Sunday, December 23, 2007
I was in and around Vrindavan (in the state of Uttar Pradesh) during the week of Thanksgiving, visiting schools and kitchens for work, but also finding some time to take in the sights. On this day, I had a few hours in the afternoon free to shoot these photos and see a bit of this town, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus from all over the world.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
In remote areas, such as Baran, where large centralized kitchens are not feasible, my host organization employs (and empowers!) local women to prepare meals for the schools. I hope these photos give you a sense of the scenery, schools and daily life in Rajasthani villages.
Monday, December 10, 2007
About a week before Thanksgiving, I traveled to the north of India for work. Luckily, I found myself in Jaipur (in the state of Rajasthan -- see map on right) on a Sunday, when the schools and kitchens are closed, so I got to play tourist for a day. Jaipur is a popular tourist destination, known as the "Pink City" because all the buildings in the old part of the city are, indeed, painted pink. The north of India looks and feels quite different from the South, which I hope you can get a sense of from these photos of Jaipur. It's hard to describe, but it feels a bit more like the Wild West!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Just a couple of weeks after my first trip to Mysore, I returned to watch the Jamboo Savari parade, the highlight of a over a week of of Dasara festivities, which draws tourists from all over the world. While the parade wound through the city, we splurged for tickets on the Mysore Palace grounds, which afforded us a wonderful view! The parade went on for hours, with ceremonies, music, dancing, floats, and as you can see here, gorgeous elephants. These photos don't do them justice, but I hope you enjoy them!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
While there seem to be festivals almost every week (different religions, many gods), the first big one that I witnessed was Dasara. As you can see in these photos, EVERYTHING was decorated and blessed -- doors, elevators, cars, bicycles, water coolers, computers, file cabinets! My office and apartment building held poojas (ceremonies) where they chanted and prayed, offered food on makeshift altars, and broke fruit around doorways and under vehicle wheels -- for good luck. I like how decorations in India are organic -- flowers and leaves -- rather than plastic.
Friday, November 23, 2007
My second day trip out of Bangalore was to Mysore (a 3-hour drive away), which is known for its yoga gurus and some good sights, as captured in these photos. (I didn't do any yoga - the courses there require something like a monthlong commitment - it's no joke!) We weren't allowed to take photos inside Mysore Palace, which is a shame, as it is filled with bright, colorful, shiny things, including a huge ceiling mural that combines images of Indian and Western astrology.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
My first daytrip out of Bangalore was to Ramanagaram, famous as the area where the Bollywood classic, Sholay, was filmed! I traveled with an outdoors club of mostly young Indian professionals. I was the only foreigner, of course, but everyone spoke very good English and were very friendly. I had to take a bit of a leap of faith as our first activity was rappeling down a high rockface (they kept us safe, don't worry!). We also did some bouldering (low rock climbing) and trekking to take in the views. Here are some more photos of the scenery for you to enjoy.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
After almost 3 months in Bangalore, I finally got an internet connection at home. (The joke here is that when people say Bangalore is "wired," they're referring to the random wires hanging all over the place!) I started working the day after I got here, so haven't traveled for fun much yet. But for work I've visited schools in different parts of southern India, including this class under a tree in Bellary. Here are a few more photos of schools (with insightful comments from yours truly) -- Enjoy!