Thursday, September 21, 2006
The second day, after purchasing our tickets for the boat to Havelock island, we went to see the Cellular Jail built by the British to lock up India's freedom fighters. The jail was later taken over by the Japanese. The galleries and museum were of great interest. Later that afternoon we left Port Blair and made our way to the coasts of Havelock.
Havelock is part of the very beautiful and remote island chain that extends from below Burma and leads into Sumatra. We enjoyed ourselves to no end, staying in bamboo huts, collecting shells, gliding on the huge waves of the Bay of Bengal, and riding an elephant on the beach (the footprints were enormous).
The huge array of trees are part of gorgeous native rainforests and when the monsoon rains would pour down at night on our little thatch roof, I felt exhilarated knowing that this was all that protected me from nature's forces. It sometimes felt like we'd be swept into the ocean when a huge gust of monsoon wind came with the rains.
Despite the tropicalia, this environment actually reminded me several times of childhood summers spent at Crystal Beach on good old Lake Erie.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Recently I met a very dedicated woman here named Rosalie who is originally from Brooklyn, New York. She comes to Kolkata eight months out of the year to teach underpriviledged children at various locations throughout the city as part of an NGO she started to address the problem of education. The other four months are spent fund-raising in the US. Her NGO, Empower the Children , uses activity-based classes that all include a story and a craft.
She visited Mustard Seeds Library in the hope that she could find books about certain class topics, and I was surprised that we didn't have too many of them to offer! She is specifically looking for children's story books with these themes:
I thought some of the mustard seed friends and family might be able to help her out. If you can suggest titles for children's books that talk about these particular themes, she can purchase them or if you would like to donate them for her use, you can send them to her directly. Just send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post a comment if you have book titles or want to get an address to send a new or used copy to Rosalie directly! I'll pass any ideas or books onto her.