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August 31, 1999 (Phone Call)

We had to wait for Mark to get to the phone while he ran home from Sommer's, where a cooking lesson was going on.  Tomorrow is their last day in Shantinagar, and they are busy saying goodbye to everyone.  They will be at Shanta's tomorrow night to do more cooking.  Mark especially likes roti (a bread made in a frying pan) and the homemade yogurt.

After leaving the village, they will be in Dharan for a week.  During this week they take a final language test.  After the week in Dharan, they meet the Head Sirs (principals) of their schools on Tuesday or Wednesday, get sworn in on Wednesday or Thursday and go to their posts (to stay) on Thursday or Friday.  Mark hopes to return to Shantinagar to visit his family during a holiday in November.

He will be teaching within a few days of his arrival in Janakpur.  He gets to choose his classes and will start with 2 classes, then go to 3, one of which will be an English class.   He will teach the same students both Math and English and he does want the higher (7th and 8th) grades.

They visited a non-government (Swiss) school which he described as "incredible" and at which the students spoke very clear English.  PCVs are only assigned to government schools.

Mark is anxious to get to Janakpur--after the sameness of the village.  He hopes to eventually visit India, Thailand and Tibet.

We will next talk to him when he calls us from his place in Janakpur.  Until then, we will use email.

While we talked on the phone the family had turned down the volume on their TV(!!).  It is a small black/white set and they only get one channel, but they watch it all the time.

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