Sunday, September 11, 2011
So i made it here. one crazy train ride at 7 in the morning. it seemed like everyone was looking at me was looking at me like i was painted blue or green. Other-wordly, and I suppose to most people I am.
Different worlds. As foreign as I am to them this world here is just as foreign to me.
It's so interesting how many different cultures and experiences there can be in the world.
I got on the train and one man told another where I needed to get off. This man seemed to be like my guardian. Watching each stop and never holding eye contact long enough to acknowledge my smile. I think this was out of respect and culture.
After a chai tea for 5 ruppees from a man with a hot cooler and 4 hrs of watching villages and people pass, I arrived at a station called Halduar. This, I would find is less than an hour ride from the small village where I am staying.
Another crazy drive and I arrive.
My room is small and bizarre and magical and has beautiful white paint peeling down the walls. This sort of decay has this unbelievable charm and magic to it that Ive always been drawn to. Probably why Ive always been interested in deconstruction.
The food here is incredible. But if you are like most people I have grown up with who think eating with your hands is wrong, well get ready for change. Eating with your hands Is the way here.
And quite honetsly, it rules.
My pictures are out of order, but I'm impatient and want to write and share all I've been seeing. Ive been documenting so much and yet I find myself seeing things that I just wish my eyes could record and transfer.
These children on their bikes, their eyes could stop the sun from spinning around the earth. Its like immobilizing. And the colors of their dresses, the idea "your body is a temple" is truly displayed here. Its as if each women's body was a castle or a present, wrapped in the finest of silks or the brightest of papers. The occasion for beauty is solely dependent on the fact that you wake up breathing.
Quality of life here is something I can't fathom.
For people who would seem to have so little they are so happy. I mean because really they have so much, they take such pleasure in the simple things, simple jobs, simple tasks. Its like their fuel is just love and family.
I cant say this for everyone and of course this is surface level interpretation but the surface is much brighter than some paces of life Ive previously encountered.
This is one of the teachers I work with, finding a loose thread on her shirt. She is stunning like most of the women I work with. And she worries so much about the children. Really it's the sweetest thing Ive ever seen, her sincerity. Asking me how we can best come up with fans for the recital for founders day and how to teach simpler dance moves so that the children will remember.
I am in love with every child here.
"Good afternoon mam".
One group of eleven yr old's I have are the cheekiest little things ever. And they have me rolling on my tummy in laughter. I can't even get mad at them.
today i went to this celebration titled Uman. Its celebrated in Kerela (South of India) for ten days where they celebrate the return of this king to his people. The king was known as someone who was a great giver and before he departed he wanted to get ten days with his people. And so this holiday arose (there's quite a bit more to the myth but in the heat of today that is all I could retain). It is said that there is a moment, when you're facing conflict, or where you are at your most vunerable or truly being tested, that is the moment man has the ability to become god-like. I liked this notion, the notion of shinning or rising to an occasion.
I sat in on a class of 3 to 4 year olds the other day. They went around saying what they wanted to be when they get older. Two said spider-man, about 5 said police, maybe 3 said doctor, and about 20 said Ram or Krishna. (Which is God). Wow, more culture. I love that fact their goals were to become god's. Too bad these little beauties already are little gods, there faces even within mischief shinning with light.
So at the celebration we sat on the ground and were served vegetarian indian dishes on banana leaves-- oh my delicious. Eating with my hands has even become a sort of graceful act....-ha not, but I'm getting there, slowly, I told Nisha Mam as she smiled at me adoringly (like I was 5:) that I would learn how to, and she laughed and agreed.
Then there were games.
I will never forget this 80 yr old little fiery woman in her purple sari pushing me out of the way and running around during musical chairs, this lady was a serious competitor. It had me giggling like I didn't know I could. It feels good to smile this much. Eventually they had to tell her to calm down and I was called back in for a game after she had pushed me away from a chair as the music had stopped. I tried to plea not to go back in and face this sweet little beast but they insisted as they always do. I took second- In the end, Sister Anna, one of the nuns at the celebration, won. She looked very content about this and I was happy to have come after her. I was a bit afraid of sitting on her, as sometimes when I get engrossed in a game I too forget manners and the like. (not like my 80 yr old friend here but hey.)
You wont believe what came next, or maybe you will. Pin the bindi on the woman. EPIC.
I have no words for this, its basically as you can imagine it.
Here's an image or two.
- i really just like the clouds in this picture, there was something about them today. white soft pillows my camera couldn't completely catch.
Well its ten thirty and I teach tomorrow , or float rather, thats sort of how teaching has been- floating around helping. I love it and there are always surprises.
More images to come as this is really the bare minimum.