I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are excited as the Christmas season starts. I'm seeing a lot of Christmas decoration happening via Facebook, but I haven't seen too much holiday cheer in Kolkata.
It's been a long time since my last email home, but I'll try my best to recap the last few weeks. Aakash and I spent a few days in Chennai. In addition to vacationing, Aakash met with a mridangam (south Indian double barrel drum) player he knows from the US who was in town (short video here.) We stayed in a lovely hotel that included an incredible all you can eat south Indian breakfast. We hired a driver one day and drove to Mahabalipuram, a city on the coast about 60 km south of Chennai. This area is known for it's stone carved temples, and we enjoyed visiting a few right on the beach. We also visited Dakshina Chitra, which was basically a south Indian Williamsburg. They had models of old homes and occupations found in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala and we saw some artists, including a sari spinner, doing their thing.
Anyways, that's my update for now. This weekend Aakash is attending an all night classical Indian concert and his teacher's concert at a nearby auditorium. I'm going with a few friends to Sundarbans, a nearby mangrove forest/tiger preserve. Then, Aakash's mom arrives in Kolkata followed by my parents. It's hard to believe we've been living in India for over three months and it's already time for our folks to come visit! I hope you're staying warm wherever you are. (Indians have appropriately been busting out the wool scarves- it can get as cold as the mid-70's during the day!) Know that I miss you all and think of you often. Hope to catch up soon!