KERALA ON TOUR

Kerala on tour! Several parts …. PART ONE
Last evening we walked on the boardwalk aside the Arabian Sea. The breeze was a welcome relief from the 35 degree plus heat of the day.  
On this West coast of India, Fort Kochi is a very important port. Ships coming and going. We enjoyed a view of the resting Fishing nets. 
Finally I see one cow on the beach here in the south. 
Tonight there are thousands of people on beach on a Sunday. It looks and feels like a festival … Kids running, squealing, playing, families together. Kids blowing bubbles, pinwheels for sale and sugar cane machine making juice. Lots of festive carts selling ice cream and goodies, and always people selling to tourists.  
Even though this town says it is illegal to smoke (they call it Gods country), there is an old man at a stool, with a large open trunk or box with a lid .. Inside stored cigarettes for sale. Apparently you can sell them, just not smoke them … Lol.
I love the slight head nod, head bobble like those dogs in the rear window of cars back home, memories of my youth. Here it means yes, OK, an acknowledgement. I saw it in the north and it seems to have followed us on tour now in the South. It is friendly and kind to see people talking and nodding at each other.  
Day one, full day we leave from the apartment hotel for a walk about with our tour guides. In addition to the churches and museums , we are treated to a horticultural adventure in the wealthier area of Kochi.  
Herbal gardens. Fruit trees. The wealthier people who own their property, also grow their own herbs and spices for personal and family consumption.  
Kochi is famous for goats. They are rummaging through garbage piles and in yards, and along roadways.  
Jackfruit trees with huge fruits hanging. Mimosa trees in bloom with pale pink flowers. Baseball being played in the green spaces. Boys in one field, girls playing in another.  
Cannonball flower tree blossoms are peach colour and used for medicines. Tamarind trees, people use the bark for spice. 
Men playing cards sitting in circle on a blanket in common areas like parks and sidewalks, with their shoes off.  
Rain ferns. More cannonball trees, this time, bright red flowers growing from bark of the trunk. 
Banyon trees over 500 yr old. Huge, and majestic.  
To be continued 🙂
Pamela

SOUTH INDIA, three days to relax

The South of India: refreshed
Hello dear ones, 
Tonight we join the second and last tour of the great adventure to India for 2016.  
We are 7 women and the majority of the 11 people on the tour. Touring will be close by … Houseboat, backwaters tour, some walking and sight seeing, National Geographic tour experience of Kerala area of India. Spice markets, wetland conservation sights and beaches.  
The past three days have been relaxing, enjoying the heat and downtime. Getting to know my friend and travel buddy Sherry more, and enjoying Indian foods, shopping and culture in the South region.
Enjoying Ayurvedic spa experiences as well, interesting and safe. Accessing reputable and recommended spas. I enjoyed a facial accompanied by a full body massage with medicated oils, leaving me relaxed, tingly and with no wrinkles … At least for the night… Lol.

Last night for two hours we (Sherry was also at the spa) listened to chanting, singing and fireworks for the full time. Some local ceremony going on, they said Christian … Although I have never heard anything like it before in my life. Maybe they misunderstood the question? Ha ha
The people here are so kind and helpful that they say things and try to be helpful … But I never really know if they understood. My use of language and slang is more obvious in foreign countries!  
I feel generally much safer here than Delhi, the area we are in is cleaner and less populated. This is a tourist area of India for those who live in this country and for international tourists as well. About 35 degrees and this is their winter … Lol. Beaches are dirty but the surf is lovely and reminds me of happy times from childhood. Sandy beach, with little kiosk vendors for purchase of water, and cold pop. Most of the town and restaurants are dry … No alcohol can be consumed or purchased in public. Interesting ….
Personally I have had a dry trip anyway … I had champagne on the first leg of my Air France flight three weeks ago and then one evening shared a bottle of red wine at dinner with three of the gals so a glass each. That is it …. I am drinking several litres of water every day, even more if I can.  
It seems so much less expensive to be here than home. Twenty rupees for water is maybe 40 cents for a full litre. We can travel in a shared TukTuk for 50 rupees so less than twenty cents each …. For example.  
Ok … Must go get ready for the day. Glad I brought shakes for breakfast, as included foods are regular bread and eggs, neither of which I eat. So I am eating fruit and having veggies and lots of water all day and protein shakes and bars :). I am enjoying Indian food … Spicy and lots of vegetarian options.  
Namaste, they say here. The spirit in me honours the spirit in you.
It is with gratitude that I appreciate your presence in my life.
Pamela of India
Pamela MacDonald,

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Impressions of India, the north

IMPRESSIONS OF INDIA, the North, ……. keeping it going .. Off the grid, out of the mist. In the circle of women friends. Royal stories.  
Exotic mysterious. Another world. Off in the distance and extreme up close. There is a mystery in the air, trees coming out of the mist, buildings with unique structures silhouetted against the sky. Full moon, hazy yellow sun ball of light.
Busy. Hazy. Surreal. Almost out of focus … Poor air quality, mist, smoke and smog.  
Masses of People. Hard working. Content and smiling. People wanting to please others. Peaceful. Tragic deformations, intense eye contact. Poverty, filth and tragic. Untouchables. Royalty, history. Caste, artisans and ancient ones. Descendants of change.
Brown barefoot and some with sandals. Women carrying items on their heads, using no hands. The body is a vessel of manual labour. Scarves. Bright coloured adorned women with grey clothed men. 
Chiseled features, black hair, deep eyes with big smiles. People wanting to be close to us, have their picture taken standing close. Beautiful sarees, prayer shawls. 
Sacred animals wild and tame. Dogs, monkeys, cows, Brahma Bulls, horses, peacocks, water buffaloes, chipmunks, green parrots, large dark birds of prey, chickens. Beasts of burden pulling carts of produce. Snowy white egrets.  
Chanting. Haunting music and bells, sounds of prayer. Music of India heard on the streets. Honking of cars, tuktuks and people, airplanes overhead.
Spice markets, scent of incense, florals, urine and dust. Vehicle exhaust.
Crowds of people on the roadways, on sidewalks and in doorways and businesses. People walking and carrying goods. People in rickshaws hauling heavy loads with strength of their legs. Gentle mothers cradling babes in their arms, holding hands with children close by, walking behind the men. Heads covered and shawls draped around covering shoulders and breasts. Skirts long to the ground, bright red can be seen from a distance. Single worker in the fields. Some carrying water jugs or large loads of sticks on their heads, some on knees working in the gardens and fields. Colourful, it tells of the hard life of rural women.
Green and orange and white flag waving with pride. Tents and cardboard huts for homes, clothes out on the line. Stacks of rooms where people stay, hundreds upon thousands of new apartments being built in the suburb area outside of the center. Town center in old area is busy and crowded, bodies touching as they go about their business. Men working in shops of countless varieties. Selling sarees, spices, textiles, food stuffs, clothing. Bare necessities of life. Jewellery adorns faces and necks. Henna designs on hands and feet.
Palaces and structures of ancient times, poetry in marble. Preserved and visited historical monuments, forts, palaces, temples …. a time of Royal reign. The Taj Mahal took my breath away.
Crisp cool foggy mornings. Sunshine through haze as day warms up.  
Cricket in the fields. Dust. Cows. Pigs. Garbage, goats. Bicycles. Herds of men standing and on bikes, driving. Some with colourful turbans, many in white or grey tunics and trousers, loose fitting kind of wrapped fabric instead of pants … 
Piles of dung and refuse. Water buffaloes tethered. 
Vehicle . Donkey carts. Small roadside cooking fires. Camel on highway. Pulling cart. Pig families nose down in the refuse. Tractors hauling massive loads overflowing the top and sides, three times the size of the vehicle …amazing sight. Sometimes two lanes, with three or four vehicles side by side sneezed on to narrow roadways to avoid collisions. Avoiding cows, dogs, people on roadways, honking to indicate passing on right … Or left!  
Mustard plants. Colourful flowers on green leafy trees. More bright yellow mustard in the rural areas.
Elephants wandering down the roads with their masters. So exotic to see such animals and sights.
The soft airy texture of pashmina and Kashmir, the beauty of silk. The bright colours of India. The feel of the quality between my fingers and around my shoulders. Ahhhhhh …. ! 
Desert oasis, peaceful. Birdsong, white egrets, birds of prey. Bright coloured flowers. Out of the mist. Sand dunes, sunsets, sparse vegetation, windstorm in the distance.  Camels and camps spotted in the desert vista.  

Namaste, Pamela 

First hours in Fort Kochi, South India

Today life is completely different in India. In fact it is like arriving in another country or planet. Hot, 26 degrees at midnight!   Ha ha. Today is hot. We are tired.

We are at Fort Abode apartment hotel if you want to google it :). 
There is a pool on the roof. The apartment hotel is beautiful, plain, with flowers, well situated off the main road, safe and exceptionally clean. It is lovely, the staff are awesome, a lending library for books, pop and water, access to spa .. They pick us up and deliver … Lol. Not far from the local sights and shopping.  
There is a large living area and balcony attached to our room … And we share it with two of the seven other gals here on the trip with me. We have three nights in this hotel to relax and recoup from our last trip … 
And then we will enjoy a few nights stay for the National Geographic one week GAdventures Kerala Dreaming tour. It looks amazing!  
It is a tropical paradise here in this part of the country. Spice markets, fishing nets, local dancing and cultural events, fabulous foods made locally …. And more. We go to an island for a few days on that tour as well … Some beach time.  
Sherry and I went for a walk after our breakfast …. Found a lovely restaurant for dinner and she ordered fish for tonight.  they will prepare fresh caught local fish (white salmon, prawns crab, and some I can’t pronounce …) at 4 pm … Marinate it and cook … So we show up at 6 and dinner 630! Amazing. I will stick with veggies as I have done on this whole trip. I have had gluten free, dairy free and no meat … I feel great … Lots of bottled water …. 
In the local town we touched and wandered through silk textiles ( raw silk, silk on looms, commercially made and less expensive silks … In every imaginable texture of wonderful), shawls and scarves, carpets and wall hangings. Stunning … 
In India there is also, in addition to silks, textiles made of cotton, linen, kashmir and pashmina wool. Various degrees of refinement, and textures from ultra soft to nubbly … From shimmery, plain, to ornately coloured and hand embroidered, unique designer fabrics, and basic classics, bright vibrant colours and subtle hues …. Everything and more than you can imagine!  
In India the textile shops will make anything to order … Pyjamas, matching outfits, pants, sarees, jackets, robes, dresses … In just a few hours. So tempting to have a wardrobe made of the delightful textures and colours! Imagine …..  For someone tall like me … It is almost overwhelming the possibilities!  How to decide?  Silk brocade robe lined in silk …. Oh my!  
No holy cows here ….they even serve beef! 
 Markets, cleaner streets than in the north, less pollution, close to the beach … Chinese fishing nets …. It is so beautiful. I understand why people from India vacation here. It is charming. And little goats wandering around, little alleys … Lots of guest house type hotels and stay resorts. Slow pace … Not as much honking.  Large palm and coconut trees providing shelter and greenery.  
It is a much needed quite break from the busy-ness  of the two week tour in the north.
 From that tour, I think I enjoyed the desert places of Rajisthan the most … And some of the hotels were really spectacular.  The rural countryside of India is unforgettable  …. Individual people in bright colours (sarees for women, including scarf head covers – yellow, goldens, reds, fuchsias, bright Royal Blues, and bright colored and or white turban adorned men in white and natural coloured pants and tunics) seen in the fields working … Some carrying loads on their heads, some tending to livestock, sheep and goats, camels, cows … Some carrying water … Bringing colour and life to the golden desert and sparce vegetation.  Those will be the visions I will remember most …. I fell in love with the search and witnessing of their lives in rural India. 

I also took many pictures of the carvings, door way arches, jewels, carriages and paintings in forts, palaces and temples on the Royal India tour.  Inspired to quilt again … I am looking forward to taking time to categorize my photos and to make a memory quilt that depicts what I have seen.  
I will try to catch up with my writing while here in Fort Kochi …. 
Till then, keep in touch …

Namaste and Safe travels to my fellow women travel club gals who have ventured off to different places today …. See you at home in a few weeks!  I am off now to the roof top pool!  Ahhhhhhh, living the dream!!

With love, 
Pamela,

 forever changed by India!
Ps.  Speedy recovery to Luv (he was our tour guide extraordinaire in the nor Royal India tour and was injured on our last day together. ). 

Pss, I miss my family at home, and send big hugs and lots of love to you! 
Pamela / Mom / Grammy 

Xoxoxox

The wedding story, in India

ROYAL WEDDING in India
Weddings are a very big deal here. Starting with horoscope matches, if desired, families joining and much planning. It seems to be the biggest celebration in a lifetime.
3 days activities to a week and even ten days depending on much money and detail is to be included. Some weddings costing millions of rupees with hundreds of guests … Parties and ceremonies, elephants and horses, flowers and bangles. Wow! Exotic. It can take years and years to pay for the festivities.  
Many weddings in this white and romantic city of Udaipur. At our hotel we were exposed to an up close view of what goes on. A wedding to take place on our second night. Festivities were already going on when we arrived. Family members and guest of the beautiful Trident hotel, beautiful sarees, great celebrations. Breakfasts, laughter, women together in meeting rooms, chanting, music, large tent type enclosures, white fabric draped over metal scaffolding, red and purple flowers and decorations …. This could be a royal wedding!
On our full day in Udaipur, one of the activities for us was to take a boat ride to visit the island, where coincidentally the wedding ceremony was to take place. The palace, fortress and ancient structure had been completely taken over by wedding decorations. Marble elephants adorned with red blankets signifying the Royal presence, the place of the wedding. Marigolds strung and hung over carvings, trees, parts of the structures …. Overhead beautiful and elaborate light fixtures are created, adorned with purple and fuchsia flowers, strung and hung. Purple fabric draped again over structures created to centralize people and indicate where certain ceremonies will take place … The exchanging of garlands and vows and much more.
The caterers are busy creating and preparing foods, tables, chair covers.
The boats are being prepared with marigold strings and white flowers, (oleander?). When we returned to the shore in our adorned boat, we could see that chairs, tables and fabric, flowers and other items still to be taken over to the island.  
Usually the groom is to arrive on a horse or an elephant, depending on the cost for the family, and in this case, bride and groom will arrive to the island on separate boats so they do not see each other before the formal ceremony. Costs shared between families … The engagement paid for by grooms family and the wedding day vow exchange by the brides. Other days of celebration shared according to who is hosting which event … Feasts, dances, meals, and more ceremonies.  
Thousands of dollars and even millions of rupees are expended for this elaborate joining of families. The woman can change her caste as she joins with her new family, her new husband. The man, his caste never changes in his lifetime or that of his ancestors.
Romantic, beautiful and with much ceremony, this couple will join for a lifetime of being, working, growing, creating children and celebrating together. They will have priests attached to their family to provide guidance and spiritual support throughout their lives. 
We wish them a happy lifetime together … For all the years and children and love that will be created.  
Namaste and thanks for allowing us a glimpse into the rich cultural experience that is really the personal journey of two hearts.
Pamela 
Ps. There are 7 pre and post ceremonies.

Wedding dates are selected by horoscope. Jan, feb and Nov, even if it is a love marriage. Also time for 7 vows and mantras. Takes 3-4 hours. 
Groom side pays for engagement party, for example, a banquet, 400 people.  
The groom has a ceremony for Wrapping his wedding turban. There is a ceremony where relations and fiends give wedding bangles and other clothing items to assist the dressing of the wedding to the couple. The ceremony where the groom arrives on a horse surrounded by his relations and friends and there is a procession with the horse. In Hindu religion there is a ceremony at the Shiva temple. Decorations, music and lights accompany the celebration. Groom and family welcome guests. Celebration in a garden. All in all it is a very busy time. 
Families exchange gifts at a ceremony. There is a turmeric ceremony, 3-4 days prior to vow ceremony. Where the skin of the couple is treated.  
A Ceremony of henna application with bride. Husbands name is hidden in henna somewhere on her body. He has to find his name that golden night. 

7 promises from sanscript. Walking around holy fire. Family blesses them. Groom applies red powder of vermillion on the center part of his wife’s head, just above forehead. Every day he does it. Marks her hair as such. If he is away she applies it herself. When he is home it is a daily ritual for the married couple.
There is a Shoe stealing ceremony. The brides family and wedding guests demand fortune for the return of grooms shoes. Sister of bride steal groom shoes. Groom must pay. His brothers and friends protect grooms shoes. It is to connect and provide comfort so family she is leaving can feel confident. It is a lighthearted event for fun and family togetherness during this important time in their lives.
First royal welcome to groom …. Also a red line he must cross. Created by brides family and friend. 
She wears garland of roses to her knees. Bride and groom stand on a Rotating stage. People throw flower petals. Blessing the couple. Give the couple gifts or cash. This all takes time and there are about 150 guests still left up to 1-4 am. 
Bride is given lavish departure from her family. 630 am. Groom mama gives welcome to grooms home for the bride. She sees her home for first time. 
Bride and groom sit and big bowl of milk is laid before them. Groom drops his ring in bowl. Who is first to pick it up, 3 tries. Then she is going to be boss. He helps her so she will be happy. She deserves to be happy. 
Then reception party. Following night. Very colourful events. Elaborate. 
If sister elder or same age … Sister must marry first. Everything matters. 
“Vivah” is a Bollywood movie to watch. 
7 vows promises for happy and prosperous life. Eye witness is important .. For seven lifetimes. Groom says one, bride next, then groom. Then bride … Like this … Well not exactly but close ….
1. You will offer me food and be helpful in everywhere

2. I am the bride and will be responsible for house

3. I will protect our children

4. You will love me solely

5. We Will educate our children

6. I will love you solely for my life 

7. You have brought sacredness to me in my life

8. I will shower you with joy everywhere

9. You are my best friend and 

10. I promise to love and cherish you as long as I live. I will trust and honour you

11. May you be filled with joy and peace

12. I will always be by your side 

13. We are now one

14. I am now your wife and we love honour and cherish each other
Namaste, 
Have a happy life!  
Pamela
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LESSONS OF LOVE IN INDIA

SOFTEN, RELAX AND LET GO
The journey is to breathe and take it in, see what is and not attempt to make it anything else and then … Like clouds passing by, let it move through. Let it go.
As hard as this country and the suffering of some of the people is for our / my western heart … I am not here to change their lives. I am here as a witness to their lives and to see the country as it is. With non attachment I can witness the present and let it go.
Listening to Pema Chodron in the bus as we drive through the desert and past sand dunes, people and camels (and cows and dogs), I am enjoying the reminders to relax and enjoy the journey.  
I have learned some truths about this country and my judgements of same. Today, with several teary hugs I heard that some people judge and wonder why India lets it’s forts, palaces and structures go to disrepair … Why not fix them up to restore former glory? The answer I heard was that buildings can be built by people … If they fall down, they can be built again and again. India is not about these structures, it is about the heart and soul. Families and communities are the heart and soul of India. Ceremonies that bring families together, social activities that promote togetherness … THIS IS THE INDIA I CAME TO MEET. This is the India I found.
I did not come half way around the world to see the same same … I came to find out what is different. How can I find truth in this place? How can I experience peace and beauty in this country, so very different from my own? How can I be affected so that India goes home with me as my heart softens to its touch.
Tonight as I travelled by camel through the sand dunes to see the glorious sunset, I could feel the camel movement beneath me. I could experience the pace of the beast, and it’s gate as the flow of India. The camel stepped from the hard surface to the icing sugar texture of the deep flowy sand dune and I could again feel the softness of this earthy place. I could feel it as surely as if I was walking in my bare feet. I was so moved by the experience, the view of the other camels in silhouette of the brilliant and colourful sun set on this magnificent land and its people. Even now, hours later, I can be transported to that magical moment of softness and steady pace, THAT is India.
No anger here. No unkindness. Acceptance of what is and steady movement in pace with the breath of Mother Earth. Oh what joy in the simple letting go and letting be. Namaste.

More lessons to come 🙂
Namaste, 
Pamela

The student meets the teacher

THE STUDENT MEETS THE TEACHER, IN INDIA
The student, now a middle aged man in the work of being a tour guide in India, reaches down and touches the pant leg of an older man standing in the market. The older man reaches in his pocket. He produces a Bon Bon, a commercially wrapped candy. The teacher passes the candy to the student man. The student man opens the candy wrapper and eats the candy.  
No words were spoken … The exchange complete. The older man still standing in the market engaged in whatever he was doing before the exchange.  
The student, now our guide for the day, takes a moment to explain.
That older man was once his teacher. When he was young, the student would learn from the teacher and be rewarded for learning his lessons.
Since that time, the student bows to the teacher, touches his pant leg as if still a young child …. Honouring his teacher. The unspoken message is … “I am me now, because you taught me.”
The teacher acknowledges that the student is deserving of a reward, always carries the Bon Bon, and delivers the gift to the student.
Amazing.
The student has lived in this Fort, a living Fort, in India in his families home for all his life. His family has been living in that same home for some 50 plus generations … Always have they lived in this home.  
Namaste, 
Pamela of India
 

Modes of transport in India, so far

MODES OF TRANSPORT In India
At Fort Rajwada, while staying in Jaisalmer, we arrive by our bus and then evening camel ride at sunset. WOW!
Horse carriage to Taj Mahal. 
Jeep ride 
Eco friendly van
Bicycle rickshaw
TukTuk 
Elephant 
Camel ride on sand dunes to watch the sun set.
Walking
Bus
Airplane
A boat ride to an island

Jaisalmer … Changes me

Jaisalmer. Unesco Fort. Only living Fort in India, Asia and world. 900 years old. 
We have a wonderful guide, very good friend of Luv. His name is Lalu and he has a Great sense of humour and is a story teller. We are so fortunate. He is a guide of the highest quality … He speaks from his heart to my heart.  
This living Fort was once a long the silk and opium route in ancient times. Once inhabited by “robbers”, the very wealthy and corrupt … Allowing those who will pay for the service to enter. The Fort protected only those who pay. Not very democratic!
Then with border Pakistan and conflict, the trade ended. The trade route was severed. And no water was here in this desert place. No trade, no industry. Since 1947 no income for the inhabitants. Indira Ghandi introduced and supported in 1984, tourism. 
Previously women were carrying water on their heads from 1.5 km! So Mrs Ghandi funded a water canal to be built, some 647 kms. To improve and sustain the lives of those who lived in the Fort. It provided a Lifeline for this place, many thanks to her effort. 
In 1985 first tourist came. And for six months of the year, this is the only income for this town.  
Summer here is hell, temperatures of 48-50 even 52 C this past year or 126 F degrees. “It’s a punishment kind of place.”
“It’s not that easy in desert to see the lake. Haha.”  
First stop many crematorium and structures to honour those who passed. In ancient times, with no vegetation, no power … Architecture is special here. Unique, detailed and elaborate.  
Six months of tourism, rest of time helping each other. “This is a Living desert.” Hippies and gypsies. Very close to each other, close to heart. Safety for women, friendly and family atmosphere. 
We visited an Artificial lake. With little rainfall, this lake is very important to their lifestyle. Used to be a huge stone quarry, so filled it up :). Ghat is spectacular in the morning sun. A temple was built in this lake when it was started … A rule made never to destroy a temple and gate. The gate that was Built by a woman so some men, even today, the Royal leader will not enter the gate. Crazy! There is a king here now, he still won’t go through gate.  
I see strung marigolds in the lake, left over from ceremony to support spiritual growth.  
Nasty huge catfish bubbling up in the water. I took pictures and shuddered! I figure if I ever fell in, I would NEVER stop screaming. Luckily no one falls in from our group, lol.
A Gypsy woman arrives with a babe on her hip and small child at her side. We learn of her life style. The more kids in w family, the more hands to earn money. She is excluded from main community and had to walk 4-5 km to get here this morning from her home in the desert. Caste system still present. She sings for us and we are giving her a small donation of support. It is hard to support the begging of children. Such an internal conflict I feel within. So I breathe and let it be what it is.  
Mrs Ghandi made such a difference in the lives of women in this country. More than I ever knew. I will study more about her and honour the changes she made in the lives of women and girls around the world with her courage. Magnificent mentorship.
The owner of the 30 km diameter Fort was a “robber”, and built four gates. High security. Have to pay to enter the Fort. Storage of food was issue. If had to face enemy and enemy got control of Fort, they would poison their own water, bury their money, women commit suicide….. So there would be no gain for taking control of the Fort. So any conquerors did not get much. 
You can’t see next gate from this one. So if at this gate, the Fort dwellers could go out for food. Enemies could not tunnel in. 
All built from golden stone.  
A secret tunnel found by security guard of Mrs Ghandi. Was five hundred years since the tunnel was opened. No paper back then … But now archeologists are interpreting what was written palm leaves. Incredible place!  
Lalu tells us that the buildings can go in to disrepair … And India can boast the Best family, spiritual, and social life of the world! India offers that. 
The Grandmother is boss inside home. Men of the outside world. If you need a room of your own, you get it. Otherwise kids sleep all together with grandparents. No “old persons homes” in India. Family life in India supports family. 
India is heart. We were welcome in a family home. We saw how simply they live, how little in the way of possessions.  
Lalit is German. He spends some time talking to me about his values and his India. We weep together and hug. 
Three major emotional expressions, tears of change, today. With the brilliant guidance of this spiritual man … 
He said to tell my daughters they have a “nice, precious mom”. I want to weep again. I am so honoured to be in such a presence.  
Forever changed by the guides I have met. Lalu and Luv I am so grateful to know you! India is so much more than what we think and know about it. Meeting and speaking with the heart to the locals life guides is life changing. I wept many times today and I feel such gratitude and love. Thank you. Thank you thank you. Namaste
Pamela