Tea time with Subadra

Kaise ho?

The youngest of the students at school and (though I’m not supposed to admit it) probably the cutest. Meet Subadra, a giggly but quiet four-year-old.

She didn’t speak to me until four weeks in, when I helped her say the words egg, nest and nose during an afternoon of English homework. She loved to play peek-a-boo and and hide-and-seek, but she almost always would never speak.

I also tried to teach her the appropriate response to “Kaise ho?” or “How are you?” But she usually just ran away giggling. Unless I pinned her down and forced a “Mai tik hun” (“I am OK.”) out of her, one word at a time.

Absolutely darling.

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Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, go away.

Everything is wet

While much of India is scorchingly dry (and I’m not particularly looking forward to returning to that), Sikkim is cold and wet. Water puddles everywhere and even when it’s not raining, things never really dry.

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Madagascar’s rare, unheralded flora

Last fall, I was in Madagascar and toured a forest preserve that protects a rare tree, call the sohisika. Above is an unpublished photo gallery form the trip, with botanists from the Missouri Botanical Garden, which runs the preserve.

(I know this is a flashback to the fall, but better late than never.)

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Carve me a sword

Master carver

Lopen, the school’s resident monk and artisan, carves swords for a cultural performance. From an old bed plank, I believe.

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