Day 3 in Lahore. I slept very little last night. The power went out a lot and my body clock is still set in Memphis. I felt tired, but just couldn't settle down so I did some work. I finally fell asleep about 5:30 am and Don called me at 7 am (Skype) to make sure I was up. The shower was shooting water out of the top, so a cup bath was in order. The rest of the day ended up being pretty full. I wore one of my new Pakistani outfits (which are much cooler and much looser). The clothes take a bit of getting used to, but I love the colors and patterns. Its made me realize I dress pretty much in black most of the time (I'll try to post pics tomorrow.) I had breakfast at the guest house (Pakistani omelete, fruit, tea, toast) and then Maryam Hasan and I went to the Beaconhouse School where I will be teaching-TNS.
The school, like most others in Pakistan has a high wall and security guards. Once you walk through security you come into a courtyard full of potted plants. It is so hot I am amazed that certain plants make it-particularly the philadendron, but they thrive. The school is modeled on the Reggio Emilia concept with an Atelier (art room) in the center.
I was able to see old friends and people I had met the last time-Saira, Naazish Nadia and of course, Salima Hashmi. Maryam made her presentation in our air conditioned room to the students and I basically tagged along for the ride so I could meet them. There are 20 in the class and it looks like a good group. After Maryam's presentation I briefly introduced myself and asked the students to fill out surveys so I could get to know them a bit.
At lunch time we ate in the school cafeteria-a vegetarian main dish with curry sauce, basmati rice, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and naan. The cafeteria seems small compared to our school cafeterias but they only have 180 children (When you are use to 900-1100, it does seem small, but I sure like the concept of small). The food is all fresh and prepared immediately before serving, so it was quite good. After that we met briefly to discuss issues and then Naazish's driver took my Maryam Aslam's house.
Maryam is my friend, Sarah Ahmad's mother and she is my mentor/travel guide/friend in need and deed in Lahore. We stopped by the house and then went to look at Mughal jewelry. This is jewelry from around 1600-the early 1800s and is incredibly elaborate. We also saw some Indian jewelry and Maryam is very knowledgeable about all of it. Jewelry in Pakistan is seen as an investment and family's (who can afford it) start buying it early for their children. Gold is pretty high now, so although you can get some good deals-most things are still not inexpensive. There were the most fabulous sets with fabulous prices to go with them, but I loved looking!
Jewelry is brought out to you in a series of never ending boxes. As we left the store I noticed armed guards carrying very large shotguns sitting by the door inside and outside. Robbery is not taken lightly.
We stopped by a local market to buy shampoo and while we were there I found a go-out-to-dinner dress. This is a little more dressy than daily, but not nearly as elaborate as dresses worn to weddings (a huge social event where everyone is expected to dress up to the nine's). Everyone has been very nice and welcoming. After that, it was so hot we decided to call it a day and come back to the guest house to cool off.
When I got back-everything I thought I had so neatly left was rearranged to suit Abbas' plan . (Don, I promise I am not leaving a trail-but it's killing me!). I also noticed the shower head was gone and I don't have a shower! Maryam fussed at the workers but what can you do? I guess I will learn to innovate again. Tomorrow I will try to send more pics. Tonight I am having a hard time keeping my eyes open so a bit more reading of student surveys, then off to bed.