Blogs from Kottayam, Kerala, India, Asia


Asia » India » Kerala » Kottayam March 20th 2013

Kerala is a province in India that is characterized by its waterways that have, since forever, served as roadways around which communities were built. These communities still thrive today, so when you take a boat cruise to the backwaters of Kerala, you are not just viewing more beautiful scenery as a tourist. What makes this experience different, and much more special, is that you are viewing life as it still goes on in this very beautiful environment. The boat cruise options are numerous, from luxury houseboats that provide both dining and sleeping accommodations, to quaint little Venice-like Gondolas for two powered by the guy at the back quietly paddling you through the tiniest, most intimate waterways where you get up-close-and-personal glimpses of the people who live, play, and work here. We chose the later, and it ... read more
Paddlling Down the Backwaters
Eagles Like Earrings
Stan with his Buddy

Asia » India » Kerala » Kottayam March 24th 2011

It was a lazy day before leaving Fort Kochi at 4pm on our first train, the Jan Shatabdi, heading south to Kayankulam Junction. Our host had told us it was a nice train but didn’t explain how the classes worked. “2S” is second class and whilst we were allocated seats we learned that it doesn’t mean diddly squat. But we got the two old ladies out of our seats and sat down to get evil eyes from them for the next 2 hours. It was almost 9pm by the time we got to Amma’s ashram in Amritapuri. Mata Amritanandamayi Math, or kindly known as the hugging guru, she is one of the most followed gurus in India. We just caught the checkin office before it closed and free Indian dinner and then went to sleep. The ... read more
Tower block

Asia » India » Kerala » Kottayam December 25th 2009

Geo: 9.58645, 76.5218 Today morning, we got up very early to watch the sunrise: we had a nice walk on the beach watching the sunrise and after our breakfast, we set off to Kottayam. On the way there we stopped at our local tour operator's house with beautiful grounds and gardens which had lush green trees, plants with lovely flowers and we saw many colourful butterflies. We relaxed here for some time, there were swings on the Mango tree, hammocks and it was tranquil here. The staff prepared the lunch in front of us which was very interesting, we had many varieties and the lunch was delicious. After some delightful mangoes, pineapples and another round of coconuts brought fresh from the trees, we sat off for the rest of our journey to Kottayam. We passed through ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Kottayam July 3rd 2009

So we're off to Cochin with Phil! He is doing great and actually better than he has been for most of the trip. We are taking an A/C cab to pick him up from the hospital and go directly to Cochin so he won't have to ride the train. Once we are there we will arrange our flights so he won't have to take the day long train ride back to Chennai. The doctor told us and him that he shouldn't fly due to a case of DVT and the clot is still there. So we will stick out the rest of our time here and return on the original date. We're off to get him, love you all, Ben, Deb, Laurel... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Kottayam July 2nd 2009

Well...this morning is something that I will never forget even though I am wishing I could. All the important people have been notified so I feel like I can send out a public update. I'll just warn you now that my description might get graphic but i don't have time to think/rethink every word right now. Immediately after breakfast Phil suffered a seizure in the restaurant of the hotel. He could not move or speak and was shaking violently. His body was very stiff and it took all of us to get him on the floor with a towel under his head. A few seconds later he stopped breathing and turned completely blue. We tried to clear his airway but his jaw was clenched so tight that we couldn't see into his mouth and he must ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Kottayam July 2nd 2009

I hope the last post wasn't too distressing. Prayers really work, and God is powerful enough to work through people. It turns out that Phil did have a mini-stroke from a blood clot in his brain. They found it in a CT scan and gave him an anti-coagulant to start breaking it down. He has made a great turn around and has his spirit back. I'll let Mitch give his 1st hand account but I'm just in awe of God's divine intervention and perfect timing. We'll know more in the morning when we talk to the doctor but we have plenty of options so we'll keep everyone posted. I do want to let you know that we had a huge network of South Indian disciples praying for Phil today. Binoy called Paul on the way to ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Kottayam May 4th 2009

March flew like I can't even tell you and April was even faster. This is the rundown of March, but soo much more happened. There will be a REAL newsletter for April very soon, I promise! March: My dear friends (and fellow wardens) Soni and Sherin left Mandiram to continue studies at the Orthodox Seminary, but I had a fantastic time with the girls at the orphanage even though studies were intense as countless state exams took place. The elderly Appachens and Amachees always keep life interesting and busy :). It was decided that my Lindsey, a volunteer in this program through the Presbyterian church would be returning to the US immediately following our All-India tour in April, which brings me a lot of sadness, but it may turn out for the best as she will ... read more

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