we were carrying nothing illegal. It is a bit unnerving to be at the mercy of people who do not know you, do not speak your language, and question all things American. There is no disguising where we are from, particularly when traveling with 7 students.
The Trident Hotel is first rate and brand new. We have yet to figure out all the buttons and how to work the lights. They checked our car from the airport for bombs before we could unload and then put us and our baggage through x-ray. Security is tight here and for the conference. That creates a paradox. I am glad the security is in place, but it also makes you think about why all the security is necessary.
The flight attendants on the plane commented on the excellent behavior of our students. I know they will make us proud as we go forward.
I hope the immersion project is going well at school. Ethan and Jordan are taking pictures of things in the hotel to upload for the 5th grade scavenger hunt. We will leave on our first tour in about an hour and hopefully will be able to post some pictures and video tonight when we get back.
Hi everyone - this is a letter from Mumbai - It is 2:35 pm your time but over here it is almost 1 am in the morning so I'm going to go to bed very soon.
This is such a different place! We made it through the airport - lots of long hallways and long lines here! We had to go through security to get out of the airport and have our bags xrayed. Then we got our money (45 rupees for one dollar - rupees are the money they have here.)
Then, we got out of the airport and had two groups of people waiting for us - the hotel AND the school hosting the conference - that was interesting. As we left the airport, the roads here are sort of scary - many are the size of 3-4 lane roads in the USA but have NO LINES ON THEM. Everyone just drives wherever they want and motorcycles zip in and out and people just cross the road where they want to as well! We complain about speed limits and our bumpy roads in the USA but I will never complain again!
When we got to the hotel we had to go through security AGAIN - they screened our bags and us and even our car by looking under the car to make sure no one was hiding in the car or underneath it to get into the trident. They called me back and I had to show them that the thing they were confused about in my bag was a CURLING IRON. So, we got into the hotel and everyone was hungry - but they couldn't eat because it was AFTER midnight although at home it was only around 1 pm and you all were eating Sunday lunch.
We got here and found out that they charge for the Internet and so some of us have the Internet but had to pay for it. We got in and then had to figure out the Internet and Mrs. Betty skyped with her family and we had to figure out the plugs -- they don't use the same plugs we use - but type D adapter. Did you know that the electricity is different every where you go?
We were on the plane for OVER 14 hours! I watched about 6 episodes of my favorite tv show Numb3rs (yes it has a 3 in it) and slept as much as I could (when the baby wasn't crying that was in the front row.)
Ok,so I've pretty much let you know about everything. Everything is different here - it smells different, looks different, everything is different! (If you go in their kind of toilet - it is just a hole in the floor!)
But we are excited about going and touring tomorrow! We will keep you posted and I'll share some film with you tomorrow! We're excited to be here and I hope that if you all work hard in school and learn a lot about technology and computers that maybe one day you can go on a trip like this!
Email me your questions or post them as comments here!
Friday, February 19, 2010
The reasons I am nervous is the LONG 16 hour flight! And the fact that if I drink the water I could potentially die! Just kidding. Thieves are pretty bad over there too, but we will be in the rich part of town so I really don’t have to worry about it. Mumbai has one of the largest slums in the world, which is where Slumdog Millionaire was filmed
I am REALLY excited aboout India! The post is posted the night before our plane flies out.I CANT WAIT!!!