February 6, 2012

More pictures from the land of Kodaikanal

The house we are staying in

Views on the walk into the town center

View of the Kodaikanal lake.

Apparently rocks make great places to dry clothes

Our wonderful chef

Tomato chutney 
 Some of the wonderful food we've been eating:
One of the many amazing dishes from Abby's kitchen, a favorite hang out for some of the local school children.

Aloo gobi mutter massala, hot and sour veg soup and veg byriani (left to right)...yum yum!

Gigantic dosas to be eaten by hand with some amazing coconut chutney.
 More pictures from our hike Saturday:

Post hike feast at Astoria, one of the many tasty veg restaurants in town.

Putting surgical skills to good use
 On Sunday, many vendors from all over the area come to the center of Kodaikanal to the Sunday market.  You can find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to hand made clothing and wares.  We're all pretty big fans of the tree tomatoes.  We hope to try the custard apples and jack fruit before we leave.

All fruits and vegetables are sold via hand scales and bartering.

Even the domesticated cows enjoy a nice stroll through the market.

After our stroll through the market we were invited to join the local school in a game of ultimate frisbee.  Paul has a hidden talent for the game.  It also helps that he's a head taller then most of the other players. 
As if one hike wasn't enough for the weekend we decided to take a nice trek up by the water canal.  As we waited for the remainder of our party we took the opportunity to snap some pictures of the waterfall that was at the beginning of the hike.
 Some of views from the hike:

After a wonderful weekend of exploring the natural beauty that the area surrounding Kodaikanal has to offer, we were back to work Monday morning.  We spent the morning in one of the local Creche's.  FIMRC is a large supporter of several Creche's which are day care centers for children ages 2-5.  These centers have five designated teachers that are responsible from everything from cooking, giving vitamins/medicines, acting as teachers and care takers throughout the day.  The five teachers are responsible for 50 students but most Creshe's have a few additional students as they won't turn away any child in need.

On the way to the Kresh we ran into one of the students.  This 3 year old girl was making her way alone so we took her under our wing as we made our way to the Creshe.


Many of the Creshe's have a similar schedule.  The students arrive in the morning for prayer, followed by yoga and several rhyming games. Shawna and Emily assisted in morning dosing of vitamins and cough syrup.

 After breakfast time comes play time.  The students were very well behaved as they waited for their turn on the buddy swing.  We enjoyed some active play time with the children, who were incredibly well behaved the entire time.
Emily lead group exercises.  

Once play time is over the students engage in several lessons, based on age groups.  The younger group (2-3 years old), joined by Emily and Paul, were hard at work learning how to draw elephants (yanas).
The older group (4-5 years old), joined by Claire and Shawna, spent the time learning some English and Tamil.  They learned how to say the days of the week, months of the year, alphabet, several wild animals, and counting to ten.
Claire lead group yoga.  There were some quite impressive tree poses and downward dogs.

After separate group lessons came learning about elephant parts, story time about elephants then more group rhymes involving, you guessed it ELEPHANTS!  
 After a busy, busy morning came lunch time and then...
The main goal of spending time at the Creshe was to identify areas of weakness.  We developed several ideas for improvement in several areas including nutrition, hygiene, health care and overall structure of the Creshe.  Our input and the donations from all the donors will go a long way towards helping the children in need.

Sorting the donations to be split between the Creshe's, Pasam hospital, K.H.M.S. (where the Creshe children receive their health care), and Pondicherry Hospital (the hospital we will be visiting our last week).


Erik said...

Great pictures guys, it looks like an amazing trip!

MSU CHM Saginaw said...

Nice hikes. Really cool stuff about the kids. Love the pictures.

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