February 17 - March 3, 2000
Agra, India - Family at Taj Mahal. (Bill Clinton followed us a few weeks later!)
Agra, India - Everywhere we went in India, strangers would ask us to take their photographs with our kids.
Agra, India - at hotel after puppet show, Alex and Katie try their hand.
Agra, India - After the frustration of the beginning of the trip, it was great fun to cut loose and join a dance troupe at a local festival - notice the crowd that gathered - it must be because of Dick's dancing talent!
Agra, India - For all you westernersá an Indian style toilet
Sariska, India - Beautiful arrival at Sariska Palace and a Tiger Project National Park - We were in heaven, so relaxing - This is the site where the famous massage took place!
Sariska, India -The kids immediately made this beautiful garden 'home' and started playing with Lego's and doing art projects.
Sariska, India - Patty is immediately drawn to any other "mother" we passed on our walk.
Sariska, India - Having a formal tea party on top of a tiger blind built by the rajah. Read Patty's India Journal for the whole story.
Sariska National Park, India - On jeep safari in early morning. We saw many herds of antelope and deer
Sariska National Park, India - Off the road on safari. A family of curious monkeys climbing a tree
Sariska National Park, India - The famous jackal who scared all the other animals away
Going to Samode, India - A typical view from the road in Rajasthaná lots of camels.
Going to Samode, India - Carrying firewood used for cooking and heat, where else but on your head, Indian style. (Deforestation in this densely populated country is a HUGE problem>)
Going to Samode, India - public transportation with beautiful saris.
Going to Samode, India - overloaded hay trucksá slightly over the legal load limit in the Statesátry to pass one of these monsters with no shoulder!
Samode, India - fairylike Samode Palace at night - view from our apartment.
Samode, India - fresh flower designs decorating courtyard every evening at Samode Palace
Samode, India - one of the many ways to have dinner at Samode Palace, this time outside in courtyard with private bonfire
Samode, India - We got a real laugh -they NEVER took no for an answer.
Samode, India - example of the beautiful bangles handmade by a family to sell wholesale. It was really interesting to watch these being made.
Samode, India - First, they take a big stick of plastic-like clay and melt it over a wood fire, and then they roll it and sometimes put it into a wooden mold to form it in the width of the bracelet. Somehow, they know exactly how much to cut and then they melt the ends together. Voila, a bangle! The Indian women wear many of them and it is compulsory to wear after you are married.
Samode, India - After the bangle is made, the mother and daughter heat rhinestones on a little metal plate over the fire, pick them up with tweezers and melt them into the bracelet. Katie was in heaven and we bought many of them to bring home.
Samode, India - Our friend, Vishnu, who happened to be the principal of a school. We were invited to visit the next day. Please read Patty's India essay "Vishnu and the Art of the Sell". Despite the outcome of our relationship with him, we very much enjoyed our visit to the school.
Samode, India - The children, in uniform, were very happy to say hello to Cabot schoolchildren back in Newton, MA.
Samode, India - Some classrooms had desks and some did not. There were usually blackboards and some children had slates to practice writing letters on.
Samode, India - Vishnu showing Alex and Katie the board of a typical lessoná English and Hindi. These children could read and recite English very well.
Samode, India - Patty tried to volunteer in the kindergarten class because she misses Mrs. Cain's class at Cabot but realized that she was not dressed appropriately.
Samode, India - We left the Palace for Samode Bagh (garden) "in style" by camel cart thru the desert countryside to sleep in luxury tents with a bonfire dinner. The rajah developed this beautiful garden area with fountains, bunnies the kids fed with great delight. The best part of our tent stay - we each got hot water bottles to keep our toes warm at night.
Samode, India - a portrait of a proud camel.
Jaipur - kids pose with the turbaned and mustached Indian doorman at the Rambagh Palaceá this is where the maharajah lived. Notice the gold doors.
Jaipur, India - a fun way to travel in the city but a little hard on the driverá read "City of Joy" by Dominique LaPierre, a novel about a rickshaw puller in the Calcutta slums - excellent!
Jaisalmer, India - magical Jaisalmer fort at nightá the fort is stilled lived in and dominates the stark desert landscape of this city near the Pakistan border.
Jaisalmer, India - knife dance with cymbals up and down the dancers' legs.
Jaisalmer, India - Patty and Katie had great fun smelling the exotic perfumes and negotiating the purchase of many bottles while a crowd gathered. He would measure out each bottle, cap it and put a piece of cotton around with a tied thread so it would not leak.
Jaisalmer, India - Since India did not have direct AOL access, we were very excited to spend an afternoon checking mail on the Internet for news from friends and family.
Jaisalmer, India - For all you train lovers, (Mamoo and Papa especially); we were able to get 'on board' the "Palace on Wheels" that is the equivalent of the Orient Express. It was really incredibly ornate but a 'little too formal' for the kids. (Ha Ha!!!)
Jaisalmer, India - Another sign we found alarming and interesting at the same time.
Jaisalmer, India - The start of our camel safariá what fun. You feel like Lawrence of Arabia. Ben was the leader all the way and to see his little body on this monster animal was comical.
Jaisalmer, India - Alex was happy to have a driver 'keep him on' his camelá note how the guide is sitting so casually.
Jaisalmer, India - Katie reading to the camel driversá literacy lives! (Although in this area, it is very alarming that only 1.5% of the population can read and write!!) PS Patty was caught reading a book while riding and Dick was caught Dictaphoning his journalá a little Type A Personality?
Jaisalmer, India - Ben and Katie trying out their new circus routine.
Jaisalmer, India - A sight along the camel treká an incredibly intricate stone carved Jain temple.
Jaisalmer, India - On our trek, we stopped at a royal cemetery where the gravestones told the morbid story of satee - when the queens volunteer to burn and die in the funeral pyre with their deceased husband!
Jaisalmer, India - Another nature findá this time in the desertá what is it?
Jaisalmer, India - Family and friends after a long day's ride on camel, relaxing and having tea. Notice the tents. Very luxuriousá nothing like Yellowstone ruggednessá this is pure plush!
Jaisalmer, India - We stopped on our second day at a village where Patty makes friends with the local womená she does not quite fit iná needs to change her clothes!
Jaisalmer, India - After our plane to from Jaisalmer to Delhi was cancelledá we took a dangerous and crazy 4 hour drive to Jodhpur to get on a train leaving at midnight overnight to Delhiá Patty's heart sank when she took 10 pieces of baggage (6 luggage and 4 boxes to ship back) and 3 sleepy kids on board a second-class train with people and bags everywhere. Once we got settled, we had a great time meeting all the passengers.
Delhi, IN - When we arrived in Delhi after being up on the train most of the night, our travel agent suggested we check into a hotel for 4 hours, rest and eat, and then go to the airport at 9pm to wait for possible wait list seat on an overbooked flight to Nepal hopefully departing at 1:30am. Ugh! Katie and Ben trying to stay awake!
Delhi, In - In the airport waiting for the Nepal flight, Alex expresses our sentiments on leaving India.
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