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Monday, July 2nd.

We began the day with yoga! It started off with calming breathing exercises and then turned into headstands and crows and difficult things (but I did ok). We saw the Incredibles 1 at home and then went back to LuLu mall to see Incredibles 2 in Ernakulum (where Kim and Marco and Shruti, some of the core volunteers, joined us). Ended the night catching up with a friend, and excited for what tomorrow holds! (Also week-long Mafia has begun).

Tuesday, July 3rd.

Today we had a historical tour of Kochi! After a thali lunch, we traveled to a temple, synagogue, and church and learned about the history behind each of these places. The first mosque in India was built in 629 AM, and Kerala is a mecca for cultural diversity, with even Greek and Roman influence. Kerala is one of the more progressive states in India and has a very matriarchal society, and this is reflected in all of the sites we visited today. Ended the night having dinner at Sutra.

Wednesday, July 4th.

Fourth of July!! We began the day with eggy toast and cinnamon courtesy of Phoebe, planned for WIN sessions on home and money management, the rest of the group went to a cooking class (unfortunately I am back to being unwell), and then after dinner was our fourth of July party, complete with black forest cake, red white and blue balloons (I tied while Tessa blew them up), games, and American music throughout the day.

Thursday, July 5th.

Houseboat tour! We went back to Alleppey and relaxed on a houseboat (and played a lot of cards, Fishbowl, and had a small dance party). Afterwards was dinner back in Jewtown (the place with the gardens and statues with fantastic paneer) and then watching Borat. Tessa and Phoebe left for England late at night so we had a party to send them off, and then crashing at 4 am.

Friday, July 6th.

Today was quite relaxing—began at Kashi’s to do our weekly review with Paul, and then some of us went back to Idiom booksellers. After lunch with fancy Ancy some of us went to a curio shop near Kuppath, and then we left for Jewtown to go shopping for gifts. After our return was dinner at RainTree (a very fancy restaurant since Tibetan Cafe was closed), watching the Sound of Music, and resting from yesterday’s very late night.

Saturday, July 7th. / Sunday July 8th.

Today was spent primarily packing to leave and cleaning up base—we had an end-of-India reflection and left for the airport at midnight. Tomorrow we’ll be in Cape Town, South Africa, to finish out the remaining 2 weeks of our project! The focus of the new projects are public speaking and sports lessons to grade-school kids. Excited for a new experience! Monday we begin new project work.