Trip to the Beach

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"Here they are!" "Excuse me, there is grave concern in the west that you two are missing." Any excuse for your silence?"
"We're sorry, thanks to busy tour schedules, we've been busy. That's it. Sorry!"

"Uhhh, there's no internet in the rural hinterlands, but we're ok."

"No comment."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Welcome to Madavamedu, a small fishing village along the south east coast of Tamil Nadu. Our purpose here was for the dedication of 230 newly constructed homes in 3 villages. The construction was in response to the Tsunami of 2004. 13 people lost their lives that day. The pictures are mostly self explanitory, but please ask if there are any questions.

This is a Tamil culture show. The dancers were there to greet visitors to the dedication. It was complete with drums, horns and of course, dancers.

A shot of the old and the new. Guess which is which?

The decorating begins.

This is the family I stayed with for a night. They welcomed me into their home, and the men took me fishing in the Bay of Bengal. It was a priceless moment in my life. But this little guy below is also special. His name is Fwee. Yes, Fwee. He belongs to a guy who decided he doesn't have time for him. I think he'll be ok, so long as he still feeds him. Street life isn't so bad for the dogs, as long as they eat.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

This is a 2 Rupee coin. It is important in this particular blog because we need to know who is checking in on us. So please, put in your 2 rupees worth. We're really curious!!!!

When the water buffalo cross the road, we stop and watch. Where do they get them, I don't know. Some are fast and some are slow. Everybody has a water buffalo!

Here is an idol, Ganesh. There was a 9 day festival to respect its contribution to Hindustan. Notice the offerings of food, drink, tobacco and sweets.

These are random shot from Andhra Pradesh. Not so exciting, but available for show.

Below is an ice cream stand with the monkey god, "Atama" or something like this. Didn't eat any though.

Below: These are cows grazing at a local landfill. There were loads of cattle and tons of trash. I've named the place, the "Golden Corral." Our home is near the buildings on the horizon, and yes, I walked here. So this one is short, but we've got lots waiting to be posted. These random shots are from our first 3 months. Coming up, tsunami affected areas, salt mines, rural villages, train stations and possibly tigers.

The End.

Friday, October 06, 2006

This is Brindle getting a bath. It didn't really matter because he went back downstairs and rolled in the dirt. He was easy to bathe, and seemed to enjoy the massage. He's our buddy, and sometimes follows us all the way to the vegetable market. Once he leaves his "hood" he stays close to us. Because if there's one thing about these street dogs, it's their territorial instincts. At night, he likes to chase cars and mopeds. He is silly.

This is Brindle's Brother, Gimpy. 2 weeks ago, we saw him laying far from our house, and he didn't come when all the other dogs did. Curious, we went to visit him and discovered a large knot on the side of his face. We carried him upstairs and cleaned up his wound and gave him some food. A week later, I had to go out of town, but Amber called a vet to look at his swelling face. At that time, the knot was huge, and looked very painful. At first the doc wouldn't touch him, and didn't want to look at him, but Amber insisted and the vet agreed. He used a syringe and pulled lots of yucky, infectious from his wound and gave her a prescription for an antibiotic. Total, the bill was about $5.00 us. Now, he's back to normal and happy gimping along the road. He is also silly.

Weddings in India are not to be taken lightly. They last for many hours and several days. We were fortunate to be invited to one of these amazing shows, and now you can see a little to. These lamps are carried by men, and there is a band playing. The groom sits on a mare, at the back, and the procession slowly moves towards the wedding area. This was day 3, and it began at 9pm.

Something like Mardis Gras, Indian weddings are huge celebritory events. Complete with music, dancers and costumes, the air is very festive. As well, many weddings are held on the same day, as Hindu culture has particular days for them.
The groom is on his way to meet the bride. In this case, they already knew eachother. But many times the wedding is arranged by their parents. Although times are changing, many people are still married this way. It is normal, and most people we've talked to are totally fine with it. This young man is the nephew. We thought he looked like my nephew, JC. This little guy was about as happy with his costume as JC was at our wedding.

But JC didn't have to ride on a horse, with LOUD music playing and crazy people running around.

Mother and family of the Groom. Yea Yea, it's blurry. So I haven't mastered nighttime photography.

This is Amber in a Punjabi dress. It was custom made, but a little too big for her taste. At this time though, she was lost in the noise and beauty of the wedding.

Father and family dancing in the procession.

This is the Groom and his brother, who invited us to the wedding. We stayed until 12am, and didn't see the bride. She arrived later. The wedding ended around 5am, as the gods were waking.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Suresh can make it however you'd like. Chai, coffee, a fresh lime soda- sweet or salty, cold or hot, and always with a smile. He's from Nepal, and lives upstairs. The first time he met his wife was at their wedding, and she lives in Nepal. He sees her from time to time. He's definately a highlite of staying in India.

The monsoon rains have passed for this year, but on one occasion, we watched these 2 bucket fill to this level in 30 minutes. Amber and I enjoy a visit to the shopping center from time to time. Last week, some Indian actress came to do a promotion, and the security guards blocked off the food court. Most of our party accepted this defeat and began walking to another resturant. However, Justin and I held out, demanding our rights as consumers and hungry souls. We barked for about 3 minutes, demanding to see the manager. Mr. Security Guard relented, and we had our dinner :)

Varinder Pal Singh is holding an unnamed flower, the kind that love monsoon rains.

Welcome to the flooded western bank of the Ganges, in Varanasi. This place is considered to be among the holiest in Hinduism. Unfortunately, the amount of waste and debris deposited in this river leave it completely septic; there is no oxygen in this river as it flows away from here.

The "Ghats" are a long series of steps leading into the river. Aside from offering daily prayers here, it is customary to bath, drink, and render the ashes of the deceased persons into the flow.
An early morning "puja" along the Ghats
The "Aarti" is a nightly ritual which people come out to offer floating candles to the river, and to motion flames in such a way as to ward off evil spirits. We paid a few dollars to watch the Aarti from a boat. A young boy is selling floating candles for a few ruppees.Bathing at dawn.
The beautiful Ganges River at dawn.

More to come..............................