Santa Cruz and Costanoa

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Michigan—Day 4

Before heading back south, we drove from Mackinaw City across Mackinac Bridge to St. Ignace.  Stopped by the Ojibway Museum which was cute, interactive and of course with some great art souvenirs.  I love me some art… 

Photo May 28, 7 59 40 AM

We spent the rest of the day in St. Johns for a Memorial Day feast at Jamie’s parents house, and to hang out with the family.  I had so much fun, I forgot to take pictures!


Pachora (Day 1)

Arrived in Pachora (PA-chora) in the early morning Tuesday with Saurabh.  About 6 hours from Mumbai via train, Pachora is where most of Saurabh’s father’s family lives.  Before the actual wedding ceremony takes place (on Friday), a number of smaller things need to take place with each of the bride and the groom’s families.  We are staying at the house of one of Saurabh’s uncles, and everyone so far has been nothing but kind and generous.  (The only downside is that very few people here speak English..!)

The bed I stayed in.  So generous, I can’t even explain.DSCN4068

Amrita having mendhi done  on her hands!DSCN4078


They do these sand designs in front of the house every day!  There are of course more detail and color for special occasions!DSCN4085

1-day-old mendhi.  It gets a little darker the next day.DSCN4096

1-hour-old mendhi!DSCN4106


Saurabh’s mom, aka my Indian mom.  I think she is so pretty!DSCN4121

Rani’s momDSCN4129

The women all gathered in the side yard, singing and playing wedding-related games.  They were divided into teams based on the colored ribbons.DSCN4136

The auntie that I stayed with.  She was also a judge/score keeper for the games.  :)DSCN4141

A cow watching us.  Remember that cows are sacred in India (thus the term Holy Cow!), so they’re pretty much allowed to do what they want.DSCN4161

Saurabh’s mom and sister Yamini.  They match!DSCN4175

Saurabh matches too!
(Outfit #1 of seemingly hundreds…)



One of the teams of ladies dancing!DSCN4190c



Mamta and Amrita acting something out.
(Hope I got their names right!)DSCN4213

One of the aunties having a microphone shoved in front of her to sing, lol.DSCN4221

I think she has the best smile of the group!DSCN4222


Bollywood shotDSCN4251

Visiting Saurabh’s grandpa’s village (about 10 km away)DSCN4256





Saurabh’s uncle’s house, decorated for the wedding and festivities.  :)DSCN4264

The women singing and dancing around Saurabh.  Didn’t really understand what they were saying, but it was still a lot of fun!DSCN4284


The Beginning

The back-story to this blog….

Last Wednesday I made a trip back to Stanford to see a talk by and about the Tibetan Nuns Project, which is a non-profit organization that has physically built the facilities for and structurally set up the education for Tibetan refugee nuns in the Himalayan region.   It actually was quite inspiring to see what has been built up over the last twenty years to aid in the housing, education and advancement of an exiled and overlooked group of people.  I could definitely see myself involved in such an effort in the future.  Empowerment through education!

Anyway, when the directors were describing the different subjects that the women are taught in their nunneries, I was glad to hear that technology was one of the skills the nuns are trained in, aside from reading, writing, philosophy, etc.  Technology will allow them to stay up-t0-date with the modern world, allow them to communicate, and allow them a valuable set of skills should they decide to leave the nunnery one day.  Elizabeth announced with pride that each of the nunneries now has a camera, so that they can learn video and photography.

My first reaction was…. can I see pictures they’ve taken??!  If they’re given these cameras, why not use them??  Why not document?

And then I realized that I could ask myself the same questions…  With cameras on our cell phones, we have been granted the CAPABILITY to bring people around with us in our everyday lives!

So I set a goal to do just that — to provide one photo per day, from my life, to document … for whoever is interested to see or care.  They’re mostly camera-phone photos for now.  I anticipate the quality will improve along the same course as convenient in-pocket technology.