Full House…

…When we returned home from Jaipur on Sunday, one more volunteer had arrived. This week, there have been 13 people living in our home (including 9 volunteers). We are certainly cozy, to say the least. With nine people using one restroom in India, the line can get uncomfortably long. My host-mother hired a cook to prepare our breakfasts and dinners. However, his food is not nearly as delicious. The cook was let go today and we are excited that my host-mother has regained control of the kitchen.

–My room, where five of us are sleeping–

The celebratory atmosphere in the community has been building gradually for weeks now. This weekend is the big wedding everyone has been waiting for. Rumor has it that more than 2,000 people will be in attendance for the main event, which is Sunday night. The neighbors have covered their home in lights that illuminate the entire street and family members have been arriving from around the world, including the groom’s sister, who has ironically been living in Phoenix, Arizona for four years.

With my kurta pajama, scarf, and jooties ready to go from Jaipur, all I needed to complete my outfit was a formal turban. The female volunteers have had their sarees tailored and required only matching bangles and jewelry. My host-father took us shopping today in an extensive market about 8 km northwest of our home-stay to help us find the final touches. Just as I had envisioned, we drove up to a busy market with one store that sold and rented only turbans. I would never have found it alone. There are pictures of the turban, but you’re going to have to wait for the surprise on Sunday. Here are some scenes from the market:

I also went back to the barber for my second haircut today. It was far less comical and eventful than my previous one. However, they doubled the price on me to Rs 100 ($1.94)! Go figure. It was still underpriced.

–My host-father says they can still fit one more person on a bike (I can’t wait to see that)–

–Men staying warm in an empty store next to the barber shop–