Thursday, December 24, 2009

Going to Ooty and Doddabetta after the storm

We took a taxi to Ooty, and unfortunately I was unable to get any meaningful pictures from the moving car. We were unable to go on our originally chosen route (where the road is open, we thought), because the road from that point was closed. So, we went another route, and it was astounding how much storm damage we observed. But, also, the route we took was all on back roads, so it was really beautiful, not commercial like the usual road between Coonoor and Ooty.

On Ooty Lake

Raju on Ooty Lake

Raju,steering our boat

Dexter, there's a little train that runs along the lake. (I was imagining you coming here and riding on the train with you.)

This is a mouse, which is a tunnel for that train. (I think it's a mouse, Gopal thinks it's a lion, and Raju says the back end of it is an elephant!
From Ooty Lake we decided to go to Doddabetta, the highest point in Tamil Nadu.

Taking Raju to Singara Tea Estate

Dexter, when we walked to the tea estate, we passed a garbage dumpster near Orchid Square. This monkey is sitting on the dumpster, eating something she found in there. They haven't come to our house since your Mom told you about them.

Here are three little ones playing with each other.

At Singara


Bison at Singara (I know they're hard to see; just wanted to prove we saw bison while Raju was there.)

At the forest temple there

As the clouds came back in.

Saravanamalai Temple with Raju

On Wednesday, the 23rd, we finally had weather good enough to take Raju to the Saravanamalai Temple on the mountain. He arrived on the 20th, and Coonoor had been literally in the clouds the whole time. We could not see another hill, no vistas.En route to the temple. Raju taking pictures. Gopal and Prabu, the auto driver, ahead.

Little temple along the path.

Gopal creating puja at the temple.

I brought Mike's picture.

Prabu, Raju, Gopal

On the way back

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Visiting Lingama Colony

So, I miss and love my family over at Lingama Colony. We go visit once a week when we can. This time we visited on a Tuesday because the kids were off school and some were leaving for the holiday.Gopal and Shriya (7) with Suhail's baby brother, Nawaz, who's growing so fast I didn't realize who it was!
My friend Suhail (9)

Shriya, Nawaz, Suhail (at Suhail's house)

This is the only picture I could get of Ladoo (3) who had just gotten up from a nap. (I was trying to show her how to put a bracelet on I had brought her, but of course she would have none of it.)

On Sunday, Krishna's son Raju came to visit, so he got dragged along to Lingama Colony. Everyone wanted to meet Krishna's son.

This is Suhail's family, and there are some names I am not remembering, most of them. Grandma, Nawaz, Suhail, ? , Suhail's mother and father. (I'll fill in the names as I find them.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Volunteering at The Clinic for the Poor

Today is the three-year anniversary of my son Mike's death. And today was my first day volunteering at The Clinic for the Poor sponsored and run by the University Women's Association.

The waiting room which must have been a church.

Reception where I worked with Parvathi and Geeta.

Volunteer doctors Sheila Chandran, my landlady, and
Aalum JothRoom where patients are seen.

Room where bandages are changed, etc.

Drugs are dispensed by volunteers in this room also.

Patients waiting for drugs.

This is Raj, the President of the University Women's Assn., I believe.
It was a nice experience here today, and I look forward to going back on Wednesday.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Third Anniversary of Mike's Death

Since I forgot to take a picture of us leaving the house on our memorial journey to honor the third anniversary of Mike's death at the temple on top of the hill, I snapped a shot of him at the foot of the road we live on as it merges with the big road. Please note the red mud where the hillside on the right came down during the storm.
Then I forgot to get a shot of the area outside Sim's Park, a local landmark, enroute to the temple. So this is looking back at the square near our house.

Then I forgot to get a shot of us turning off the big road onto this tea plantation road. This shot is looking back at it. sigh

A small Saravanamalai entrance temple by the road.

This walkway leads from the little temple up the hill. It is a shortcut to the larger Savanamalai temple we were going to on top of the hill. We decided to try it, even though I loathe taking these paths up. They are very steep and difficult.
View from the top of that trail. (By this time I was very irritated, and we were lost.)
We came to some beautiful homes, hoping to ask a servant how to get to the temple.
A gentleman here sent us back along the trail and then up where the houses ended.
Here's a shot of the hilltop we were seeking and a strained Gopal. (I am not fun when I'm mad.) Shortly after this picture, I slipped and fell on the road and practically landed on a small snake. Scared the hell out of me.
After an hour and a half, we gave up trying to find the temple. I was unwilling to go through the forest where there was no path. So we stopped here and did puja for Mike.

It started to drizzle.
It was very beautiful. The rain dripping from the leaves didn't show up in the photo.Gopal performed the puja.

This is looking back at the spot under the fallen tree.

Back at the entrance temple, we lit incense and camphor.
The road back home.