April 27, 2012

The India Project: Days 5 & 6

We're getting to the part of India where I couldn't find time to write anything but small notes, and honestly it seems like so long ago and the memories are a bit of a blur already (how I wish I could go back!) So, I shall endeavour to write about my adventures as fully as I can, (all while pretending I'm writing them while I was there) because I really would like to share them with you, but instead it might be that as well as these posts, every now and then, a random blog will appear with a story that I forgot to tell you all :)

By far the most two exciting things that have happened over these two days are visiting an orphanage, owned and run by my Uncle's friend, Mohan, and going to a tea factory. In the tea factory, I was lucky enough to have another of my Uncle's friends, Luke (whose family I am hoping to go back and stay with :D) telling me how the process worked instead of attempting to read the small signs without my glasses. It was also great because it helped me to gain an insight into more of the culture of India.

The Tea Process
1. Use humidifiers to dry out the leaves.

2. Transfer leaves to boxes,
so tourists can take hipster photos :P

3. Pour down a chute to the next floor.

4. Something, cut and roll the leaves.
I can't remember the first part.

5. Dry the leaves.
I think the long tube machine had a cool name, like 'googy'
but I could be wrong...

6. Pour the dried, rolled tea leaves down the next chute,
so they can go to the final floor.

7 (not really). Cram many people into the room.

7 (yes really). Sort leaves into their types.

I asked Luke if he'd been to the tea factory many times, which was apparently a bit of stupid question. He told me that he and his wife and two sons go there quite often, about once a week, just to have a cup of tea together. I'd honestly never thought until then about the apparently worldwide significance of something as simple as sharing a drink together, whether it be with family, friends or someone who you're just getting acquainted with. In a bizarre way, it was kind of comforting to know that this isn't just something that is confined to my own culture. It made me feel even more at home in Ooty, and makes me all the more excited to return.

The orphanage was fantastic. It was saddening, but it was brilliant. In the past few posts I think I've mentioned the need in India, and while there is still definitely that need, there is also so much good going on! All these people see the poverty and the injustice and they set out to do something about it, completely selflessly. Mohan and the Mizpah home is a great example.

Mohan was orphaned as a young boy, and was lucky enough to be taken in by a good orphanage. He said that it was this experience, and knowing how lucky he was, that made him want to open his own orphanage if he ever got the chance - to give to the society. There are 29 kids at Mizpah homes, and two brothers, whose mother had abandoned them in the woods, temporarily there while he found a new place for them so they wouldn't have to be separated. The work that he is doing for them, on a wage so small, is truly remarkable. Mohan and his wife, Jenny, ensure the children are educated, have good medical care, learn good English and most importantly, that they are loved.

Mohan, some of the kids from Mizpah homes, and Me.
It took a bit of convincing to get the littley with rad orange
pants to stand in front of me :P

And another one, just because I can :P

My visit to Mizpah homes was so inspiring - the fact that there is so much need is heartbreaking, the fact that it has revealed so much of the good in humans makes me want to scream and shout and dance in the streets. I feel the need to tell everyone about it! (I also feel the need to adopt a little girl, Adithya, who was 3-years old and had the most fantastic smile, but that's another story) :P

It was hard work to get her to stand far back enough from
the camera so that I could get more than just one of her eyes :D

And on that joyous note, I shall leave you all. For tonight, we are going out for dinner and tomorrow should be a wondrous day of shopping, and yet a terrible day because we will be leaving Ooty. Just thinking of it makes me want to go and hide somewhere so that I can stay and explore for longer!

With love from India,
Rhi xx

PS. Today I discovered that when it rains, it pours.


nicole said...

Oh WOW! India! You've painted such a lovely picture of (what looks like) an incredible place! Thanks for sharing! This is a very inspiring post. It puts my current family drama into perspective. Thanks for that. xo.

Sassi said...

wow, beautiful pics!

Hannah said...

lovely photos! you're making me wish i was back there!!!



Well... said...

What an amazing experience! You're so lucky you've gotten to know India's culture more. My dream is to one day travel, and I'd love to go there.
Haha, quite a process to make tea!

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