Sunday, December 28, 2008

Goodbye India

I've spent the morning and last night uploading as many photos as possible to my blog to fill in the past couple of weeks of travels and adventures with Mom.  (Sorry to all of you that receive the blog as an email and have been bombarded with emails this morning!) I still have a few photos to add, but we are leaving our hotel now for a day in Delhi before heading to the airport this evening for our flight back to Chicago. 

I want to thank everyone and everywhere I have met and traveled during my four months in India.  This has truly been an incredible and unbelievable experience full of joys, challenges, happiness and struggles.  I won't forget this time or the people who have graciously opened their homes and lives to me.  It is said to say good-bye, but I am confident that I will be back someday soon.

Please pray for safe travels for Mom and I as we head back to the United States.
Love to everyone and thank you for all your support and interest in my blog.
In Peace and Love,
At the Christmas Eve bonfire cutting the Plum Cake that Swami-ji brought for us
Beautiful sunrise morning on Christmas Day
At the sunrise service on Christmas Day
Christmas Day breakfast at the church in Kodai (masalas are being made behind me)
The ashram students: Carlo, Marina, me and Marvin
the beautiful ashram
In the hills of Kodai outside the ashram
Mama Bear
At the ashram
The Christmas Eve Bonfire


Jasmine flowers on the street in Kodai
Buying Christmas stars in Kodai
Walking in the hills around the ashram
Beautiful Poisettas growing in Kodai

Goodbye Namakkal, Hello Kodaikannal

On a bus on the way to Kodai
Cute newly-wed couple we met at a bus station on the way to Kodai.  We ended up hiring a cab with them for the rest of the way to Kodai.  They are from Jaipur and were on their honeymoon.  
Woman at the roadside stall with her "butterfruit" (avocado) that she adds sugar to and says "tastes like ice-cream"
A heart on the wood in our hotel the first night in Kodai
Kodai International School


At the top of the Rock Fort
Hanuman temple
Instead of dinner we ordered masala chai and some sweets!  (Mom had the chocolate ice cream and I had the gulab jaman.)
Harish and his mother and Karthi and his mother at the C.A.R.E. Christmas Program
Mom with Dr. Jesse who talked about nutrition and HIV/AIDS and the District Collector of Namakkal with his wife at the C.A.R.E. Christmas Program on Dec 23

South Indian Lunch and Rock Fort, Namakkal

Lunch on a leaf
Delicious food!
YUMMY South Indian food
Rock Fort, Namakkal
Mom on top of the Rock Fort!

Namakkal Field Visit with Stella and Viji

Karthi wearing his braces to help him to walk correctly
Karthi's cousins
Karthi, his mom, and his grandmother (Three Generations)
Rice paddies
Sweet South Indian woman whose crops we visited and photographed

Namakkal Visits

Beautiful sunset 
Field Visit Friends
Concern for AIDS Research and Education (C.A.R.E.) staff, Namakkal
A gracious welcoming to the C.A.R.E. center with beautiful floral mallahs
Karthi, a friend we met on our field visit with Viji and Stella

Good-bye Chennai, Hello Salem and Namakkal (plus a photo of a high class squatty potty for your viewing enjoyment)

This is a very nice and VERY CLEAN squatty potty on the train from Chennai to Salem
tractors full of sugar cane, near Namakkal
Prema, Mom, me, Mashek and our driver with tamarind fresh off the tree
Dr. Sam and Mom with a coconut at a coconut yard
Us with the coconut workers

Good-bye Jaipur, Hello Chennai

Dr. Meeta Singh and me in her garden on our last day in Jaipur
Pastor Dhanaraj and his wife, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
At the One Mother workshop, Chennai
Tribal group women from a Self Help Group we visited in Chennai.  She is giving us a welcoming blessing
The women of the Self Help Group