It took awhile to sink in but it wasn't long before I realized I had no idea how to plan an urban birthday party. We lucked out (tho I'm pretty sure Kalani doesn't see it that way) with Kalani's because we were traveling (see Eastern Ghats blog) on his birthday and he was denied a party. But we were here for Kekai's and I had to figure out something to do that didn't include kids going wild at Bird Park, Namakanipaio, Kulanaokuaiki, or anywhere else with wide open spaces since there aren't any of those around here.
Last week we got a flier in our mailbox, inviting us to join a group meditation in honor of Valentines Day. The idea was that you could "embrace Mother Earth & actually contribute an "I love you" to her" through meditation. It was all pretty sweet sounding until the end of the flier which had the following:
Who should not practice Meditation on Twin Hearts?
1. Pregnant Women
2. Children below the age group of 10 years
3. High BP patients
4. Heart patients
5. People with severe Kidney Ailments
Wow. I get not wanting loud little kids in a group meditation, but what do you think they're going to do everyone's heart, blood pressure, and kidneys?
OK, not all rants, but here's the link to the articles I've been writing for the Volcano Vent. You can get to the old ones by clicking the Archives link under my photo:
I think today's headlines were the most optimistic thing I've read since picking up my first Indian newspaper. Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, is taking a no-nonsense legal approach to the harassment spawning from the social boycott and fatwa called against the Kashmiri girls in the band.
Until everyone does everything in their power to ensure that people are treated fairly, regardless of their sex or age, we will continue to see the senseless violence against women and girls that has been in the news since my arrival but only recently brought to the attention of the masses. It's easy to look at cases like this and let them ride: what does it really matter if three girls sing? Most everyone decided their own hides were more important than young dreams and kept quiet in the wake of the controversy.
Thank you, Mr. Abdullah, your actions are a ray of hope in the effort to change the violent manifestation of something so much deeper than what we are exposed to in the news. While groups debate the death penalty and juvenile justice, I am uplifted knowing that people are out there, tackling such problems at their long and amorphous roots.
(and, no, I'm not just talking about India)
Oooh, I have data! Nagendra finished entering the interviews for me and I now have a 66 x 2,366 worksheet full of data. Not all those cells are useful (I set the worksheet up to be easy to enter accurately, but not easy to work with afterwards) but, still, I have data.
What I don't have is a Stats program. Didn't think about the fact that it was on my office desktop, not my laptop (not to mention that the license has probably expired anyway).
Now to figure out what to do with it all.....
Immo and Diana, Sonampthpur
From Jodhpur we flew back to South India where we spent a few days in Bangalore before heading to Mysore on a train, then back to Bangalore for a couple nights, then Immo and Diana departed for the US.
Our return to Bangalore coincided with a bout of stomach flu that I naturally assumed meant that we'd gotten bad water, but since a new one of us fell to it every day or two I finally realized that it wasn't something we'd eaten. it put a bit of a damper on our South India time but it luckily passed pretty quickly so no one "lost" more than a day of touristing.
We had enough time to find a beautiful kurtha for Diana (Fabindia, of course) and Immo even put together an invited speach at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.
Cold Jodhpur morning
Oh, and yes! It is blue!
We stayed at the Haveli Inn Pal which promised to have the best views of Meherangarh Fort in the town. It delivered fully with the most amazing breakfast views I've ever seen. Like all of Rajasthan, Jodhpur was cold and I spent most of my time double-wrapped in first my Polartech fleece followed by a Pashmina shawl, that I almost never took off.
The hotel was actually in the walled and gated old Sardar Bazaar which meant that all you had to do was step out the door and you were in the thick of it. We asked about going somewhere when we first arrived and the hotel owner said that we should wait until after 10am the next day so that we could see it when it was "animated," and animated it was. A veritable sea of people and goods and, and, and . . . that made it very easy to squint your eyes a bit and float back in time to when the fort was still occupied and the markets were held here.
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