Wow… I am back from India (after almost 30 hours of travel)… I am exhausted. I wished I was a better writer as well as photographer so that I could truly share the amazing things I saw and experienced… never the less I am going to share in my own unique weird way… and it will be a bit random and weird, but I promise interesting. (well at least I hope it will be interesting)
Before I dump all of the random pictures I have taken I want to publically thank all of the individuals I was able to meet… from the people I interviewed to the people I worked with… You are all some of the kindest people I have met and I was honored to be able to spend time with you. I can honestly say that all of you made what could have been a very busy, stressful, and overwhelming time into a very intersting and joyful experience…
SO… here goes some pictures.
This picture shows an experience that kind of broke my heart. This is Sunday morning and I went for a very early walk. (had to be in the office at 8 am) I met this mother and her young daughter. They slept in a near by field and they had gathered garbage to burn to keep warm. The little girl followed me for almost half a mile asking for money (I think since I couldn’t understand her). I didn’t have any rupees (Indian money) so I gave her some American money… she didn’t know what it was. I was worried that she had walked so far away from her mother so I walked her back to her mom. I tried to explain that what I gave was money… (not sure if her mother ever understood). I felt like I was letting them down. I really wanted to make a difference. I wanted to buy them some food and warm clothes but nothing was open. I left them thinking I could come back and take them shopping. I went back after work and even tried to find them the next day but I did not see them… I still think about these two and the struggles they must be facing. (and my lost opportunity to truly show kindness and love)
On the last day the wonderful office scheduled a taxi with a guide to take us (our last 4 hours) on a small sight seeing trip. I was THRILLED. When I got into the taxi with the guide we learned (quickly) that neither spoke English. They took off and we had not idea where we would end up. If you have seen the series “Idiot Abroad“.. you will know exactly how this is going to turn out. (Some of you after reading my trip posts might have already equated “Idiot Abroad” and yours truly)
We did not go to a temple… although there were many famous ones in Pune. We did not go to a fort… although I was told that there are amazing forts in Pune. Our first stop was this amazing park like place where you can go and see animals in cages… I think the Indians call it a Zoo. I was really surprised and disappointed but in the end I went along and just laughed about it.. especially when I noticed how enthusiastic our guide was. We couldn’t understand him but I forced him to teach me the Hindi word for every animal… boy was he patient. He was also confused because I was only taking pictures of signs… I will share one of them.
After the zoo… We wanted to go to some street shops to buy our families some presents. (I had to find Ben a Ganesh Idol… and the other kids some presents). With the help of google translate we thought they understood and we left the zoo… Things looked promising as we passed market places but…hmm no stopping. We finally stopped in an underground parking and when we took the elevator up we found ourselves in a shopping mall. (Very western looking…hmmmm)
I did what any tourist would do in a western shopping mall in India. I took pictures of the signs… and here is one
We were unable to buy any thing for the kids but we did find a tourist shop at the Mumbai airport!…
… and as far as Ben’s special requests… well the McDonalds fell through…