I wanted to finish recounting our India trip through pictures. Lots of pictures, fewer words. Are you ready?
First – CHENNAI
The day after we arrived, the kids were asked to come speak to the local school. Among the questions the students asked was, “How do you conserve water in France?”
Not having the same worries of water conservation as Indians face, our French children answered blithely : “In the fridge and from the tap.”
There were an enormous amount of trees down from the cyclone a week before we came. The destruction was everywhere, and this was after they had cleared most of the roads.
It was such a shame. Some of them were really old trees.
I spoke about Venkatesh (the driver’s) village. Many of the villagers farm bananas and coconuts. The coconut water tastes more salty here than it does in the mountains of Kerala. Not everyone liked it.
Next – PONDICHERRY
Two days after we landed, Hisill took us to stay in a timeshare in a beautiful resort in Pondicherry. We were greeted with welcome bindis! (I’m not sure if they’re called this).
We were the only Westerners there and I didn’t dare swim because I didn’t have a bathing suit with short sleeves and a skirt. But we had nice accommodations and good food. This is Juliet and me choosing some local skirts so we could fit in better.
Pondicherry (or Ponducherry, or Pondichéry in French) is on the southeast coast of India, and it’s a former French colony. See the French influence in the buildings, street sign, and flag?
French folk in the former French colony. Salut!
There were stray dogs everywhere and it seems they live in mutual tolerance with humans. You don’t mess with me and I won’t mess with you. They slept a lot on the hot concrete.
The three oceans that surround India are: the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal. Pondicherry is on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, and if you go to the very most southern tip of India, you can see where all three bodies of water converge. (We didn’t get to go there).
The waves were too strong, so we didn’t swim. Just appreciated.
Last – KERALA
This is in the tourist (and unbelievably charming) town of Thekaddy.
And more monkeys!
Jackfruit grows here and can grow to up to 30 kilos (over 60 lbs).
Just next to Thekaddy are these amazing tea plantations.
It’s so gorgeous here.
And this is pepper growing on the trees amid the tea.
We visited Hisill’s family home and saw the cathedral under construction near them.
Then we toured their garden where they have lots of fruits and vegetables growing. This is what turmeric root looks like.
And these are the sweet Kerala coconuts.
This was right before Jiah said, “Dada, I don’t feel so fine” and got the flu.
In Kerala is also the elephant park.
William needed to gather his courage, but he finally went up.
There are also the elephants walking on the street for festivals.
(Yes, I don’t like the chains either).
We celebrated Christmas in unusual fashion … (preparing for a spicy Christmas dinner)
and in the usual (the electronics)
Here’s a picture of the rubber plantations.
And here’s one of us.
Thank you India. Thank you Jobby & Hisill.
You were so good to us, and we love you.