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Published: February 5th 2020
On a day that I don’t have to get up I am awake and showered by 6:15. Have had a coffee already in my room and make it to the breakfast veranda by 7 a.m. There was to be a discussion about what we wanted to do today but I think it was unanimous - a glorious day to do nothing but eat, drink and lay at the pool. The chef served us a massive breakfast which we all felt obliged to partake so it didn’t hurt his feelings. Then we waddled away to our rooms to do what we needed to do before heading to the pool.
We’ve been in the pool which was so cooling in the hot air and then sitting on lounges; some painting, some reading, some writing in their journal and some on their iPads (like me).
It’s quiet but the birds are singing in the background, dragon flies are buzzing the surface of the water and there’s a bit of traffic noise from over the walls. About 1:30 I had a quick shower and went to have lunch with the bunch. There was a buffet so I decided to overindulge again but the
idea is that I won’t have to have much for supper. After lunch was a good time to retire for some quiet reading and perhaps a siesta.
At 5 p.m. Helen, Jane & I met our guide for a walk through the low caste village. There is a gift shop on the hotel grounds that sells metal statuary and we discovered there are working artists who are making these statues just behind the hotel. These men make wonderful art with the most primitive tools.
Our guide takes us to the Hindu temple of the village and we are allowed to go inside. The temple is full of statues of their gods beautifully painted in vibrant colours and draped with flowers. I am not going into any detail about what goes on in these temples. Enough said.
The inhabitants of the village are so poor but the government has installed a number of fresh water wells for them and they have schooling so hopefully they will be able to better their lives eventually. Many of the homes were extremely small with thatched roofs. It was a walk that made me feel ashamed for all we have in N.
America that we take for granted. The children are beautiful and such wonderful smiles when we waved at them. Goats run around loose everywhere along the chickens. There was a mother hen who had about 10 little chicks - it was hard to count them because they were running every which way, trying not to get left behind and also beat the chick ahead of them to the next bug.
Supper at 7:30 and then off to our rooms to pack for tomorrow’s ride towards Pondicherry.
I wanted to talk about the Hindu faith (what I know of it). Hinduism is the world’s oldest and is third largest religion (after Christianity and Islam). They believe in one deity (Brahman) but there are many, many gods and goddesses all serving a specific purpose. It seems that each household decides which gods (goddesses) they want to honour but nearly all have statues of Ganesh. Ganesh welcomes guests to your house but also protects the family and promotes well being and prosperity. The Hindus are a very faithful people and wear an outward sign of their belief on their foreheads. Every day a trip to the temple is necessary by everyone,
from the richest to the poorest. The priest blesses them with a smudge of colour between their eyes. Depending on the region this may be a small red or orange dot or as much as a whole forehead of white with a red section (representing white for Shiva and red for Parvati). The Indian people take their religion seriously and live by their beliefs. They believe in reincarnation and karma and a code of living that emphasizes good conduct and morality. They also respect all living creatures.
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