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Transcript of India 2011
window - first morning... Out and about... Let's look around Chennai. Lakshmi Temple - lotus flower preparations First stop: a Catholic Church with some great dioramas in the parking lot. A few favorites... Day One: In which we land in Chennai Our first peek of the Bay of Bengal from Lakshmi Temple First contact... Dusk on day one... Days Two through Six: In which we travel to Puducherry and get to know it Old Puducherry Boardwalk and Gandhi Statue Ganesh Temple Street scenes and a little culture... Chris snuck the camera in for this music recording Some fun signs and tidbits... The central park in town Yep, the driving's crazy... Here are some fun examples Every Everybody's on the road together Don't hit that cow! Don't text while you drive... I think that autorickshaw is full... I think that bus is full... I think that tractor is full... I know that motorcycle is full... Just so you get a sense of the honking... Click "More" to access fullscreen. Click the right arrow to advance through the presentation. The welcome committee in the fanciest room on campus At one point, some University leader got mad at this tech support dude and hissed, "Idiot" at him, then glared at him for the rest of the ceremony. Spectacular. Ram, the other teacher on the trip Dr. Mathur, our host at the school Chris and Ram on the lovely campus Classrooms Student's dorm No bullying - it's a real problem here, too... Faculty Hostel - EXT Little tiny lizard Faculty Hostel - INTERIOR Our little room... The pretty view from our hostel stairwell... We venture away from our home base to visit "Paradise Beach" - this requires us to pass through a fun-fair, board a boat, and journey along a backwater until we arrive in... well... paradise... This dude is literally fixing the electrical panel of this ride WHILE IT IS IN MOTION... Views from the boat Chris gets in good with our captain and then takes over See why I want to go back? And next, let's get on a plane for a weekend trip to Delhi and Agra Delhi Airport Condom ad... Our hotel lobby had a cool puppet show... Afternoon bus tour of Delhi... The bus requires a driver and a navigator Coconut for sale Street Scene Police Station Public Urinal #1 New Career Path? Breaking in or out? Public Urinal #2 Preparations for a wedding Street scene Our tour guide Sunil Us on the bus The Gandhi Memorial The beautiful and peaceful Bahai Temple Sales pitch $10,000 Rug (yep, US dollars) India Gate (where's Chris?) Chris' trip coincided with Holi, the festival of color. Basically, you throw ink at everybody! We loved the trucks in Delhi... The next morning, we're off on a day trip to Agra to see the intricate beauty of the Red Fort and the grand Taj Mahal. Agra Red Fort Giant bathtub for a king While the structure was magnificent, the best part of the Red Fort was the detail work. The carving and inlay was incredible. If you're not into this stuff, just click on through... Animal friends! The glow is from the sunlight passing through the carved marble The most amazing part of the Taj was the scale of it. It's impossible to capture in photos... Ah, well. Here are some efforts. First, make sure you leave your rabbits at home. On the road back to the airport, we made a quick stop and had some fun... And, with that, it was back to Puducherry for two more weeks of adventure! Upon our return, one of the students was hospitalized with a suspected snake bite (!) The hospital required that we stay at the hospital until she was out of the ICU. It turned out to be three days of Chris and I taking shifts in the outdoor waiting area... On our first night, we met Naifa, whose mom was being checked out for some possible to complications arising from her second pregnancy. We ran into Naifa's dad a few times throughout our hospital journey. Dawn breaks after our first all-nighter The outdoor waiting area The hospital during the day The student ended up being in hospital for 8 days. On the day she was released, Naifa's mom went into labor and delivered her baby! Going back and forth to the hospital, we got more and more familiar with our little neighborhood... The path to the beach behind our hostel Our beach Our favorite morning coffee spot right on our beach Fishermen in our village Another favorite restaurant on our beach On the way to (or from) the hospital... Bananas - on the way to the hospital Movie night... Auroville, an attempt at communal living, is a tourist hotspot in Puducherry. We walked the grounds, listened to the video about the social experiment, and admired the Matrimandir - the golden concentration dome. Photos of "The Mother" - the spiritual leader of Auroville The Matrimandir Auroville embraces sustainable practices Day trip to the 1,000 year-old Thanjavur temple A few details... A new friend Saraswati Mahal Museum Narrow stairs to the top of the tower For some reason there's a whale bone in the tower. Views from the tower... On the last day, Chris visited Mahabalipuram archaeological site with its rock-cut architecture and lovely carvings. Julia had to escort the sick student home one day early. Boo! And on the road back to the Chennai airport, a quick stop to check out some crocodiles... A quick scan of the temple buildings Snack Break! Chris' GIANT dosa Thumbs-up to Julia's GIANT dosa Yeah. Chilly foods! Street fruit! Farewell new friends... Everyone's enjoying the evening... Um. It might be a cult. Whatever. And that pretty much wrapped up our three weeks in India... An auspicious end, indeed.