Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel.
on Why Did the Tofu Cross the Road (India), 15/Nov/2010 18:39, 34 days ago
Please note this is a cached copy of the post and will not include pictures etc. Please click here to view in original context.

OAB UpdateThings are winding down at work. I spent the last few weeks training visually impaired members how to use the software and adding in small modifications to make it easier to navigate. I have handed over all the source code and instructions to VSO and the OAB. It’s up to them now and I'm hoping that they are committed to the project that they planned and organized. I am available to do support for them any time and I'm hoping they take advantage of that. I wish them success.I was invited for lunch (along with every other member of the OAB) to a prominent member's home. He provides a big lunch like this a couple times per year. We dined on the roof top.Myself and the lovely Prangya having lunch.I accompanied the OAB as a chaperone to an arts festival. OAB children are lining up to go to a festival specially designed for children with disabilities.Travelling in the rickshaw and having a blast!At the festival exploring a tactile exhibit and learning about snakes.DiwaliOn Diwali my plans fell through which is something I'm used to in India. Instead of staying indoors (as almost everyone advised me to do)I took to the streets to see the lights and watch the fireworks. I can honestly say that I have never heard something so loud and so constant. It was as if I were in the middle of a war and while walking down the street I came upon a child on a motorbike crying and holding his ears. I thought it was cute and started chatting up his dad who happened to invite to me to his house to celebrate with his family. I accepted (I didn't feel like there would be much of a security risk with a toddler around). He picked me up on his bike a few hours later and I met his wife and family and practically everyone else in the building. I lit fireworks with children on the roof and had a wonderful time.My house which Auntie had decorated.My preparations for Diwali all lined up. I set them off on the roof. (It's a concrete roof.)Diwali friends.Celebrating with my new friends on their roof.I'm always an honoured guestIt seems that no matter what function I attend in India some how I always end up on stage. The latest occurrence of this happened at the Clean and Green Environmental Festival in Bhubaneswar. I actually could not attend any of the events except funnily enough, the closing ceremonies. As soon as I was spotted by the organiser I was told I would receive a certificate and it would be presented to me on stage. I did not do anything to really deserve this distinction, however, there was no arguing with the organizer. So, I happily accepted my certificate and just chalked it up to good old Southern Indian hospitality.Traditional Orissa Dance at the Clean and Green Environmental Festival.Accepting my rewards on stage. I'm am truly thankful to the organizers for including me last minute.Prangya's Village (part deux)On my second to last weekend in India I was invited once again to visit the village of Bahanaga to spend time with Prangya's family. This time Kate accompanied us and we did the same tour as before: - Panchalingris temple, Jagannath temple and Chandipur beach. It was much cooler at this time of year so I found the travel times to seem shorter. Also at Panchalingris temple the water was really flowing making it a bit tricky and certainly more dangerous to feel for the five images of the gods within the water. The beach was my favourite part of the tour and we spent time walking out for at least a kilometre and the water was only coming up to our knees. Another high light of the weekend was having Pranggya's mother cook delicious food. Vegetable curries and homemade paratha and naan. The weekend severed as a great chance to give my thanks to a family that made me feel like one of their own...on my way out I started dispensing hugs which were well received considering the conservative nature of the village.A few months ago these youngin's ran every time I tried to take a picture. This visit they forgot about their shyness and posed for a few photos while we took turns asking questions to each other.My final reach in to Panchalingris and I could only find 3 gods!Song from title:Feeling Good by Muse (Originally written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the 1965 musical "The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd")