After another great day of teaching, we ate our lunch and most of the girls boarded into vans to go shopping while the NMH students who remained played with the children and went to shoot pool at a local restaurant. After driving for about an hour, we girls finally arrived in downtown Dehradun at an air conditioned shop. We saw beautiful folds of cloth and jewels neatly stacked across each room. We spent a few hours trying on different sarees, but that was long enough to be impressed by the women who wear them. A saree is a long piece of cloth that Indian women wrap around their waists and throw over their shoulders to look like dresses. Unlike in the Unites States, the women in India have the cultural standard to wear clothes that cover their entire bodies. Here, we also dress to show cultural respect. We wear long, flowing, elephant pants and shorts that drop down to our knees which we hand wash in buckets and hang out to dry on the clothesline. We avoid wearing tank tops and short-shorts. It is amazing the sacrifices people make for the sake of religion, such as freedom to wear clothes of any kind. Being overheated in our sarees, despite the fact that we were in an air conditioned shop, served to open our eyes to the everyday religious dedication we had never seen before. While watching everyone try on the different colored sarees, we were treated to cups of tea and butter cookies from the employees. Although there were many tough decisions to be made, we all walked out of the store confident in our purchases.
Upon arriving back at the orphanage from saree shopping, we found out that our dance party with the children had been postponed due to a power outage. After a few calm days of rest, we were able to gather with the children to have our dance party. We all ate together and when we finished our meal, we slyly sent the kids on a walk down the path to the other side of the orphanage. Meanwhile, the teachers gathered in a room and unpacked a suitcase full of sound censoring light up t-shirts we had brought from the leftovers of the NMH Spring Jam dance. Each of us put one on and when the kids returned from their walk, we danced out of the room in our glowing shirts to loud music. As we danced around them, we handed each and every one of them a shirt of their own. After everyone got their shirts on and running, the party began. A majority of the music we listened to was from Hindu culture. The kids surrounded us and laughed as we struggled to learn the Hindi dances they performed so smoothly. As the dance came to an end, the children gave us their customary good- night hugs, making an effort to hug each and every one of us.