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Monday, March 26, 2018

Adventures in India - Part 15 (The People)

Dear Family and Friends,

There is so much more I could share about our trip to India with you if I had the time.  Tomorrow, I am flying to Georgia to visit family, then meeting Chuck in Atlanta and we are flying to Washington to see more family.  

I want to be able to share some of that trip with you, hopefully in real time, since I will take my computer with me.

Back to India...

For this last post about India, I want to share what was most near and dear to my heart.....the people.

These folks are some of the kindest, friendliest, loving people I've ever met.

Here are a couple of kids ready to go to school.

This is just a man on the street.

A lovely family coming from the temple.

A lady on the street.

Cute sisters.

Man on the street.

I took this picture out of the tour bus window as we were going past her house.  

Little school boys waving to us bus full of tourists.

Man selling beads on the street.

A man riding the city bus. His bus was right beside ours. I held my camera up to the window and he shared his baby with me.

I met this lady in southern India.  

A precious girl at a party.

This man was serving me food.

Man on the street.

Two ladies picking up trash.

Two men walking outside our bus.

These two ladies wanted to have their picture taken with the tourist.  I felt so blessed by them.

Again, a man sharing his baby as I held up my camera to the bus window.

I asked this man if I could photograph him and he kindly obliged.

This doorman is greeting us at our hotel.

Namaste my friends.

I ran out of time before I ran out of things to share.  Maybe sometime when we are bored in Cuenca and I need to post to the blog, I will share more with you about India.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Adventures in India - Part 14 (Temples Galore)

Dear Family and Friends,

During our tour of southern India, we visited one to two temples almost every day.  Every time we went to an active temple, we had to remove our shoes.
Since I haven't gone barefoot for eons of time, I found this very uncomfortable, especially on the stone floors.

I really thought that going into the temples was going to be the highlight of our trip to southern India, but honestly, we went to so many that they started to just meld together.  After awhile the temples started to look the same.

Many were very colorful as in the picture below. 

Some were just marble or some other color.

What interested me, more than the actual temple and statues, was the activity we witnessed going on inside the temples.

I will share some of these with you.  The pictures below are from various temples we visited.

The ladies in the picture below are washing ceremonial utensils that are used inside the temple.

These sweet girls had performed a dance inside the temple.  Notice the henna decorated feet.

They were kind enough to show us some of the dance they performed.

In the picture below, the man in red is receiving some sort of grief counseling.  At least that what I think the guide told us. When one loses a parent, many people shave their heads in mourning.

I am not sure who these guys are, but they seem to be taking some sort of offerings into the temple

At this temple, blessings were bestowed by an elephant, but only after he received an offering.

Oil lamps being lit.

More rituals.

This little baby (below) is being held by his grandfather and getting his head shaved with a straight razor. (Yikes).

Our guide said this is done up to three years of age, usually at about one year. He said it is done for the spiritual benefit of the child.

His beautiful black curls lying on the floor.

Here I am getting into the spirit of things.  I am receiving a blessing.

All of these activities were extremely interesting to us because they are so alien to what we know.

Every day was a new experience.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Adventures in India - Part 13 (Elephants)

Dear Family and Friends,

We had a fun visit to an elephant reserve.  In northern India when we rode an elephant we had a nice crib like seat, where we could just hop on and enjoy!  Not this time, we had to straddle the elephant and we had no driver, just us.  Of course the elephant knew where we were going so we didn't need a driver.

This was my view from the top of the elephant.

We followed the elephant ahead of us.

The elephant mahout asked for my camera.  I took it from around my neck and handed it to him.  He made some really nice pictures of us.

Look at the joyful surprise on our faces when the elephant raised his trunk.

Another great picture.

After the ride, we were able to feed our elephant some bananas as a thank you for our ride.

We posed for pictures.

And I had to give him a big hug.

We had a demonstration of an elephants strength.  This elephant is carrying around a teak log (very heavy wood) in his mouth.

We witnessed this tourist helping to bath an elephant.  I know the elephant was enjoying the bath because it was quite warm and I am sure the water felt good. She was encouraged to get up on the back of the elephant.

After she got up on his back, the elephant drew in some water and threw it back and drenched her.

Elephants have a great sense of humor!!

It was a fun day.


Friday, March 23, 2018

Adventures in India - Part 12 (Who needs a Stinking Factory?)

Dear Family and Friends,

When I think of making products, I naturally think of a factory with machines and warehouses.  

India has factories, machines and warehouses, but we were really intrigued to find that some things are done at a grass roots level.  

Here are few we were fortunate enough to witness:

Making bricks:

This fella mixes water with the red clay to make the right consistency of mud.  He then fills the molds.  

The bricks formed in these molds are dried in the sun and then fired in an oven made of bricks.

Making rope:

This guy is putting the fiber that is on the outside of coconuts into this shredder.

The fibers that are created are twined together using the contraption pictured below.  The man, in the red checked shirt, turned the crank as the other man kept a taught hold on the fiber, creating rope.  

Here is one of our travel companions giving it a try.

Below is a bed made of rope.  I don't know how common this type of bed is, but I found it very interesting.

I also found it interesting that things we toss in the garbage here, is used to create something new.  This rope is very strong and durable.

As our bus was leaving this demonstration, I noticed another family also making rope.  

Roasting cashews:

This is what cashew nuts look like right from the tree.

One lady is roasting the nuts and the other lady is cracking them open.

This third lady packages them up and sells them along the roadside.

The neat thing to me, is that all of these things were done outside.  No big factory or machinery used.  

I found all of this very interesting.

Next post I will share about our elephants.