22 June, 2011

Cows, sheep, dogs, monkeys, chickens...

Off to Kudugal today, a rural village that Prashanth is named after. Prashanth Kudugal Murthy. His family built some and repaired the temple/school that we are going to visit. The drive is about 2 and half hours but it was an amazing drive! Of course honking and beeping of the cars, swerving in and out of lanes, other cars, and pedestrians, but the weather is amazingly beautiful and so many animals to see once we got to the rural area!

Cows, sheep, dogs, monkeys, chickens, all of them so cute! I can't help but want to talk to them....Tony, on the other hand, constantly trying to communicate with the animals. Every animal he sees it's a “baaa” or “mooo” They never respond, sad face :(

We arrived at the village and were greeted by relatives of Prashanth who were having a lunch, so to speak, for a groom to be. We were welcomed in and of course told to eat. We sat and ate off a leaf like placemat that is apparently a new thing as people used to eat off a real leaf. We ate with our fingers/hands off the leaves...which looked like giant Ti leaves to me. All the eating is with your fingers. Prash tried to teach me the ways without dropping food or making a giant mess all over my face...it was a nice effort on his part. The rice, cucumber mixture and everything else on my plate was spicy. As is everything I have eaten here. I love love love the food, but its soo spicy, I am trying to train my mouth. Side note: Dosa is the bomb.

As we were leaving some monkeys came in and started to steal the food off the table, the people quickly proceeded to shoo them away. They were cute so Tony and I tried to go after them to take their picture..

After we finished eating we folded our “leaves” inward to say that it was yummy and we will be back. We visited the school where we will see students tomorrow. There will be about 25 students.

Next we visited a Catholic retreat place where some sisters met us. They created this place to have children come and study from the nearby village. Also they have created a self help group for women to come and find relief.

Sister Celestine took us to a meditation room and for me this was the best part of the day. Being from a Catholic background and seeing two cultures combine for one greater common good was all that I have been searching for the past year or so. Each pillar in the meditation room had a picture on it and sister described these in her perspective... Same meaning as what we in the west learn but in a different and may I say, more refreshing light. Humanism and universal. Refreshing.

We visited one more small school. Nuns teach there as well. Each place so very very hospitable. Always offering coffee or tea and always food. We will be fat soon.

I hope we can find a way to offer our services to these wonderful people so that they are able to use whatever we give them in a circular sort of way, it will continue to help them for many years to come. We want our efforts to not just be a donation that stops but that keeps reproducing and continuing to help them.

Tonight we are going to a reception for the groom I mentioned earlier. Should be more food and drink. Yes we will be fat.

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