My last morning in India

This is my last morning in India – sunshine and blue skies welcome Diwali – the Festival of Lights!

Here in Kerala it is a one day festival – other parts of India celebrate for five days.

Fireworks and firecrackers, special tiny terra cotta cups are decorated and filled with oil and a wick then a lit to give a beautiful soft light to everything. People shop for gifts, new clothes, gold jewelry and special sweets!

Last night I attended an amazing Diwali party – I had never seen so many beautiful Saris in one place. Even some of the men wore more traditional Indian Garb. There was even a mini-flash mob doing Bollywood dances – they had practiced for a week and it was a great surprise for everyone.

Yesterday the artisans of Aranya and I made one more color and tried different over dyeing techniques on the silk scarves we had previously dyed. Can’t wait until I can once again upload pictures to show everyone their beautiful work.

I am so thankful for my time here and look forward to returning.

Aranya Naturals

Rainy day in Munnar – worked at Aranya with the wonderful folks making color.

Today we worked on lovely silk scarves dyeing shades of soft purple and magenta using Lac and Cochineal. Tomorrow we will make those same colors on superior Pashmina. We will also try for a lavender. The dyers were so excited to create new colors with me and I am so happy to be working with them again.

It was so much fun to see all the new techniques they have learned – some of their own creation. They loved showing me what they were doing – shibori, dip dyeing, block printing, sewing and pressing and more was going on. Great color combinations – everything so beautiful!

A day of smiles all around.

Munnar, Kerala

I have arrived in Munnar.

The weather is the polar opposite of the Thar Desert. It is cool with an early morning mist on the mountains. On the drive up from the Cochin Airport there were several waterfalls. I could only think of what all that water coursing over the rocks would mean to the desert dwellers. I have the morning free – something that I have not experienced for three weeks. It actually feels a little strange. But it does give me time to go for a walk and reflect on my time in India as the sun slowly emerges from the clouds.

Chennai

First time in three weeks on my own.

I am staying in a B&B in Chennai. The caretaker only speaks Tamil and there is a young man helping him with limited English – fun adventure!

This morning I am going to attempt to get on a train to Auroville. I say attempt as I do not have a reservation.

It was a bittersweet parting from my Wholefoods Volunteer Team members – we did so much together and formed a strong bond.

At the same time by yesterday I was chomping at the bit to be on my own and have my own adventures.

We each had a number and would sound off to be sure we were all present – now I am a solitary #13!

Looks like a beautiful day outside – just waiting ’till 7:30 for breakfast and then I am off to visit Colours of Nature!

 

Departing Jodphur

This is my final morning with my Wholefoods Team Members.

We fly to Delhi where we will go our separate ways.

I am off to Chennai to visit Colours of Nature in Auroville. This is an Eco- conscious natural dyeing operation.  I am very eager to meet with the founder and see all that he is doing.

Here is a link to the website

http://www.thecoloursofnature.com

My apologies that there are still no pictures – have not had access to fast internet and so it is not possible to upload pictures.

Thar Desert

Sunday in the Thar Desert- we have been visiting projects that have come to fruition through a partnership between Gravis and Traditional Medicinal’s Revive!Project. We have attended the inauguration of a school in one village and a Senna storage facility that also serves as a community center and temporary school in another village.

Today we go out to the Senna fields.

Rajasthan here we come!

It is 6:25 am on Thursday Oct 9th.

We are in Delhi and getting ready to fly to Rajasthan for the final project with the Wholefoods Volunteer Team Member Program.

We will be working with Traditional Medicinals in the Thar Desert.

On October 7th I got to celebrate my birthday in Varanasi! It was the best birthday ever!