Friday, August 28, 2009

Changing Seasons

Somehow, even though the seasons here are quite different, I still feel a new season coming on and it leaves me contemplative. Maya is back in school again, I start up again next week with classes as well and I find myself organizing things and going through various piles of life remnants that are scattered around the house. This is the only area of control I have over my life at present. We are still waiting to hear about the contract extension, though are feeling more confident that it will be approved and are just waiting for the process to be completed. Still, it is six months only. Through June of 2010. That is only 10 months more here that are guaranteed. Not so long in the scheme of things. When people ask me how long I have been in Bangalore I at this point reply with "it is coming up on 2 years". Two years. That seems like a long time, and yet it has passed so quickly that I can hardly believe it. I sometimes find myself realizing that I have good friends here, I like it and feel comfortable. Yet at the same time, I also find myself growing weary of the noise, the lifestyle and the inability to get around on my own more easily. Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling depressed, just... well, like I said - contemplative. The times, they are a changin'...

There are stories to tell- I went to Singapore with my daughters last week. I have visited more charities and taken some interesting pictures... I will leave you with this. Some of the many reasons why I love India. Can't help but feel that its future is on good hands.

Friday, August 07, 2009

New Zoo Review

Well, the class is over. My brain has been sucked dry and now it seems as if my body has relaxed enough that it feels it is okay to get sick. great.

I am truly looking forward to getting back to photography classes in September and in the meantime am sorting the stacks of paper that have accumulated in the last eight months. In other news, our life here is in state of "wait and see". My husband's current contract ends Dec. 31st and we are waiting to hear whether a six month extension has been approved - or not. We would like to have the extension so that my youngest daughter can finish out the school year here. Better yet would have been a 1 1/2 year extension so that she could finish her schooling completely since she is starting the IB program, something that is not so readily available should we return to the states. But we really don't know; there have been so many expats who have had to suddenly go home in the last six months, there is no guarantee that the same won't happen to us. There is also no guarantee that my husband will have a job elsewhere. So, we wait and will see. What else can we do? That said, it is a frustrating position to be in.

So it's Friday. How about a photo and a little story? Okay, can't choose one, so how about three?

So, one of the charities that is supported by the OWC is called Navachetana. It is a residential home for adults who have mental difficulties. The current home that they live in is adequate, but is rather dark, has no garden, and is on a rather noisy street. They don't get out much. It is not ideal, but my understanding is that they have had a hard time staying in houses because of costs (increasing property values in Bangalore) and prejudice. There does not seem to be a lot of understanding about mental illness in India and the honest truth is that many people are quite superstitious about such things. Not everyone, but enough that it makes a difference in these people's lives.

Now, as I said they don't get out much, BUT a field trip was organized to the nearby Bannerghata Wildlife Park and Zoo and we came along to "help". We drove the approximate 1 1/2 hours to get there (I love being outside of the city!) and quickly met up with our group. First up was the safari. Yes, we saw lions, and tigers, and bears .... All through the caged in windows of our private bus. Now, there are two stories in that last sentence. First was the caged in windows. They didn't used to be caged, but rumor has it that a young child was attacked through an open window of one of the buses some years back. So now, they have metal grills. Quite logical if you ask me. Now, the second interesting mention above was PRIVATE BUS. The buses for the safari are notorious for being over-crowded and all of the bodily joys that that experience would give you. To have a private bus for our group was a real treat and much appreciated by us all. Though we must have been quite a sight. A bunch of white people with cameras armed and ready "accompanying" a group of somewhat reserved and quiet Indians who seemed only moderately interested in the wild animals just outside. Well, I had fun anyway.

This is Gracie, she is quite the model don't you think?

After the safari, we had lunch and then went into the zoo. There are many of your typical zoo animals: birds of multiple varieties, crocodiles, leopards, elephants, monkeys. Yes monkeys. That was pretty funny actually. There was a cage with some sort of monkeys inside, then outside was a group of wild and free monkeys who truly seemed to be teasing them. They were even stealing their food. Priceless!

I also appreciated the helpful signs.

We wandered around the zoo for about an hour and then gathered and said our goodbyes. It was a fun trip and a great way to spend the day and we all appreciated getting out of Bangalore for a few hours.