June 2015 - March 2016
  • Day1

    Saint Louis, Missouri

    June 7, 2015 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    Graduating onto new things... Some more professional than others. Hopping on a nighttime mega-bus with Wi-Fi to Chicago to then catch a train in order to board a plane to countries largely without Wi-Fi, where I know zero native languages, and where I will remain until 2016.

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  • Day3

    Kochi, Kerala - Kunjumachen's

    June 9, 2015 in India ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    After 1.5 days of crying babies, busses, trains, and a 17 hours of flight, I could not be more excited for my first night's sleep in southwestern India's coastal hub.

  • Day3

    Fort Kochi, Kerala

    June 9, 2015 in India ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Jain Temple & Oldest Synagogue in British Commonwealth (1583). For my Jewish friends back home: locals would ask if I had yet visited the area known as "Old Jew Town" in Fort Kochi and seen some of the few Jewish individuals (60-70 total in the state of Kerala) that remain in a once highly Jewish district. It is as if that was likely to be my only chance to see a Jewish person. Obviously, they had never heard of Chesterfield, Missouri.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SiPpFSswZA&list=PL_F7_2vajD46CoQn9zsI_WO57jVQEVRaQ
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  • Day5

    Kochi, Kerala (continued)

    June 11, 2015 in India ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Final day in Cochin, more pictures and videos to come. The cows on the road slowed us down a bit, but the downright reckless drivers kept us alert. Plus, some quotes I found written in a journal given to me as a gift from my whiz-kid sis, Clare.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SiPpFSswZA&list=PL_F7_2vajD46CoQn9zsI_WO57jVQEVRaQ
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  • Day8

    Munnar, Kerala (continued)

    June 14, 2015 in India ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Found myself a bit turned around at the tail end of a hike in Munnar. This lady was happy to pawn off a bucket she was carrying on me in exchange for directions to the trails jump-off point...a hundred yards from where I was "lost".

    First video link: https://youtu.be/8SiPpFSswZA

  • Day8

    Munnar, Kerala

    June 14, 2015 in India ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    http://youtu.be/m_PbZecWQzc
    While stopped on the side of the road on the way to RRUP school in Ullanoor, a young lady from Riyadh approached me and two others, inviting us to an ongoing wedding ceremony in a nearby school atrium. I made my way inside and there were no less 250 people in attendance. All eyes turn to see the new pale guests. Of course, I get embarrassed and start ducking down. Before I can get comfortable, I'm ushered to the front to take video and pictures. The kids took a liking to the GoPro, so I let them take footage as I took pictures on their phones. Video to come later.Read more

  • Day10

    Ullanoor, Kerala

    June 16, 2015 in India ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    https://youtu.be/Icg5DFG6LUw

    The work begins at Rural Reconstruction Upper Primary (RRUP) school. Meeting with advisory board and school manager to discuss possible solutions to threats to enrollment, future investments to adjust to government restructuring, and new recruitment tactics. Visits to feeder schools to increase RRUP's visibility were effective and generated a good amount of excitement and a new organic community garden unveiling received local media attention. Among other things, we are being kept busy.Read more

  • Day14

    Kovalam Beach, Kerala

    June 20, 2015 in India ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Arrived in Thiruvananthapuram this morning via the 6:30 a.m. train from Chengannur. After a bit of heckling, a 16 km rickshaw ride to the hotel cost 600 rps ($10). With what energy we had left after a week at RRUP school in Ullanoor (video to come next week) and 2 days of trying to beat a head-cold, Ash and I made our way to Kovalam Beach. I was by far the palest of the several hundred beach patrons today. A few of the less shy locals asked for pictures -- the fair-skinned circus freak. Both the sights and the people surpassed expectations, even with it being the beach's off-season.Read more

  • Day15

    Sree Padmanabhaswamy, Trivandrum, Kerala

    June 21, 2015 in India ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Padmanabhaswamy Temple, referenced in Tamil literature as early as 500 BCE, is believed to be the wealthiest temple in the world due to the mass amounts of unaccounted gold and silver stored beneath its foundation. It remains widely visited and well-known amongst Vaishnivite Hindus. It is also the only temple receives occassional visits from the last living King, or Maharaja, of the British colonial period. Today Ash and I visited the temple wearing traditional dothis; it was a sight to see and try to quickly forget. The Temple itself was gorgeous, with fortified exterior walls so intricately and ornately carved that pictures don't do then justice.Read more