Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Closing Program

We hurried back to IEM to get showered and ready for the closing program. Unfortunately, there was still no water. Thankfully, in 85 degrees and 90% humidity, my hair looked pretty much the same whether I had showered or not… ;o)  I was also thankful that I had some powder so I could get my new outfit on. LOL  While I felt like a sausage stuffed into it, the girls all told me I looked beautiful and one little girl told me I looked “perfect”! :o)

All the kids from the Bible College and the Children’s Home had chosen different songs to sing, dances to do or skits to perform for us before we went back to America. It was so much fun!

closing program 02 Varghese did the introduction

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Angelique singing a song in Hindi

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setting up the “victim” for the headhunters

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Nagaland headhunter dance

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traditional dance

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Reji’s son sang a solo

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dancers and singers

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a fun song with motions

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some of the little girls did a traditional dance

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closing program 13girls dancing to Bringing in the Sheaves

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Nagaland girls’ choir in traditional dress

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a skit about a pilgrim who was trying to find Baby Jesus

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Babu and Shirley’s son sang a solo

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skit written by the boys

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Bible College students

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young man who used to live in Children’s Home preached

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hilarious closing skit by some Bible College students

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Like everything in India, the program went on for 3 hours and no one had eaten! Then they still wanted us to come up and talk about our time there… We tried to be as brief as possible!

closing program 26closing program 01What a blessing to have all of that hard work and time just for us! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ocean In View… Oh the Joy???

It was just too hard to be so close to the Arabian Sea and not see it while we were there! I’d seen so many pictures on the internet of turquoise seas and tropical beaches, I just had to go!

13-Kerala_beaches_zpsfeff46de I didn’t ask for much but I did kind of push for an excursion to the ocean before going back to the US… And we got to go the day before we left! It was all arranged that Emmanuval would drive us to Alappuzha. GV lectured me before we left to be very careful and not to go in the water if the water was rough. I’d been swimming in the ocean in Hawaii and am a decent swimmer, but I promised we would be careful. We packed up our beach towels and bathing suits and headed out…

map to alappuzhaThe weather wasn’t ideal but it was monsoon season and it wasn’t exactly cold. But there were glimpses of blue skies on the way…

beach 01  Right away I noticed signs that the beach was definitely a tourist destination. I think the amusement park rides set up on the boardwalk was the first clue. It looked like something from the 1950’s. Especially when men turned the ferris wheel by hand to load people into the cars…

beach 03beach 02 beach 04 beach 06beach 08I guess bungee jumping is a “summer” only activity???

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Thankfully camel rides were a year-round attraction!

Imagine our disappointment when we stepped on the beach to be greeted by this…

beach 11I guess the water wasn’t really conducive to swimming… Where was the crystal clear and inviting water I had been on my computer screen? This water was actually black. And cold!

beach 21 beach 20 beach 10And I have to admit I wasn’t super excited about changing into my swimsuit in the bathrooms… Or paying to do so.

beach 07    So we decided to do what everyone else seemed to be doing. Just walking along the beach and getting the feet wet in the waves.

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beach 17 beach 16

And since we were first-timers, we took pictures of all the things that everyone else had seen a million times before…

 beach 12 beach 22 beach 26beach 32 beach 33I was glad my skirt was quick-dry!

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the coconuts on the beach were the most tropical thing there

A little way down the beach was a park where Emmanuval said they brought the kids to for a day trip every year.

beach 25 beach 23 

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beach 38beach 28  To add to the disappointment, we met up with the camels leaving the beach. I guess camel rides weren’t in the cards either…

beach 31 beach 30This lighthouse seemed a bit too far inland to be of much help…

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As did the life guard station…

beach 35There were ice cream stands and carts everywhere!

beach 36But the most unusual and excited thing we saw at the beach were white people! We hadn’t really thought about it but this was the first time we had seen white people since we left the airport in Cochin! We were so excited, we took pictures! You’d think we were Indian or something the way we stared at them… LOL

beach 15We also had Emmanuval take a few pictures of us at the Indian Ocean…

beach 18   Then we had to hurry back for the big closing program that night!

beach 39Surprising to find an ice store!

Fisherman lined the roads selling their day’s catch…

beach 41 beach 40 

beach 43  For the first time in our trip, we got pulled over by a police officer. But they didn’t pull up behind us, they just motioned for Emmanuval to pull over from the side of the road. Turns out he wasn’t getting a speeding ticket. It was just a random license and registration check. Which still begs the question if there are any traffic rules in India??? LOL