During the visit to this site last year I posed way down hill and a little to the side of this big rock. This year I got brave enough to get up close and personal. I am barefoot so I can out run the rock if it starts to roll. It is called the butterball. Krishna (One Hindu god) loves butter and the legend is he threw it to the top of the hill.
I got brave enough to have my picture taken with monkey boy and his friend.
But braver and braver is not enough for this moment. For the elephant you must be braver and braver and braver! Think really big nose with really bad cold and you will know what is on top of your head after this loving kiss.
These are pictures from that same day that the monsoon started. They were just in the other camera and our computer has been rejecting things lately. Here we are in what could be termed the "backyard." of this ancient carved city. Mahablipuram. If you were an apprentice carver you worked here in this out of the way corner.
We were told that this carving was for water storage. We could come up with another good use.
Squared off holes about the size of a small loaf of bread were chiseled in a row along the middle of a large rock. With this and then pressure they could split the huge boulders.
Behind us is the "backyard" practice area.
We think that the novice who did these elephants was soon graduated to the big leagues.
It has almost stopped raining here in Chennai. People are grateful for the rain even though it brings lots of problems. This morning I saw a fifteen foot deep trench that was ten feet wide. The construction there must now stop because the trench is half full of water. This scene is played out over and over throughout the city. Sometimes it involves sewer lines and then there is threat to health. All over India the monsoon has brought draught relief on one hand and death on the other. Two states in particular suffered extreme flooding and high death toll. Yet scientist say that India will be out of water in twenty years. It would seem impossible and yet. . .
The river of ancient fame suffers mighty changes. In many places there is not enough water to perform the traditional rites at death.
At times of the year the head waters of the famous Ganges River have sunk to small pools here and there. Could this be happening to rivers all over the world. Is it past time for action?
By now you have ordered the turkey and all the trimmings and soon you will start baking. We got invited out to an early Thanksgiving on November 7th so the holiday is passed for us. Here we are some of us gathered in the home of the same family who invited us last year. Hopefully it is a better year for them. There was a storm both years but the street into their new home was not under two feet of water like we experienced last year.
The dinner last year was wonderful but three days before it the family had to abandon their home because everything they touched gave them a shock. (I get a shock every time I use my computer. That's India.) The electricians repaired and the family came back and started to fix the Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey arrived from Bangalore but, it had all the feathers and the head. A new employee at her husbands office was not fully assigned as he had just arrived from the US. He left the office and came to our hostesses rescue. Without being too graphic he "shaped up" the turkey quickly. This year the turkey came from Thailand and was elegant and traditional.
A local restaurant that does American food will do a Thanksgiving buffet. We have invited the senior missionaries from the humanitarian mission as our guests. We are in the same city but do not see each other often. This little extra dinner will be fun. There will be no turkey, only chicken but they will have cranberry sauce. Interesting what you miss when you are far from home.
Aren't grandchildren fun? These two little guys came to visit Chennai and we got to enjoy them.
These boys are not ours, but we would claim them any day. The little one is an animated "talker." His face breaks into a grin every time he communicates with you.
Here are the parents of the boys. When this Mom was younger she and her family came every Christmas with a batch of chocolate chip cookies. We ended up as their guests for breakfast, a real treat for missionaries who are usually offered lots of biryani. (chicken ( not much,) rice, and LOTS of spice. A third child will come to their family in a few months. Hope they were planning to announce!
Big brother kept us entertained with his great knowledge and unique humour.
So our grandchildren or NOT we had a great morning. Thank you Mary and Gene for the loan!
We went sight seeing with friends even though the monsoon had started. So the first thing we learned was that a monsoon can begin rather gently. The rain was soft throughout this day and into the next.
Our household has two umbrellas and that brings up another monsoon fact. When the monsoon really gets going it is best for each person to have their own umbrella and tuck it close to your head. If you have curly hair you will look like the down on a thistle until monsoon is over.
This little goat has the right idea. As the days of monsoon advance the humidity even in the house can be almost 100%. It doesn't seem possible that it could be so humid that it hurts but there is no other way to describe it. Finally the whole think cranks up to raining all day and all night and then it stops and everyone says that it is short this year. They thought it would be three weeks and it was only two.
When you discover that one umbrella is lost you say, "That was good timing, we don't really need it now""
It started over a week ago and we haven't had time to write about it yet. All the rain we experienced last year when we arrived turned out to be a typhoon. Last year there was no monsoon and we thought there would not be one this year either. Everyone said it wasn't coming.
One morning we woke to a grey sky. Checking the Internet we found that the monsoon was starting that morning or at least in 24 hours. We ignored the news and took off for the airport to pick up friends. We headed out for our planned activities and only had to use the umbrellas a couple of times. Heading south we stayed in front of the storm and it didn't catch us until the next day.
These are the people who laid and polished the marble floor. That was a few weeks ago. We are to move into our new church facilities Saturday. These men are scheduled to put polish number eight on the floor tomorrow morning. They can't because the painters are still there. The A/C gets tested Friday because when they tried to do it today the master electrical switch outside was not on. There is attractive tile on the walls of the bathrooms, but no toilets. This is just the start of our punch list. The elevators do not work yet. We are on the fourth floor which here really means the fifth floor. The climb up the stairs takes your breath away but the view looking out over the palm trees is worth it. AND if on Sunday the A/C still does not work we will just open all the windows and cool off with a little monsoon.
“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” 1 Nephi 3:7
“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” Psalms 22:27