Friday, March 27, 2009

FPF- Cookie Monsters

When my kids were little, we lived on a little street in Palo Alto, California. It was a quaint little street really, even though we were just barely "in" Palo Alto, separated from the different universe of East Palo by a mere freeway. But our little street was it's own community. We had bar-b-que's, pool parties, watched out for each other's kids and really had a wonderful time. In the midst of all this lived an elderly woman in a funky little house. There were Calla Lilys in her front yard. Her driveway was painted in a checkerboard pattern and she would putter around, sweeping her drive, tending to her roses ("Peace Roses", she told me) and generally living a quiet existence.

My children loved to go visit her and after some time I discovered why. She was the Cookie Lady. Everytime they visited she gave them a cookie. They were the cheapest, unhealthiest cookies you can imagine, which my health-food mama soul cringed against. But what actually made me feel bad after a time was that I knew that she was living on a limited budget. She was on her own and lived a very simple life. But she insited that she should be able to do this for the children and they loved her for it. So they ate the cookies. They brought them smiles and the children loved visiting her. As they grew older she bought cheap versions of classic books for them, I remember The Jungle Book by Kipling was one. She cared for these children and really meant a lot to all of us.

Well, I guess it is my turn. Across the street live a family of construction workers. They are working on the site next door to us and the couple have two young children, Abdul and Reshma, who are three and one years old. A couple of weeks ago I gave them a cookie. A day or so later I did it again. Now, it has become a daily occasion and they expect it. Though I do limit it to one a day! So here are my cookie monsters...

(... is a fairly lousy photo technically, but as stated before, I have a weakness for cute kids!)

Oh- and our cookie lady? That was Miriam Patchen, wife of the poet Kenneth Patchen, and here is a bit more about her. Yep. She wasn't just some little old lady. And those cookies? They may have been the cheapest and unhealthiest cookies, but they were certainly nourishment for my children's souls.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Again...

Well, I must say that this Favorite Photo Friday thing is at least getting me blogging on a regular basis again. This week, I did not have the opportunity to take any interesting pictures. I did get out to photograph on Wednesday, but it was an OWC visit to a hotel/business center and while I took some photos, they are not of the interesting to share variety. SO instead I will share an older photo with you that I have not shared here before (though if you watch my flickr page at all you have most likely seen it).

E Block Slum residents

One of the interesting things about this photo is all of the vessels that are lined up across the front. It had been raining and they were there collecting water that was coming off of the corrugated roof. I really like the colors in this photo though.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Craft Talkin'

Okay, I am not usually one to share Youtube videos very often. Today is the exception. Why?

This one had me in stitches!

("stitches"... get it?!) Heeeheeeheeeheee....

Thanks for sharing Isha

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Friday Again...

This will be quick, but I didn't want to forget that it's Friday!

So my favorite photo from this last week was taken at another one of our (OWC) charities, a home for mentally ill adults. My understanding is that they have a real hard time of it here in India and face a lot of prejudice and such. Although, I guess that isn't really so different from most other places in the world.

This is Gracie. I took several photos of her and she is one of those talented ones who knows just when to close her eyes- right when you are taking the picture. But I finally put the camera to one side of my face so she thought I was done taking pictures and... snap. I was able to get one with her eyes open.

Gracie is really something.

I always feel quite humbled and privileged to be able to visit these charities. Humbled as those who run them are the type who really pour all of themselves into their work and privileged as I am able to meet and get to know such amazing people.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

So without going into any of the reasons as to why I have not posted recently...

I would like to introduce a new weekly feature here in Snidknits land. Yes, it is FAVORITE PHOTO FRIDAY. I will post a photo that I have taken in the last week that I like. See, I can't post any knitting because... Well, I haven't knitted a stitch since I have started back at school. Yep. That would make showing knitting difficult (although I have been eyeing my incomplete and far-too-warm-for-India Fairisle recently). So... a photo! Okay, wait. How about two? I can't decide! How about this... you tell me which you like best.

Now while those load.. let me tell you what I have been up to.

Monday we had to go to Delhi because we had to renew our visas. Why Delhi? Well, we have to visit the MHA, also known as the Ministry of Home Affairs (Sounds like something out of Harry Potter doesn't it?). We had to be there by 8:30 am. So we arrive, go wait in a room, watch other people arrive and take seats, and then once the appropriate employee arrives we are all told to go "queue". This means everyone gets up, rushes outside and forms a line with no concept of who arrived first being in front. Okay, fine. We get in line and are then ushered back into the building, being handed a number card as we cross the threshold, a number that leads us to our destiny for the day. We had Number 14. We re-take our seats (though different ones this time) and wait for our number to be called.

As we are waiting I can't help wishing that I could comfortably take pictures of all of the faces that surround me. They are surely representative of every corner of the world. I am particularly fascinated by the Afghani man who looks like he could be a brother to my husband. Now I understand why we are so often mistaken for northern Indians. Anyway, we are finally called to the front where we hand over a stack of papers that include multiple copies of every document we have that in some way relates to India. At the top of this the clerk writes "14" and then we are sent off to another building.

Once there we... sit... and wait.

At about 10:30 a woman comes in, sits at a desk and everyone rushes to her desk... so Bryan does the same thing. Who are we to buck tradition after all? He comes back with three pieces of paper. More forms for us to fill out and sign. After filling these out we return the papers, along with the rest of our papers, and then they are attached together and put into a stack, along with a lot of other papers.

Then, we... sit... and wait.

At some point (time becoming a hazy concept at this point) men begin to enter the room, grab stacks of these papers and sit at a desk in an adjoining room. Now at this point I should explain that on the wall in front of us is a sign that indicates a desk number followed by a long listing of countries that will be served from the appointed desk. There may be a connection between the particular countries that are assigned to a particular desk... but I am not sure. It is all a bit vague. Next to this sign there is board which lists the numbers 1-6 followed by a blank area that could be lit up. You know, something like what they would have in a US DMV to call you to the appropriate desk, well- except that now they are computer screens. Anyway, you get the idea. So, we assumed that when it was time for us to go up that our number would be displayed in the appropriate place there. Yeah, well, no. No, they will instead call out our number from the desk and everyone has to stand in such a place that they can hear and understand what is being said. There were quite a number of people who missed being called. Now, remember that number? Number 14? So, we should be at the top of the pile, right? I don't think I need to tell you. No such luck. It was just a pile of papers with no numeric order to it. We were finally called though some hours later, at which point the clerk looked at the papers and said to come back at 5:00 pm.

We are free!

I haven't really spent any time in Delhi before, just driven through on the way to the airport from Agra. We had heard from some friends that there was a place called Khan Market nearby to the MHA, so we headed there to have some lunch and wander around a bit. Wow. It was a bit different from Bangalore! First, I saw more foreigners wandering around... we don't often see so many in one place in Bangalore (unless it is a specifically expat function or at a hotel), and then I noticed something else. All of the Indian women were wearing Western clothing. Very strange. In Bangalore, the vast majority of women wear Saree's or Salwar Kameez. So, it is a bit different. There was also far fewer people out on the streets and very little traffic as compared to just about any area in Bangalore. It is possible that it had something to do with where we were in Delhi- not sure. This was the only place we had time to see because it was soon time to get back!

Back at the MHA. Sitting... and waiting. Finally we are called and are handed...

the envelope.

What's in the envelope? No clue. It is sealed and this is why we come all the way to Delhi. To get this and take it back to Bangalore where we are to hand it over to the Police Commissioner at the FRO (Foreign Registration Office). That's it. We get into our taxi and go to the airport. Day is done.

Repeat the mantra after me... "I love India, I love India, I love India...."