Eat your chickpeas

Not exactly Wheaties

Each day, I took breakfast with the kids. Every other day involves a bowl of chickpea soup. It’s actually fantastic and perfectly healthy.

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Adam’s in the kitchen with tongba

The best local hooch I've had

One of my last nights in Sikkim, I paid a visit to a neighbor family that serves up alcohol from time to time. I sat and sipped tongba (above), a local “cocktail” made from fermented millet.

The millet is served in a bamboo mug with a bamboo straw. You keep the whole thing warm by constantly topping off the drink with hot water.

My hosts were enthralled with the fact that I was enthralled with the whole affair. One of the best nights I had there.

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Sometimes he won’t shut up

Talkie, talkie, talkie

By now, some of you are familiar with Bhasha. He likes to talk. This is his face when he’s babbling at me.

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I’ll miss that dog

Asleep. As always.

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Mist shrouds the woods of Sikkim

Foggy days

Sikkim is a wet, misty place this time of year. Monsoon apparently struck early.

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Village markets, small economies

Waiting for dad to buy dinner

Wednesdays are market days in Bhuriakop. That means a few merchants set up shop in the misty valley and locals stock up as much as they can.

Usually there’s a vegetable vendor or two, a clothing man, a spice wallah and a few other sundries. Otherwise, shopping takes place in larger towns which are half an hour or more by jeep.

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Pillar of living salt

Little bastard

Sikkim is infamous for its small black leeches. I’ve been attacked by one and ripped one of a student’s clothing. I’ve also seen a large one removed from a dog’s nose. Horrific.

Above is all that remained after a teacher found and salted one.

I know it’s God’s creature, too, but I have yet to come to terms with the leech.

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Saturday night = momo time

Oh sweet Jesus

Every Saturday afternoon, the kids gather in the kitchen to crank out momos for dinner. It is a glorious sight, these traditional Tibetan wonders.

The students taught me how to properly fold a momo, to get that crescent shape and the bunched edge. I’m particularly bad at it, and they frequently laughed at the momos I made. More pictures below.

Mmmm....


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And on the seventh day, they showered

Styled by yours truly

Sunday is the one day of the week that all the boarding school kids are forced to bathe. The school is also scrubbed down. And usually, it means an afternoon of hairstyling. (And checking for lice. Yes, the kids have it. Pray I don’t.)

The kids have tried to do my short hair up all fancy, but it never works. But they sure are fun to mess with.

Above is Yogita, one of the more engaged first-years who is also a good sport whenever I play with her bowl-cut.

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Eat your greens

Kids help with the cooking

The kids frequently help with preparing dinner. I frequently take pictures of them as they help prepare dinner. It also gives me opportunities to tell small children to eat their vegetables. And then I get to lead by example. (This might surprise some people, but I’ve learned to love the vegetable over here.)

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